‘God particle’ coming into focus
A simulation for finding the Higgs boson.
December 12th, 2011
12:46 PM ET

‘God particle’ coming into focus

Gossip isn’t just for teenage girls – scientists spread rumors, too. Physicists are giddy about an announcement that will come from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on Tuesday at 8 a.m. EST, although the details remain tantalizingly secret.

The word on the street is that scientists will unveil the first hints of the Higgs boson, also called the "God particle" in popular culture. This unimaginably small particle has never been detected, but would explain several unsolved mysteries about the universe – for instance, why building blocks of our world have mass.

But listen to Tuesday’s revelations with caution – there’s not enough data to make definitive statements yet about the Higgs, said Joe Incandela, the spokesperson for the Large Hadron Collider's Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment as of January.

Finding evidence of the Higgs would be a “very wonderful success of science and of people for four centuries,” said Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. And it would be a big payoff from CERN's $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, which smashes particles at unprecedented energies in an attempt to detect signatures of even smaller, more transitory particles that would help fill in gaps in the current thinking about the way the universe works.

Related: Why is the 'God particle' so important?

This collider was set up to examine some of the fundamental questions about the universe that remain unknown: What happened right after the Big Bang? Why is gravity so weak? Are there extra dimensions, or is this it? Where did dark matter and dark energy come from?

Incandela compared the hunt for the Higgs to using binoculars. A year ago, scientists’ vision of the Higgs was very blurry; a year from now, something will come into focus. At this point, they are somewhere in between.

“For us, that’s a big deal. Even just to know we’re this close,” Incandela said. “A year from now, we’ll have enough data to make a definitive statement, one way or the other.”

Thousands of scientists worldwide collaborate on work related to the LHC, which is located 328 feet underground in a 17-mile tunnel. It produces 600 million particle collisions per second. The two general-purpose experiments at the collider are ATLAS and CMS; scientists from both collaborations are expected to deliver news about the Higgs on Tuesday.

ATLAS weighs about 7,700 tons, and has calorimeters to measure energy of particles and tracking detectors to record momentum in its huge magnet system. CMS is even heavier at 13,000 tons, and has a 43-foot-long superconducting solenoid magnet to measure particle momentum. The cylindrical coil of superconducting cable of CMS generates a magnetic field 100,000 times that of the Earth, CERN says.

In searching for the Higgs boson, scientists are using these detectors to look at 42 possible scenarios by which the Higgs would have decayed, Incandela said. That means a lot of people looking at a lot of data, and still more data is needed for firmer conclusions.

The LHC has already set its own world records for intensity of particle beams. In the next year, the collision rates in the LHC will be even higher, with energies up to 8 TeV (in 2011 it was 7 TeV), giving much more data to work with, Incandela said. The collider is currently on a break, but will resume research in April.

The Standard Model of physics, the best description scientists have for the world at a scale smaller than atoms, cannot completely describe the way the universe operates. Finding the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass, but that’s not the whole story for explaining all of subatomic physics, either.

That’s why physicists have come up with other theories – albeit untested – to describe the universe. What Incandela calls the “most complete and beautiful extension of the Standard Model” is a theory called supersymmetry, which can be represented in many different ways. In fact, supersymmetry predicts the existence at least five different Higgs, two of which have charge and three are neutral, Incandela said. The one physicists would most likely see is the lightest one, which is thought to be similar to what’s predicted in the Standard Model.

An extension of supersymmetry, called string theory, can also benefit from hints of the Higgs boson, says Kane. In this school of thought, extremely small vibrating loops called strings make up the universe. Kane recently co-authored a study showing how the Higgs boson is required for string theory, and predicting that the signal of this particle is around 125 GeV.

Even if that prediction pans out, though, it doesn’t mean string theory or supersymmetry is necessarily true, since there are many ways to arrive at a Higgs boson with a similar mass, physicists say. There are also several variations of string theory. And no experiments have validated these ideas yet, although proponents hope the LHC will deliver more evidence.

Still, Kane and colleagues are excited to hear what the experiments have found out about the Higgs.

“I don’t think there’s any question of it going away or being too weak to be important,” Kane says of the Higgs boson. “So, be ready.”

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soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. allnew031379

    'The cylindrical coil of superconducting cable of CMS generates a magnetic field 100,000 times that of the Earth' – I rarely get paranoid but why does that concern me?

    December 13, 2011 at 4:26 am |
    • Randy

      Because these arrogant fools will someday destroy the Earth with their stupid experiments.

      December 13, 2011 at 4:55 am |
    • Steve

      The magnetic field of the Earth isn't really that strong.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:07 am |
    • Cyber1

      Maybe something to do with that metal plate in your head? You should probably stay far...far away.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:26 am |
      • Marc

        Ha!

        December 13, 2011 at 6:18 am |
      • Ebil Bun

        lol

        December 13, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  2. eamon

    Yes, scientists should not talk about God, because they are just wasting precious time talking about nothing! GO CERN!

    December 13, 2011 at 4:23 am |
  3. Clarence

    There is much research to do in Quantum Mechanics. Quantum mechanics can not quantify a material that hath no time, infinite time, and above all the infinite present time. Man is learning to think about time differently. The Objective is to travel within time. The past, present and the future is man made. The Universe is infinite if a ship can move back into time, man made time. Remember Energy is never destroyed is simply changes from one form – to another form.

    December 13, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • Ebil Bun

      *rolls eyes*

      December 13, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  4. c_stizzy80

    For our knowledge, is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect) and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary. But when the complete (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away. -1 Corinthians 13:9-10 KNOWLEDGE WILL BE SUPERSEDED BY TRUTH!!

    December 13, 2011 at 3:35 am |
    • Snow

      BS.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:42 am |
      • c_stizzy80

        For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 18, 25 GOD LOVES YOU ITS NEVER TO LATE TO GIVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST UNTILL ITS TOO LATE. GOD BLESS AND GOODNIGHT.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:54 am |
      • fimeilleur

        Yes, God Be Less and Good night.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Virologist

      What do you mean "knowledge" will be suppressed by truth? Truth is not against knowledge. Knowledge brings us closer to truth and I don't think the scripture quote disagrees with that. The quote is saying that knowledge will be completed, not overturned. I'm not sure where you get the idea that knowledge is against truth, or perhaps I did not understand your statement. I think it would be more accurate to say truth completes (not suppresses) knowledge. I also don't know why you bring it up. Are you against the scientific pursuit of knowledge?

      December 13, 2011 at 4:30 am |
    • Marc

      "knowledge is good" – dean wurmer, animal house

      December 13, 2011 at 6:20 am |
    • Kevin

      Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks! Psalm 137:9

      Isn't it fun to post random meaningless verses.

      December 13, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  5. Heather

    Its funny that anyone thinks scientist are going to discover the mysteries of the UNIVERSE based off a theory. Its the UNIVERSE people.

    December 13, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • Q'Mechanic

      No, it's not funny, it's brilliant. The more we understand about our world and our universe the more we'll evolve away from limiting frames of thought that causes division in world. New more efficient technologies, longer lives, better medicine, less pollution. It's all thanks to our understanding of the world and the universe around us. Imagine, we'd be one step closer in finding the meaning of life. 🙂

      December 13, 2011 at 3:53 am |
      • pfiore8

        Hmmmm... discovering the "meaning of life." Perhaps it is one of the few things for which there is no answer. I'm not sure we need some definitive answer or meaning.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:22 am |
  6. slupdawg

    These articles always bring out the nut jobs.

    December 13, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Q'Mechanic

      Like yourfine self ^_^

      December 13, 2011 at 3:54 am |
      • allnew031379

        Real mature.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:24 am |
  7. jon

    Dude this is awesome and all, but when will we have faster than light space travel?! Earth bores me and I want to see other worlds.

    December 13, 2011 at 3:09 am |
    • Tanterei

      Not in your lifetime – that much is sure.
      Even if it could be verified, that there are neutrinos travelling faster than light we won't be anywhere near to utilise such technology for hundreds of years.
      Let's at least get people to the mars before we start talking on interstellar travels.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:19 am |
      • hummmmmmmm

        you could always be frozen when you die.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • Judas Priest

      Sniff glue.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Science states nothing about God. It sure would be nice if scientists did the same.

    December 13, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Chris Barlow

      On the contrary; science and rational thinking can shed light on every aspect of the real world, including human emotions, love, morality and ethics. It is wishful thinking to believe that science and religion do not overlap. Science is about the real world, and in so far as spirituality (incl God) impinges on reality, then its effects can be detected and investigated. If there were any effects, that is.

      December 13, 2011 at 2:50 am |
      • jon

        Atheist fanboy

        December 13, 2011 at 3:06 am |
      • Tanterei

        Let us reformulate the statement to clarify it.
        Science does NOT make any predictions or any statements whatsoever about the existence of god. The latter is not needed(!) in the description of the world as is delivered by science.
        Taking account of the definition of a "Theory: a statement which can be falsified" (NOTE: not verified!) we can now state, that god is not even theory in a purely logical sense.
        Over the times "god" has been pushed further away from earth. (sky->Sun->whatever) each time the scientists found more about the related matter.
        THEREFORE: Iff we postulate the existence of "god" on any level reached until now, then he does not exist.
        Iff we allow him to be placed wherever it suits our fancy, then he is not even worth considering as theory.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:09 am |
      • Chris Barlow

        Hi jon – just a fan of the real world. What are you a fan of?

        December 13, 2011 at 3:24 am |
      • ThinkMcFly!

        Science sticks to that which can be observed or predicted with the five senses. Unfortunate for science (and for your argument), it's impossible to prove by observing with the five senses that there is no reality which those senses can't detect. As such, science cannot disprove the existence of God. Perhaps it could prove the existence of God though – if God chose to act in a way that was clearly observable. Either way, certainly claiming God doesn't exist with no evidence to prove it (something I'm seeing a lot in these comments) is as much of a faith statement as any religion proffers.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @Think McFly,

        Thank you for proving conclusively the existence of Unicorns, Leprechauns, the Tooth Fairy, Big Foot, Vampires, Werewolves, Silver dragons and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

        Science can not and WILL not disprove ANY of there existences THEREFORE they ALL exist. Check mate Atheists!!!!

        (Oh that was fun).

        December 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • rmtaks

      The thing that I dislike most about the Bible has nothing to do with science though. If it was a perfect book of ethics I would find the benefits of that greater than scientific advancement. Unfortunately the Old Testament God is positively maniacal and handed out a death sentence for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, slaughtered an entire city of 50,000 people because one dude touched the Ark of the Covenant, and dethroned King Saul specifically for not carrying out a complete genocide. The New Testament God is way more chill and likeable, because it was clearly written by a different group of people with better-developed ethics. It confuses people to have them in the same book though, and people can always flip back to the OT whenever they want to start a war or execute someone for non-violent crime. And since Christian nations have historically been some of the most expansive and oppressive, I don't see any correlation with the Bible and actual good works.

      December 13, 2011 at 2:58 am |
      • Chris Barlow

        Yes, but it is even worse. In the OT when god was angry he would ruin you and your descendents for several generations but after that, nothing. In the NT Jesus introduces the idea of infinite torture for your wrong-doings. This is infinitely immoral and evil. And if you are good – well, what is heaven like? The bible is strangely quiet. All we are told is that you will spend eternity praising god. So not much of a carrot, but a pretty big stick. To me, this all makes perfect sense when you think that it was made it by the priesthood (or whoever) as a way of maintaining position and power.

        Imagine for a second you were god the creator. You had just made everything, including sentient beings on a planet. Would you be bothered to set up extensive rules about how they eat, dress, copulate, etc or would you be more interested to see what they do? Would you want them to direct themselves in praising you – for all eternity – or would you be more interested in seeing if they can advance, discover the nature of things, be long-lived, be successful? I think any parent could answer this in two seconds.

