What if the God Particle has really been found ?

May 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Physical Sciences

The hypothetical massive Higgs boson particle is often referred to as ‘The God Particle’, after Leon Lederman’s book ‘The God Particle; If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?’ popularised the term. [1]


The Large Hadron Collider at CERN (Source : Wikimedia)

The Higgs boson, thought to give other particles mass, is predicted to exist by the current Standard Model of Particle Physics, as a means to fix certain in-consistencies in particle theory. It is the last undiscovered particle in the Standard Model, which if found would give scientists a much deeper understanding to how particles and forces interact and, even more fundamentally, how the Universe began. Currently there is a lot of speculation regarding the Higgs Boson. At the time of writing, it was rumoured that the Large Hadron Collider has discovered something with the same (postulated) signature of the mysterious Higgs, which has got researchers quite excited.

Several newspapers and scientific publications, including the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and New Scientist among others, have reported on abstract data from the LHC leaked by a commenter on Peter Woit’s blog, [2] suggests a sighting of the Higgs from collision data. Although at a very early stage and not yet reviewed or verified, it has re-ignited the debate on the internet, science blogs and e-zine sites.

The leaked report claims that in a collision experiment, the resonance of 115 gigaelectronVolts, which is expected for Higgs, occurred in 30 times more proton pairs than the expected model. Many believe that this data will prove to be either a hoax or a statistical anomaly, or even suggestive of an entirely new particle. Either way, it is probably too early to speculate further. This announcement comes hot on the trail of another discovery by researchers at Fermilab’s Tevatron collider.

New Scientist published an article [3] in their 16/04 issue speculating that the Higgs particle may not be necessary after all, after a team at Harvard University found an unusual signal that could fall outside the Standard Model of Particle Physics.This observation is being touted as possibly a new force of nature, known as ‘Technicolour’, which can give particles mass, making Higgs unnecessary, and the Standard Model obselete if verified. Analysis of Fermilab’s Tevatron collider experiments showed that collisions produced higher masses of jet pairs of subatomic particles (quarks) than were expected for the predicted model of Higgs – approximately  145 gigaelectronvolts (geV), rather than 115 geV as expected.

Either set of data standing up to scrutiny would be the biggest shake up in particle physics since the 1970s and could possibly be a step closer to a unified ‘Theory of everything’ linking all physical phenomena. The discovery of the Higgs would fill a gray area in physics, it would mean a big step forward in our understanding of interactions of matter, in how particles and forces relate to each other, and our understanding of the early formation of the Universe. If the discovery at LHC is indeed the Higgs it is still different from expected, as pairings at the 115geV range were observed 30 times more than predicted. This would require at least some tweaking of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Technicolour would render Higgs unimportant, and would open up a whole new frontier of particle physics, by necessitating the rewrite of the Standard Model, or the need to scrap it entirely. It would hopefully further increase our understanding of the subatomic world, as physicists would desert the Higgs boson in favour of looking for other new particles.

Either way we are facing a watershed in our understanding.


1. Lederman L, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, what is the Question, Houghton Mifflin (Trade) Harcourt, USA, 1993.

2. Woit P, This Week’s Rumour, http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/, Not Even Wrong, 2011, retrieved 23/04/2011, http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3643

3. Gefter A, Mystery Signal at Fermilab hints at ‘technicolour’ force, http://www.newscientist.com, 2808, 16/04/2011, retrieved 20/04/2011, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028083.000-mystery-signal-at-fermilab-hints-at-technicolour-force.html


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4 Comments to “What if the God Particle has really been found ?”

  1. […] this article: What if the God Particle has really been found ? | Metta Physics … boson-particle, higgs, lederman, often-referred, particle, […]

  2. Sean Krause says:

    I’m glad that you mentioned Tevatron. The experiment mentioned was one of their last at the Fermilab particle accelerator. Not only is it nice to see the data occurring at two different particle accelerators, it’s great that Fermilab still was making wonderful contributions right to the end. I hope future data rectifies the apparent gap in energies at which this “mystery particle” or new force occurs. Link:


  3. […] in Religion, Work, meditation, mindfulness christianity and religion, physics and god, islamic impressions and much more. Tags: chemistry, invantion, […]

  4. Dillonmstrs says:

    No self?

    The tenet of “no self” has been a fundamental defining the loadstone of Buddhism since the very beginning. The term originally used for self/ego was “atman” and the contention surrounding this matter was divided between those who argued for no self vs. those who argued the opposite anatman (self vs. no-self). It boiled down to the issue of any phenomenal thing possessing an independent nature. Closely aligned with this argument was the understanding that all things were empty (of independent essence). In other words everything could only exist dependently, thus the principle of dependent origination.

    This argument stood for a long time until Nagarjuna came along with his Two Truth Doctrine in which he laid out his understanding of what the Buddha had taught, culminating with the Middle Way which expressed the Buddha’s conclusion of, “Not this (atman). Not that (anatman). Neither not this. Neither not that”. The importance of this conclusion is significant and profound but unfortunately seems to be broadly an unresolved matter. What Nagarjuna said in his Two Truth Doctrine was that there is a difference between the conventional and the sublime and that no one could be set free unless they experienced the sublime.

    In the 8th-century an Indian Buddhist philosopher by the name of Śāntideva said that in order to be able to deny something, we first have to know what it is we’re denying. The logic of that is peerless. He went on to say, “Without contacting the entity that is imputed. You will not apprehend the absence of that entity.”

    The wisdom of emptiness and dependent origination ultimately reduces down to there being no difference between form and emptiness. They are one and the same thing: Two sides of the same coin. One side perceptible (phenomena); the other side beyond perception (noumena). There have been numerous terms used as alternates for noumena ranging from Buddha-Nature, Dharmakāya, the Void, Ground of being and the preference by Zen and Yogācāra was Mind—primordial mind (not the illusion of mind nor the illusion of self vs. no self). In this state of mind there is no discrimination—all is unified, whole and complete, so there can be no difference between one thing and another thing.

    Huang Po (Japanese—Obaku; 9th century China) was particularly lucid in his teaching about these terms. In the Chün Chou Record he said this:

    “To say that the real Dharmakāya (the Absolute) of the Buddha resembles the Void is another way of saying that the Dharmakāya is the Void and that the Void is the Dharmakāya…they are one and the same thing…When all forms are abandoned, there is the Buddha…the void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma. This spiritually enlightening nature is without beginning…this great Nirvanic nature is Mind; Mind is the Buddha, and the Buddha is the Dharma.”

    The Yogācārians took this to the logical conclusion and stated that everything was mind. You are mind. I am mind. The entire universe is nothing but mind. This, however, did not resolve the matter and 2,500 years later the issue of atman vs. anatman vs. The Middle Way remains a mater of contention. Consequently there exist today three kinds of Buddhist practice: The kind that dogmatically clings to no self, a second that dogmatically clings to self and a third that says, “Not this. Not that. Neither not this. Neither not that.” In the end you will only know when you experience the sublime. Then the argument will come to and end and you’ll never be able to convey your answer. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.”

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