Higgs boson: What you should know
July 3rd, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Higgs boson: What you should know

The following is a republished excerpt from a story that ran on CNN.com on December 14, 2011.

What is the Higgs boson?

The Standard Model of particle physics lays out the basics of how elementary particles and forces interact in the universe. But the theory crucially fails to explain how particles actually get their mass.

Particles, or bits of matter, range in size and can be larger or smaller than atoms. Electrons, protons and neutrons, for instance, are the subatomic particles that make up an atom.

Scientists believe that the Higgs boson is the particle that gives all matter its mass.

Experts know that elementary particles like quarks and electrons are the foundation upon which all matter in the universe is built. They believe the elusive Higgs boson gives the particles mass and fills in one of the key holes in modern physics.

How does the Higgs boson work?

The Higgs boson is part of a theory first proposed by physicist Peter Higgs and others in the 1960s to explain how particles obtain mass.

The theory proposes that a so-called Higgs energy field exists everywhere in the universe. As particles zoom around in this field, they interact with and attract Higgs bosons, which cluster around the particles in varying numbers.

Imagine the universe like a party. Relatively unknown guests at the party can pass quickly through the room unnoticed; more popular guests will attract groups of people (the Higgs bosons) who will then slow their movement through the room.

The speed of particles moving through the Higgs field works much in the same way. Certain particles will attract larger clusters of Higgs bosons - and the more Higgs bosons a particle attracts, the greater its mass will be.

Why is finding the Higgs boson so important?

While finding the Higgs boson won't tell us everything we need to know about how the universe works, it will fill in a huge hole in the Standard Model that has existed for more than 50 years, according to experts.

"The Higgs boson is the last missing piece of our current understanding of the most fundamental nature of the universe," Martin Archer, a physicist at Imperial College in London, told CNN.

"Only now with the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] are we able to really tick that box off and say 'This is how the universe works, or at least we think it does'."

"It's not the be all and end all - but in terms of what can we say practically about the world and how the world is, it actually tells us a lot."

Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, added that finding evidence of the Higgs boson would be a "very wonderful success of science and of people for four centuries."

Why is the Higgs boson called the "God particle?"

The popular nickname for the elusive particle was created for the title of a book by Nobel Prize winning physicist Leon Lederman - reportedly against his will, as Lederman has said he wanted to call it the "Goddamn Particle" because "nobody could find the thing."

"'God particle' is a nickname I don't really like," says Archer. "It's nothing to do with religion - the only (theoretical) similarity is you're seeing something that's a field that's everywhere, in all spaces."

How are scientists searching for the Higgs boson?

For the past year scientists have searched for the Higgs boson by smashing protons together at high energy in the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Inside the LHC, which is located 328 feet underground in a 17-mile tunnel and is the most powerful particle accelerator ever built, high speed proton collisions generate a range of even smaller particles that scientists sift through in search of a signal in the data suggesting the existence of the Higgs boson.

"You're just hoping that somewhere in these collisions that you see something ... some sort of a statistical bump," says Archer.

Scientists: 'God particle' proof closer than ever

If Higgs bosons exist, they are elusive, popping up and then disappearing again quickly. It means, says Archer, that scientists at the LHC will only be able to observe their decaying remnants.

It has taken years for scientists to narrow down the range of mass in which they believed the Higgs boson could exist - but during the past year a statistical bump suggests they're on the right track.

"Now they're starting to get a bump, the scientists should be able to get that result more and more," says Archer.

What if scientists don't find the Higgs boson?

The general consensus among physics academics is that the Higgs field and boson exists, according to Archer.

"It just makes sense within the framework that we've got everything set up in, given that everything else that we can describe and we can see seems to be described in this simple way," says Archer.

Nearly every scientist believes that the Large Hadron Collider will either prove or disprove the existence of the Higgs boson once and for all - so if the LHC doesn't find it, it doesn't exist, experts say.

Martin Archer believes a failure to find the Higgs boson would be even more exciting than discovering the elusive particle.

"If we don't see it, it actually means that the universe at the most fundamental level is more complicated than we thought," says Archer, "and therefore maybe the way we've been attacking physics isn't right."

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Filed under: Large Hadron Collider • On Earth
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. FStocking

    What a colossal waste of money and resources for the self gratification of some elite "scientists" with no practical application. How about feed 2 or 3 starving children or some homeless seniors. Now is the time for some self important scientists to act outraged, removing themselves from any responsibility for their fellow men.

