history of science

Why Bose is not the scientist after whom Higgs is named.

A very few particles (out of 1000s) are named after scientists, eg the so called mu meson was called a Yukawa Meson, although it turned out to be a misnomer. Mu-meson was found to be a lepton, rather than a meson, as was thought by Yukawa and others.

Now called Muon it belongs in the same class that an electron belongs to, leptons, which are both Fermions. Hence initially thought to be a Boson (because all mesons would be bosons) the muon is actually a Fermion (all leptons are Fermions).

Should we say; initially muon was named after Bose, then correctly; after Fermi? That would be HOKUM. Right thing would be to say; it was named after Hideki Yukawa (wrongly as a meson or boson) then it has been named as muon which is now a Fermion. But its still named after Yukawa; given to a misnomer-correction. It can be called Yukawa-Lepton MUON (instead of Yukawa Meson Mu).

Nowhere Bose or Fermi have been the scientists after whom this particle has been named. Bose and Fermi are scientists after whom a principle of physics or nature has been named but not a particle. That would clear any mischievous air.

Growing Above All.

What we conveniently forget is what I just parenthesized as “Ethereal Relativism”. Before Einstein’s work, the ether was taken to be something that gives motion a sense of absoluteness. Ether was the absolute measure or reference of motion, therefore all motion seemed to be known as absolute. But its widely silent that Galileo and Newton worked in a frame-work of Physics or laws of nature where a frame of reference keeps motion relative, and not absolute: a concept known as Galilean Relativity.

In other words, if there is an object falling under gravity, in telling our story, we almost forgot that, there can also be a situation where, the relative motion of the falling object, can be studied; with or without the gravity acting on the object. In other words, still, the central question is to ask; did this single object fall faster or slower w.r.t. a situation when there is no gravity? Was it known or not, to Galileo, that, this object can be tested; to be falling faster in presence of the gravity causing object.

As we know today: Gravity causes objects to fall faster, it does not cause them to fall in the first place, between heavier and lighter objects it does not make any one of them to fall faster than the other and this is a force of central attraction to the proportion of; strength being as higher as the square of separation is, less.

Happy birthday Scientists, James Joule.

It’s the birthday of James Joule, who was born in 1818 in Salford, England. Joule was a commercial brewer in Manchester. His work inspired an interest in physics and in the nature of energy. In a series of experiments, he demonstrated the convertibility of kinetic, thermal and electromagnetic energy. The SI energy unit, the joule, is named in his honor.