        It all points to the bible being just so much baloney, and bad for us.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • SixDegrees

      During the Enlightenment and through the present day, churches have held that science is one of the most powerful tools for examining God's creation and thereby coming to understand it. The Catholic Church in particular is currently a strong contributor to scientific research in several fields, particularly astronomy. The idea that God can be better understood through the use of science as a tool traces back even further, to Francis Bacon and earlier.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:03 am |
      • Tanterei

        Please tell me you're joking.
        Ever heard of Galileo Galilei? Look up, on WIki, the time that the church admitted it's faults in dealing with him.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:14 am |
      • Albert

        Tanterei – ever heard of a monastery? Christian monks studied science in these places.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:18 am |
      • SixDegrees

        I'm not joking, and a lot has changed since Galileo.

        Re Galileo, by the way, you might be interested in reading Dava Sobel's excellent "Galileo's Daughter" for a fresh and very well supported historical analysis of his dealings with the church. It's rather more complex than the cartoonish "Church bad, Galileo martyr" story we mostly hear.

        But as already noted, I was referring to the period of the Enlightenment up to the present day.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:20 am |
      • Tanterei

        Hmm. Now that you mention it I can remember one mathematician – but nothing more comes to mind. (mind you, I study physics, not history of science)

        December 13, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • TWAN

      AND NOW A MUCH NEEDED QUOTE FROM MY GOOD FRIEND ALBERT EINSTEIN: "SCIENCE WITHOUT RELIGION IS LAME, RELIGION WITHOUT SCIENCE IS BLIND." ENOUGH SAID....

      December 13, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • splonktast

      You are so right. Scientists only deal with reality.

      December 13, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  9. Lisa

    I wish America's founding fathers had enough foresight to have separated church from science...Really, Science says nothing about God, but scientists sure do have a lot to say about Him. You can expect the uneducated faithful to deny the beauty and wonder of it all, but I don't understand why scientists engage in such nasty rhetoric regarding faith. While there is no proof of God, perhaps even no evidence, keep in mind...Native Americans existed before Europeans discovered them. Just because science has not (

    December 13, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • rmtaks

      I am only hostile when a religion 1) Encourages people to disbelieve scientific evidence 2) Encourages violence 3) Teaches specific salvation (as in if you don't believe what they believe you go to hell). Unfortunately much of Christian US (including the church I grew up in) fits one or all of these criteria.

      December 13, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • SixDegrees

      As men of the Enlightenment, the Founders viewed science as a primary tool for investigating God's creation and better understanding His mind. They didn't compartmentalize and separate the physical and spiritual worlds as we often tend to. They were also rather firm believers in freedom of thought and belief, and would have found suppression of any religion as odious as they did allowing the supremacy of any single one coupled with the power of the state.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  10. rmtaks

    Everyone bashing science: perhaps it would be a lot less hypocritical if you turned off your computers and cell phones and joined an Amish community. You bash science until it goes from theoretical to practical, then you MUST HAVE IT.

    December 13, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  11. Jennifer

    "God-particle" is a BS term invented by the Media.....

    December 13, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • The Lunatic

      Thank you Jennifer, you are absolutely correct. It's embarrassing to have such a horrible name associated with something that is real science.

      December 13, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  12. Chris

    I think people need to think. If there is a God its either 2 things. Its either God created evil which means his very sick mind created rapist pedophiles murderers molesters etc... or he didnt create evil which means he isnt all powerful and that means evil is equal or greater in power then God is.

    December 13, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Lamlih

      There is a third possibility you left out (you kind of created a false dilemma).... 3rd p.: Angels obey God, because they are created for obeying God only. On the other hand men is left free to do good or evil. We have a choice, and this makes men more special than Angels. When an Angel does good he does it because he's programmed to, but when men do good they do this because they deliberately want to do good. In conclusion, the bad things do not come from God, but the free choice of men.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:01 am |
      • Chris Barlow

        But god knows everything that will take place, and chooses to let the bad things happen even when he could find a super-duper genius-level way of averting things while letting us keep free-will, but he doesn't. He's either an immoral 5hit, or he doesnt exist. Go and look-up The Problem of Evil or something, but don't come here peddling your god-is-great, but humanity-is-broken garbage.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:30 am |
      • cjstrongbow

        But aren't satan and his demons fallen angels? If angels are programmed then how did they fall? God programmed angels, but the programming didn't stick. God created Adam but Adam wanted a female, despite basking in the constant presence of God himself. God created Adam and Eve to be his pals in the Garden of Eden, but they wanted an apple instead. That's three stikes in three swings. I'm not saying there isn't a God, but don't you think the Christian story has some holes in it?

        December 13, 2011 at 3:53 am |
      • Kevin

        " On the other hand men is left free to do good or evil. We have a choice,"

        Really? Can you make a choice your god does not know you will make? Your god, by virtue of claiming omniscience, knows if you will go to heaven or hell. Can you trick god and show up in the location god isn't expecting? If no, then there is no such thing as free will. If yes, then your god is not omniscient. And if he isn't omniscient, he really isn't much of a god, is he?

        December 13, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • jon

      Dude this is just an article about an extremely small particle. Save the religious trolling for yahoo answers

      December 13, 2011 at 3:08 am |
      • Judas Priest

        Hear hear.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • becki

      I hope that God has mercy on you.First of all God is not sick.He gives us the free will to do what we want because He only wants those who truly and sincerely love Him to live with Him in eternity.And that's why we all have a choice.You will probably complain non stop if you were programmed to do whatever God wished you to do.And for the rapists and all the other evil people in the world living in sin, if they don't repent of their sins they will have their punishment.So that's fair enough.Victims of bad deeds are either being punished by God or having their faiths tested.And God is definately much more powerful than sin or evil.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:29 am |
      • The Master

        OH JES-SUS CHRIST! WHY ARE YOU HERE??!! STFU!!

        December 13, 2011 at 5:33 am |
      • WOW

        Victims of bad deeds are being punished or having their faith tested. Did you read that back to yourself after you wrote it? It’s just that you stated that God gave man free will and only the ones that truly love God deserve to be welcome into his house. So do they really teach you in your church that God is a bully? That he really doesn’t care for his flock here on earth? And as for little children, the innocent, that get rapped and murdered, or abandoned, they are being tested, or punished why? And why are the test different, are you saying God can’t be consistent? Please let me know what church you go to so that I never accidently walk into it hoping to settle my spirit.

        December 13, 2011 at 11:45 am |
      • Judas Priest

        So in other words there is no way for god NOT to be right. What a mercifully thought-free existence you have. Do you feel lighter with all that nothing in your head?

        December 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • The Master

      Just STFU!! Idiot!!

      December 13, 2011 at 5:36 am |
  13. joey.s

    Its all hype....

    December 13, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  14. Washington

    Extremely Exciting times! Thank the Europeans for building this, while we cancelled our upgraded one in Texas to save some money (while we spend 50 times more in our wars). Understanding the 4 forces is paramount to our development as a species. The understanding of electromagnetism gave us electric engines, generators, electric power, allowing all electric devises, computers, tv`s etc. etc.

    The understanding of the strong and weak force gave us the breakthrough of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy (powering much of our civilization for decades), and scientist are still working on Fusion energy, that could give us large amounts of clean energy (perhaps one day used to power our spaceships or colonies on mars).

    Now just imagine what the understanding of gravity could give us. Anti-Gravity? allowing us to go strait up into space instead of using rockets/ build hover boards?, flying cars? etc Perhaps artificial gravity allowing us to build spaceships with their own internal gravity. Who knows what it might lead to. This is going to be on of the single biggest scientific breakthroughs of this century. Don`t expect new technologies from it quickly though.

    December 13, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • Andrew

      Oddly enough, I was speaking to a prof of mine who does/did her primary research at SLAC and she was telling me how the SSC was killed partially because of infighting among physicists as well. They've learned their lesson since then.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  15. Etc.

    "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."
    1 Corinthians 3:19

    December 13, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Miss Demeanor

      So gawwwwwwws constantly watches people until he catches them making a mistake and then punishes them for eternity. What loving parent wouldn't?

      December 13, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Chris Barlow

      Yes! And also: "The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband" – Corinthians 1:7 v4.

      And: "let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law.

      35 And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church. " – Corinthians 14:34

      Either this is REALLY good stuff, or, its hopeless garbage.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:39 am |
      • Miguelito del Fenix

        http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Atheist

        Atheism in a nutshell. Enjoy your mommy/daddy issues.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:16 am |
      • Chris Barlow

        And also: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Religion

        December 13, 2011 at 10:21 am |
      • ChaoticDreams

        OH and don't forget that if your daughter gets raped and then refuses to marry him, it is your loving duty to stone her to death!

        i don't have a passage number, just remember reading it in high school and getting in trouble for laughing over the teacher's lecture

        December 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  16. Anadish Kumar Pal

    Faster than light Neutrinoes and Higgs both cannot coexist - either one has to be wrong. It's DCE research and superluminal speed which has the potential of breaking current scientific barriers, rather than finding a nebulous statistical dual peak for a Higgs, which well could be due to many other anomalies, one that LHC could not decipher is that of the UFOs.

    December 13, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Andrew

      Huh? I don't see how they're mutually exclusive, but that's semi-irrelevant, as it's highly unlikely that the CERN-Gran Sasso results would be confirmed. If neutrinos really traveled faster than light, we should have seen the neutrinos from SN1987A years, or even months before we saw the light.
      (We did see the neutrinos before, but that's expected, as last scattering for neutrinos occurs before last scattering for photons. Think about it, the cosmic neutrino background was released well before the cosmic microwave background)

      December 13, 2011 at 2:42 am |
      • Andrew

        In case I wasn't explicit enough, we saw the neutrino flux the same day as the supernova results... instead of the months or years that would be implied by the CERN-Gran sasso results. The difference between surface of last scattering for neutrinos and photons is roughly the same, with only a few hours difference.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • Chris Barlow

      Anadish – come on, that's not true! If there is anything we learned from Roswell, it is that anti-tachyons can transfer momentum to superluminal photons preserving both the Higgs field (an boson naturally) and the time-like photon trajectory. We can have both! You of all people should know this – I told it you tomorrow.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:43 am |
  17. SyManSez

    How foolish, to spend such an Ungodly amount of money to find a "god particle".. Spending the money and time to eradicate our worldwide health crisis would be much more worthwile. How ridiculous, scientists thinking that they can unlock the secrets of the universe is like ants thinking they can understand nuclear fusion.

    December 13, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • HeroicSlug

      Shouldn't you be banging rocks together or something?

      December 13, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • ufadoof

      What an ignorant statement. This science directly drives future technology. Imagine a world without electricity for instance. Where would healthcare be now? What technology would be used in hospitals? We would be back in the early 1900's. Seriously, think about it.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:36 am |
      • SyManSez

        Does all this technology really make us healtier and happier? I'm not against advances in technology, but all these advances do also come with a hefty price tag.. Processed foods that can sit on the shelf for years are quite convenient, until you get cancer because you'd rather spend your time twittering than making a scratch made meal made from real food. Depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders are on the rise, linked to our high stress technology fueled lifestyle. Cancer rates up 300% from the 1900's, the list goes on and on. We further our knowlege into many fields at our peril, money disproportionately spent on weapons technology than on social issues plaguing this world. All this great technology is making it easy for companies to patent seeds so you and I cant even plant our own food anymore, genetically modified foods which boost profits for them at the cost of our health. Like I said, there are many positives to technological advance, only if it is advancing for social benefit and not just the benefit of shareholders and private interests.

        December 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Joseph

      You must be religious to hate science so much.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Brian

      You can't put a price tag on knowledge. In fact, more should be spent on scientific research in all fields.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:38 am |
      • fax

        So what is this particle made of? They need a stronger microscope for that I guess?

        December 13, 2011 at 1:54 am |
      • Andrew

        The higgs, being a fundamental particle, is not 'made of anything', as far as particle physics is concerned.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • Miss Demeanor

      Scientific advances often improve life. Are you suggesting people should opt out of all advances that improve our lives (electricity, electric lights, refrigeration, vaccines...) because life on earth is perfect in every way?

