‘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. penny stock prophet weekly alert newsletter

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    July 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
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    April 6, 2012 at 5:13 am |
  3. Doppler

    Sum people exist for their friends, but when the steam starts the vapors also begin. Do you think your friends will rescue you? I have seen friends run even after the rain had ceased. A true friend is like a rock planted deep in an ocean floor. Live and explore for your creator with all means as necessary, don't give up or loose hope for the bad times will come. Have passion of true faith to produce real hope. Understand all frequencies, insert them in your mind. All molecules contained in your body, discover and awaken them and remember them before the fog sets in! Humans have invented many things, like a human torch but who can understand the torch of God, which works in mysteries ways. Who is able to envision it and not get sightless. We have a brain but don't perceive the works of it's power and the hearts of Lions but who can perceive it's abilities and engineering, very complex to understand. Don't let the media and friends rob you and bombard you with empty results, live for yourself, spend time alone, understand yourself first, before you try to understand a program. Don't be distracted from your mission, don't live a blinded life. A blind person is not able to see but is able lead himself well beyond one who is able to see.
    Live your life as a blind person, because you would be searching for the Lord.

    Copyright 2012-V-1-1 הנינג'ה חרב

    January 19, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  4. toadears

    I have a problem with the same type of arrogant, brilliant minds who brought us the bleeding of patients in earlier centuries, the atomic bomb, plutonium, and the invention of thalidimide for pregnant women in the 1960's messing around with this stuff. You absolutely cannot trust them. If they find it, I hope they send it straight into the sun before some unscrupulous war lord decides to use it against people.

    January 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  5. Terry Brookman

    They will never find what they think they are looking for and even if they did they would not recognize it. All true Christan's and Buddhists know exactly what I mean by that statement. The truth of the matter cannot be seen or manipulated by a machine and even if they came up with something useful they would turn it into a weapon, can you see the military passing up a anti-matter bomb the size of a thimble that could take out a city or a hand held neutron laser that could cut a bridge in half.LOL

    December 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  6. Andrew Joseph Sandoval

    as a civilization of civilized people we should remain calm in these days.Our Actions Determine Certain Reactions

    C pack is wise on many things.
    I am pulling for the goód of Mankind.´
    Peacefulness always Defeats Greed and Lawlessness
    Perfect Gentelmen still Exist.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  7. Deliverance

    When you find the nano ship you will find the 'God particle'.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  8. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc,Int'l Intst'r

    I forgot to instruct in above posting to fill the tub about a 1/4 way with water and some dish soap then the bleach.
    theresa noelle younan ymma-iii

    December 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  9. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc,Int'l Intst'r

    A good way to make your own type of instant tye dyeing clothing is to fill the tub 1/4 of the way approx. with some dish soap and about 1/2 a cup of javex or chlorox bleach(don't use generic because they are two watered down and weak usually in strength) and then put the shirts or whatever you want to cloud form tye dye in the water submersed as much as possible and swish it around with your hand to make it get crumpled and wrinkled and bunched in the water. After maybe two hours pull them out rinse and admire before hang drying to see what you've accidently designed or design by surprise. my olive green made a gold clouded tye dye design top. you get some good results. you can of course make knot tying different ways in different parts of the clothing item too but the other system gives good results as well. do red color clothing separately though

    December 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  10. George

    Read the Bible. All you need to know about the universe is contained in the Bible. This is indeed useless science seeking to answer questions that we already have answers to. This is why we must defund big physics in this country.

    December 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Wow.... so where does it mention all the planets in our solar system in the bible... or other galaxies? What about how everything is made up of atoms? And all living creatures on earth have DNA?

      You sir, are the worst kind of idiot.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
      • George

        Have you ever actually physically seen an atom with your own eyes?

        December 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Andrew

        How the hell could you see an atom with your own eyes? If that's the standard you're using for 'proof', then technically you fundamentally cannot see something smaller than 400nm wide, because the light that our eyes can physically see has that wavelength, meaning under that distance scale, so even the best optical microscopes in the world are inherently unable to see smaller than that... a microscope can't see narrower distances than the light it's using to see.

        But! I *have* seen individual atoms... just not optically. What scientists are able to do is to measure interactions between atoms using things like scanning electron microscopes. You send a beam of electrons across a surface and measure the current variations, which change depending on the atomic interactions (carbon, for example, would provide a different current than, say, a gold atom), to build a picture of what you're looking at down to an atom level.

        I remember I was in one of the physics labs one day being given a tour and saw a picture of our school initials written with contrasting atoms taken by a scanning electron microscope, it was pretty cool even if it had no practical use.

        What you people don't seem to get is that people actually do this research, and it's aimed at almost entirely people within physics because frankly, people like you are impossible to deal with. "I can't see no atoms, clearly scientists are all part of a major conspiracy to lie to us, the bible's right, physics wrong, nah nah nah!"

