Rossi as Teacher

We all realize how closed-lipped Rossi can be when it comes to sensitive information about the E-Cat and his business endeavors, but when you get him on a non-sensitive topic he can become very communicative — as demonstrated in this exchange with a reader about the Higgs Boson particle.

Jan.Gustavsson
August 25th, 2013 at 7:18 PM
Dear Dr Rossi: are you able to explain to us not expert what is and how works
the “Particle of God”? I made a bet with friends that you are able to make simple what is difficult.

JG

Andrea Rossi
August 25th, 2013 at 8:02 PM
Jan.Gustavsson:
He,he,he… nice bet. I have studied all I could of the Higgs Boson, and, as a matter of fact, it is very difficult to explain what it is and how it works without the rigorous language of mathematics; this said, I want to help you win your bet, even if I am sure my “vulgarization” will raise not few eyebrows.
To explain what is the Higgs Boson and how it works we need a model easy to be understood.
Let us start from an attempt of scientific definition, and then down to the model.
The Higgs Boson is a scalar boson that breaking the symmetry makes the particles get mass ( or, better, “feel ” the mass).
Now the model: imagine a biosphere, a closed glass sphere in which you have no gravity and nothing at all inside, but cats and butterflies ( no snakes, all gone to sell apples). In this situation of no-gravity and no hurdles inside the biosphere inside the glass sphere you can see from outside cats and butterflies move and fly without difficulty and with no much difference between their lines of movement: up, down, clockwise, counterclockwise , left, right, and so on: you can say that between them there is a sort of a symmetry, because they move symmetrically in the biosphere, due to the fact that they don’t meet any obstacle, nor pull from anywhere. Now imagine that after this calm ( and inconclusive) symmetrical situation, arrives the game- changer, which is the fact that inside the glass ball of the biosphere we put gravity and also put inside a big bunch of flowers. At this point, the symmetry is broken, because, while the butterflies continue to fly around, even if with less easiness, the cats fall down and move with difficulty among the flowers: in few words, they FEEL their mass.
Now, consider that in the model the butterflies are the bosons, the cats are the fermions and the gravity combined with the flowers are the Higgs Boson.
The Higgs Boson has spin zero ( is a scalar force): as a matter of fact it does not move, like the flowers, while the fermions and the bosons are vectorial forces because they have total orbital angular momentum ( orbital momentum + intrinsic spin), and also have an isospin, which in the lattice model is determined by their position along the z axis of the lattice. Without the Higgs Bosons, the particles would fly linearly without interact and the Universe would be very boring: a lot of waves at the speed of light going on straight for ever. The chaos created by the Higgs Boson has generated everything: atoms, molecules, everything. Probably for this reason it has been called the “Particle of God”. I hope the Higgs Boson also will make you win your bet.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

I always thing that the best teachers are those who can take a complex topic and communicate it in a way that the non-expert can understand.I am in no way qualified to judge about the accuracy of what Rossi states here, but it certainly is poetic and quite entertaining — one of his characteristics (reminds me of the cat and mouse explanation). Jan Gustavsson wrote back to tell Rossi that he won the bet — so maybe he is not far from the mark. It might be just as entertaining to hopefully finally hear Rossi describe the theory behind the E-Cat!

  • DavidH

    A good teacher should be clear and correct, which Rossi isn’t – it was a very vague and somewhat incorrect explanation.

    A good explanation – how I explained HB to my 6 yo niece:
    Imagine you have huge hair (like afro) while traveling through a dense forest – your hair gets caught on branches, slowing you down, taking some broken branches with you. In this analogy: you are a gauge boson, forest is the Higgs Field and broken branches are the acquired mass (Higgs Boson).

    Explanation for adults:
    When particles pass through the Higgs Field (it’s everywhere) and get slowed down, the energy has to go somewhere – they acquire mass (Higgs Boson) – it’s called the Higgs Effect.

    Other good analogies are traveling through snow, swimming through sirup, walking on glue, … even Rossi’s cats vs. flowers example could be used, but has to be used correctly (cats = gauge bosons, flowers = HF and flower nectar = higgs boson/mass)!

  • julius

    I personally don’ t believe in the existence of the higgs boson, nor than black holes.

    • Chris I

      Actually, neither am I so sure. They are good models however. Or at least the implications of good models. Black holes are much more of an extrapolation though.