      December 13, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Bill Melater

      Ah. I see your point. Nobody should seriously expect science to develop medical breakthroughs. Vaccines, X-ray machines, MRI's descended from heaven. Magic made the world a better place. Thanks for the insight.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • f sciene right

      You are right, stop funding science, we should throw all of that money into the welfare system, because so much has been gain to better humanity by keeping the lazy unemployed wanting to stay lazy and unemployed. Atleast they can be comfortable off the hard work of others.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  18. brandon

    why do so many people get so emotional about this? We are about to expand our collective knowledge yet some people find it threatening? I wonder why.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  19. Limbaugh is liberal

    Embarrassing for extremist right wing-nuts. They would love to interpret this as a physical proof of God based solely on the misrepresentative vocabulary used, but it would also mean they would have to admit to the physical proof of the Big Bang scientific theory.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • b4bigbang

      While i suppose that most anything born of good reasoning might disturb the mind of a right-wing nut (or any other type of nut 4 that matter), i can assure u that i, being a moderate-to-left-leaning fundamentalist Christian, do *not* misinterpret popular labels attached to things scientific, nor does science rattle my wits. Indeed, I'm fascinated by scientific discovery!
      Betcha didn't even know that there are liberal 'fundies' out there huh?

      December 13, 2011 at 1:00 am |
      • Joseph

        So you are liberal AND religious? Wow, just all around stupid huh?

        December 13, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Platypus

      The big bang theory is not incompatible with the Christian view of creationism. Young Earth creationists would disagree with this, but many Christians in the sciences do not think them incompatible at all.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:05 am |
      • b4bigbang

        Oh, and btw, Independently deriving Friedmann's equations in 1927, Georges Lemaître, a Belgian physicist and Roman Catholic priest, proposed that the inferred recession of the nebulae was due to the expansion of the Universe.[18]

        In 1931 Lemaître went further and suggested that the evident expansion of the universe, if projected back in time, meant that the further in the past the smaller the universe was, until at some finite time in the past all the mass of the Universe was concentrated into a single point, a "primeval atom" where and when the fabric of time and space came into existence.

        December 13, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • Joseph

      Quit spouting your liberal propoganda. The only people who actually believe what you write are liberal.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  20. Ty

    Sometimes the search for more knowledge leaves us lost.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Blayze Kohime

      Then I guess you can find yourself by giving up all the valuable technology that physics has brought us, like computers.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • clearfog

      I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave me out of the "us" part.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  21. bear0402

    Now why make such a statement? Just going to get the church and all conservatives panties up in a bunch.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • b4bigbang

      So u think the God particle makes Christians feel threatened? I'm a Christian and i love science, esp string theory. Just because a lot of Christians (including myself) don't take everything scientists say immediately as 'gospel' doesn't mean science and Christianity are incompatible. Look up Nobel prize winning professor Richard E Smalley, considered by many to be the "father of nanotechnology". He believed in intelligent design and was an 'old-earth' creationist Christian.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:49 am |
      • kyle

        viturally by definition a old earth creationist cannot be a "fundie" because a "fundie" believes the bible is absolute literal truth. means a 6k history and noah putting all the animals (including dinosaurs) on the ark... can't really marry those things to science.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:44 am |
      • Walsh

        Mmm, someone can be a genius and still believe in god, its not always a sign of stupidity, just ignorance.

        "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

        December 13, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  22. Kingfisher

    The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?

    http://faculty.washington.edu/lynnhank/Lederman.pdf

    December 13, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Andrew

      ... I generally dislike any philosopher's take on matters of particle physics. Science is a lot harder than philosophy, and trying to use philosophy to justify science seems counter intuitive.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:17 am |
      • Miss Demeanor

        Well said.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • clearfog

      Define the universe. Give two examples.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Kingfisher

      Just providing a reference for anyone interested in reading the book, but there's a lot about quantum physics that is counter-intuitive.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:22 am |
      • ChaoticDreams

        really? tell me more!
        of course quantum mechanics is counter-intuitive, otherwise religious nuts and laypeople would actually understand it.

        December 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  23. thislittlepiggy

    "there’s not enough data to make definitive statements yet about the Higgs"

    Such as whether or not it in fact exists.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Cason

      I think that's implied fairly clearly.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Andrew

      Considering that 'discovery' requires at least a 5 sigma result, don't worry, when they say 'we can make a definitive statement', you can be pretty sure we're right.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  24. Kevin

    No, YOU, the media, started calling it the "god particle" just to stir up some controversy.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • John

      Wrong

      December 13, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  25. Ron

    There are two God particles. We call them protons and electrons. If you put enough energy into the destruction of one of these particles you can make the "exita" do just about anything you want. But, it will never prove the existence of imaginary energy or matter and it won't give proof of dimensions that don't exist. What it may do is finally get scientists to consider that the observed red shift from distant light might have a different cause than the Doppler effect. Of course, that would void the big bang theory. Welcome to the infinity of time and space. Humbling, isn't it?
    Yours truly,
    ....

    December 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • clearfog

      Did a talking snake in a magical fruit tree tell you that a proton was a fundamental particle? It is not. It has a half life of a few billion years and decays into a positron and a neutrino. Your knowledge of physics is apparently based upon the uncomfortable truth that the universe is more than 6,000 years old. Knowledge is humbling, isn't it.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
      • wallyb

        Are you saying that the universe is "not" more than 6,000 years old?

        December 13, 2011 at 12:04 am |
      • clearfog

        Older by several orders of magnitude.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:07 am |
      • arropotence

        How can you time a universe? It is needles to say: Time is part of the ujniverse and couldnt have existed one without the other.

        Yours more truly

        December 13, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • thislittlepiggy

      Too humbling for people who think, if they discover this particle, it will make them God.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  26. Nate

    The true story behind the naming of the God particle:

    The author of the book "The God Particle" wanted to call it the GD particle because no one could find the thing, but the editor insisted that "God Particle" would sell more copies.

    It's not journalistic sensationalism, and it has nothing to do with its role in the big bang. Someone just thought that a good book should sell copies and didn't think that a "swear word" would be good for the proliferation of science.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Kevin

      I would call it sensationalism as no physicist I know (a fair number, but not a whole lot in HEP) refer to it as the god particle. Otherwise, the readers are just echoing what is repeatedly stated by the media.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      This is utter bullsh_t. I've read the book. There is a reason the author coined the term "The God Particle", and it has nothing to do with increasing book sales. If you had read the book, you'd know. Obviously you haven't and only like to make up crap on comments sections of news articles.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  27. Mike Sulkowski

    Wow! Many of these comments are ridiculous. I never knew that so many space cadets read articles on contemporary developments in subatomic physics!

    December 12, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  28. YouEffOh

    BTW CNN, great job on the Amiga graphics. Sick fractals.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • albert

      They are not graphics...it is what physicists see when tracking the particles through silicon microstrip detectors. The magnetic field causes the charged particles to curve in space...the charged particles leave charge trails in the detectors. These points, created by multiple layers surrounding the collision vertex are then joined and produce curves, such as you see in the image. They are the particles, as we see them.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  29. YouEffOh

    I hope this is leading to a way to bring back Elvis.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  30. PhilG.

    Yawn,your funding has been cut-ask your God particle for it.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  31. Michael

    To everyone asking for the nickname "God particle" to be removed, it's not journalistic sensationalism. It is quite simply the nickname scientists have given the particle due to its role in the Big Bang.

    December 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • YouEffOh

      That's what she said.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
      • ryan

        awesome

        December 13, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  32. jim mraz

    Born reproduce and die ? This will be a nothing to mankind. 7 billion down the drain for saying Positive and negative = creation. 2 universes colliding one hot one cold, spinning gas, we are the after shock. + & – = creation not a collider.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • ChaoticDreams

      yes. eventually we will all die. i would personally like to achieve understanding before I no longer exist, maybe you should just kill yourself and get it over with

      December 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  33. Page887

    Why bother calling it the "God" particle? Hows about the "Darwin" particle? I love physics, but I do believe God is in the details.Page887.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Andrew

      As much as I dislike the name 'god particle', it's so referenced because the Higgs is essentially the final component to complete the standard model of particle physics.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        It better not be , or quite a few scientist may be looking for work.

        December 13, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • drank with that crank

      the Dawkins particle??

      December 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  34. Chad

    Close to a year from now will be Dec. 21, 2012. Discover the truth of the Higgs Boson in 12/12/12. World ends 9 days later.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • AGuest9

      LOL!

      December 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • djwazu

      I HAVE A PARTICLE ON MY NUTS CARE TO HEAR THE DETAILS?

      December 12, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
      • YouEffOh

        Watto lives!

        December 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
      • extra medium

        Quaid, start the reactor!

        December 13, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • evensteven

      The good news is there's no reason to file taxes for 2012 if your self-employed and it will be foolish to purchase calendars for the new year . . .

      December 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
      • ChaoticDreams

        i personally think it will be hilarious when people inevitably do things like this because they think the world will end, and then the economy collapses again or something (no idea what would actually happen). you know, funny in a chaotic, dark way

        December 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Smukers

      As absolutely confirmed from primitive residue. Aren't those "peopleses" the same critters that carved out human hearts, to be "godly offerings". Is that the origin of the name "offering"was derived from, in the cult churches?

      December 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  35. eric Blackman

    To the author of the article: please do not call it the "God" particle. This is so stupid.
    This is science not religion. Try not to be sensationalist. I don't care whether it was a scientist or not who
    invoked such a terrible adjective. The Higgs particle is the way it is known in the physics community and physicists
    generally delpore a sensationalist use of religion mixed with science.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Andrew

      I always have my biggest issues with Elizabeth's articles. She seems to seldom actually link to the papers she cites, even if I ignore somewhat poor nomenclature.

      Also... I'd kinda like a bit more of a clue as to who is likely to publish, the CMS, ATLAS team, or both.

      December 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • JJohn

      To the author of the article: please call it the "God" particle. These Atheists are so stupid.
      This is science and religion. Try to be a sensationalist. I care whether it was a scientist or not who invoked such a beautiful adjective. The Higgs particle is the way it is known in the physics community and physicists deplore Atheists who don't like to mix religion with science.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
      • Smukers

        Don't forget, religions are but Cults, with beliefs of the supernatural, with absolutely NO supporting evidence.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:02 am |
      • JJohn

        The bible is enough evidence for me. Maybe you should read it some time.😉

        December 13, 2011 at 12:24 am |
      • Joseph

        I believe in witches and goblins. Harry Potter is enough evidence for me. You should try reading it sometime😉

        December 13, 2011 at 1:49 am |
      • The Lunatic

        Joseph – Both are fiction, but Harry Potter is far more believeable than the bible is.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • Paganguy

      Eric, Theoretical physics IS religion or at least philosophy. The Standard Model is a hocus-pocus put together to support some brainy theories. It is too complex; there is nothing this complex in Nature. But all this complexity is good for getting more funds to find the next big "discovery". The alchemists did the same thing 400 years ago. They slipped a little gold into the result from time to time to get some more funds from the King.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
      • Andrew

        Uh huh... you are aware that the standard model has been remarkably successful, yes? Or are you saying that the team at the Tevatron was lying when they discovered the Top quark? Cause I have had some professors associated with the tevatron and now ATLAS, they have helped confirm predictions made by the standard model... it's not just a guess, it's received quite a lot of empirical verification.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:10 am |
      • Chris Barlow

        It is true: the standard model is just to complex for you little brain. How are you with cell phones? Too complex? How about open the faucet? Still too complex? Can you wipe your ass with toilet paper? Yes? Phew, finally something at your level.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:52 am |
      • ChaoticDreams

        nearly everything proven by science over the past century has been counter-intuitive. this internet you're on? quantum theory plays a part of it, but it's complicated and therefore the internet cannot be true...

        December 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  36. Abhijit

    CNN – is there any reason you spelled 'boson' with all small letter? it came from someones name you know. Bosons and Farmions are two broad category of sub-atomic particle named after Satayen Bose and Enrico Fermi – therfore they should be spelled with the first letter in caps.
    Reading some of the posts I have a feeling most people doesn't care about it but thought I mention this.🙂

    December 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Adam

      We usually don't capitalize them in the field. Yes, they were named after people, but we don't capitalize particle names either. I think it has to do with the fact that, grammatically, they aren't actually proper nouns.

