3294806773 081245b7a6 m The God Particle: Key Issues

Visit aglaia.co.in Particles' days out at CERN (Photo credit: AndiH)

By Sunil Kumar

For all of us grappling with terrestrial issues on Planet Earth, the God Particle is somewhat beyond our concerns. But, here are some insights into what is now generally regarded as the “God Particle”.

According to the Standard Model of Physics, the universe is made of 12 fundamental particles and 4 fundamental forces. One more particle was predicted by Higgs, Brout and Englert in 1964. It explained the most important property of all matter – mass, and was called the Higgs boson.

Now for the name. The Nobel winning physicist Leon Lederman unwittingly coined it. He wanted to refer to the Higgs boson as the ‘goddamn particle’ but his editor didn’t allow that. Higgs has distanced himself from the name saying: “I find it embarrassing. Although I’m not a believer, it is the kind of misuse of terminology that may offend some.”

Now, with a $10 billion budget, and a Large Hadron Collider at their disposal, the CERN had to find the “God” particle. Guess what you and I could do with that money, if we had that much? Tim Berners-Lee also created the World Wide Web in a classroom close to that place.

According to scientists, the discovery confirms the Standard Model theory is valid. Other mysteries in physics; there are other aspects of sub-atomic physics and of the cosmos that are unexplained, like dark matter (which makes up 25 per cent of the matter in the universe but has never been seen), dark energy (which makes up 70 per cent of matter in the universe but also has never been located), antimatter, supersymmetry (a theory that for every particle there is a heavier twin), et al.

 

 

 The God Particle: Key Issues
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