  • Joe Shea

    ” “The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.”

    I can’t imagine they sold a lot of snakes! This explanation was highly entertaining…

  • HHiram

    I’m actually quite impressed with Rossi’s explanation. It’s an analogy (and an insightful one), not a technical account, but it’s clearly a unique analogy. To me, that suggests Rossi himself really does understand the Higgs particle in some detail – enough to offer his own analogy, rather than just regurgitating something he might have read on Wikipedia.

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      +1

  • clovis

    Hi, guys.
    I recieved my new tee shirt from the ecat world today, wow it nice.
    Everyone needs one of these beauty’s, and help ecat world keep it’s doors open, i really like mine, http://s95.photobucket.com/user/clovisray20/media/my%20latest%20uploads/ecatworldtee_zps0dde4351.jpg.html

    • Leo Kaas

      Yes, my t shirts looked great and the quality is excellent.

    • http://www.e-catworld.com admin

      Nice pic, Clovis!

      • Barry

        Thanks Clovis, now we don’t have to hire an expensive model.

        • GreenWin

          heh heh…

  • LilyLover

    Lovely. Dr. Rossi!
    That was much better than all the MITten profs would put it together.
    Much better than…
    http://physicsforme.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/higgs-boson-one-page-explanation/
    Redears,
    Remember …
    HB=> Field Effect
    Name-Particle-Misnomer

  • AstralProjectee

    Nice to see this side of him as a good teacher. That is the way it seems at least.

    Peace.

    • Barry

      +1

  • GreenWin

    Nice imagery. I agree Admin, a good teacher can communicate a complex idea simply, imaginatively. I have little doubt it is this gift that assisted Dottore’s discovery of the “Rossi Effect.”

    An interesting OT article appears in the widely circulated mainstream Salon.com, “Is the Grid Becoming Irrelevant?”

    “The grid, consisting of 3,200 utilities, is a $400 billion a year industry. But David Crane, the CEO of NRG Energy, sees it as going the way of the U.S. Postal Service: ‘Utilities will continue to serve the elderly or the less fortunate, but the rest of the population moves on.'”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/is_the_grid_becoming_irrelevant/

    • BroKeeper

      Imagine future headlines: “Excessive Heat From Billions of E-Cats Causing Global Warming?” 🙂

      • Omega Z

        BroKeeper

        Actually a Legitimate concern.
        When I hear people talk of melting snow from the highways in place of snowplows, It raises concern. This becomes extreme.

        On the other hand, it could be used to heat bridges for Ice removal. With sensors that function only until the ice is melted.

        Also Homes could do the same for driveways & sidewalks adjoined to the property.

        Both these possibilities after conventional removal of snow if present. This could drastically reduce the salt that washes into the soil & streams And both would only require enough heat to clear ice & dry the pavement & cycle off.

        As we use more energy, we also need to learn to conserve. Cheap & Plentiful energy is at odds with this.

        I Question whether society has the wisdom to make the intelligent choices or will we merely fix 1 problem only to create new problems possibly worse then those that presently exist.

      • Zedshort

        I suspect you don’t understand the cause of global warming.

        • elasticbucket

          Cause and effect plus effect. Depositing even a cent in a bank account adds to its balance. Any-how, it may be evened out by reverse cycling any excess energy and thus induce a global polar effect?

  • eernie1

    A neighbor of mine who worked at the Fermi accelerator facility(20 miles from my home) told me that the particle was referred to at first as the Godd… particle because of its elusiveness. For politeness and publishing reasons the d… part was dropped. I would recommend that if you get the opportunity to visit the facility(open to the public and which I have done more than once) do so. Their museum of particle history is very interesting and informative.

  • khawk

    I love it – especially the snakes having to sell apples interjection from the Garden of Eden imagery!

  • clovis

    Hi, Frank,
    auuu i would bet, that he could explain e-cat, just as easily, now that he has figured out how the rossi effect works, the discovery of the higgs was a great development for humanity, not much was made of this conformation,
    (go figure) i think it is truly exceptional, with possibility of extra dimensions, and the like.– (toe)

  • Chris I

    He’s an amusing guy, even though he doesn’t get some of the details quite straight.

  • AlainCo

    Good surprise… Usually he is quite unclear, but there… wooow.
    interesting.
    Maybe he is active about theories these days…