The God Particle

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The God Particle

Postby Pondero » December 14th, 2011, 4:41 pm

It has recently been said that at CERN in Switzerland people operating the Large Hadron Collider have "glimpsed" the God Particle.
Now, I have often thought what a silly expression The God Particle really is when you ponder it. What does it mean? It means to scientists the ultimate particle that cannot be further subdivided and accounts in their theories as the ultimate in explaining why matter and life and quantum mechanics comes to be.
Note, that Democritus (460-370BC) thought he had discovered or rather theorized the atom which he thought was the smallest particle that could not be subdivided. Later on when electrons and protons were discovered they were thought to be the smallest particle, now we have a variety of small particles and the scientists may have discovered the ultimate, which if it proves to be so and accounts for the reconciliation of their various theories will be named the God Particle.
But, like the young man in a lecture hall he could annoy the professor speaking about this by asking the question, Who or what created the "God Particle"?
A second thought is that how does one account for the intelligence of the God Particle, it must have intelligence to be called the God Particle mustn't it?
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Sprocket » December 14th, 2011, 10:48 pm

'The God particle' is a slightly silly nickname for it. It is more usually called the Higgs boson. I've no idea what 'boson' means, but Higgs was the name of the physicist who first suggested that it must exist, in order to give matter mass, and allow gravity, and thus the universe as we know it, to exist. That latter fact is why, I assume, it has been nicknamed the 'God particle'.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Pondero » December 14th, 2011, 11:37 pm

The Hoggs boson is the primary reason for building the super collider. Only the SSC will have the energy necessary to produce and detect the Higgs so we believe.
This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter,yet so 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 it's villainous nature and the expense it is causing.
( from page 22, of the book The God Particle. By Leon Lederman). An irreligious Jew, a physicist. He scarcely mentions the man Peter Higgs in his book,who was born in Newcastle on Tyne and will now be 82 years young,( read up on him in Wikipedia) giving him little credit for anything at all. But,Lederman does claim invention of the term God Particle!
Last edited by Pondero on December 15th, 2011, 12:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Sprocket » December 15th, 2011, 12:10 am

This article tells me why it's called a boson, but not why it isn't called a bose, since that was the surname of the physicist it's named after.
This article is specifically about the Higgs Boson.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Pondero » December 15th, 2011, 12:20 am

Sprocket wrote:This article tells me why it's called a boson, but not why it isn't called a bose, since that was the surname of the physicist it's named after.
This article is specifically about the Higgs Boson.


This article on Bose-Einstein statistics in Wikipedia,says the following:
In statistical mechanics, Bose–Einstein statistics (or more colloquially B–E statistics) determines the statistical distribution of identical indistinguishable bosons over the energy states in thermal equilibrium.

My purpose in raising this topic was to discuss the relationship between the God Particle and God, and try to ridicule Lederman's choice of title.
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This is not surprising in today's wired , or wified world.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Sprocket » December 15th, 2011, 12:40 am

For once I agree with you. Lederman's nickname for it is singularly silly, and seems to have been prompted by an adolescent desire to offend religious people. Let's just stick with 'Higgs Boson' as its name.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby GregB » December 15th, 2011, 8:28 am

Sprocket wrote:This article tells me why it's called a boson, but not why it isn't called a bose, since that was the surname of the physicist it's named after.

I imagine it was called a 'boson' rather than a 'bose' as many subatomic particles employ the Greek suffix '-on' in their names (eg. neutron, photon, electron, lepton, gluon, etc.*) and the naming of this particle follows their example.

'The God particle' is, indeed, a flippant term for popular consumption in the same spirit as the so-called 'God gene'.

[* Are the subatomic particles in Bach's upright organ, mentioned by Steve on another thread, known scientifically as 'hardons'? :mrgreen:]
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Pondero » December 15th, 2011, 11:04 am

There is no place on threads I start for adolescent type jokes of a sexual nature.
According to one study, the average adult has a shorter attention span (eight seconds) than a goldfish (nine seconds).
This is not surprising in today's wired , or wified world.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby Lyn » December 15th, 2011, 11:29 am

I hadn't noticed you tell any, Pondy.

I must admit I quite like then name "Boson", it has been around a long time and it strikes me as being appropriate, not offensive to believers. God gene and God particle could be considered offensive (if we could be bothered to be offended) but Boson is just right. Comes from the name of another physicist.
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Re: The God Particle

Postby godfrey » December 15th, 2011, 12:02 pm

I once had a student whom I christened the Higgs boson. His name was Higgs, he was very massive, and he was never to be found.
Milligan nodded. What was the use? After all, if Albert Einstein stood for a thousand years in front of fifty monkeys explaining the theory of relativity, at the end, they'd still be just monkeys.
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