If you encounter “the God particle” today, this is what it means

Step aside Lady Gaga. The next musical craze might soon come from the CERN particle accelerator on the French-Swiss border. (The acronym, in French, stands for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire [European Council for Nuclear Research].)

Scientists there are using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to smash subatomic particles together at nearly the speed of light. They hope to unravel some of the cosmic mysteries of the universe — namely, the Big Bang, by way of the God particle. And, now, they have a creative side project: converting subatomic activity into sound.

This is heady stuff — with a good beat and some rich word goings-on.

“Atom” — and its adjective, atomic — comes from Greek, meaning “something that is undivided.” It’s somewhat illogical, then, to have a word like “subatomic” that refers to a piece of matter smaller than an indivisible piece of matter. This is what happens when science advances beyond preexisting terminology.

According to the Standard Model of particle physics, there are hundreds of subatomic particles. We are not going to name them all. You’ve got other blogs to read; we’ve got to have a lexicographic hootenanny.

One of the most common type of subatomic particle is called a quark. When several quarks are grouped together, they are known as a hadron — hence, the “h” in LHC. Another kind of subatomic particle is the boson, named for physicist Satyendra Nath Bose.

Scientists aren’t sure how subatomic particles gain mass and become atoms. An answer, however, could unlock clues to the origins of the universe. One theory suggests that a unique, presently unobservable boson — called the Higgs boson — imparts mass on other bosons. The Higgs boson also goes by a more grandiose name: the God particle. This phrase, while high on drama, is generally disliked by physicists who prefer the more sober perspective of the scientific method.

The folks at CERN claim they have captured some evidence of Higgs activity. On their musical Web site, they have purportedly captured God particles decaying.

Of course, if you believe in string theory, studying bosons and quarks are bunk and scientific quackery.

concert preview: Cody Canada and The Departed, with Shooter Jennings web site cody canada and the departed

Telegraph – Herald (Dubuque) March 27, 2012 | megan gloss Event: Country music, Cody Canada and The Departed, with Shooter Jennings Time/date: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 31 Site: Mississippi Moon Bar, Diamond Jo Casino, Port of Dubuque Cost: $22-$37 All Diamond Jo shows are 21 and older. No refunds or exchanges.

Tidbits * Last year, Cross Canadian Ragweed played to a sold-out crowd in one of its last concerts at Mississippi Moon Bar. Now, in the wake of the band’s decision to part ways, Cody Canada has resurfaced with an assortment of musicians, including longtime Ragweed bandmate, Jeremy Plato, to form Cody Canada and The Departed.

* Along with Canada and Plate, The Departed rounds out with Seth James, Steve Littleton and Dave Bowen. The band’s debut release, “This Is Indian Land,” is set for release this spring.

* Son of legendary country singers Waylon Jennings and Jessie Colter, Shooter Jennings is an acclaimed country artist. He has been active in country music and southern rock, producing three Top 20 country albums since his debut, “Put the ‘O’ Back in Country,” in 2005. website cody canada and the departed

* In 2010, Shooter made his first foray into psychedelic rock, with the critically acclaimed, “Black Ribbons.” * Shooter’s most recent release, “Family Man,” marks his long- anticipated return to the country music genre.

Megan Gloss megan gloss


  1. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 11, 2014 - 3:12 am

    Why shouldn’t they be serious?

  2. Matt -  July 25, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    Wow if we find this particle and manipulate it, man could finally destroy the world totally…cool beans. put the lid on it tefal heads, the goon squad are coming

    • RedLeafRenegade -  October 22, 2015 - 11:57 am

      Maybe, with a little experimenting, humanity could finally be able to create a hyperdrive
      #StarWars :) :) :) :) :) :)

