The BBC article Cern plans even larger hadron collider for physics search by BBC Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh is interesting for several reasons. One was a curious error that has since been partially fixed What are “large hadrons”? Are there also “small hadrons”?, but another is found at the end of the article:

What is bosonics?

However Cern's director for accelerators and technology, Dr Frédérick Bordry, said that he did not think that £20bn was expensive for a cutting edge project, the cost of which would be spread among several international partners over 20 years.

He added that spending on Cern had led to many technological benefits, such as the World Wide Web and the real benefits were yet to be realised.

"When I am asked about the benefits of the Higgs Boson, I say 'bosonics'. And when they ask me what is bosonics, I say 'I don't know'.

"But if you imagine the discovery of the electron by JJ Thomson in 1897, he didn't know what electronics was. But you can't imagine a world now without electronics."

I'm reminded of the one-word piece of advice in the film The Graduate: "Plastics", but also how important a Higgs field was in the 2002 adaptation of Solaris, where Viola Davis's character Dr. Gordon contemplates using one to destabilize the "visitors" appearing on the station above the planet Solaris.

Question: Has the term "bosonics" ever been explicitly used in a story or film?


The term is not limited to science fiction. Bosonics is a real company, which makes optical components. Frédérick Bordry was just joking around when he mentioned "bosonics," but it is an obvious coinage and a natural word to describe technology with bosons.

Technology constructed out of Higgs bosons should really be called something like "higgsonics." The reason for this is that "boson" also refers to a larger category of particles, many of them much less exotic that the Higgs particle. The most important type of boson is the photon, the quantum of light. So it makes perfect sense that an optical component company would choose to call themselves "Bosonics." The name "boson" applies to any quantum-mechanical particle that obeys Bose-Einstein statistics, meaning that they are fundamentally indistinguishable. Indian physicist Satyendra Bose first pointed out that photons had to obey these statistics, making them the first identified bosons. Wolfgang Pauli later showed that the bosons are exactly those elementary particles with integer values of the spin quantum number.


Good Night, Moon Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling


With a practiced gesture, Ganzer formed a vortex in the deli’s all-pervasive bosonic fluxon entertainment field.

  • 1
    Close! I think the adjective bosonic isn't exactly the same as a noun describing the field of study or applications bosonics, but it's good to know about.
    – uhoh
    Feb 3 '19 at 3:48
  • 1
    It shows up in the plural in that book too.
    – Adamant
    Feb 4 '19 at 19:06
  • @Adamant can you quote a sentence? Is it a countable noun, like "here are twenty bosincs, don't spend them all in one place" or uncountable, like "the family bosonics were a source of strength"?
    – uhoh
    Feb 5 '19 at 1:06
  • "ribbon theory and subdimensional bosonics."
    – Adamant
    Feb 5 '19 at 7:26

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