      December 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
      • ChaoticDreams

        exactly, it's sort of like capitalizing the heading of a list but then each aspect of that heading is lower-case

        December 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Paul

      LOL nerd war!

      December 13, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  37. jpalmer

    Its turtles, all the way down

    December 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • turtles

      But what is the gender of the turtles?

      December 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  38. ViperGuy

    Theory of Relativity Expanded:
    Take a particle traveling at the speed of light. Say it leaves the sun at 12:00 heading for earth. It arrives at earth 8 minutes later at 12:08:20 (8 minutes 20 sec) . You ask the particle "How long did it take you to get here. It says "It took no time at all. I arrived when I left". Take a particle traveling at 0.9999999999 times the speed of light. It leaves at 12:00pm and arrives at earth at 12:08:20.000...001 You ask the particle "How long did it take you to get here. It says "It took almost no time at all. I arrived almost instantly when I left".

    Take a particle traveling at 0.99999 times the speed of light. It leaves at 12:00pm and arrives at earth at 12:08:20.00...01 You ask the particle "How long did it take you to get here. It says "It took almost very little time, less than a second to get here. I arrived shortly after I left".

    Time is relative. To a particle traveling at the speed of light, it arrives when it leaves, or in other words, it can cross the vast universe instantly, in no time, relative to itself. Black holes exist where time is slowed down considerably, relative to the universe. Light can't escape because without time moving forward relative to the speed of light, time becomes null and therefore nothing can escape. If you ask the particle sitting in the black hole for a millions years, "How long have you been here," it would say "I just got here".

    Now, in theory, take a particle traveling at 1.0000000001 times the speed of light. It leaves at 12:00pm and arrives at earth at 12:08:19.999... You ask the particle "How long did it take you to get here. It says "I arrived before I left". It would seem to the particle that it traveled into the future, relative to itself, not relative to the universe. But in reality, relative to the universe, time actually slowed down for the particle. Now if the particle were to go fast enough, time would slow to the point of being stopped, or almost stopped, creating it's own black hole.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Dana

      Yours was one of the better explanations I have come across. Wow...........

      December 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Ray

      If the light leaving the sun was a refection of itself from Earth catching-up to itself through itself creating time, would it be there before it left?

      December 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • clearfog

      You have a fundamental misunderstanding of space/time. The reason that nothing cannot travel faster than the speed of light is that nothing can travel slower than the speed of light. Everything moves at the speed of light – through space/time, the four dimensional geometry of the universe. The faster something moves through space, the slower it moves through time, and visa versa. If you draw a circular arc across the x axis (space) and the y axis (time), everything is located on that arc. You need to think in four dimensions, not three with a time overlay.

      It appears that Einstein's relativity is wrong in the same sense that Newtonian physics is wrong. Light can escape from a black hole. Hawking's paradigm involved the creation of virtual particles near the event horizon that form and cancel each other out continuously except occasionally when one of them falls into the black hole and the other appears to radiate from it. Hence, the black hole evaporates. Another way of looking at it is quantum tunneling where the wave function of particles in a black hole collapse outside of it. The same result obtains, the black hole evaporates.

      December 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
      • Jawz8u2

        There are no blackholes either.

        December 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
      • Joseph

        Oh clearfog.. I'm not sure what science education you had, but whatever professor told you "everything travels at the speed of light" needs to be shot. Unless you were attempting some warped interpretation of the laws of physics through philosophy. Either way, what you spewed was complete, utter, nonsense.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:01 am |
      • Chris Barlow

        Joseph – you are wrong because you are ignoring Clearfog's point of thinking in 4 dimensions. We ARE moving at the speed of light – a stationary object to be moving through TIME at the speed of light. As it accelerates some of its motion through the time dimension is 'borrowed' to give motion through the space dimension. Actually, the velocity vector undergoes a rotation from the t axis to the xt axis. In special relativity, the Lorentz transformation is this rotation – simple Pythagoras, really. The problem of traveling at c through space is that the motion through time becomes zero.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:03 am |
      • Gethetruth

        Get out of the Fog ! Time does not exist in the Universe. Time is a human invention. There is no such thing as Space-Time Continuum. There is only space and matter ! Physicists do not have the courage to contradict Einstein just as evolutionary biologist have no courage to dump Darwin. Time does not exist in the Universe. Humans invented time to measure speed and distances on earth and in space. How did time become real ? It was stupid Einstein. All time travel and multiple universes are based on this stupidity called Time.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:30 am |
      • ChaoticDreams

        you are completely incorrect. time, at a basic level, it the constant decay of matter toward a state of entropy. time exists because matter exists. matter, nearly by its very definition, must include some aspect of time.

        December 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • kyle

      everyone knows you can't stop a photon and ask it questions.

      December 13, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  39. Inderana

    Looks like a Koosh-Ball to me.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  40. Jawz8u2

    They are never gonna understand dark matter because it simply doesn't exist. Itz an Electric Universe

    December 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  41. drank with that crank

    This is an extremely exciting discovery, however this page is marred with the stilted language of pedantics. To these people crusading for acclaim and acceptance on a CNN sponsored blog, I say "Get a Job."

    December 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I think it is a slap in the face to evry single scientist for the past 2000 plus years to call this the god particle. Science proves that god is made by man, not the other way around.

      December 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
      • peick

        Really? How, exactly? I'd like to understand your reasoning. If you are smart, lay it out logically. Real logic. Not the "I'm right so I can insult you" sort of logic that folks on here use.

        December 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
      • paul s vail

        Actually, most of the sciences make no claims about gods one way or another. Science recognizes it is not in the business of defining or debating metaphysics by the very nature of the 'outside of the physical world' theologies. Kindly don't drag science into the theology/philosophy arguments. If you mean to say that science understanding is incompatible with the 'miracles' or absence of reliable physics in the mythologies we've created or recorded over time, then stick to that aspect. Science is the collection of studies of things that are testable against reality, and it's painful to see it dragged down by the theists or non-theists alike. Arguing about metaphysics is pointless ('though I realize there is a lot of money and power involved).

        December 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  42. SchrodingersDog

    I have a theory of how to make a cake. Well, it's a partial theory, but since no bakers will take me seriously, I don't get a chance to tell them how wrong they are. I would tell you all but alas it is too complicated and since I have no experience baking, nor have I gone to school for baking, I lack the vocabulary to express my flawless, yet incomplete cake recipe and baking procedure that would none the less render a delicious confectionery.

    But ridicule me at your own peril! For I am terribly pompous despite my lack of credentials, and will not hesitate to disparage anything but unwarranted respect for my baseless concepts!

    December 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • QuantumSpinTopology

      Hey!😦
      Don't be putting words in my mouth! I didn't say that stuff. I am not pretending to be a scientist with credentials.
      On the contrary, I am being quite honest in letting people know I do not have a degree in physics, so why be so snarky?
      Don't you have any questions? No one wants to know anything anymore. They just want to put down total strangers for no good reason I guess. Well, I don't have any use for your rudeness.

      December 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • The Undisciple

      This man knows, I applaud you for your greater intelligence, and uncovering the incredible amount of rhetoric that was applied to this article. Pretentious diction is a tool for concealing, not informing CNN...

      December 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Sharp

      I stand in awe. All we had when I was young was anti-matter. Now all this great stuff.

      December 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Lee S

      You are part of a common misconception. This is not like baking a cake. One person doesnt not have all of the answers, hence there are thousands of scientists comprised of dozens of teams working on finding whatever answers this array of experimental data will provide. One of the researchers at CERN, not sure whom atm, said something along the lines of "finding the Higgs Boson would be the most disappointing thing that could happen."

      December 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  43. Daph1

    I am looking forward for the research forthcoming.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  44. QuantumSpinTopology

    I am making a prediction that they will not find a Higgs boson because gravity does not work that way according to my personal theories.

    When everyone freaks out about how they can't find it, come looking for me. I'll be somewhere laughing just like I did when my prediction about neutrinos having mass were verified.

    Gravity is caused by the expansion of space-time. I have a partial quantum theory of gravity sitting right here, but explaining it is rather difficult, although I have tried at times to get a dialogue going.
    Being caused by the expansion of space-time, gravity does not need anything quite so silly as a particle to exist, thus no Higgs boson is even needed.
    The equations dealing with gravity express themselves quite well without a particle. HIggs' hypothesis is clunky and will, I predict, be proved to be unworkable.

    QST

    December 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Lyle Burwell

      Love to hear more. Given that space does not expand within gravitational systems (galaxies), one has to consider the possibility that mass is converted spacial energy.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        Lyle, I hate to sound so dismissive, but all of space-time is expanding at the speed of light or slightly greater.
        That includes the space-time between every atom in your body.
        To say that it does not expand inside a galaxy is so ridiculous that I wish you would think harder about these things before coming to such nonsensical conclusions using what must be a vast ignorance and lack of science and logic.
        My theories predict that space-time expands slightly faster than the speed of light, btw.
        Everything is dimensional energy. Gravity is caused by "mass" retarding this expansion. Therefore no particles are needed.

        December 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
      • SchrodingersDog

        Gee, it's a good thing he didn't want to sound dismissive.

        December 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • dudekevich

        I didn’t know that the theories coming off of the science channel were yours. You must be pretty darn smart. Haha

        December 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
      • Lyle Burwell

        To QuantumSpinTopology

        Don't know where you studied, but you are incorrect. Please inform yourself of the facts.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • clearfog

      The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Make a testable prediciton, a prediction that can be verified with mathematical certainty within the range of error of current instrumentation. Einstein predicted that the location of a star seen during a solar eclipse would have an apparent location different than predicted by Newtonian physics. Einstein's prediction was verified within the range of the available instruments of the time. Do this, and then I will talk to my friends on the Nobel committee.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        I have not thought of an experiment one could do to prove my theory. I guess it didn't even cross my mind because I am not expecting anyone to listen to me. I am lumped in with the pseudo-scientists because I do not have a physics degree.
        Just try to talk to someone about a theory and see how far you get! All I get is the sound of crickets mostly.
        -
        Off the top of my head, one could test for gravity "waves" directly caused by the formation of mass or complete destruction of same and the distance would show that gravity moves at the speed of light or slightly greater.
        We don't have that kind of technology yet, as it would have to be done out in space as well as using some equipment we have not developed yet.
        I'll keep thinking about it. Maybe there's something closer to home we could use. Thanks for the idea.

        December 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Well, that explains it all !!!!! Why not study some ACTUAL physics and math first ! It might help you find all the inconsistencies in your "fantasy theory". Einstein put all his ideas to the test and subjected them to "devil's advocate" counter-argument and the requirement that mathematics and logic could support them. Only when he couldn't find a better explanation and no one else could knock down these ideas did he believe them himself ! So, you are being MUCH TOO EASY on yourself – the this is clear the sign of delusional thinking – not being brilliant!

        December 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        Truthseeker, I am not stupid nor ignorant. I work with concepts and visualization using known science.
        I am good at math and could likely wade through the higher math functions and wouldn't have too much trouble getting a physics degree with all the tensor calculus your little heart could desire but I am already deep in debt.
        So you are someone who would lump me in with the pseudo-scientists because I don't have napkins filled with equations for you? And you call yourself truthseeker. Hm.
        I'm not a nut. I've been working out this theory for decades basing it on real science that I have read up on.
        This is not to say it's set in stone. I am always open to modifying my position if there is reason for it.
        So far I have not seen anything that can knock down what I have. Like I said before, it is only a partial theory of quantum gravity. I would prefer talking to a real theoretical physicist, but I can't even get a "truthseeker" to be polite to me!!
        If you'd like to be more polite, I'd be glad to see it. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        December 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      Higgs ISN'T really about gravity- it's about inertial. While inertial mass and gravitational mass may be equivalent (as Einstein stated), gravity and inertia may not be the same thing.or produced by the same thing On the other hand, mass appears to indeed bend space (or visa versa – space warping causes 'mass') and this spacetime bending may be what causes gravity (as Einstein seemed to also prove) while moving masses may also warp space, this warped space may really just be equivalent to a Higgs field that gets warped, either slightly to produce gravity, or more so (for an accelerating mass) to produce inertia. Will have to wait and see if they find the Higgs first.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        Yes, my theory takes inertia into account and would explain the relative mass/energy equations as well.
        Expansion is where it's at. Particles are not needed at all to explain either gravity, mass, inertia, or the increase in mass due to acceleration. Gravity moves at the same speed of expansion because it is a direct aspect of expansion.