    July 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Steve

      please be a troll

      January 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  2. folktandvården sickla

    Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to claim that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I'll be subscribing to your feeds and even I success you get entry to consistently quickly.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  3. Dave

    I love that the more we learn, witness and reproduce using science, the more the science supports intelligent design.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • USminority

      I have no idea how you came to that conclusion, but I'd very much like to hear it. I'm thinking you saw the word "god" and just went with it. What is the connection between this article and, well, any religion?

      July 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  4. http://3daydietplus.com

    Thanks . I've been looking for this info . Good info I will be back for more info in regards to the 3 Day Diet.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  5. John B

    Pigs in boston? What?

    July 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  6. Sam

    so the "God particle" was originally called the "goodam particle" that nobody could find. That makes sense, so this is a big deal but only within the scietific community so they can complete their model of particles and rationalize the cost of the LHC. I hope this leads to better fuels, and better lives for all of us. Maybe a cure for cancer? If not, 10 billion dollars to find the goddam particle is not impressive. So the atheists can relax now, you have not defused religion and God is probably smiling at you right now.

    July 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • chacvhie

      Science need not be justified by the $$. 10 billion to have a better understanding of how the universe works is a bargain deal. God is not smiling on you because he does not exist. Humans evolved from apes which in turn had evolved from fish. You are uneducated, misguided and a bane to humanity.

      July 10, 2012 at 7:52 am |
      • hubrisdenied

        comming from a species that believed the world was flat.....that the earth was the center of everything.....that drinking lead and or putting it on your face for make up was a good idea for 100's of years.......we don't know as much as you might think....you only have the knowledge you do because of brilliant minds that came before you....and even that knowledge is theoretical....all knowledge is....in short....get over yourself....all the "education" in the world wont save you from your lack of social grace.....to go one further......the education fed to you contains a myriad of lies anyway so who is to say what is right and what isnt.....do you still believe christopher columbus discovered america? the only bane to humanity is people with a false sense of self worth who hold themselves higher than everyone else.....your hubris is showing my "educated" friend =)

        July 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
      • matt in nw


        The religious bs has cost us enough time already - maybe too much time...... people like chacvhie are becoming fustrated that, even now- today, when we are under the gun and we need to get moving, we face the ignorance of the religious in our schools, our politics, ect. ...... Saying god did it, its part of gods plan, it gods will ect is a HUGE copout and completely useless. saying "we dont know as much as we think we do" is equally useless double talk. Being wrong in the sciences, is actually an opportunity...not a disavantage.

        July 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
      • matt in nw

        Actually should have said: finding an error in the sciences is an opportunity- not a disadvantage. it means you now have a better understanding of the subject.

        July 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  7. Ran Herti

    Michio Kaku is freaking out.
    String theory is a dead horse.

    July 8, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  8. Better explained

    For those of you having trouble understanding the Higgs boson, here is an incredibly helpful video. http://vimeo.com/41038445

    July 7, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  9. Better explained

    For those of you having trouble understanding Higgs boson, here is an incredible helpful video. http://vimeo.com/41038445

    July 7, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  10. Brian

    Even if they find the Higgs boson, the question remains: Where did the Higgs boson come from?

    July 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Phreddie


      July 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  11. homeopathic remedies for dogs

    I do believe all the ideas you have introduced in your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    July 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  12. $tillRun!n1@Ya.Com

    Makes you think....I wonder what god thinks about all this stuff?

    July 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      I wonder that as much as I wonder what does Superman think about all this stuff... or, what does a Unicorn think about all this stuff... or, what does a fairy think about all this stuff...

      July 7, 2012 at 4:21 am |
      • douginator

        Too true, and least we forget the Great Pumpkin, the Tooth Fairy, and a Good Cop too.

        July 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  13. jj

    we all just dust in the wind, move along

    July 6, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  14. jj

    in other words, we still trying to find life elsewhere why?
    if we can even get along with humanity now

    July 6, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • USminority

      this is not about finding life anywhere. why even post if you didnt understand a word of it?

      July 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  15. dụng cụ thể thao

    You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I find this matter to be really something that I believe I'd never understand. It seems too complex and very large for me. I'm having a look ahead for your next submit, I'll attempt to get the hang of it!

    July 6, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  16. Higgs is awsome

    A truely amazing discovery. The standard model is now complete. The unification of weak force and electromagnetic force is now also absolutely out of doubt. Let's if LHC can bring us some more excitments like miniature black hole or the "additional" dimension.