  3. Wellaims -  April 10, 2011 - 2:09 am

    Dearest Violet and calixtus.ashley Wishing the best in you search like Dan Brown for answers you investigatively explore for, like a happy wanderer over hill and over dale with your bagpacks on your backs. I with belief, care hope prayer anticipate for both of you of finding some answers that satisfy you in your Oddessy and Iliad quests for the holy grail, whatever that is. Does it not say somewhere seek and you will find knock and the door will be opened as encouragement for what you go off on your investigations to find you know not what until you come upon it with great delight and with a playful yelp of eureka! like Archimedes
    who found that putting himself into a bath of water the water rose on the sides of the bathtub and showed him how to measure the volume of
    water displaced by his own volume and from that you learn about how some
    things take up less volume than others and more dense and so the study of densities of objects comes about. Oh by the way, eureka is Greek word ftransliterated into English from Greek language and means: “I have found it! Hoping both of you and all the other contributors in the spirit of a common enterprise find what you look for even if it is not the holy grail!

    Blessings to both of you and to all others who contributed to the dialogue forum or was it?soliloquies of those who added comments to ” the hot-word “. And I do not have the last word only a comment of one opinion you might accept/reject and so on and then push onward, perhaps/perhaps not.

  4. Kimberlee -  March 30, 2011 - 10:07 am

    Violet – I’m sorry to say, but if you were to become a scientist, cooperation with your peers would force you to quickly learn that religion and science are not as diametrically opposed as you would believe. I’ve known many a Catholic, Christian, and Jewish scientists. However, that doesn’t mean those scientists believe that the search for the “God particle” is futile, as you seem to. They’re just people looking for answers, just like you and me.

  5. Diane D. -  December 3, 2010 - 6:03 pm

    @Gabriel : “What has religion ever contributed to civilized human societies, anyway?”
    Well, how about many thousands of beautiful works of musical and visual art & architecture? Thousands of not-necessarily-denominational charitable and EDUCATIONAL organizations? Must I go on, or did you realize how foolish that comment was as soon as it was irrevocably posted?
    Sure, intolerance as well as charity can grow when it gets organized (“us” vs. “them”), but faith (which leads to hope) is a good thing, just so long as religious leaders don’t try to discourage their flocks from exercising their right to ask questions and find their own answers.
    an anti-dogmatic pantheistic monotheist
    (i.e. I believe there is a creator, omnipresent and active in the world, but admit it is impossible for ANY mortal to KNOW the details!)
    P.S. This is supposed to be a LINGUISTICS blog anyway, all you closed-minded, knee-jerk haters on both sides!

  6. Joe Wilkinson -  September 30, 2010 - 5:30 pm

    All that is thought to be knowledge is mere postulation as all that has been thought to to be knowledge is subject to change as with the idea of the atom being the smallest particle or the world being flat. That there had to be a creator is illogical if the creator did not have to have a creator, ad infinitum. Existence did not have to start somewhere as someone stated as a circle or the sign for infinity have no beginning. It is just as reasonable that matter and energy have always existed and has been and is governed by natural laws that have always existed as well. This is not to say that there is not, was not a creator, only that there are other explanations that are possible of which we are unaware or our circumstancial, mostly man-made religious views will not allow us to accept.

  7. bc -  September 30, 2010 - 9:47 am

    Just bought a lottery ticket. If I win, my plan is to finance chemistry, physics and biology studies in every school in the Bible Belt. Then maybe , in the future, those kids will have a chance in the real world.

  8. Annmarie -  September 30, 2010 - 9:18 am

    The ‘God Particle’ is energy observed in the smallest form hitherto. All energy, form included, is subject to a certain quality of vibration, therefore, manipulating the god particle. Thought is another form of energy, which causes these particles to vibrate; the directed or oftentimes undirected thought magnetizes these particles creating form as we know it. These scientists believe to have found the ‘God Particle’ when in truth they have found another pointer. Have they considered looking for particles in thought? There they will find even smaller particles than the god particle. This so-called god particle is part of the whole no doubt, but only a part.

    Dan Brown knows how to research which is one of the god particles in a good writer.