        December 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      I'll also wait to see your interstellar flying saucer!

      December 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        Yes, you are very polite for one who seeks truth. I am not as stupid as you seem to be so I guess that's all I need from you.
        Thanks for replying. When I want rudeness I can always look you up, right? Thanks.

        December 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Steven Hawking's Wheelchair

      I think Space -Time is expanding in your head......

      December 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • pluto30

      Mann tell me more about it i want to learn more about ur theory sound interesting.... and guess what im 14 yrs old!!!

      December 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • pluto30

      tell me more plz

      December 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Sean

      QST, your words have no meaning the way you're using them. Okay, gravity is "caused by the expansion of space-time" (which doesn't even make sense), but what causes the expansion of space-time? And it is expanding faster than the SOL relative to what? A scientific theory isn't a conjecture–it is a web of connected explanations. The Higgs boson is part of many coherent (unlike your ideas) theories explaining everything from mass to inertia to the way OTHER theories work. You are at best a pompous know-nothing and at worst a psychotic wondering why the world won't recognize his genius. Sorry if I sound dismissive.

      December 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Bart Fargo

      No, you are lumped in with pseudo-scientists precisely because doing an experiment (using existing, non-imaginary technology) to test your theory never crossed your mind. Think of a good one and maybe someone will pay attention to you. Until then enjoy your Albert Einstein fantasy life.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:06 am |
      • QST

        If you hadn't noticed, I am sitting back and letting the LHC do all the heavy lifting here. I base my theories on proven science – that means all those worker bees are already going to test that part of my theories for me.

        If the Higgs boson can be ruled out, then I am that much further along.
        And I fully expect them to rule out the Higgs boson. That is why I posted in the first place.

        As to thinking of current scientific instruments that could be used to test my ideas, I am woefully ignorant of all the new ones that keep coming out these days and would need to talk things over with a real theoretical physicist because they would not only be able to point out the holes in my ideas, they would also be up-to-date on all the latest developments in engineering.
        When they rule out the Higgs boson, I will laugh and celebrate. If they discover the Higgs boson, I will laugh at myself and celebrate the end to the mystery and gear up to modify my theories.
        It's all good.

        December 13, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  45. I'm The Best!

    @ Truth Seeker,
    I did get a minor in physics and have done some reading into particle physics,. quantum physics, and string theory/supersymetry so lets see if I can tackle this...

    How does the Higgs field allow for relative mass?
    Since it is relative mass it has to do with how much energy something has in your reference frame. The faster it's moving, the more mass it has, because it has higher energy. But the object itself sees you as the one with the higher mass/energy. It's similar to momentum but with E=mc^2 helping out.

    How is it not like the old "ether"?
    It wouldn't slow particles down when they travel through the higgs field. The old ether theory was more like how sound traveled through the air with sound traveling faster in one direction than the other if there is a wind.

    That's the part I don't understand. How does it work with relativity theory?
    Explained to the best of my ability above.

    Is the Higgs field stronger around black holes?
    No, black holes are... weird. A Neutron star is a dead star that almost collapsed into a black hole but was just not quite big enough, having the acceleration on the surface of the star close to 0.99C. These act that way because of the super-dense iron that they're made of. If it becomes any more dense, it creates a black hole. The higgs field doesn't get stronger, it just has the same effect as it did on the neutron star, just on an infinitely small area.

    Why should it change for moving bodies and if it doesn't isn't there an absolute field then?
    I think I've explained it in a way that you see it doesn't really change for moving bodies. This would mean that there is an absolute field.

    I think this is all good physics. Like I said though, I'm no expert, learning more about physics is more of my hobby than anything else.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      But the particle is traveling though 'A field" – not 'MY field". How does it get "more mass/energy" if mass is only determined relative to speed in THIS field (that supposedly has nothing to do with me)? The particle and field don't seem to have relative velocities (at least I can't intuitively see this). Photons are a little different because they can travel ONLY at the speed of light (in space) – which is what gave rise to relatively theory in the first place. Particles can travel at any velocity less than light. The physics of photons and particles with mass are different (at least in this way).

      Einstein said there was NO absolute ANYTHING (except maybe space-time itself). Is the Higgs equivalent to space itself then? Still not getting (or buying) it yet. Will accept it when they actually find it!

      December 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
      • I'm The Best!

        From what I've read and understood from string theory is that the higgs field and higgs boson moves through our universe completely differently than any other particle or force. It moves through a seperate spacial dimension than the three we appear to live in. This strange occurance could lead to the field being similar to both a stationary observer and a moving object because of the way it flows through our universe as opposed to in/throughout it.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Oooooohhhh...Kkkkkkkk.... ???!!! WOW – that's WAY over my head.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
      • I'm The Best!

        Yea, extra dimensions are a bi tch.

        I'm in the process of reading "Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" by Lisa Randall and that's helping a little. I recommend it.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
      • Not a nerd

        @ Truthseeker: You are a nerd

        December 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
      • guest

        Just want to second the recommendation for "Warped Passages." Prof. Randall does very well with her explanations without watering things down too much.

        December 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  46. OMG

    What if...uh... CAT, really spelled DOG?

    December 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Sean

      It would be cool if cats could spell.

      December 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  47. Truth Seeker

    I hope they DON'T find the Higgs. I don't find it a very satisfying or simple explanation for mass. Actually, it might be a little too simple and "Newtonian-like" to really be true (a kind of particle-specific "friction" to motion?). Guess I'll have to accept it if they find it.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  48. Truth Seeker

    I guess only "nitwits" comment here! – QED!!!

    December 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • QuantumSpinTopology

      The irony of your post is sad. When will you start being polite? You seem a sad example of posters here if that's the sort of thing you like to say to people. Why not go somewhere where you can be rude to some purpose? Go to 4chan or something. I hear they like rudeness there. You'd fit right in.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • JJohn

      I guess you fit right in with the rest of them then.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  49. Lyle Burwell

    Thinking of mass as something that objects “have” leads to fuzzy thinking about other things. Mass is a scale of measurement: specifically, it is a measurement of inertia, which is best defined as resistance to change. When we stop thinking about mass as a characteristic and instead think about the characteristic mass measures, the question “Why do the building blocks of our world have mass?” becomes “Why do the building blocks of our world resist change?” If there is no change (an impossibility), there is no time as time is, like mass, a scale of measurement. The characteristic that time measures is, of course, change.
    If space is expanding, then the direction of space is outward. If time is relative, then the direction of time in inward. It is asserted that space and time are aspects of a singular phenomenon: spacetime. This suggests that the phenomenon of Now is spacetime turning inside out and further suggests mass does not warp space so much as it is warped space, or more precisely: mass (resistance to change) is folded spacetime. Gravity, then is not to be found in a particle but rather is a product of the attenuation of outward-bound space encountering inward-bound time, creating the folds described as strings in string theory.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • clearfog

      Now make a testable prediction.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Lyle Burwell

        I just did. The Higgs boson is a mis-interpretation of existing results and doesn't exist. The testing of this hypothesis is underway in the Large Hadron Collider. I don't have a dog in this hunt I'm not emotionally invested in the outcome, as others in this form seem to be. Just calling it as I reason it.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • clearfog

        Where or how will it be found. A scientfic thoery is based upon what will happen, not what another theory predicts will not happen. It is no different than theorizing that E=mc2 will be proven wrong. That is a near certaintly. But what replaces it? You have to make a prediction that something will happen, not that something will not happen.

        December 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      Protons don't change – they have a half-life of at least 6.6×10 to the 33 years – MUCH longer than the age of the universe or even it's lifespan (so your statement that things MUST change is incorrect!). Therefore, time is pretty inconsequential for protons and some other particles (so essentially time doesn't exist for them). Nice that you think about this stuff but you have to not get carried away with your own musings (unless you're prepared to crack the math and physics books for several years).

      December 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • Lyle Burwell

        Change of position in space is change. This doesn't even take into account the internal motion of all subatomic particles. Every particle and all objects in the physical universe are in motion at all times.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        The photon is not changing. Time doesn't exist for the unperturbed photon. Yes you can define some relative measurements that change – but that's just part of what "time" is – not a complete explanation, since positions (and lots of other things) are time-reversible. In fact, if the universe only had 3-4 protons (or even 1000) in it, you couldn't tell that time existed, or define it as having a "direction"!!

        December 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Meant to say "proton" instead of "photon".

        December 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        You say protons don't change and then say they have a half-life. Well, well, well.

        December 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        @QuantumSpinTopology

        I said AT LEAST – it could be infinite (so NO "half-life")! Anyway that's a long, long, long time (neither you, I, humans, or even the universe will be around by then!).

        December 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  50. I'm The Best!

    I think it's funny the way it's called the "God Particle" but in reality all it's doing is helping to prove the standard model and giving more information for scientists to work with when trying to explain how the universe works. It's the same as if they found any other (currently) theoretical particle. Really neat though.

    Now to just find out more about it and make us some anti-gravity cars/space ships. With anti-gravity space ships we could easily go close to the speed of light.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  51. W

    CNN commentary is mostly by liberal sheep, aka celebrity worshiping hipster fools. What a shock.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • WordUpToo

      jealous much?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Tommy Mack

      Except the right wing tools like you paid by Rove's CROSSROADS GPS to spout crap on forums that have NOTHING to do with the article.

      With that said, go science!

      December 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Primewonk

      6th grade was the best 3 years of his life.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Miss Demeanor

      Yep. Rampant fanboys. That explains why CNN posts at least five pro-Apple 'news' articles a day and at least two that mention Jobs in a good light. Cupertino News Network.

      December 13, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  52. clearfog

    The Higgs particle has mass. The Catholic church has mass. Coincidence? I think not.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  53. scientist

    science is the belief in the ig no rance of "experts"

    December 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  54. fda

    what a gigantic pile of bu ll sh it

    December 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • fda

      Hey everyone I just developed a Carnot cycle, ill blow it out of my a zz here in a second.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  55. AverageRoob

    I just don't want to be on earth when it's destroyed.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • fda

      sh ut up a zz hole it cant blow up because it doesnt exist f a gg o t

      December 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • fda

      im sorry im just getting used to the word fa gg ot as being offensive, i meant gay person

      December 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  56. svann

    Is there no such thing as simultaneity or is there just no proper definition? Einstein said that the only proper definition is one that is testable. He then offered a thought experiment that seemed to be a reasonable method of testing/defining, and showed how that definition could not make sense in light of michelson-morley. In effect disproving his own definition and implying that proved no simultaneity.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  57. Buzz

    At the bottom of this article I get:

    CNN also recommends: "Tori Spelling: At least my breasts looked great"

    Classic.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      Those also have greater mass than most!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • clearfog

      But I thought that mass could neither be created nor destroyed. Wasn't the mass of Tori's breasts created, in part?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  58. ethan_fisher

    i'm glad lindsay lohan managed to find her purse.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  59. dlh111

    Truly exciting stuff. Regarding the more political side of things: One thing I haven't picked up on, either from the article or comments, is whether or not there are any practical implications in the near future. The lack of any suggestion of practical applications suggests there are none at this time.

    I'm all for the advancement of science. However, with the world's economy the way it is, we need to be thinking practical. For now at least, CERN and organizations like this really should be privately funded.