        Physics isn't done with a care in the world for your bible, it's done because physicists tend to like having evidence to support their theories of the universe. You can deny it all you like, but that sounds a lot like you telling a neurosurgeon how to remove a brain tumor because you watched an episode of Gray's anatomy.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • toadears

      Although I read the Bible, I don't have a problem at all with science coexisting with religious beliefs. But when the science community discovered how to split atoms, the knowledge was used to build a device to wipe out Hiroshima. I have a problem with the motives of the people who are funding this science.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  11. I'm The Best!

    Where's the follow-up article about what was actually discussed at this announcement? I want to know!

    December 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Lyle Burwell

    Religion claims to know the will of the Creator. Science only claims to know the mechanics of the creation.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  13. Muhammad

    I have a question for those who insist there's no God and think they're being scientific:
    Can you explain reality? What is the world made of?
    Talking about Higgs boson is a way to mislead people. Even if you knew what the smallest particle was, would you know what this particle was made of? Instead of wasting money on this kind of research (and on wars), help your fellow human beings who are starving or need shelter all over the world.
    Allah's challenge of mankind: "And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning the Spirit; Say: "The Spirit is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little." (Holy Quran)

    December 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Does Allah also say to wallow in ignorance, bury one's head in the sand? One can feed the poor as well as conduct scientific research, the two are not mutually exclusive.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  14. Royce George

    very few comments in such forums talk sense. Rest is all about religion, jokes, trying to prove that one is a smart-ass, racial hatred etc. etc....But I will never stop reading the comments 🙂

    December 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  15. TruthKeeper

    Whatever !!!! You all are a JOKE you so called "experts" or "scientists" can't even predict the next day or couple of days weather right. LIERS !!! Repent !!!!

    December 13, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Judas Priest

      We leave that to the fortune-tellers and other cretins.
      By the way, are you carrying an umbrella today? Why or why not? Just curious.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  16. paisano

    To the atheists here – wonder what goes through your mind, when you're all by yourself, in your room with the door closed, sitting alone in the dark. Do you have peace? Joy? Maybe anxiety, fear, loneliness, and depression. So sad – you are REALLY – all by your little lonesome.

    December 13, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • AGuest9

      I think you're lost. This isn't the Belief Blog.

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

        Lost? Have you tried Hare Krishna?

        December 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Judas Priest

      If I'm alone in the dark with the lights turned off, it means I'm asleep.
      If I'm alone and the lights are NOT turned off, I'm probably reading, if I'm not writing, drawing, sculpting, or building something.
      If I'm not alone and the lights are turned off, it means I'm getting more action than you.
      This doesn't mean I don't think about things. I think all the time. I never stop thinking. What it means is I don't have those moments of paralyzing fear and doubt that you seem to think people need to have, which is probably why I don't have to console myself with fairy tales.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
      • paisano

        >>This doesn't mean I don't think about things. I think all the time. I never stop thinking. What it means is I don't have those moments of paralyzing fear and doubt that you seem to think people need to have<<
        Sounds like DEPRESSION to me – hahahaha.

        December 13, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • Judas Priest

        Thinking equals depression in your experience? I find great joy in thinking, in contemplating the wonder of existence. I hope you find such joy in your ignorance.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • Mark

        Excellent and mirthful riposte ... 🙂

        December 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
      • toadears

        Judas Priest is a rock band of very dubious musical ability with a front singer who cannot sing. They are also very passe' and off the charts now for years. You are a very angry person who is listening to really bad, very angry music. Try some Irving Berlin or George Gershwin.

        January 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • PiracyWorks

      I might have anxiety and fear, but not because I don't believe in God. Look at the world – who in their right mind wouldn't be worried.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  17. John

    Lucky these scientists are not those nasty climate grand global conspiracy type scientists ,they would be called charlatans and worse by the walking clueless if they were.

    December 13, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  18. Bobsy

    Im an atheist and love to read such discussions 😀

    December 13, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • toadears

      OK 🙂

      January 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  19. OhtheIrony

    Its been my experience that MOST physicists are nothing more than intelligent 3rd graders, all raising their hands in unison, desperate to be called on for the answer. Not that they necessarily have the correct one mind you, but moreso to be the one that got to answer the question first. Accuracy is secondary.

    December 13, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • AGuest9

      If accuracy is secondary, why the Five Sigma rule?

      December 13, 2011 at 11:47 am |
      • Andrew

        Because anyone who doesn't understand physics instantly assumes that physicists don't understand physics either. Obviously. The Tevatron had those 3 sigma results for those strange 'ghost particles' about a half-year to a year ago, which proved to be a statistical fluke. At the time, physicists associated with the project were saying 'it's only a 3 sigma result, we can't get too excited, we need to have more certainty before we ever say anything', but since most people don't keep up to date with particle physics research, they assume that physicists have no standard for evidence.

        I just said this, but I like the analogy... often times people criticizing the works of physicists sounds a lot like someone telling a neurosurgeon how to remove a brain tumor because of watching an episode of Gray's anatomy. People assume expertise in something they have no knowledge over.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  20. Science and Logic

    1. I do not believe in Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or any other made up character to explain why things happen.
    2. I'm all for Science and it's explanation of life and evolution. This is money well spent and the more we understand science, space, tiny particles, etc. the longer the Human species will last.
    3. you can pray to your Gods all you want but Scientist are the only ones who actually answer back!

    December 13, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • toadears

      and they are all dead and forgotten. answer that.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  21. Cheeky

    To the editors –
    The only times I can find this blog is when an article appears on the main page or in the Belief Blog.
    If you want better exposure, you might want to get listed in a more prominent way.

    December 13, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  22. EequalsMCsquared

    Energy turning into mass...hmm. Sounds familiar. Sounds like someone needs more grant money.

    December 13, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  23. gary

    Tax churches to pay for science research. Progress is expensive. But imaging if we could manipulate the mass quality of an object. We could put a ship into space easily and move it at the speed of light. Maybe we could send al the god-nuts e.i. evangelicals out of the galaxy en mass.

    December 13, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • toadears

      How incredibly rude you are. I take it you are high school age or younger? I think Islam will enjoy this country tremendously. Could you leave allah ackbar your name and address so they can 'visit' you and help you understand things more clearly? Nah....didn't think so. Attack the ones with the religion that tells them to turn the other cheek, right? OK Rhymes with 'wussy'.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  24. Horus

    God nuts please STFU. The "god particle" is a very poor misnomer made up by sensationalist journalists. The correct term is Higgs boson. This is all supposed to be so exciting! We're living at such an awesome time when we can test very precise mathematical descriptions of reality.

    December 13, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Tanterei

      With the hope that these mathematical descriptions can align with our observed world.

      As was mentioned countless times in many speeches and articles w.r.t. LHC: "It will take at least one more year to get enough data to make precise statements"

      However! Even after this there could still be turnabouts as the LHC is currently running (afaik) only at half-capacity because the connections on some of it's major equipment were poorely soldered.
      Again AFAIK the LHC will be shut down next year (or maybe later) for a longer period to replace the defective connections and then it will run at it's maximum power.

      December 13, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • AGuest9

      Horus, it was because the book publishers wouldn't print "The Godd.amn Particle", as it was referred to, on the cover of the book.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • toadears

      I agree the name choice is poor. It is obviously used to attract attention.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  25. Gethetruth

    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 6:34 am |
    • Andrew

      And you base this on... what, exactly?
      No, really, what on earth makes you say this? Because as far as special relativity is concerned, there are literally only 2 concepts you need to have to grasp to prove it rather explicitly. "The laws of physics are the same in any inertial reference frame", that is to say, Maxwell's equations are as true for me sitting on the couch as they are if I were driving to school. Second, that a^2+b^2=c^2.

      Now, I suppose that's a bit of a cheat, because technically you need some basic vector calculus knowledge to derive c from Maxwell's equations, but really, it's a two step subst-tution process to get the wave equation. With that, basic geometry can give you the lorentz transformations, if you bother to do the derivations yourself.

      So I sit here trying to figure out how such simple intuitive concepts could be so wrong, according to you. What do you base this off of? A profound knowledge of physics? Likely not.

      Want to know the reason why people don't challenge special relativity, just like they don't challenge evolutionary biology? Not because scientists don't have the courage, but because observations fit with predictions.

      As far as special relativity is concerned, without it, quantum field theory is pretty much impossible. So are you saying that my professors have all been lying to me, their experiments really are nonsense and they pretend the results work? Really... gee, I'm about to graduate with a bachelor of science in physics, one would suspect that somewhere along the line one of them might have mentioned that to me. Or is this conspiracy something only graduate students are told about? Or do you need to be a post-doc to be let in on this dirty little secret of observations not fitting predictions? Professor? Fellow? Just how does this conspiracy propagate without anyone slipping up?

      I should note that Einstein's work was necessary just because the previous theory we had, the eather, did not fit with observations. It was destroyed by experiments like Michelson-Morley's. So then please, enlighten me, where did you get your information that relativity is inherently flawed, and there is no four dimensional spacetime? Where did you get your information about evolution?

      Why is it that the most misinformed are generally the first to deny science. "I don't believe this theory because I don't like what it says! No, I've never really studied it in depth, but I still say it's wrong!"