    July 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  17. Preirin

    The more we learn about the universe the more we realize there is no god or god-like creature. Religion is, and has always been, a man-made construct; a means to share stories of moral civility in an effort to keep the peace amongst villages and tribes. But, as it is man’s nature to destroy rather than to build, religion was used as a simple took to control the simple-minded. To turn one sect or group against another under the guise of some divinely-driven purpose so we can feel self-righteous as we slaughter those who look, act or speak differently than us.

    What a piece of work is Man indeed. We look to the sky and see the bird flying and we set about to capture that power. We try and fail and fail and fail, but we never stop trying. Until the day two brothers manage to capture that ancestral dream once and for all. Then, suddenly, the sky was no longer the limit. We wanted the stars – so again we tried and failed and failed… until one day, we set a man upon the face of the moon. None of this was done by praying to some divine construct. None of this was gifted to us by some super being. Man did this alone. Because we believe we can be greater than we are. We are driven by that belief and it is that core innate drive that makes us truly noble in reason, infinite in faculties and in action how like an angel!

    And yet, still, we allow ourselves to be crippled by that primitive concept of a divine, spiritual leader to whom we must worship and appease daily. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the concept of religion. It’s the practice I can’t stand.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Preirin

      Took = tool. Apologies for the typo.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Curtis - theNohmad

      Your statement suffers severely from the following logical fallacies:

      Hasty generalization is a logical fallacy of faulty generalization by reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence— essentially making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables.

      Genetic fallacy is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone's origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Joey

      I can agree that while modern religion has its flaws and is most likely man's creation. To say that the universe is random and does not have an intelligent design or presence is just as flawed. The universe is technically( according to modern physics) illogical. There is no logical explanation for the universe. How the hell did it get here? Where did it come from? Just because you can't see something or understand it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If the universe can exist, why can't god? If we can't understand the universe how can we hope to understand the intelligence behind it's creation? Do we simply just say it doesn't exist because we can't prove it? The best thing we can do is keep an open mind. Its funny how when you take all the scientific knowledge we have today and combine it with new age concepts of spirituality, the universe seems to make a lot more sense. Ever thought that there is two sides to the same coin? Without both, the coin wouldn't be the same.

      July 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
      • Science Faithful

        We know the Universe exists! Its there! we can see it and have punctured a micron of existence with our trips to the Moon and satellites into further outer space. Nobody but a sheeper herder has ever really seen or touched "God".

        July 10, 2012 at 9:00 am |
      • USminority

        For your homework today, google "universe fractals." Do you know why tie-dye shirts are so awesome? It looks random..But it's not! Wow! the mayans knew the universe wasn't random...

        July 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Ran Herti

      Religion is habit. Nothing more. "I bather every day religiously" doesn't mean I pray in the shower.
      Your entire argument is null.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  18. Mak

    What is too heavy for the strong and what place is too distant for those who put forth effort? What country is foreign to a man of true learning? Who can be inimical to one who speaks pleasingly?

    July 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  19. helenecha

    Uh huh! Knowing the existence of Higgs boson is not so bad, but to expect it tells us the story of the universe is naive.

    July 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  20. a friendly neighborhood sea god

    Actually, many Indian's have served in WW and WW under the British army, they might be getting high paying jobs because we value higher education, as a group of people more, just because, you see the world this way doesn't mean you can use the Indian populous as a scapegoat, someone help people like this!

    July 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  21. Tomasso deMoray

    Wrong, CNN: it is the the exchange of quantum information via the Higg's mechanism that confers mass upon particles. Some particles slip right through the Higg's field (like photons) and others stick to the Higg's Field like oatmeal (the top quark).

    July 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • DN3

      So is the Higgs itself a particle or just a field? Or both?

      July 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • AGuest9


        July 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • DN3

        Dual properties like light then right? Both wave and particle properties? Um, I guess Higg's boson isn't a wave. I'm not a physicist as you can tell 🙂 So does this mean that every point in space has a Higgs field?

        July 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • Name* talisman

        Higgs is a field. Boson is a particle.

        July 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • DN3

        So the Higgs boson is a particle that exerts a field around it? Now, I'm confused.

