CERN – Editorial Footnote

 

But where did He put the thing?

 
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE

 

 
 
 

 

Is there, or isn’t there, a God particle?

 
Most physicists believe there is, but reports of its appearance are probably premature.

A spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN, was busy last week lowering expectations after a memo was leaked that suggested scientists may have discovered the long-sought Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson is an elementary particle that, according to physicists’ Standard Model, should exist. But no one has yet detected one.

Not, mind you, for lack of trying.

Since CERN opened its Large Hadron Collider two years ago, scientists have been smashing particles together in efforts to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson. If they find one — when they find one, many scientists might say — the Higgs is expected to tie up many a loose end in our understanding of matter, to help humans better understand what makes the stuff all around us, well, the stuff all around us.

The CERN spokesman cautions that once the peer review process has scrutinized the latest results, the God particle is probably going to slip away once more.

We’ll trust the experts on this one, because our grasp of physics is what we think of as our standard model — some clues, to be sure, but not all that deep.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: