The Higss Boson Anthology: Dancing Higgs Particles by Andrew Meek
[Copyright & all rights you could possibly conceive of strictly belong to Andrew Meek]
The following passage is from chapter 13 of Quintessence. my protagonist Alexander Staalman is describing to a psychiatrist a bizarre incident in his past in which he ‘saw’ dancing Higgs particles.
Rewind seven years and I’m back behind the wheel. As I drive through the country lanes back toward home my mind is still wrestling with the idea of something beyond the mathematical models we struggled with in Geneva. I am wondering how the Higgs boson would appear to us; how would we – mere three dimensional beings perceive a five dimensional object? The reality of it beyond that mathematical model.
I, I heard something. A whisper, faint, barely audible, like, like a child’s cry. I brought the Dino to a stop – taking two wheels onto the grass.
Then, it sounded like – not crying -singing, a painful, mournful song. That’s when it happened, that’s when it appeared before me – there it was. There it danced, right before my eyes. I don’t mean inside my minds eye, I mean right in front of me, in the world outside of me. I knew what it was, this “thing”, this beautiful thing. A Higgs Boson. It spun and turned and glowed and throbbed. It hovered there in space, just inches from my face. It was in constant motion, constant change. Geometric shape-shifting. Then, not just one, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions, filled my field of view.
The colour…the colour was so intense. Every shade of every colour I had ever seen, every hue, and many more I had never seen before. I couldn’t even begin to describe them, the words simply don’t exist. They danced this elaborate dance, this intricate ballet. I was spellbound. I held out a hand. They danced round it, through it. I shouldn’t be able to see them, for one thing they should be subatomic in size, yet there they were, like tiny glittering – forever changing – shapes of multi-coloured light, each about the size of a small pea. They…this is hard to explain; they moved in so many directions all at once that they didn’t really exist in one place, but many. The more I noticed them, the more the world about me was alive with them, until they filled every available space in my vision.
‘Some kind of hallucination?’
‘No…I…I don’t know. All I can say is that this was real, perhaps the most real experience I’ve ever had. It was like when, as a child, I first put on a pair of glasses – hyper real. It only lasted a few seconds then they slowly evaporated back to wherever it was they had sprung from. But…something else… there was something else, something inside me, yet, outside of me…something was different’.
I stopped the engine and stepped out of the car. The moment my feet touched the road I knew what it was. The Earth beneath me wasn’t beneath me any more, it was an extension of me, and I it. I felt the planet move, I mean, actually moving, turning. I felt my body turning with it, connected to it. I felt the planet below me, I mean, all the way to the core. I felt the world tumbling through space. I felt that space around it, the universe, I could feel its depth, spread out in each and every direction all at once. And I felt time – as one time – all times folded into a whole, a continuum. Oh, the endless depths of it… it overpowered me, swept through me. For the first time in my life I knew where I was, I knew what I was, in space, in time, in creation.
I’m back before him now, my mental time travelling done.