What is the Higg’s boson?

On 03/20/2013, in Physics, Science, by wouter

The Higgs Boson is a theoretical particle which has been deduced as a result of the Standard Model of particle physics.

It has been nicknamed ‘The God Particle’ as it is considered to be central to our understanding of the nature of matter.

Check out this introductory talk (3:26 min.) about the Higg’s field and boson from Fermilab:

The Higgs boson is often referred to as the “God particle” by individuals outside the scientific community, after the title of Nobel Physics prizewinner Leon Lederman‘spopular science book on particle physicsThe God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? (1993) While use of this term may have contributed to increased media interest, many scientists dislike it, since it is sensational and overstates the particle’s importance. Its discovery would still leave unanswered questions about the unification of quantum chromodynamics, the electroweak interaction, and gravity, as well as the ultimate origin of the universe. Higgs, an atheist himself, is displeased that the Higgs particle is nicknamed the “God particle”, because the term “might offend people who are religious”.

In explaining his choice of nickname for the particle, Lederman begins by recounting the long human search for knowledge, commenting:

“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…”
Find out more in this extended interview footage from the Sixty Symbols video about the Higgs Boson:

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