      I'm just waiting for planes to crash thanks to misaligned GPS signals because the relativistic corrections for their internal clocks is really a whole bunch of nonsense. Or for people to learn about subjects they're resoundingly rejecting, but pft, that seems far more unlikely.

      December 13, 2011 at 6:52 am |
      • Mehponista

        Wow! Way to stomp that tard in the dirt, Andrew! You messed up the end, though. You fizzled out there but it's still good.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:25 am |
      • Gethetruth

        Why don't you ask your professor about who invented time. It is a tool or a measure and has got incorporated as a reality. All theories that involve time in the equation help us understand the sequence of events and distances. But time is an assumption we make to have a point of reference. It is not real. So get over it. Darwin invented natural selection, nature is a concept just like time. Nature cannot select, it is an imaginary notion of things taken collectively. Natural selection is not a biological process and hence is not the mechanism of evolution. Here again a concept was made into reality. We need to bury Einstein and Darwin to be liberated to a new science. Academia is full of scientists who do not think for themselves, they will rather praise some leaders and follow like goats. Start unlearning what you have been taught.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:50 am |
      • AGuest9

        Andrew, it's a very unpopular concept, but is effectively true. There is no reason for time to exist. Take a look at "The End of Time" by Barbour. Time is essentially a macro, used by humans to explain the rate of change, it's a facet of the Second Law, but in itself doesn't exist.

        December 13, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • Judas Priest

        Epic.

        December 13, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Andrew

        ... No one invented time. That's like saying someone invented space. Time was incorporated into reality because that's quite explicitly what very simple geometry tells us, and what observational data backs up.

        I don't get this obsession with 'time is imaginary', you're not the first to say that, but no one ever seems to say anything coherent about that idea. You end up hearing time as well as you see space, thanks to our ears preforming a fourier transform, we take a time dependent signal and turn it into a frequency dependent signal in our heads. That's 'hearing' time in the same way our eyes 'see' space. So why this obsession with sight?

        So Einstein created the first concept of relativity, so what? Incidentally, he wasn't the first to create the Lorentz transforms, that was, as the name implies, Lorentz. What Einstein did is say "well since the eather theory is wrong, because of experiments like Michelson-Morley, c really must be constant in any inertial reference frame, hence this 4 dimensional spacetime construct is a natural consequence".

        You can claim 'it's not real' all you like, but what I'm asking you is how did you come to that conclusion? Try explaining Michelson-Morley's results in lieu of c being constant, or try explaining how c could be constant in any inertial reference frame that doesn't allow for space-time.

        Do the work. Rather than qualitative statements, show that you actually have some knowledge of the subject. "It's not real, so get over it" hardly explains how you came to the conclusion "it's not real". As far as modern physics for the past 100 years is concerned, it is real, so get over it. Unless you can show why physicists are wrong, and why observations match predictions, yet are still wrong... you're spouting nonsense.

        Same with evolution, say it's wrong all you like, but explain HOW. Actually support your argument. The difference between scientists, the people you're flat out rejecting, and you, is that scientists feel the need to support their beliefs with robust facts, and you, evidently, do not. You seem content making a claim over and over and offering nothing in support.

        December 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Tanterei

      OMG. Have you ever actually thought about what you've collected on "pseudo-knowledge"?

      A: "Time does not exist". – Sure. Time is an invention of the human mind to describe the consecutive order of actions in nature. Therefore for all means and purposes we can say that time is real.

      From this postulate we can derive descriptions of the universe which coincide in the vast majority of non-pathological cases with the observed universe.
      Sure, Einstein's theories are not necessarily THE theories, however to date they are the most fitting in describing macroscopic events. Therefore they are useful. They are right as proven by observations.

      So do us a favor and go and learn some facts, before you get back to clogging the net with useless stuff.

      December 13, 2011 at 7:20 am |
      • Gethetruth

        "Therefore for all means and purposes we can say that time is real." You can say what you want for all means and purposes. Time is not real and does not exist in the Universe and it is irrelevant to the Universe. Only humans on Planet Earth are concerned with Time.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:36 am |
      • Judas Priest

        GetTheTruth, what they meant is, the word "time" describes a phenomenon that we observe in operation everywhere. you can call it what you want, but the concept described by the word "time" is very real, very observable, and very easily proven. your assertion that time does not exist is very easily DISproven.
        You say time does not exist? You want me to eat my words? Fine. Bring me last Tuesday.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Linear

      Time is relevant to all things with a linear existence, which are usually living things. Like us. A rock, inert, would probably agree with your statement.

      If you are put into a cryogenic stasis, will time matter to you? Only when you're thawed back into "reality".

