"Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ~ T.S. Eliot in "Burnt Norton"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Higgs-Boson, I love you...or Why the God Particle changed my life

"Some of the brightest scientists in the world announced Tuesday that they’d come close to actually discovering a new particle: the Higgs boson." This is a quotation from this article, which discusses why such a discovery matters. The Higgs boson, sometimes referred to as the God Particle, should give us insight into the origins or the universe, of matter itself. And scientists at CERN think they may have seen it...or at least the field in which is can exist. My friend, Adam Mann who writes for Wired explains what that means: "But if the rumors are true, and the Higgs has been seen at 125 GeV, it could bolster the idea that there is physics beyond the Standard Model that describes the behavior of subatomic particles." This means that we are potentially at the frontier of another scientific revolution. Such revolutions have happened before: the Copernican model of the solar system, Newtonian  physics, Anton Laviosier's redefinition and in many ways creation of what we now understand as the field of chemistry, Einstein's theory of relativity, Darwin's theory of natural selection. And every time there is a scientific revolution, there follows a religious response, sometime immediate and vocal, sometimes quieter and subtle, but always a response. This God particle, whose very name seems to imply this connection between science and religion, will leave both scientists and theologians wondering what comes next and what this means...and I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. I don't have anything particularly intelligent to say. But, I just wanted to say I am very excited for this too! I was thinking about how fascinating other planets, other solar systems, and other galaxies are, and how great it would be to be able to explore everything. Almost makes everything else I do seem petty. But the thing that has me most fascinated right now is the idea that we could be living in a black hole! Maybe farfetched, but fascinating! haha so much to discover! and definitely not enough time.