  9. Calixtus -  September 30, 2010 - 1:19 am

    Hi Violet, I like the way you think. I think it is very cute a 13 year old is so ambitious. Well, I want to help you in any way I can, so if you want, you can add my MSN, calixtus.ashley@hotmail.com

  10. chelsea -  September 29, 2010 - 10:21 pm

    This is so exciting! The particle has only ever been postulated, never confirmed experimentally. For this particle to be found, it would lead to so many new discoveries for particle physics. It would also tighten up some loose ends in quantum theory that, at this point, are only hypothesises. :D

  11. Gabriel -  September 29, 2010 - 6:26 pm

    If something is not yet understood by contemporary science, just become overtly superstitious, suspend mental faculties, and attribute that something to a god. That’s always convenient for the irrational human mind.

    What has religion ever contributed to civilized human societies, anyway?

    That’s not to say that beings of higher intelligence do not exist in this seeming infinitude of space. After all, the European Space Agency says there are between 10 sextillion (1 followed by 22 zeroes) and one septillion (1 followed by 24 zeroes) stars in the universe!

  12. wazzup pplz -  September 3, 2010 - 1:39 pm

    rofl.. Lady Gaga,…. theres not much science about her

  13. THE GOD PARTICLE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  August 16, 2010 - 8:55 am

    [...] “FIRST THERE WAS A THOUGHT” through some worm hole connected by string — escaping because of ADD — and CHAOS did it bring. — Where did that thought come from — we certainly don’t know where they go — perhaps some Parallel Universe — That’s less than little we know — Eventually human beans were visually oriented and drew on walls in caves — then writing words on something with something else and the stories came in waves. — The mystery of consciousness is wonderful and we must find our own meaning for our Existence — if someone wants us to go to Hackery Hell — that’s their problem wasting time better served with awkward focus on other quackery that they may try to sell. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  14. ChW -  August 11, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    Why is it that every time this blog (or any other) mentions God and science in the same post, an argument has to erupt over whether or not God created the universe? That’s not at all what this post was about, and the comments section is no (good) place for Christians or other religious folk to evangelize. Whether or not you believe in God is irrelevant; the post is still interesting on its own merits.

  15. Follower of the King -  July 26, 2010 - 1:29 am

    I don’t think that Lew was blaming anything on God, Tim. Yes, we do not understand everything. We do not blame this on God. It is our own fault. Sin got in the way of everything. It got in the way of all the awesome things that God showed us so that now we do not understand or believe it.
    Our ineptitude is our own fault.
    And can we please dispense with insulting us believers. There is no cause for it.

  16. Loves God -  July 25, 2010 - 6:54 pm

    I totally agree with what you wrote and also stand behind everything that you wrote! You are very intelligent and have pretty good grammar for a person of your age.

  17. Tim -  July 25, 2010 - 3:14 pm

    @ lew….or you could just write it off to our limited ability to understand those things. You can’t expect a normal 2 year old to understand the Theory of General Relativity….cause they just ain’t got the basic grasp….

    So get off your religionist a** and take the blame for your own ineptitude…don’t blame it on ‘God’….

  18. Johnf -  July 25, 2010 - 2:27 pm

    ‘God particle’ isn’t a good term. That’d imply it doesn’t exist and they’re search will be fruitless.


    You lot’re Americans.

    Enjoy ignorance. o/

  19. lew -  July 25, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    God is the Uncaused Cause. You must start somewhere. There isn’t a better or more logical explanation for a beginning. Time, space and matter cannot create itself. To do so would violate the very tenets upon which science is based. No matter how “particulate” one becomes in defining properties of matter, and based on all the available evidence, this is the only reasonable conclusion one can draw…”In the beginning God created…”

  20. jaime -  July 25, 2010 - 10:40 am


    Then who created God?

  21. AJS -  June 28, 2010 - 8:21 pm

    Genesis ch 1 v 1.

  22. Alan Greenfield -  June 28, 2010 - 6:43 pm

    stuff ArturoVM really knows a thing or two…..or so he THINKS he does anyway….:)

    Violet; I am FULLY behind what you wrote – Violet, Everyone, DEEP down – KNOWS that God Created the heavens and the earth!!!!