      December 13, 2011 at 8:25 am |
      • Judas Priest

        Time is very relevant to a rock. The physical and chemical processes which create and ultimately destroy a rock occur in time. The entropic arrow of time is the framework that the entire universe operates in.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
      • Andrew

        The only thing that doesn't interact with time is a photon. From the perspective of a photon, it is absorbed the instant it is emitted.... even if from our perspective, it could take any amount of time to travel a distance.

        Relativity is fun. Even if idiots deny it for no apparent reason. "I don't like calling time a dimension, it must be wrong, so says me... because some guy named Einstein invented the concept" (Except not really, but hey, why should I expect a strong knowledge of the history of physics from someone who seems to know nothing about the subject itself?)

        December 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  26. Messenger

    No one will ever know the truth unless you are worthy

    December 13, 2011 at 5:37 am |
    • Judas Priest

      How very catholic of you.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • toadears

        you are a jack @ss and quite rude. American, right?

        January 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  27. AbbieR

    I can't begin to understand a fraction of what these scientists are talking about, but I could read articles all day about what they are doing. Always reaching, always exploring with their minds, always questioning, always searching for solid evidence to back their theories and assertions. It's wonderful to see these people use the power of the mind and THINK. THAT is awesome.

    December 13, 2011 at 5:17 am |
    • Cyber1

      Such is the human spirit – that is Awesome.Some would rather pave roads or feed the poor with the funds utilized, but such is not the way of life, but a state of existance. Without a path, chaos ensues, an then even those seeking refuge in stagnant existance will perish.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:44 am |
      • Andrew

        I'd rather use funding for wars to pave roads or feed the starving. We spend a tiny, TINY fraction of what we spend on the military supporting particle physics research. Hell, we spend less on particle physics research than we do on aid and social services, meaning we already spend more feeding the hungry and paving roads than we do this research.

        ... So why should we take what little money is spent on physics and use that to fill another drop in the bucket? Why do physicists really deserve to be out of work? "Well, we spend 10 million killing people... 1 million helping the poor, but you know I really don't like that we're spending 5 pennies for this silly 'research', we should really divert that funding".

        Is that really what you're advocating? Seriously, do you consider science that unimportant? Out of all of the things our government spends money on, this rather tiny bit of the budget (remember, this is 10 billion over about 15-20 years by multiple multiple countries) is what deserves scorn and cutting?

        December 13, 2011 at 6:02 am |
      • fimeilleur

        The US military complexe has an annual budget of over $1,000,000,000,000. If they were to take 0.1% of that money, say $1,000,000,000, to bribe all the politicians in the House of Representatives and the Senate (all 541 of them), they would each get ~1.85 million dollars each, to continue funding the military complexe. Ask yourself, would you take that bribe? What if it was offered yearly?

        Scientists can't compete with money power like that.

        78.5% of the US population claims to be Christian, roughly 241,000,142 people... Let's say half are of legal voting age, would any politicial want to p iss off 120 million people by putting too much support in science? (stem cell research for example).

        Science has historically had an uphill battle for funding. Too bad, change isn't happening fast enough.

        December 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  28. J Freestyle - Pittburgh

    Why can't they use this rearch money to find a way to fix the potholes that resurface every year?

    December 13, 2011 at 5:08 am |
    • Andrew

      Why can't we use money spent on military research and development for that? Do we really need to find new ways to make bigger guns?

      Why should physicists have to forgo their research just because you don't find it interesting?

      December 13, 2011 at 5:36 am |
    • Chris

      There is someone out there right now, getting gov. funding, to come up with a road that won't get potholes in it. Keep your fingers crossed and support the sciences.

      December 13, 2011 at 6:32 am |
      • Touché

        Best response on this thread.

        December 13, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  29. IslamSaidSo

    One thing I don't understand is how all this scientist are spending billions or maybe trillion of dollars on useless knowledge. Come on now we all know human's will never ever have anytime to understand creation. you can't even explain how the Soul works yet you want to explain how God works? Our earth will die in just few more millions or maybe billion of years after that what? our human civilization is finished. End of story Doomsday you have.

    December 13, 2011 at 5:03 am |
    • The Master

      Hey god boy, STFU!

      December 13, 2011 at 5:17 am |
      • WHAT??

        How civilized...

        December 13, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • ciganluk88

      .........................the most cretin comment i've seen thus far.........science will get us off of this planet and allow us to thrive.....clasping our hands together and not pursuing science will give us a swift death

      December 13, 2011 at 5:25 am |
      • Darth Religulous

        You are correct.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:21 am |
      • Sostratos

        That kind of thinking is part of the reason we are in this mess to begin with. Science will NOT allow us to escape this world. In all likelihood, the entire history of the human race, from our original evolution to our eventual extinction, will play out right here on this world. What science CAN do is help us mitigate the damage we have caused and are currently causing to the only home we will ever have, and perhaps extend the amount of time we are able to spend on it. There is no escape, so start worrying more about how to fix things than how to run away once we've completely ruined everything.

