The Higgs boson, the Higgs, the God Particle is the hypothetical particle believed to give matter it's mass.  Proposed by Peter Higgs and other physicists it has been the object of search at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).  After running the LHC continually for five months, "CERN scientists declared that over the entire range of energy the Collider had explored...the Higgs boson is excluded as a possibilty with a 95% probability."

 

Although there is still a 5% chance that it may still be found in this range (the search will continue until the end of the year), and the lower ranges have been explored by smaller colliders, it is possible that the Higgs does not exist.  And this would be a blow to the unification theory of electromagnetic and weak forces and how the universe came into being.

 

I don't know why, but I was disappointed at the news.  But then I thought, what does it really matter?  What would have been accomplished that would have had a positive impact on humanity?  Are all the billions that have spent on this project spent simply to satisfy the curiosty of the physicists - or is there something more?

 

I believe that pure, undirected research, is important - but this search makes me hesitate.   

 

(Scientific American, Guest Blog by Amir Aczel)  

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Replies to This Discussion

Arg.  I misspelled his name AGAIN.  I know it is Stephen Hawking.  Sorry about that.  No coffee this morning.  Thanks for the reply, by the way.

Arthur C. Clarke had a great quote on this matter:

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

If Hawking is right about the LHC not finding the Higgs, he kind of wins a 'two-fer', being right about his prediction AND beating Clarke's Law here concerning older scientists.  Presumably he is waiting for the final announcement/confirmation before putting forth his ideas on this.  I am unusually excited at the prospect.

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