Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Filming The Higgs Boson.

Today is a momentous day for TV news cameramen the world over. News has broken from the large hadron collider in Auric Goldfinger's underground lair that the Higgs Boson, or the 'God particle' has been observed. I watched the TV News earlier this morning with some amusement as reporters, science correspondents, and various egg heads tried to convey the physics behind what had been discovered. Lots of "uum's" "aah's" and "Well, this is really difficult to explain in layman's terms..."

There were lots of in depth graphics from the pixel dept, deep within TV Centre, even ones from Goldfinger himself using Comic Sans. ( The font of champions ) But i was surprised to see that the producers had not tasked a news cameraman with filming one... Now i don't know about you, but even with my best zoom lens, with the doubler on, i struggled to find one of these particles on my bathroom floor this morning. I searched, honest i did. I even lifted the bath mat to see if any Higgs Boson's fell out or were hiding in the nooks and crannies, but alas... I could not find one. If a news cameraman does manage to film one it will be like hitting the payday jackpot.

Higgs Boson's... not easily visible on garden weeds.

On websites and on the TV news this morning, it was explained thus:

"ATLAS will today announce a 5-sigma signal and CMS will announce a 4.9-sigma signal of a new particle with a mass of 126.5 GigaelectronVolts (GeV) and 125.2 GeV respectively"

I opened up my cameras menu and searched for the settings but i couldn't find anything resembling a 4.9-Sigma signal. Not even on my filter 2 on a white balance setting of 3200K. I even tried filming through a magnifying glass but only found a matted clump of long lost facial hair in the sink hole.

This is going to be a tough assignment. Even in the garden, excitement turned to disappointment as i whooped and hollered to the missus that i had found a Higgs Boson, only to be told that it was blackfly on the roses... Buggeration.

I rang a friend of mine who specialises in macro filming. He told me that he saw a tiny black dot in his childs ear hole early this morning, his heart raced as he thought he was the first news cameraman to film a Higgs Boson, but it turned out to be a speck of dust.  It would seem the race is on amongst us news cameramen as to who will be the first to film one...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.