        December 13, 2011 at 8:32 am |
      • thislittlepiggy

        Sostratos –

        You are correct!

        (God help these people who can't manage to be responsible for their actions.)

        December 13, 2011 at 8:56 am |
      • BobinMT

        Yeah, but liberals will stop it from happening.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Andrew

      Billions... scientists don't get enough funding for trillions. We spend trillions on war, you know, killing people.. not discovering scientific facts.

      Still, 'useless knowledge'? Perhaps, but you're aware you're commenting on an article online, on an article that is coded with HTML, about a particle collider in CERN, complaining about 'useless knowledge'. Considering how CERN, for their Large Electron-Positron collider (LEP) had to develop a new system of efficiently transmitting data, and their solution was 'html', there's a tinge of irony complaining about money 'wasted' in CERN on this website.

      Personally though, I hardly feel like practical advances should be how we measure scientific progress. Why can't we actually value knowledge outright? Why do we need a society that puts more emphasis on 'use' than on 'knowledge'?

      December 13, 2011 at 5:32 am |
      • Chris

        Dang, you're smart. I agree completely, I'm just not sure I would have known HOW to put it. I want to sit next to you in class.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:26 am |
      • Tanterei

        Nicely phrased!

        However, I have to disagree on the point of "use".
        Hording knowledge without practical use is not beneficial for the survival of the race. And information without hosts/propagators/receivers for it is imo pretty useless.

        Having said that I still have to add, that thriving for knowledge not useable today does not mean we that this knowledge will be useless in the future.
        Personally I, as a student of physics, think we have to look at the tiniest aspects, because our hope is to have theories which allow as to describe ( partially predict) the behaviour of our environment. Latter being of quite some practical use.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:44 am |
      • g

        I think that what ever is observed and eventually announced will be a different physical manifestation of something that has already been observed in another setting, macro or micro.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:54 am |
      • Marais

        Thank you.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:57 am |
      • To Andrew

        Andrew, knowledge has to be put to use to have some value. To provide a very simple example: Do you know you shouldn't run a red light? Let's say you do – you have knowledge. So do you run red lights? No? If not, why? Becuase you know that you run the danger of being involved in an accident. Therefore, you are putting your knowledge of the possible consequences of running the red light to use by actually not running the red light.

        To me, that knowledge has more value than, say, the knowledge that Monaco is in Europe. I know it's there, but at the moment I have no use for that knowledge.

        December 13, 2011 at 8:20 am |
      • Judas Priest

        To "To Andrew",
        Just because you personally don't have a use for knowledge doesn't mean that no one has a use for it. The world's a little vaster than your snug, Monaco-free existence. People who are interested in the existence of the Higgs boson will be looking into ways to measure and possibly affect mass, which will greatly affect the investigation of gravity, just as the tip of the biggest iceerg in modern physics. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict some eventual trickle-down to even your low-level know-nothing plane of existence.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Cyber1

      spot on...do us a favor and realize your own armaggedon a few billion years early, cease to waste space on this sphere, and take that silly soul far, far away. Meanwhile, the rest of us will appreciate the journey, scientific or otherwise, and perhaps have a little more faith in each other. Science is an equal opportunity path, affected by the gravity of human failings.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:34 am |
    • Ramierx

      Dumb comment. Without sience we would still think the earth was flat. God doesnt exist. Its a fantasy figure.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:50 am |
      • josef vandernbreks

        you must be quite the community college student clown – the ONLY thing a scientist would say about God is the scientist is agnostic.

        clowns like you and huckster dawkins are no better than the tv preachers lying for dollars.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:23 am |
      • Andrew

        Dawkins doesn't claim to be anything but an agnostic. Gnosticism and agnosticism are not equivalent to atheism and theism. Atheism and theism are statements of belief, gnosticism and agnosticism are statements of knowledge. I do not believe in unicorns, but I do not know they do not exist.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:26 am |
      • Fragster

        The few scientific studies done on the "power of prayer" have shown that prayer does not work and quite often makes things worse for the person being prayed for.
        So we could start doing more research on religious claims and I am positive they will prove that there is no god as described by any major religion.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:31 am |
      • Believer

        Faith for one who believes, no explanation is necessary. Faith to one who does believe, no explanation is possible. Have a Merry Christmas.

        December 13, 2011 at 9:02 am |
      • thk4yrslf

        " All humans are atheists, theists have one more god to go. "

        December 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Summer Seale

      1) Billions, not Trillions. Seeing as you don't know the difference, maybe science isn't your strongpoint and perhaps you should refrain from commenting before you learn more of the basics.

      2) We understand more about creation through science than any barbaric "holy text" written by nomads who thought that the earth was flat, the sun went around it, and that diseases were caused by "demons" or "djinn".

