why do they call the higgs boson the god particle
WeБre celebrating the release ofб бwith a series of posts by science writer Jim Baggott over the next week to explain some of the mysteries of the Higgs boson. Read the previous post:
The Higgs field was invented to explain how otherwise massless force particles could acquire mass, and was used by Weinberg and Salam to develop a theory of the combined Бelectro-weakБ force and predict the masses of the W and Z bosons. However, it soon became apparent that something very similar is responsible for the masses of the matter particles, too. The way the Higgs field interacts with otherwise massless boson fields and the way it interacts with massless fermion fields is not the same (the latter is called a Yukawa interaction, named for Japanese physicist Hideki Yukawa). Nevertheless, the Higgs field clearly has a fundamentally important role to play. Without it, both matter and force particles would have no mass. Mass could not be constructed and nothing in our visible universe could be. In his popular book, first published in 1993, American physicist Leon Lederman (writing with Dick Teresi) explained why heБd chosen this title: This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final 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 wouldnБt let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing. And two, there is a connection, of sorts, to another book, a much older one Lederman went on to quote a passage from the Book of Genesis. This is a nickname that has stuck. Most physicists seem to dislike it, as they believe it exaggerates the importance of the Higgs boson. Higgs himself doesnБt seem to mind. Jim Baggott is author ofб б and a freelance science writer. He was a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Reading but left to pursue a business career, where he first worked with Shell International Petroleum Company and then as an independent business consultant and trainer. His many books include Atomic: The First War of Physics (Icon, 2009),б б (OUP, 2003), A BeginnerБs Guide to Reality (Penguin, 2005), andб б (OUP, 2010). Read his previous blog postб On 4 July 2012, scientists at CERNБsб б (LHC) facility in Geneva the discovery of a new elementary particle they believe is consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson, or Бgod particleБ.
Our understanding of the fundamental nature of matter Б everything in our visible universe and everything we are Б is about to take a giant leap forward. So, what is the Higgs boson and why is it so important? What role does it play in the structure of material substance? WeБre celebrating the release ofб б with a series of posts by science writer Jim Baggott over the next week to explain some of the mysteries of the Higgs. Read the previous post: Subscribe to the OUPblog viaб б orб. Subscribe to only physics and chemistry articles on the OUPblog viaб б orб. б Named after, the Higgs boson is crucial to understanding the origin of mass. Shortly after the big bang, it is thought that many particles had no mass, but became heavy later on thanks to the Higgs field. Any particles that interact with this field are. The Higgs boson is the signature particle of the field. What exactly is the Higgs field? A theoretical, invisible energy field that stretches throughout the universe. It clings to fundamental particles wherever they are, dragging on them and making them heavy. Some particles find the field more "sticky" than others.
Particles of light Б photons Б are oblivious to it. Other particles have to wade through it like an elephant in tar. So, in theory, particles can weigh nothing, but as soon as the field switched on shortly after the big bang, they got their mass. Why do people call it the 'god particle'? Its theistic nickname was coined by, but. "I find it embarrassing because, though I'm not a believer myself, I think it is the kind of misuse of terminology which I think might offend some people. " According to Higgs, it wasn't even Lederman's choice to call it the god particle: "He wanted to refer to it as that 'goddamn particle' and his editor wouldn't let him. " What would finding the Higgs boson mean for physics? It would vindicate the so-called which envisages that the universe is made from 12 basic building blocks called fundamental particles and governed by four fundamental forces. The existence of the Higgs boson is predicted by the Standard Model but it has yet to be found by experiments. Even if the Higgs is discovered, the. You can. How was the data collected? The data comes from smashing protons together at very high energy in the at the. The collisions recreate conditions that have not existed in the universe since just after the big bang.
The Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, "the LHC will generate, in a microscopic region where beams of particles collide, a concentration of energy that has never been achieved before Б a concentration that mimics, in microcosm, the conditions that prevailed in the universe during the first trillionth of a second after the big bang. " After each impact, giant detectors scour the subatomic wreckage looking for evidence of new physics. I thought the LHC had broken down? Engineers threw the to global fanfare. All went well until it had to be. The incident Б which led to a helium leak into the tunnel housing the superconductor ring Б is thought to have been was melted by the high current passing through it. Repairs and a new safety system cost an estimated бе24m. The LHC was and became the later that month. What else is the LHC looking for? including supersymmetry (which predicts that every fundamental particle has an invisible, overweight twin), dark matter (which makes up around 25% of the matter in the universe but does not emit light or any other kind of radiation), extra dimensions and black holes.
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