Some Friday Fun
I have no idea how much 125 billion electron volts actually is. Indeed, I am a little vague on what an electron volt is at all. Wikipedia says
… it is the amount of energy gained by the charge of a single electron moved across an electric potential difference of one volt. Thus it is 1 volt (1 joule per coulomb, 1 J/C) multiplied by the electron charge (1 e, or 1.602176565(35)×10−19 C). Therefore, one electron volt is equal to 1.602176565(35)×10−19 J.
That clears it up … somewhat. For us laymen, it may be more useful to know that
Historically, the electron volt was devised as a standard unit of measure through its usefulness in electrostatic particle accelerator sciences because a particle with charge q has an energy E=qV after passing through the potential V; if q is quoted in integer units of the elementary charge and the terminal bias in volts, one gets an energy in eV.
Did you get that?
Ok, so what is the big deal about 125 billion electron volts? It is the amount of unexplained energy generated in certain particle accelerations. It appeared more than once. And so, scientists think it may be the signature of that great unexplained thing that we call the Higgs Bosson. NYT reports.
Ah well, perhaps my son can explain this to me. If he has time.