The Higgs boson, the God particle

Standard

Scientists at CERN (The European Organisation for Nuclear Research) began a landmark particle-physics experiment. The experiment is taking place in a 27km ring-shaped tunnel made of super-cooled magnets 100m under the French-Swiss border. Attached to the tube are barrel shaped detectors that will look for the elusive particle, the Higgs boson.

I am not sure why this particle is sometimes called the God particle. It is probably hoped that finding this particle would give science more insight into the origin of matter.

Associate Press Writer for WTOP News, Alexander G. Higgins, wrote:

“The CERN experiments could reveal more about “dark matter,” antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time. It could also find evidence of the hypothetical particle _ the Higgs boson _ which is sometimes called the “God particle.” It is believed to give mass to all other particles, and thus to matter that makes up the universe.

“The two beams of protons will travel in two tubes about the width of fire hoses, speeding through a vacuum that is colder and emptier than outer space. Their trajectory will be curved by supercooled magnets _ to guide the beams. The paths of these beams will cross, and a few protons will collide. The two largest detectors, essentially huge digital cameras weighing thousands of tons, are capable of taking millions of snapshots a second.”

CNN (10 Sept 2008) reported:

In the coming months, the collider is expected to begin smashing particles into each other by sending two beams of protons around the tunnel in opposite directions.

Skeptics, who claim that the experiment could lead to the creation of a black hole capable of swallowing the planet, failed in a legal bid to halt the project at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Others have branded it a colossal waste of cash, draining resources from its multinational collaborators that could have been spent on scientific research with more tangible benefits to mankind.

The issues of ‘danger to the earth’ or ‘wastage of money’ are beyond my scope. However, as a Christian, the idea of a real pure-science experiment by real scientists, pardon my expression, is exciting.

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3 responses »

  1. You say: “…as a Christian, the idea of a real pure-science experiment by real scientists, pardon my expression, is exciting”. I agree entirely. My husband has been following this story for some time and telling me about it. I’m not sure they’ll find what they’re looking for, but I think they’ll certainly learn a lot, and a lot of things they didn’t expect.

    I find it interesting that they refer to it as the God particle – the stuff that holds it all together. I always think of Colossians 1: 17 whenever I hear this sort of talk: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

  2. The higgs boson is the quantum of the higgs field. According to the Standard model of particle physics, the higgs field permeates the whole space. It is thought that the higgs particle is responsible for the generation of all other particles’ masses. This is accomplished via the so-called higgs mechanism. Qualitatively we could say that particles travelling in space and through the higgs field feel some kind of inertia (resistance). This inertia is equivalent to their mass (remember Newton).*
    So as the higgs field is omnipresent but has never been observed, some guys decided (unfortunately) to dub it “god particle”.

    * This is a very simplified explanation. The real mechanism is much more complicated.

  3. well are there any problems to our earth.may be this can be a cause many more problems .this experiment could produce harmful radiation zone i suppose

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