What is Higgs – Boson Particle or the God Particle?

The discovery of the new subatomic particle has been making headlines across the world. Physicists said, the potential discovery of the “God particle” was a gateway to a new era that could see humanity unlock some of the universe’s great mysteries including dark matter. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) unveiled data from the Large Hadron Collider on Wednesday “consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson”, an elusive particle thought to help explain why matter has mass.

In the Standard Model of particle physics, the Higgs boson or Higgs particle is a hypothetical elementary particle. According to the standard model, the Higgs boson and the associated Higgs field explain the origin of the mass of elementary particles. In this theory, a Higgs field fills all space, and the mass of all massive elementary particles is created from the energy of the interaction of that particular particle with the Higgs field. The Higgs field interaction has been regarded as the most simple of the mechanisms to explain the mass of fundamental particles, and the particle responsible for the field has been the target of a long and expensive search in particle physics. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, which has been called the most complicated scientific instrument ever made, was designed with the primary purpose of finding and characterizing the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson is named after British physicist Peter Higgs, who along with others, proposed the theoretical model that predicted such a particle in 1964. Higgs, an atheist himself, is displeased that the Higgs particle is nicknamed the “God particle”,because the term “might offend people who are religious”. Higgs boson has been referred to as the God particle, after the title of Leon Lederman’s popular science book on particle physics, “The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?” But this term is disliked by many scientists.

Lederman said he gave it the nickname “the God particle” because the particle is “so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive.”

The Higgs boson was predicted to be very massive and to have no charge and no intrinsic spin. The Higgs boson was also expected to be unstable, decaying almost immediately after its creation.

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