    Exciting stuff to be sure, but my guess is extremely limited practical applications in the near future. Heck, we still don't know how to control fusion in a practical fashion (other than a bomb); I'd have to believe something as difficult to detect as Higgs boson will prove equally difficult to manipulate/ control. Of course, what do I know; manipulating Higgs boson particles may prove to be what it takes to control a fusion reaction.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      We lose BILLIONS to corruption every year, not to mention the 40 billion we hand out to the energy companies each year! Focus on THOSE wastes of money first, then we can worry about paying physicists $70K/year to learn about how our universe works and is put together. By the way, the 'Mona Lisa' has NO "practical uses" either (unless you want to use it to start a fire). But I'll give you $100 for the Mona Lisa any day!! Your and many others priorities seem to be messed up. Go to Wall Street first and ask if what they do is worth all that money every year? Spending on science is a small fraction of what it should be (should be at least 5x more).

      December 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • Ace

        Well said. You have clear thinking, something you don't find here. As far as those analogies you don't like, well I don't either. However 1st off the scientists don't fully understand it (yet) either, and unless you have a firm grasp of quantum mechanics (I sure don't – just a flimsy grasp) It may not be possible to reach the level of understanding you want without "Hitting the books" as you say. But dam, I am impressed that you have such a desire to understand. That is so uncommon thees days and it's so refreshing to me that some of us still ask the right questions and have a need to gain knowledge.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Chris Barlow

        Right on.

        December 13, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • tct

      Basic research, exploration and infrastructure ALWAYS create more wealth when pursued with enough intensity and determination.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Too bad the vast majority of people don't understand this! They seem to prefer the Wall Street hucksters getting $10M in bonuses every year! Don't seem to have a big problem with that.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • dlh111

        That's simply not true. I agree about infrastructure and exploration; however, basic research doesn't always pan out. We always hear about the places where research was successful; however, we don't hear about the thousands of failures that came before it. Frankly, the fusion example is exactly what I'm talking about.

        You're argument would suggest that given time and persistence, we'd find the answer to how to make fusion energy a practical source. The truth is, we've been trying for 35 years to do this, and we're not much further along than we were 35 years ago. We've made lots of advances, yes, that spun off and are useful elsewhere, but the fundamental issue hasn't been resolved yet.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        @dlh111

        On the contrary – "basic research" ALWAYS pans out – it has too! It tells us what are the correct theories and what are not. Now, for the practical uses of this KNOWLEDGE you might have to be pretty patient (like a 100 years!), but eventually this knowledge ALWAYS seems to pay off.

        For over 50 years, quantum mechanics was thought to have absolutely NO practical uses, but now they are talking about (and demonstrating) the possibility of 'quantum computers' and before that quantum theory was essential for understanding how transistors work. They didn't even know what a computer was back when quantum mechanics was developed (well, not electronic ones). That lack of "practical uses" was also true for electricity and magnetism. They didn't understand what magnetism was for hundreds of years – but they put it use anyway (in compasses). That couldn't have been done if someone didn't discover magnetism in the first place and then wonder (for a long time) what it might be useful for (applications didn't happen right away).

        Eventually, all FUTURE "practical technologies" will depend on past "basic research".

        December 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        Truth Seeker, without QED you would not have a computer or thousands of different types of equipment.
        We already use quantum theory and have for decades.
        It is YOU who should read up and learn some real science, since it is clear you did not know these things.
        And you enjoy attacking others like me in your ignorance. Well aren't you a nice person!

        December 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • MC

      Dude, are you serious? Einstein wasn't thinking of "practical applications" for his work, which is the theoretical basis for so much of our tech. The only "practical applications" of the moon race in the heat of those moments were beating the soviets and venerating JFK. What if the Curies were only focus on the practical. Face it – almost all of our technology started with curious people, obsessed with observation and experiment. Knowledge for the sake of learning, exploring and discovering. Working to recognize facets of our universe that would illuminate thins like string theory – understanding the nuts and bolts of the universe at that scale – you really can't imagine practical tech coming from that? IF so, your imagination is really quite limited.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • dlh111

        Of course I understand this. However, unless you've haven't been paying attention to the world around us today, there's an economic crisis going on. I'm definitely not stating we shouldn't continue researching.

        The truth is, when times are hard, we need to start thinking about practical matters, and that projects like CERN and others similar should be funded via private donations vs. being funded by governments.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Chris Barlow

        Absolutely wrong. It would be like a farmer saying "lets not plant any seed this year because times are hard and we should feed ourselves first. Lets plant seed when we have an abundance of seed, but not now".

        December 13, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • TonyNVA

      Oh absolutely. Let's suspend all fundamental research until the practical concerns are all addressed.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • mdmann

      I'm sorry, but what you suggest is just crazy. We should halt all government funding of basic research until all economic problems are resolved? What is the criterion by which we determine there to be no economic problems such that basic research can continue? Who gets to make that decision?

      You contradict yourself when you talk about the quest for fusion not paying off but admit that other things have come out of that work. Just because people have been working on fusion for "35 years" and haven't yet figured it out doesn't mean that it isn't worthwhile to pursue it. It may be that there are other technological advances that need to be overcome before fusion can be "solved." Where do you think those advances would come from? My guess is that they'd likely be spun out of work towards fusion. So, in your scenario, the critical technological advances would not happen unless many private investors decided to fund such, and if that didn't happen, the potential of fusion would never be realized, and any spin-off technologies would also never materialize.

      How exactly does that help anyone?

      It is appropriate for governments to fund basic research because the average person can not be counted on to understand just how important this type of work is. Most of what you take for granted in your daily life was made possible by scientific research of this type. Unless you are willing to give it all up, you need to consider a bit more carefully how we ensure that such research continues.

      Put another way, if research should be funded only by private investors, why should anyone who doesn't invest in it get to reap any benefits of it? I say they shouldn't.

      December 13, 2011 at 3:26 am |
  60. Buzz

    The answer is 42.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • us1776

      42 is just as valid as the imaginary Higgs.

      .

      December 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  61. cpc65

    The particals are shapped like really tiny Lego blocks.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  62. 2bits

    Actually they just discovered that Tebow is the god particle and that after Tebow wins Super Bowl XLVI god plans to make a rare showing and kneel before Tebow.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  63. Dawkins

    who turned on the lights? nobody here but us atheists.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  64. TonyNVA

    For the Scott's, Annie's and other lesser lights gathered, know this: We are all ignorant to a greater or lesser extent, but there should be no pride in it. Anyone can call you stupid, but it shouldn't be you that proves it for them.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  65. Chuck Creig

    Yet they still can figure out a cure for baldness...

    December 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      We could put your head in that accelerator and see what happens!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • postfail

      They also can't make spell check realize what you should have said, only what it thinks you wrote...so what is your point???

      December 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
      • Leprakawn

        @postfail:

        Or Truth Seeker could simply use Firefox (or Opera, if I remember correctly) because those are loaded with spell check.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  66. Dave

    WOW, so I just finished reading "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown, Ive seen the movie and Hollywood tends to cutt things out sometimes, anyways, in the book he speaks about "The God particle" and this scientific research facility called "CERN." It just makes me wonder if they have already created "anti-matter" which could be used in warfare and is much more powerful then nuclear weapons. And could this lead to an even more epic battle between Religion and Science, when you refer to a "God particle" that can be harnessed by men?... i think this could be something we might all want to take as something more serious then just a great scientific break through... not that I am some sort of religious fanatic with a one sided mind

    December 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Schmedley

      Uh no, that is not what the "God particle" is. The term "God particle" was coined by the press. In a nutshell, finding the Higgs boson would confirm physicists' theories about the Higgs field, how the universe formed and why mass has inertia.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jesse from KC

      Wow...

      You need to lay off the sci-fi for a bit. They are currently producing anti-matter in a few facilities, but the rate of production is somewhere in the 5-10 nanograms (1/1 billionth of a gram) per year. A single gram of anti-matter will produce roughly 2-3 Hiroshima bombs worth of energy.

      It will be millions of years at the current rate of production before anti-matter weapons are possible, both due to the difficulty in production and the cost of storing it. Even if they 100x the production, it will still take more than our childrens' children life time to make an amount that could possibly be weaponised.

      Please, please, PLEASE understand the difference between a work of fiction (Dan Brown novels) and science. The idea of weaponised anti-matter in our lifetime is roughly equivalent to the idea of time-travel or faster-than-light travel happening in our life-time. It's NOT going to happen.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • Dave

        This is why I am merely saying "I wonder" did you not read my post clearly? Geez it is just a comment, not saying they have created enough to actually use in a massive scale attack... all I said was I read a book and all of a sudden this is what comes onto my computer screen this a.m. It was basically a coincidence, relax dude...

        December 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Tommy Mack

      Dan Brown is a great writer of fiction, and anyone with a precursory knowledge of current scientific events can draw upon them to make a story more credible. Unfortunately, the LHC was not in operation when he wrote that book, nor do we have the ability to "contain" antimatter. There is no "war" between religion and science, just people using religion as a weapon against other people for various reasons (including denying scientific fact). "Science" is benign... application can be deadly, but to say science is at war is like saying the color green is wide.... it makes no sense.

      With that said, I loved Angels and Demons. Great story!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
      • Dave

        I completely agree... it was an amazing story. Although, in my "own personal opinion" not that my opinion matters, just saying I would have to disagree, I think there is a huge difference between science and religion (could it be an epic warfare) possibly. But even then science has always been attacked by religious people as well as people (science) trying to prove religion is scientific. So I guess in some way shape or form, they have been fighting. I do believe science and religion do share common traits though that combined would be a cataclysmic affect.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • Joseph

        Rediculous, Dave. Science and Religion don't even ask the same questions. Science asks how; religion asks why.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Goedin

      Consider hitting Google and/or wikipedia

      December 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
      • Dave

        been there done that... thank you!

        December 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Hmmm, Dave doesn't know about the Higgs boson and has no knowledge of antimatter, but he's engineering weapons of mass destruction with those "forces", or whatever they are. Dude, this is a science story, not a science-fiction story!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • Dave

        and dude it was just a comment that was not intended to get science personnel worked up... not that it matters. I just expressed something I wanted to share... a mere coincidence I read this book pertaining to some of the topics of this article, not a big deal. So dont get your protons and neurons in a bunch... pardon the humor.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  67. palintwit

    And in another related story, physicists studying at the prestigous Sarah Palin University ( Floyd County, Arkansas campus ) have discovered new methods of making really cool stuff out of Lego blocks.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • steelerfuin

      The dimwitted (pencil in palintwit) will go to any extreme to disparage someone even though they are not remotely related to the article at hand. Shameful and pathetic.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
      • palintwit

        Bought her books and didn't like them, huh.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • mdmann

        I didn't find that to be very extreme–about as extreme as walking out the front door. Palin makes it extremely easy for people to disparage her. It's almost as if she has dedicated her life to setting herself up as the punchline for a joke.

        December 13, 2011 at 3:34 am |
  68. john

    Could the god particle save the Euro?

    December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  69. Central Control

    Let the GOP candidates sort it out in the next (is it the 22nd one already?) debate! Perry and Bachmann would be highly enlightening, ahhh, I mean entertaining.....

    December 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  70. Truth Seeker

    How is motion related to mass and what is this motion relative to? How is motion determined relative to the Higgs field and if a particle is not moving relative to the Higgs field, why would it have ANY mass? Is there only one Higgs field, or one for every particle?

    December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  71. Kishore

    If it has mass, it will have a substructure (as in composed of something else) which means it can further be broken down. So, question is, what is the Higgs Boson made up of?

    December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      That's a good one but if it really is the "God particle" then probably it can't be broken down further (and besides could take a thousand years to find out answer to that one).

      December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
      • dkhouston

        Have Faith.....

        December 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Michael500ca

      That is not correct Kishore. Just because a particle has a mass does not mean it is made up of smaller particles. Electrons and neutrinos have small masses, but they cannot be broken down further. In fact only the Hadrons (Baryons (Protons and Neutrons) and Mesons) are made up of smaller particles. I hope that helps.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Is it known why? Does String theory explain this (or do they "make it" explain this)?

        December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
      • Kishore

        Not so sure about that Michael; that's what they used to think about the atom (indivisible) but obviously that turned out to be false.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • WhatWhatWhat?

        It is known why...it's because those particles are "elementary" and cannot be further subdivided, that's all.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  72. Bubba

    Stop calling it the God Particle. It freaks out the crazies and it has nothing to do with religion. It may even turn out to be the tip of the iceberg and lead us to hundreds of even smaller particles, all made out of even smaller ones, which are in turn made of . . . .

