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To understand the Higgs mechanism, imagine that a room full of physicists chattering quietly is like space filled with the Higgs field ...
... a well-known scientist walks in, creating a disturbance as he moves across the room and attracting a cluster of admirers with each step ...
... this increases his resistance to movement, in other words, he acquires mass, just like a particle moving through the Higgs field...
... if a rumor crosses the room, ...
... it creates the same kind of clustering, but this time among the scientists themselves.
In this analogy, these clusters are the Higgs particles.
We thank CERN for use of these images and text. The concept was inspired by Prof. David J. Miller of University College London who won a prize for a lucid explanation of the Higgs Boson.