In Physics, what is the "God Particle," and does it have religious significance?


Hebrews 11:3

NKJV - 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 30 2017 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The term "God particle" is used to refer to the Higgs boson, which (as best I can understand it) is an elementary particle in the standard model of particle physics that is involved in the process of how subatomic particles (such as neutrons, protons, and electrons) acquire their mass.

Because it was so elusive, and took several decades to discover, it was termed "the central problem in particle physics". Its elusiveness frustrated physicists, which led to a book being written about it by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist named Leon Lederman, who originally titled the book (pardon the language), "The Goddamn Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question?" This (understandably) was felt to be too controversial by the book's publisher, who substituted the name "The God Particle" in the book's title.

In the book, the author commented on the title as follows: 

"Today... we have the standard model, which reduces all of reality to a dozen or so particles and four forces.... It's a hard-won simplicity [...and...] remarkably accurate. But it is also incomplete and, in fact, internally inconsistent....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 wouldn't 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...."

The above reference to "another book" pertained to a similarity in the author's view to the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible (Genesis 11:1-9), because of the way in which the fragmenting of the population of the earth into smaller groups by the confusion of their languages appeared analogous to the way in which events connected with the "Big Bang" turned fundamental symmetries into an apparent chaos of structures, particles, forces and interactions that resulted and shaped our present universe.

Thus, the term "God particle", far from denoting any kind of reverent or divine quality, or referring to the role of God in the creation of the universe, was actually originally profane in origin, and had only a historical or literary (not religious or faith-related) connection with a Biblical event.

December 05 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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