    December 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • larlarme

      maybe we can blow it up and figure out what particles it's made of

      December 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Ace

      I agree. I's a stupid name but what else can you expect from the media..

      December 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  73. Tom

    Too bad that only science needed to further the process of blowing things up can get funding of this magnitude.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Ace

      Speaking of blowing things up: Our military spends more in a year on thees stupid wars than this whole project costs.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  74. Neno Svatt

    This particle they seek is in fact an itty bitty tiny black hole. And whole universes are nothing but a hole on its side, You could say they are wholey holey.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • zeeba

      ...and if you've got a donut with a hole bitten in it, it's a holey whole hole. And it just plain isn't.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  75. Truth Seeker

    How does the Higgs field allow for relative mass? How is it not like the old "ether"? That's the part I don't understand. How does it work with relativity theory? Is the Higgs field stronger around black holes? Why should it change for moving bodies and if it doesn't isn't there an absolute field then? I just don't get any of this explanation of mass.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bubba

      That's why they want to catch one and put salt on its tail.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Not helpful !

        December 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Bugmenot

      A good place to start is for you to acquire a fundamental understanding of Physics 101.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        I HAVE a physics degree – stupid! Answer the questions if you have the answers!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        This has little to do with Physics 101! The Higgs is not supposed to be just like OTHER fields.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
      • Bugmenot

        Try E=mc squared. Mebbe even Newton's 3rd Law

        December 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Clearly you have ZERO understanding of physics! Don't even know the relevant buzz words/equations to use! You're just poser.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • Bugmenot

        Energy is neither created nor distroyed, only altered in form duh.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Bugmenot

        Truthseeker, I truly do believe you are inflatulated.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        @Bugmenot

        What a joke!!!!!!!! What do those well known "factoids" have to do with the discussions here!? Is that all you got??? Go back to the eight grade first, before trying to comment here!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
      • Leprakawn

        @Bugmenot:

        "Try E=mc squared. Mebbe even Newton's 3rd Law"

        How about this instead? Try E=mc². Maybe even Newton's 3rd Law.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • Leprakawn

        Truth Seeker:

        Eighth grade... And sadly, that is probably where most of the comments come from if not down a level or two.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
      • QuantumSpinTopology

        I seriously doubt that Truth Seeker actually has a degree in physics.
        How about some proof, Truth Seeker? I haven't seen much to support this assertion of yours.

        December 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Shane

      Quit trolling. Do you honestly expect for someone who has those answers to be not only reading this article, but to also be reading the comments section? Plus, if you have a degree in Physics you should be better equiped/connected to figure these answers out yourself or know someone who could tell you more instead of posting these questions and arguing with people on the cnn comment section to try and show how smart you are. So again, for the cheap seats, stop trolling.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        They're just basic questions that usually don't come up, or aren't normally answered. If you know the answers please tell me – if not – then SHUT UP!!!

        December 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      What are the answers – genius??? And anyone who talks like you CERTAINLY doesn't know enough to even comment here!

      December 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Ace

      My understanding is that the higgs interacts with some particles more than others. The ones it interacts with more have more mass. Other particles do not interact with the higgs as much (electron nutrino) or not at all (photon) so they have little or no mass. Why it is this way I don't know and I think that's one of the things that they are trying to figure out. The higgs field has a greater than zero lowest state. As far as black holes, it not so much the higgs field is stronger there, its because there are so many matter particles that the higgs like to interact with there, giving them mass.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Ace

      Another example was explained to me this way: There is a hall full of paparazzi with cameras and mics. (the Higgs field) A non famous person like me walks down the hall and the reporters mostly ignore me so i have low mass. However if Lindsay Lohan walks by, they glom on her, slowing her down because they like to "interact" with her.. Giving her more mass than me.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Those are exactly the kinds of analogies I DON'T like! Seems really a kind of "fabricated explanation" to me. I guess if they DO find it though, I'll have to try harder to understand it all. Not trying all that hard yet!

        December 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      Why the hell do you keep positing things/throwing questions out there, and then act like a complete d!ck to anyone who answers?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Only Ace has tried to answer them – you haven't !!!

        December 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  76. Mike

    This is pretty amazing stuff. I didn't think I'd see such things in my lifetime.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Scott

      I think it's pathetic that these scientists are wasting trillions of dollars in a hopeless attempt to disprove God's existence. Think about all of the good things that they could do with that money to help humanity. Instead, they are wasting it on a futile attempt to disprove their Creator.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        yeah thats what they are doing, uh huh, certainly......meanwhile, back in the real world.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
      • TruthBeKnown

        Scott, Dude you need to understand what science is before typing stuff. They are not trying to disprove god or anything....they are just trying to find the truth, which is science is all about. Science has always made are lives better.......imagine your life without electricity.........if we never had known about atoms and electrons???

        December 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • TonyNVA

        They didn't have to spend any money on "the god doesn't exist" project. I already knew.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
      • VTCitizen

        What? You mad bro' ?

        December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
      • Andrew

        Scott, these scientists are not spending trillions of dollars, and they are not out to disprove god. The politicians decided this sort of research was worth spending billions on (with a B, not a T), and I find it difficult to think of anything more worthwhile than knowing the fundamental structure of existence and of the universe. If you give up on research, then you give up on new knowledge, and then you give up on the future.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
      • Schmedley

        "A cynic knows the cost of everything, but understands the value of nothing." – Oscar Wilde

        December 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
      • Clos

        Yeah, you're right... and the sun revolves around the earth.... which is flat, by the way.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • Michaeltantino

        Scott, you are silly.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • Vince

        I think Scott was having a little fun. Boy, you guys are too bright....lighten up Francis'

        December 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
      • Joebofett

        Scott, people like you are the reason I have such a hard time ever taking religious people seriously.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • Ace

        You are obviously very confused & brainwashed. My sympathy. Science is about finding answers, finding the truth about the universe and how it works. It's not its job to disprove anything, especially fairy tales. They have much better things to do.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
      • Dan in Seattle

        Contrary... it doesn't disprove the Creator. It simply shows he is the greatest scientist there is.

        December 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Scott, are you stupid? That's not what they are doing at all. The existence or non-existence of the boson postulated by Dr.Higgs has nothing to do with God's non-existence. "God Particle" is a name some journalist came up with to upset people like you.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  77. JohnRJ08

    Ultimately, when scientists zero in on this "unimaginably small particle", they will discover that the so-called God Particle is really Michele Bachmann's brain.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      That's so mean. She's real person and a mom ya know.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
      • zeeba

        Big deal. So is Kate Gosselin.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Tim in MN

      Beautiful! Just beautiful!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • palintwit

      FACT: Michele Bachmann's husband tried and he tried and he tried, but he couldn't pray away his own gay.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • YBP

        Barbarian!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  78. keith

    You can not create a exlposion or black holes with this LHC.... particals from space hit the upper atmosphere everyday with higher energies. its been happening a long time........ we're still here.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • us1776

      Even if a small blackhole would be created it could take 4 billion years for it to cause any problem. Earth will be gone by then by burnout of the Sun.

      .

      December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
      • boy1der

        What does not exist is your fundamental grasp of the English language....

        December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
      • us1776

        boy1der, then maybe you should try another language translator. I understand Google Translator works fairly well.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  79. us1776

    The Higgs is a figment of physicists overactive imaginations.

    The Higgs does not exist.

    What does exist is errors in our current understanding of the universe.

    .

    December 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      Wow! Profound!! Erudite!! Do you have a lecture series you can send us?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • HU

      You should have shown your evidence to CERN for 1 billion dollars before they spent 10 billion on the LHC. You also would have won numerous prestigious awards for your phenomenal scientific knowledge.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Dan

      Your proof please...

      December 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • BlogsRHillarious

      Really, how so?
      What concrete evidence do you have that proves they are ALL wrong and you are right?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • sg

      you cannot prove that something does not exist

      December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
      • stvnkrs10

        Kind of like Justin Beiber really being a male? lol

        December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
      • samiam

        pffft!
        not true!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • marcus

        like god?

        December 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • HanzJager

        Scientists don't need to prove something doesn't exist? It is up to the person making the claim something exists to prove it does.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Webrydr

      Aren't physicists SUPPOSED to be imaginative? They basically sit around thinking, drawing on whiteboards and criticizing each other's work. And they get enormous salaries for that. Not a bad gig if you ask me.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Ace

        "They basically sit around thinking, drawing on whiteboards and criticizing each other's work"
        YES! That's exactly how science is supposed to work! Unlike religion, where there is no room for improvement by questioning the norm, scientists question every thing, hammer it out, go before their peers, test and experiment, and be willing to throw the whole thing out and start over if it does not past muster.

        December 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      "What does exist is errors in our current understanding of the universe." And that's why they want to prove or disprove the existence of Higgs' boson. You aren't actually a rocket scientist, I suppose?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ryan

      I don't have to know anything about the Higg's particle to know your an idiot.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • scientist

      Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  80. James

    The really smart people who can actually understand what is going on and make intelligent comments really need their own country....Too many people commenting on here are obviously lower life forms.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      As in lacking any intelligence?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
      • Independent from NH

        Precisely.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dr. Roger Breherd

      I thinking Higgs be untrue in universe. Watch dry paint be wet in time, Higgs be noticed at coldest ocean floor.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
      • larlarme

        "I thinking Higgs be untrue in universe. Watch dry paint be wet in time, Higgs be noticed at coldest ocean floor."

        Yeah, what he said...

        December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • VTCitizen

      Amen.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  81. TenLou

    These guys are looking in the wrong place for the answers. Look within.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • dallastexas

      Fox News?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
      • TonyNVA

        Too funny. Farleigh Dickinson University did a poll in NJ. Conclusion: Those who named Fox as their news source were less informed than all other sources, including those who said they didn't have a principal news source.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • james

        LOL

        December 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • sugartaste81

      Ah! I KNEW my intestines carried the secret to life.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Again, they aren't looking for "god." They are looking for a boson predicted by the equations of a Dr Higgs. Some people call it the 'god particle' because it seems as hopeless as actually looking for evidence of god's existence. Get it?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Aminotothat!

        I believe the term God Particle was actually created to infer the Higgs Boson would shed light on the creation of the universe and potentially show how something can indeed come from nothing, without the need for a creator. While this will not disprove the existence of God, it may give us a scientific reason for how it all began and finally pull some of the credit away from the always mysterious God. Maybe this will finally put Gods' massive ego in check. – Aminotothat!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • AG

      I found him, he plays quarterback for the Broncos!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  82. Annietoo

    This Large Hadron Collider has always been incredibly annoying IMO. I'm really glad it wasn't built here in the USA, at least some people here used "logic and reason" to get rid of an overpriced oversized gadget that can't really do anything. Scientists go ON about how exciting this is... I think they need a huge dose of "logic and reason" to understand they've wasted a zillion dollars on something that won't do anybody any good. I've never heard anything about this Large Hadron Collider that tells us what BENEFITS for mankind will come from their experiments. Until they can start saying some things that sound LOGICAL and REASONABLE and PRACTICAL to explain WHY they're doing these experiments, I can't help but believe it's all a big con. They've got this lingo that makes it sound as if they're going to understand the beginning of all things if they actually find the Higgs boson. Typical sales job.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      Well Annie here's a absolute fact you can bank. If they decide to search for logic and reason they will never find you.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • Name?

