Wednesday, July 4, 2012

'God Particle' found: researchers claim


From ABC News:
The head of the European Center for Nuclear Research says its teams have discovered a new particle that is consistent with the Higgs boson -- a subatomic particle considered so significant to the understanding of the universe that it has been called the God particle.
"We have a discovery [that is] consistent with a Higgs boson," Rolf Heuer, director of CERN, the European research center, said Wednesday.
Two independent teams at CERN, the physics lab in the Alps on the French-Swiss border, have now said that they have "observed" the new boson, or subatomic particle. The CERN teams did not outright say that they have discovered the Higgs boson itself, which has been the focus of a 40-plus year pursuit.
The Higgs boson is referred to as the "God Particle" because it is believed to give other particles mass.  It is the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, and the non-zero value of the ground state of this field, that gives mass to the other elementary particles, such as quarks and electrons, through the Higgs mechanism.  The existence of the Higgs boson was predicted in 1964 to explain how the Higgs mechanism happens in nature. Physicists have been trying for 30 years to find evidence that Higgs boson exists.

I am a firm believer that science will ultimately answer the big questions of the universe.  By contrast, religion has provided absolutely no information about the universe that bronze age, cave-dwelling, goat herders couldn't figure out by simple observation.

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