Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the East Wing.
Did ye ever hear ‘bout Particle Physics? If not, don’t feel bad ‘cause most people haven’t heard ‘bout Particle Physics either. It’s just the science of really, really, really little stuff. Stuff so small that people like me and you, well, we can’t even think that little.
There’s a whole academic and scientific world of Particle Physics Research. I just happen to know a few of those guys and I believe they just sit around thinking up ways to demonstrate the existence of really little stuff.
I found out some time back that there are a bunch of Particle Physics Researchers who visit the East Wing on Sunday evenings and have been doing so for some time. Small world isn’t it. Pun intended.
We all know ‘bout molecules and atoms and electrons and protons and neutrons and quarks. How each one of ‘em gets smaller as we name ‘em off. These Particle Physics Guys, they think there’s something smaller than a quark. And that’s what they’re looking for, the little fellers that makes up the quark. The thing that makes up the quark is really the smallest of the small. They’ve already got a name for that little thing they’re looking for. Calling it the “God particle”. It’s thought to be the original building block of everything.
The way these guys told me, ‘bout this God Particle, it’s sorta like making something out of Lego’s. Ya start with the smallest piece first and build up. Seems to me, these Particle Physics Guys, they’re kinda looking for that first Lego so they can build a universe. “Course I’m paraphrasing what these guys told me, ‘cause they didn’t talk ‘bout Lego’s. But I’m sure me and you both can relate better to Lego’s than we can to quarks.
I did know there are six types of quarks, and that they’re known as flavors. I don’t know why they’re called flavors, they just are. it not like ya can taste ‘em or anything, ‘cause they’re way, way too small to taste. So anyway they’re named up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom. Now up and down quarks have the lowest masses of all quarks. The heavier quarks rapidly change into up and down quarks through a process of particle decay. It’s the transformation from a higher mass state to a lower mass state that’s called particle decay.
It’s kinda like if ya put a log in your fireplace and burn it, and it then becomes ashes. It went from a heaver mass state to a less dense mass state. Wood(charm quarks) to ashes(down quarks). Because of this, up and down quarks are generally stable and the most common in the universe, whereas charm, strange, top, and bottom quarks can only be produced in high energy collisions. Bumping really small stuff together at or near the speed of light. Hence the term “atom smasher”.
It must be important to find this thing smaller than quarks, ‘cause in Switzerland, in the mountains, a 17 mile tunnel has been dug inside the Swiss Alps. It’s a doughnut tunnel, that 17 miles under the mountains. It’s purpose is to create a machine that can shoot electrons toward each other in the tunnel and see what happens when they hit. It’s thought that if these particles can be accelerated upwards toward the speed of light, when they bump into each other and all the parts break away in the collision, maybe, just maybe, they can detect something they’ve never seen before. A “God particle”.
Now if this sounds like I’m just telling ya stories, I’m not. It’s called the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) and it’s located at the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. We’ve got one of these circles where ya shoot really little bullets toward each other right here in the USA Just outside New York City at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. They do this type research, there at Brookhaven National Laboratory , just outside New York City, ‘cept they don’t have as big a circle. I think their circle is only ‘bout 12 miles. It’s kinda like dirt track racing and NASCAR at the Daytona 500.
I’ve never heard anybody really explain what they’re gona do with it when they find the God particle, ‘cept look for something even smaller. Guess ya just build a 25 mile doughnut tunnel, pull the trigger and hope they bump together on the other side of the doughnut.
Ya know the hardest part ‘bout the atom smashing business is making sure they hit head on, else if they miss by an atom, oh well. Reload the gun and squeeze off another round. I don’t think those guns are 6 shooters.
As smart as these guys are when it comes to talking ‘bout particle physics, most all the other stuff in life, they don’ know sic ‘em. In the mist of getting a detailed explanation of particle physics, I blew the guys away when, just out of the clear blue sky, I asked “do any of you fellers know how to milk a cow?” Two of the four had never even seen a real cow in person, only in pictures. They all knew that milk did come from an animal, and not from a box, or plastic jug. Which is smarter than some. Particle Physics friends of mine, smart and dumb at the same time. Much the same as we all are. Smart and dumb at the same time, just ‘bout different stuff.
For all those who in so many different ways expressed symphony to me and my sisters for the passing of my Mama, I can only say your expressions of kind feelings toward me and my family have been a major crutch which we’ve leaned heavily on during this month of May. And we continue to do so.
The month of May has always been a major event for this Family of Howards, lots of birthdays, my Sister Barbara, my dad’s birthday was in May, along with my birthday, but the real big deal for me in the month of May has always been Mothers Day. For the last 30+ years my Mama received a corsage to wear to church on Mothers Day. Owning Pioneer Florist in North Judson for the last 30 years, well, the She just decked my Mama out good for Mothers Day.
I brought my Mama flowers four times a year, the first dandelion, an Easter Lilly, the Mothers Day Corsage, and a Christmas Poinsettia. Have done that since I’s ‘bout 15 years old. Mama kept track of such things, and so when I took her this years Easter Lilly, Mama said this makes 51 years of Easter Lillie’s, I think that’s ‘bout enough. I didn’t think anything ‘bout what she said at the time, but now I think she knew the end was near. And so it was, really, really near. I took Mama the Easter Lilly on Good Friday, a week and a day later my Mama died.
When I became fully aware of the extent of Mama’s medical condition, I had only two prayers. My first prayer was for Mama’s pain to go away. The doctors stopped the pain. My second prayer was for speed. God answered both prayers.
Sometimes I’ve encountered people who beat themselves up for not doing this or that in the past, after someone dies. They spend much of the remainder of their life feeling guilty for not doing this or that. We can’t change the past and so, this or that must forever remain just this or that. One of the neat things ‘bout this Family of Howards, we don’t look back, forever it’s the future.
It’s that needle pulling thread thing, we sit on the tip of that needle that moves thru time, and never look back at the worm hole left by the thread.
Ya don’t beat yourself up for things that might’ve been, but never were. When someone dies, ya just go on into the future knowing that whatever happened in the past, happened is in the past. At this point in life ya have two choices. Look into the future or forever spend the rest of your life being sorry for your actions of the past. Actions which you can never change.
That’s why it’s so important in this life to do it right the first time around, ‘cause ya sure don’t get a second shot, or a second time around. Now one of the things I’ve learned by my Mama’s passing is when you’ve done it right, ya know it, and so it’s easy to find a little peace in sorrow.
It’s a lot more fun looking into the future ‘cause ya can make decision effecting the outcome. And one thing for sure, ya can’t change the past. The only thing ya can do with the past is remember. I sometimes wonder if we’d better off if we weren’t able to remember yesterday.
Just think how different life would be if each day we started out the new day with a blank slate of memory. No to do list from yesterday, no guilt from stuff not done in the past. Only the future in front of ya to start the day, every day. And the only thing ya ever remembered was; the sun comes up tomorrow. Wonder if that’d work?
Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From the East Wing, With Little Stuff, Lego’s & Quarks, Particle Physics & Milking Cows, The Month of May & The Howards, Never Look Back, The Sun Comes Up Tomorrow.
Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan
I wish you well.