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Higgs Boson and it's nickname the 'god particle'

  1. Jul 27, 2010 #1
    There was an argument in my Physics II class today over the appropriateness of 'God particle' for the Higgs Boson. I thought it would make some people perceive it incorrectly and it probably overstates the importance of its existence.

    Do you guys think its offensive that a deity is invoked in our science?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2010 #2


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    Personally, I would think it better if a random member of the public had heard of the "god particle" than they had not heard anything about the Higgs Boson or particle physics.
  4. Jul 27, 2010 #3
    Although it was first used by a major contributor (Leon Lederman), I think it was unnecessary to publicize it with this controversial name. In particular, he could at least have used "the God mechanism" which is what the particle does, rather than the particle itself which may not exist if something else does the job (no fundamental scalar). It is also possible that there are several such particles, in particular if supersymmetry is true. Supersymmetry would be a tremendous fate to discover : we sometimes hear that strings predict additional dimensional dimensions, but those dimensions are mostly ordinary, apart from being curled up. Supersymmetry is best understood as the addition to spacetime of qualitatively different dimensions, along which one can only go by one step. What I am trying to say is : electroweak symmetry breaking entails many more possible fascinating scenarii than simply a single, quasi-magical "cornerstone particle".
  5. Jul 27, 2010 #4
    What a strange way to pluralize scenario.
    It could be a thing you do where you facetiously pluralize random wordii like that.
  6. Jul 27, 2010 #5
    This is the original italian plural, which is not officially in use in France, but I was not there when the academy made this change. Otherwise, I could also claim that the letter "o" is right next to the letter "i" on my keyboard.
  7. Jul 27, 2010 #6
    I was under the impression that the name "god particle" was a euphemistic, popularizing twist on "god damned particle".
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