      3) There is no "soul" – the entire idea, according to everything which we know in science and medicine, is absolutely risible at this point. Learn about brain chemistry and how it can change your character. "Souls" are a myth from bronze aged nomads who didn't understand science or medicine.

      4) Not sure where you're going with your last point apart to prove the stupidity of the fatalism of religion. It all begins with the notion of "god did it" and then ends up in ignorance and stagnation. Scientists, on the other hand, are too smart to be too proud to admit that they don't know, but would like to know. Hence the need for research. Please, kneel and bow your head and recite bronze aged meaningless ignorant babble all you like, but don't start criticizing people who made everything around you – including your particular method of communication. If you're using the internet, and you are criticizing science over religion, then you're an absolute and utter moron.

      Then again, your name kind of implies that to start with.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:57 am |
      • Marc

        Best comment ive seen in a long time in any blog! You sir, are i person i would like to have a beer with!

        December 13, 2011 at 6:14 am |
      • Tanterei

        Well said, except for Pt 3.

        I am no (bio)chemist or the likes therefore can not say for sure, but afaik it is impossible to predict the behaviour based solely on chemistry. That may be the case b/c the system is immensely complicated, but it could also mean, that there is something of which we still do not know.

        Again AFAIK there is no statement in science which denies the soul. Correct me if I'm wrong.

        December 13, 2011 at 6:57 am |
      • Summer Seale

        RE: Marc

        Thank you! I am, however, a Miss. =)

        I often post on G+ if you want to find me there. =P =)

        December 13, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Gethetruth

      Please stay with the book that has you brainwashed.
      There are easy answers there for simple brains.

      December 13, 2011 at 6:13 am |
    • Bill

      So? People spend TRILLIONS worshipping gods – that won't even explain a how their god created heaven and earth.

      December 13, 2011 at 6:15 am |
    • Dhimmy

      Dear IslamSaidSo;

      Please consider that the very computer and internet you are using today, are results of insights created by the very same particle colliders in de 20's and 30's that scientist tought how elemtary paricles work, and, can be used.

      Mobile phones, all semi-conductors.. Not so useles now... ?

      December 13, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • Edward Walters Jr

      Honestly, please tell me you really are not that stupid!! The concept that this type of research is a waste of time completely baffles me. If humans did not venture into the world of discovery cavemen would never have discovered fire or the wheel. What if they discover a way of generating energy that is 100% clean and infinitely abundant - imagine a world where not a single barrel of oil or a cubic foot of gas or a pound of coal ever needs to be burned....

      December 13, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • jorarmed

      What a painful display of ignorance!! Never saw one quite as big!

      December 13, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • streaky

      "you can't even explain how the Soul works yet you want to explain how God works?"

      It's a metaphor – god doesn't exist, get over yourself.

      December 13, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • Muslims adore science

      Excuse me "IslamSaidSo", NO dude, ISLAM DID NOT SAY SO!
      please everyone here listen, this guy doesn't represent a real Muslim, (if he's one)

      Islam is the most relegion, or call it philosophy, that supports science and scientific research! The holy Quraan even states that God recommends knowledge and scientific research waaaaay rather than all sorts of worship and prayers!
      The prophet Muhammed has many many many quotes talking about science, scientists, and their necessity in life!

      We – muslims – believe in science and support all sorts of science that help the human kind understand the universe we live in to the maximum levels that we can reach.
      please i hope you are not misled by all the nonsense and misreppresentaion about Islam.

      The LHC is awesome, way beyond one can understand or imagine, and this article rocks! Go Higgs boson!! 🙂

      December 13, 2011 at 7:46 am |
      • D

        Though you mentioned that Islam like science and knowledge, but majority of the world's greatest and most important inventions and breakthroughs are by Jews and Christians, everything from computer technologies, medicines and medical equipments, planes, cars, trains, light bulbs, telephone, music and art, manufacturing and finance processes, education, civic and legal systems and many more. The bottom line is what you believe in must produce good fruits and results. The right belief gives birth to creativity, freedom, growth, love and care for one another, servanthood leadership. The wrong belief gives birth to stagnancy, oppression, decline, self-centeredness, dictatorship leadership. Just look around you (in the world), and you can see the results and fruits of the different beliefs.

        December 13, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • IslamSaidNothing

      You truly have not joined reality. Religion has provided absolutely zero insight into the true nature of the world. It has only sought to repress any hope of discovering it. The faster people grow up and stop believing in fairy tales, the better off we will all be.