  23. Violet - age 13 -  June 28, 2010 - 10:08 am

    Ok, so this whole big bang thing has been going on since Charles Darwin and at this point (since no one can pin point it) I DOESN’T EXIST! All those that believe in the Bible already know that. When you look at creation, do you think ‘Wow i can’t believe that just came about by chance.’ or do you think ‘ God must really love us.’ Anyway, It’s called CREATION. Some one had to create it. Some of you may think that God created the big bang, but why wouldn’t he just do it himself? He has enough power! All my life I wanted to become a scientist and prove to all the people who believe in that…that they’re wrong…

  24. Charles Transue -  June 25, 2010 - 1:51 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how much animus exists between people, even when discussing an article such as this one. I guess the reason society doesn’t fly apart at the figurative seams is because people are generally a lot nicer to each other’s faces – probably because there’s MUCH more at stake in such situations than there is when one is a nameless, faceless responder to a blog post. The author is only relating already-known information. Those who are offended by any of it need to take a step back and look at WHY they’re offended, IMHO.

  25. AG -  June 24, 2010 - 4:47 pm

    Thanks for your informative comments IR and Somewhat Sciency Seth, you’re obviously well informed. Where can I find a reliable source of more information on string theory, Higg’s Boson etc and their associated implications?

  26. ArturoVM -  June 24, 2010 - 4:36 pm

    Party Phreak, you should read more about science, and stop pretending you go to parties. To those of you who don’t understand a thing of what is being said in this post (apparently only two or three people), please read “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking, or at least watch a documentary about quantum physics before spitting out nonsense.

  27. jenna -  June 24, 2010 - 3:45 pm

    Are any of us real or someone’s bizarre dream?

  28. Tenk Gelfhinger -  June 24, 2010 - 12:16 pm

    So does that mean L.Ron Hubbard isn’t a prophet…and the DaVinci code isn’t real? What about Easter Bunny, and The Great Pumpkin…?

  29. Somewhat Sciency Seth -  June 24, 2010 - 12:16 pm

    Applying the concept of indivisible to elements, the atom is it. If you break up an atom, it no longer has the property of the element it was.

    If you study, or go beyond a cursory read of, string theory then bosons and quarks are just harmonics of vibrating strings/loops/m-branes. Even though all chemistry is really physics, it would be very hard to derive many of the rules of chemistry from fundamental physics principles. So, studying science at higher levels of organization is very useful

  30. fsuff -  June 24, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    The observed fact that inertial mass (see above) appears to be the same mass as gravitational mass (through the gravitational force of attraction), is what the big deal is all about.

  31. grace -  June 24, 2010 - 11:04 am

    Keep in mind that Dan Brown is a NOVELIST, not a scientist. He writes of pretend things.

  32. ReneeJ -  June 24, 2010 - 10:53 am

    haha, no Dan Brown didn’t invent in. He was just slightly ahead of the times.

  33. IR -  June 24, 2010 - 10:50 am

    This stuff was around long before Dan Brown wrote any of his books.
    The “God particle” nickname however, i find offensive, both in the religious implications and the actual function of the Higgs boson. What the Higgs boson actually does is impart the characteristic of inertia (object at rest stays at rest, object in motion stays in motion). Inertia is correlated to mass in that an object with mass requires a force to change it’s velocity (path and speed or being in a state of no movement) because the object has inertia. The size of this force is dependent on the mass. Therefore, without the Higgs boson objects could be moved with miniscule forces.
    How this relates to God is beyond me, and i find it obsurd that there is any implied removal of a need for God by the very existence of a subatomic particle.
    String theory is just stating that all these particles are just very small string loops “vibrating” at different frequencies. Basically all particles are made from the same basic thing but just have a simple difference in one characteristic that creates all of the diversity.

  34. Meghan -  June 24, 2010 - 10:39 am

    Um, no actually, he didn’t. It was facts he had collected from CERN – That is to say, the scientists at CERN had just begun the project when Angels and Demons was released. Dan Brown had simply learned this by talking to a scientist who obviously worked at CERN…

  35. Whaaa? -  June 24, 2010 - 10:34 am

    Please tell me you’re not serious.

  36. Party Phreak -  June 24, 2010 - 10:03 am

    Didn’t Dan Brown invent this in his book?


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