Hello Higgs!

Hello Higgs! July 4, 2012

The shower of high velocity subatomic particles produced by particle accelerators can seem like fireworks. And so it is nice that it is on the 4th of July that the official announcement was made by the scientists who have discovered the heaviest boson yet, which will either turn out to be the long sought after Higgs boson – which given the close match with predictions seems most likely, or otherwise a different new particle that will lead physicists beyond the standard model. Either way it is exciting!

ADDENDUM: Anyone who mistakes the fact that some have called the Higgs boson the “God particle” for an indication that this discovery has something to do with theology has most likely misunderstood both physics and theology. The only theological relevance is the same as for all other scientific progress and discoveries. We are capable of understanding the way the universe works in terms of natural processes. If your theology has not already taken that into account, it is long overdue, but the latest discovery probably will not change that, however much it should.



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  • The “scientists” link does not work.

  • arcseconds

    Wikipedia reports Lederman, who came up with the epithet ‘The God Partilce’, as saying (jokingly):

    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.

    Higgs doesn’t like the term ‘The God Particle’ because he thinks it might offend religious people (he’s an atheist).

  • Doubtful

    The problem is still with us…after all, if may not be the Higgs. And even if it is, this may lead to something else we don’t have.
    Scientific theories continue on their Provisional Course!

    • Gary

      “And even if it is, this may lead to something else we don’t have”…You are right. Practical devices we all know and love. Just like the discovery of the photon, which led to photoelectric effect, led’s, lasers, LCD’s, DVD’s, and effectively semiconductors in general (based upon studying energy gaps). I could imagine the Higgs, since it provides mass to matter, could lead to controlling intense gravity fields. Controlled fusion containment via magnetic fields is currently not working so good. So I could see gravity fields used for containment, just like our favorite fusion reactor, the sun. That would be the ultimate human free-pass, unlimited energy. Not saying it’s possible. Just saying it might be.