        Nice. I couldn't quite put it into words, but you managed it. Good day to you word smith!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Will

      well its like this, I bet when Newton started work on his theory of gravity the same type of comments were made, same goes for the people who studied the eye and computers. Just because it will not benefit you directly does not make the science any less valid. The idea of figuring out what gives everything mass could easily help us develop technology like Deflector shields and dampining fields to lower a spaceships mass to travel to other stars, as some have theorized. We dont know what it might achieve. We may be able to create floating cities.. we dont know, you cant ignore scientific research because you think it doesnt benfit you. 100years from now we could be looking back as a species on this and asking why anyone would have been against it

      December 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • SciDefender

      You have a very poor understanding of how science, research, and technology work. It's physics research, the same kind of research responsible for almost all of medical imaging, lasers, computers, etc. that have made our world one where people don't have to carry spears to get their own food and can instead sit at home and watch TV.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      You know America also helped fund it right?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Alex

      Wow Annie, just wow lol

      December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      You have to understand SOMETHING about science before you can criticize it.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Paul

      If you don't like science, stop using it. Go isolate yourself somewhere remote, and benefit not from any synthetic materials, or knowledge you have gained since birth. Even throwing a spear at a certain angle to land it at a certain place requires an understanding of physics. You owe your existence to science, and if you don't appreciate it, just go jump in the middle of the ocean and pray.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Mark

      Well, then, can I have your share? Because what they are doing makes sense to me.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Talgrath

      Whatever piece of technology you wrote this comment on came about largely due to advances that were first in the realm of theoretical physics, which were then put into applied physics once proven true. Advances from the Large Hadron Collider may result in improvements in microchips, for example, that run the very device you used to post your ignorant comment on this blog.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Annie, are you seriously trying to claim that anything YOU don't understand is useless? Honey, grownups do a lot of things that are hard to explain. You'll learn about some of them when you're older, but right now just watch and see if you can learn something.

      December 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  83. Peter

    This will do wonders for unemployment, child hunger, and corruption that plagues this country. Way to go boys! Solving important things. Keep on creating technology that will eventually replace the need for human workers.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      Help has been summoned Pete. Stay where you are and try to remain calm.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • PR

      wow, did you read this article? First paragraph: European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN

      December 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • dallastexas

      No doubt the same folks said the same about the moon landing, one of the most significant moments in human history. But hey, lets never try, right?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Albatross

      Peter, do you like pumpkins?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Matt

      I'm sure there were shortsighted troglodytes who said the same thing about electricity, electro magnetism, calculus, quantum mechanics, computers, etc.

      Don't worry man, even though you can't comprehend what may come about from future discoveries, I'm sure the scientists will still let you play with the new toys they invent.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • keith

      think back when electricity was discovered... wow! you made a spark, hows that going to help old man tucker plow his field or keep us warm through the winter.

      there is a balance... and yeah, this LHC is a bit $$$$.... but as always, it will be worth it.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Robyn

      When Queen Victoria asked Faraday what good was
      electricity, he reportedly replied, "Madam, what good
      is a baby?" He could not possibly have imagined the
      practical uses that would come of electricity and
      magnetism.

      We don't know today what practical applications will
      come100 years from now from this work today. But
      if history demonstrates anything it is that we will have
      longer, more meaningful, more interesting lives because
      ot basic reseach just like this.

      A "better" world, by any way of defining the words.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
      • Independent from NH

        Well said!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dan

      Bread and Circuses, that's all we need right?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        no circuses. clowns are scary.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • VTCitizen

      I suppose we should just leave it all to Jesus, right Pete?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      We give the oil companies 40 times this much every year!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • james

      WAC
      What a creep !!!!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Pete, you are alarmingly conservative. What good was van Leeuwenhoek's microscope? How about that crazy nut Lister trying to kill invisible bugs on doctors' hands? And those Wright Brothers, why can't they just stick to making bicycles?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  84. b

    I have an extremely rudimentary understanding of most things science. With that disclaimer, isn't it possible that continuing these experiments and colliding these particles at faster and faster speeds, releasing more and more energy, could eventually result in some cataclysmic explosion or something? Not trying to start a science fight here, just genuinely curious. THis seems dangerous to me

    December 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • skytag

      Apparently thousands of people with much more than a rudimentary knowledge of these things don't share your concern.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • VTCitizen

        Hey hey, he is asking the question. That's all. And it's a valid question that was asked by those very same people with more than a rudimentary understanding.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Actually VTCitizen no it wasnt asked by those that had more understanding. They usually just rolled their eyes at the question when put to them.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • zeeba

      These experiments don't release huge amounts of energy, they concentrate huge amounts of energy into a small space. You've basically got a machine the size of a mountain pumping all its power into a handful of subatomic particles, which then collide at very high energy levels. But, unlike fission or fusion, you don't get more energy out of the process than you put into it.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Tony L.

      At the level they are doing this, it's not that dangerous. The energy level is only to produce subatomic particles that otherwise are elusive in nature. It is no more dangerous than a nuclear power plant, even less so because it is run at those power levels for relatively short amounts of time.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      This has been considered and rejected by people who have degrees in particle physics, and accepted by people who have no degrees or non-science degrees. Some of the latter also blame scientists for causing global warming by adding an extra hour of daylight via Daylight Savings Time.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Smart Pigmy

        Daylight Savings Time is the root of all evil!

        December 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • NTesla

      Hey, any of you guys ever work around engineers and physicists? Did you ever hear any of them say "That could never happen"? I have, these guys are full of themselves and crap!

      December 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • b

      Thank you to everyone who addressed my question in a respectable manner, and to all of the other folks who just couldn't resist the urge to post their condescending comments ... I just hope some day I can be as knowledgable as you are in every area of scholastic enrichment, you're obvoiusly all geniuses and that I just hope that some day you find me worthy

      December 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Buster Bloodvessel

        Study hard. Think about it this way: they designed equipment to test a theory, meaning they have a good idea of what's going to happen. They aren't just mixing chemicals and saying "Duh, I wonder what this will do." Buildings have blueprints, etc.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Kevin

      14 Trillion electron volts sounds like a huge amount of energy. But it really isn't.

      For instance, the kinetic energy of a flying mosquito is about 1 Trillion electron volts.

      December 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Alien8

      I have an extremely rudimentary knowledge about cooking, but isn't it possible that if you mixed flour with yeast and then heated it, it could explode with incredible force and destroy the entire town? We'd better turn off our stoves and pray for aliens with superior technology to bring us baking powder before there's a disaster.

      December 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Burrwick

      I have an extremely rudimentary understanding of most things automotive. With that disclaimer, aren't we taking a huge risk by installing computers in car engines? What if they decide not to let us drive them and take over the world and eat our babies? I'm scared.

      December 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • Dingleburt

        I don't know much about science, but I saw some scientists on the late movie who brought a zombie back to life. This is all very distressing and I want all the science to just stop.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  85. Bob S

    Arghhhh, good article till you got to "string theory". For those with a skeptical bent, check out Peter Woit's "Not Even Wrong" blog at Columbia.edu. Or better yet, pick up his book by the same name. Or, if you prefer happy mysticism , feel free to go read Greene or Kaiku.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      I've always thought that the fact that 'string theory' fits some of the observed facts means that we need a better theory. Something's going on, but I wouldn't bet on 'strings.'

      December 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  86. Kishore

    How did the God particle (Higgs Boson) acquire mass?

    December 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • WordUpToo

      owwww...my brain hurts

      December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • PushingBack

      It's very fast and always on the move so it only eats fast food.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Hey You

      It was in Gen 1:3, right after light "and let my particle have mass" – but those words have been supressed since they were not understood when the Bible was compiled.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Kevin

      The Higgs didn't "acquire " mass. The Higgs IS mass.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  87. Laura

    exciting

    December 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  88. WiseScience

    There is NO GOD. Therefore, there is no GOD particle.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • dobbie gillis

      for you there is an agnostic particle...we're not sure what it's made of or how much it weighs!

      December 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Russ

      Yes, there is! Ahhh, it appears we've reached a stalemate. Good game, sir!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • not sure if confused or troll

      You realize that "god particle" is a tongue-in-cheek term, right? No one is suggesting that this particle is literally a fragment of god. In fact the existence of a "god particle" would only serve to benefit materialist arguments against the existence of a supernatural creator.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  89. palintwit

    And in a related story, behavioral scientists studying at the prestigous Sarah Palin University ( Floyd County, Arkansas campus ) have determined that when a female teabagger mating with a male teabagger results in a spawn, that spawn is called a baggette.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • WordUpToo

      hee hee good one

      December 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      Is that just a theory, or do you have real evidence? It sounds reasonable though.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • PushingBack

      Maverick baguette?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • ObamaTwit

      ........I guess you didn't hear what happens when two Occupiers breed? You get an Obama Voter that feels the world owes them something.......Silly Progressive

      December 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • VTCitizen

        Go outside and play with your monster truck. The grown-ups are talking in here.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
      • ObamaTwit

        Really VT..........Grown Ups??? More like a I hate God and I have my fingers stuck in my ears party. Dope!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Buster Bloodvessel

        Really, you think this is about god. Wow.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • not sure if confused or troll

        Obanatwit: you can't hate god if he isn't real.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • cptpooppants

      Unfortunatly the spawn only live for about 2 minutes before the male teabagger eats it.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
      • palintwit

        Typical evangelical behavior.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Buster Bloodvessel

        Or shakes it to death.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  90. JustPlainJoe

    Whatever the news, whatever the realities, it can be assured that the religious fundamentalists will have alot to say. Lets not give further fodder by referring to the Higgs Boson as the "God Particle".

    December 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • WordUpToo

      don't worry, they will all be too befuddled to figure it out, or too busy praising Tim Tebow.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      The "god" particle is not a new name for the Higgs bosun.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • Tim in MN

        Tony: I once knew of a bosu'n named Higgs. He was on my destroyer along with Hadron and Cern, who were both bosu'ns.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  91. Theo

    Nationwide is on your side.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  92. TonyInNYC

    I just wish we lived in a world where a reality show called "Living with The Large Hadron Collider" was more popular than a reality show about attractive young women with low-class sensibilities.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Insight

      You mean a world where EVERYONE had a brain?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • Wootie

        ...and big boobs.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • Truefax

        If everyone had big boobs, that would be VERY creepy.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      You must be a very disapointed person with such high hopes. This is America you know.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • jim

      "...reality show about attractive young women with low-class sensibilities"

      A classic line to be sure

      December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  93. tim

    These are exciting times when science is on the cusp of discovering such details. Thanks to science, we have a deeper understanding of what we are and where we are going. Hopefully, religion will be replaced by logic and reason soon.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Caveat

      Yeah, the more we understand the faster we'll be able to self annihilate.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • TonyNVA

      Elimination of religion is another job killer.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • cptpooppants

      Not bloody likely🙂

      December 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  94. huh

    huh? Higgs Bosom is playing where?

    December 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • duh

      That was Gin Blossom.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Alien8

      I saw Higgs Boson warming up for Metallica in '96. Helluva show.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  95. Leo

    I just saved thousands of dollars on car insurance by switching to Geico.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • WordUpToo

      troll much?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • cptpooppants

      I like turtles.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  96. mr man

    I sure wish they would stop calling the Higgs Boson "The God Particle"... I know people might recognize that term, but it is a total misnomer. No reason the media should propagate ignorance.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • ol cranky

      but the media lives on not only propagating ignorance but ensuring people proudly eschew knowledge altogether

      December 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • iconoclast

        Eschew? Gesundheit!

        December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • WordUpToo

        quit it you're killing me

        December 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Bill Mosby

        I eschew gum.

        Moderation in most things, I usually say.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Steve

      Agreed, that is a stupid name for it and (1) invites religious nuts into the equation and (2) pushes science into a religion. Physics especially can become very religion-like where old theories are tightly held and challenges to the theories sometimes dismissed as crank, just because they challenge the prevailing theory.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Bill

      How about we name the next elusive particle the SATAN particle. That ought to generate plenty of interest by the "religion experts".

      December 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  97. Gingeet

    It will be interesting to hear what they say tomorrow...

    December 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • CantWait

      or maybe not so interesting...

      December 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
      • TonyNVA

        Certainly not to you.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • EightIam

      What is the significance of 8am do you think?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • WordUpToo

        merely creating buzz

        December 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        I would suggest that as this announcement will be made in Europe then 8am EST most likely has no significance.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
      • Miss Demeanor

        It's an infinity sign rotated 90 degrees, not an eight. Obviously we are about to enter the event horizon of the black hole CERN created. Try to keep up. Sheesh.

        December 13, 2011 at 2:00 am |
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