Higgs Hysteria

Lovers of sensationalism have run rampant by claiming, "The Higgs Boson particle has been confirmed! The Big Bang really happened! There is no God!"

Not so fast, Nigel! There is a great deal of incorrect reporting and bad assumptions related to this. (They also show their ignorance of quantum field theory.) How about some education for a reality check?

Scientists announced last week [March 16, 2013] that they likely confirmed the existence of a particle called the Higgs boson. One media outlet said this of the Higgs boson: "It helps solve one of the most fundamental riddles of the universe: how the Big Bang created something out of nothing 13.7 billion years ago." 
But is this really true? 
As noted in one of our online articles, there is a tendency for people to intuitively think of subatomic particles as being like wee-little marbles. However, a branch of physics called quantum field theory views particles as being "ripples" in quantities called fields. Many people may be familiar with the concept of a field from high school or college physics classes. The magnetic field surrounding a bar magnet is a well-known example: the fact that iron filings placed near the magnet align themselves along the magnetic field lines enables one to conceptually visualize the field surrounding the magnet. There is a field associated with the Higgs particle called the Higgs field. This field is somewhat different from more familiar examples of fields and is a particular kind called a scalar field. 
The Standard Model is a theory that describes the relationships among elementary particles and three of the fundamental forces (it does not include gravity). Until this recent discovery, the existence of all the other particles in the Standard Model had been confirmed. Thus the confirmation of the Higgs' existence is a "big deal" in the physics community. 
But why are some claiming that the Higgs boson helps to explain how the Big Bang supposedly created the universe? The reason involves something called inflation theory.
You can finish fielding "Higgs Boson Confirmed: Separating Fact from Hype".