Deep Thought Day: “Standard Model” and the search for mass

I’ve just finished watching a documentary on SBS called the Six Billion Dollar Experiment. I’m fascinated by all things scientific, especially cutting edge and where the search currently lies in a field, so I couldn’t miss this one. What really got me, though, was that despite having early on in the show made the link between energy and mass, via Einstein’s theory of special relativity, they went on to talk of how the model developed – the standard model – of the smallest building blocks in the universe, was missing some fundamental factor that would give these weightless particles the mass to actually build things. The idea they’re trying to put forward to explain it is the Higgs Field, described as being like a ‘mass of treacle’ through which these particles travel, sticking to some to form mass.

I started thinking. Being a large scale woman, mass is an issue of great personal interest to me. I pondered the fact that maybe our obesity issue is that on a particle level, we’re driven to accumulate energy, which of course in our biological system manifests as fat. But then I started thinking about all the people that aren’t overweight, and the apparent fact that stasis is the hardest state of all to achieve. Our mass is in one of two states – storing energy, or expressing energy. Can’t be both. In other words, if you’re not losing weight, you’re probably gaining, and vice versa. Maintenance is just balancing out gains with losses so they’re eventually small enough to seem stable – like the bouncing ball that seems to have come to a stop but theoretically never actually does.

Then I wondered – what if the process of acquiring mass in particles is like the process of acquiring mass in, say, my hips. Storing energy. The way to lose it, I know, is to change from storing it to expressing it. Particles in motion, obviously, are expressing energy. If they’re ‘fed’ energy but held still, instead of being shunted at high speeds around a collider, would they take on form? Turn them into couch potatoes and see what happens? (Surely it’d be cheaper to build the particle equivalent of a couch and TV than a huge, kilometers long racing track…)

Of course, I’m not an authority, having no scientific qualifications whatever except a raging curiosity and a very broad range of interests that allows me to ‘cross fertilise’ ideas, but at the very least, I’ve now realised, I can think of my weight loss journey in less personal terms. I’m only fighting an atomic level imperative to energy storage (mass acquisition) in order to try to force a reversal of the energy handling mechanisms of the biological system currently housing my consciousness.

No wonder it seems so hard sometimes!!!

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