(This is a repost since the original article didn’t post correctly!)
Scientists are thrilled about the Higgs boson. But many of them are sick of that term “The God Particle.”
Sarah Pulliam Bailey summarizes the history of the term and how scientists (including Peter Higgs) aren’t fans of the misleading term.
The best big involves physicist Leon Lederman, who wrote in his book of the same name that he intended to call it “The Goddamn Particle” but wasn’t allowed to:
This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet to elusive, that I have given it a nickname: The God Particle. Why God Particle? Two reasons. One, the publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing. And two, there is a connection, of sorts, to another book, a much older one…
The nickname is silly now, anyway. Unlike god, we now have pretty solid evidence that the Higgs boson actually exists.