      December 13, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • RS

      That's why we're trying to understand how the universe works so we can expand to different worlds. Even Steven Hawking believes the chances of a cosmic event ending Earth in the next several hundred thousand years is possible. Stick with your archaic thinking though, we'll be far better off that way. *sarcasm*

      December 13, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Ahmed

      IslamSaidSo...are you using this name to indicate that Islam is against this knowledge ? This cant be further from reality. Quran wants humans to seek more knowledge and invites them to ponder and find the deeper laws of nature.

      December 13, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Marney_5

      It's their money, they can do whatever they want with it! In terms of what their trying to discover then they can spend as much money as they want! Religion has held back science for hundreds of years and if it wasn't for religion we may of found a cure for cancer, who knows they may have been able to find a way off this rock so we can get rid of all the crazy religious fanatics who are trying to start WW3!

      December 13, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • AGuest9

      The Belief Blog has the religion angle on the Higgs boson story (which, there isn't one, actually),. This is Science.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Judas Priest

      Read, you twit. This. Has. NOTHING. To do with understanding how God works. Your tiny little mind has latched onto a word, a nickname given by a stupid publisher, and COMPLETELY ignored EVERYTHING ELSE in article.

      December 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • AGuest9

      This isn't the Belief Blog.

      December 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • silvia almeida

      Oy Vey...

      December 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • AcesHigh

      Scientists are not trying to explain how god works. The name "god particle" was a joke, because it would provide many answers to the scientific models.

      As for explaining how the soul work, how about you religious people first PROVE that souls even exist?

      December 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Kubotes

      Pointless? You think all of the modern conveniences of medicine, energy, and indoor plumbing are pointless? FYI This whole Internet thing you are trashing the scientific community on, it was invented by a bunch of physicists. Just sayin'.

      January 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Maynard-Smith

      There is no soul. Neuroscience shows us nothing if not that fact that our thoughts are the actions of our brain. Drugs, which we know interact with the brain, change our behaviour. A stroke, which is just brain damage, can change your personality. http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110831/full/477023a.html

      March 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  30. FedUpwithLA

    Glad to hear that these physicists are finding God in something, because we certainly are not finding God in each other . . .

    December 13, 2011 at 5:03 am |
    • Iter

      Its the newspapers that call it the "god particle"... As allways to heat up the subjuct. FOr everybody else, its the Higs particle. Its sat thats it has to be like that!

      December 13, 2011 at 6:50 am |
      • thatguythere

        Comes down to the funding, where someone said the equivalent significance of finding the Higgs boson would be seeing God up close, while trying to get the project approved.. "Oh, you want billions to find what, another particle? Great, another particle.... Oh, you say it'd be like meeting God if you found that particle, ok, here's money."

        December 13, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • The Lunatic

      'god' is an idiotic idea promoted by immoral people to control and pacify the weak minded. The universe and all the physical interactions that make up the universe are what's real. Whether or not we discover or describe all the laws of physics is a moot point, they still exist.

      December 13, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  31. The Master

    Honestly, unless all this research ends up producing a new source of clean energy or maybe a new propulsion system, its all a complete waste of time and money. So let's say we have all our answers..... then what?

    December 13, 2011 at 4:35 am |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      Hold on... we need you to stop posting now. Someone ordered another large fries!

      December 13, 2011 at 4:46 am |
      • The Master

        You need to STFU. I am a computer scientist and I have been following the work at CERN for 30 years. But the reality is unless we find a suitable energy source from all this work, it would all be for nothing. Think about it. Let's say we create the GUT and know exactly how everything works. What do we do with that information? Can we use it to improve the world of life for people in general? Tink long term before you try to insult me, you dolt!

        December 13, 2011 at 4:54 am |
      • Andrew

        As a physics major I say "why the f- ck do we need to have a practical use for this"? Say we understand the GUT, why do we need to be able to apply it? Why should physicists be mandated to only research what people deem practical?

        That doesn't sound like science, that sounds like engineering. We spend billions on wars every week, we spend billions on ridiculous subsidies, but when we spend 10 billion over twenty years to put together a massive scientific undertaking people complain just because they don't see any practical advances on the possible research?

        If you're a computer scientist, you should already see the fault in that. Advancements do not necessarily come from where you expect. HTML was first developed by CERN to collect data for the Large Electron-Positron collider (LEP), they were instrumental in creating the world wide web, but it was entirely secondary to pure particle physics research. Physicists don't do research because they expect to benefit the world, they do it because they are genuinely interested in the answers. They are genuinely interested in learning more about the universe.

        ... Shouldn't that be enough? Why call knowledge about the universe a waste? With ALL of the really quite absurd wastes of money our species has been able to come up with, complaining about CERN doing particle physics research always sounds fairly petty.

        December 13, 2011 at 5:52 am |
      • ChaoticDreams

        exactly andrew, knowledge itself is worth it

        December 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • The Master

      My reply to you didn;t post but I have to go to work ...

      December 13, 2011 at 6:11 am |
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