        July 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
      • AGuest9

        By exciting the Higgs field, having a non-zero ground state, it thereby gives mass to other elementary particles like electrons. Currently, both teams are examining WW and the H->YY (Gamma-Gamma) candidates in adjacent energy levels near the 125 GeV range. I am guessing that this is going to get more interesting (and bizarre) in the coming months.

        July 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
      • Kamal

        HIggs field is everywhere it is at the subatomic level to macro level, all pervading field.
        when partical moves in this field and gets resistance through this invisible field and gails mass.

        When you predict this fiels you anticipate a partical which fits this field, what physicsts have calculated is this partical must be 100 to 130 times heavier than proton if this field exists.
        Now if we dont find this partical it means there is no invisible Higgs field and standard model of physics need some other explaination for all weak and strong forces and fundamental partical in nature.
        The fact that we have found Higgs partical it confirms standard model.However it is possible it will not be exactly as predictted and that will open doors for fixing what remains to be understood.

        July 6, 2012 at 6:58 am |
  22. Name* talisman

    Great article. Tries to explain a complicated phenomenon simple.

    The author would have done well to explain the work by Einstein & Bose made this possible and later augmented by Higgs. The particle gets its name from both Bose & Higgs. Otherwise, this is a well written article.

    July 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  23. Dean

    No mystery. My mass comes from donuts.

    July 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • swisscottage

      Best post of the day – cheers!

      July 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  24. k2k1

    Check your facts:- 1918: Bhagat Singh Thind becomes the first person of East-Indian descent recruited by the US Army on July 22, 1918. He goes on to fight in World War I. A few months later, on November 8, 1918, Bhagat Singh was promoted to the rank of an Acting Sergeant.

    July 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Bubba Rydel

      Sorry.....one indian soldier.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  25. Haitianus

    I think that one of the applications of the Higgs boson particles will be in the field of nuclear energy production and WMD's. It may be a more cost-effective way to create nuclear energy. If all what is being said in the popular press is true, you can disintegrate any matter to subatomic particles if you can remove their Higgs bosons. lots of applications on the horizon!

    July 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • DrD

      nope - its not nuclear

      July 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • USminority

        he's talking about fission

        July 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • ludvig

      Yes there are lots of applications. Since Newton postulated that Mass and weight are related by gravity F=mg, and since if you therefore can lose HIgg Bosons and mass you can lose weight, I have developed Dr. Smirk's Higg's Boson dispersal snake oil which can be had in an 8 oz. bottle for the low everyday price of $29.99. Just send your money to PO Box 987654321, Atlantic City, Old Jersey.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  26. biologixco

    So true. Here in America, they have taken over all of the hotel chains and convenience stores. We have skum that are selling synthetic marijuana and "bath salts" under the counter to high scholl students at local convenience stores. They should be burned out and sh ot.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  27. George

    Higgs bosson is the devil particle to undermine the God claim.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • AGuest9


      July 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • DN3

      Maybe, but the Higgs boson isn't.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Until the claim of God can be proven... the claim of God undermines itself.

      July 5, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  28. G D

    My Swiss Greatgrandfather, a well known scientist of his day, warned me that science is merely a description of our perceived reality. As those perceptions grow and change, the theories must as well. So it always amazes me when we read "By jove, we've finally got it discovered.." in any scientific field, but certainly most of all physics. My favorite read of all time was a 1940 set of Britannica, where they knew all, there were no plate tectonics, space travel was a distant dream, and any other of now "false" paradigms elaborated upon. Call the particle what you will, I'm going to bet it isn't the answer they've been looking for, at least not 20 years from now.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • wingmccallister

      As a physicist, I hope that comes to pass. If we always found what we expected to find, science wouldn't be very interesting at all.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
      • DN3

        But as we gather more and more information about the world around us, it is natural that things will be predicted before observed, no? This universe must run on a fairly consistent set of rules otherwise things wouldn't work. At least this is what I think. I would hate for the day where science has reached such an extent of knowledge that there is very little left to explore. Fortunately, we are very far away from that day.

        July 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  29. Alberts Eyenwien

    ..for all of their bragging about science, genetic engineering, the extended universe etc....none if it has made any difference in our lives, our thought or our beliefs. They haven't cured any diseases in a long while and many of the diseases they have claimed to found cures have evolved into incurable diseases. Every new discovery costs us the taxpayer millions of dollars and they always announce their discoveries with parenthesis (has not been proven extensively). My grandfather was a Mason and he used to tell me that we were all one and that the universe was eternal and beyond our understanding. That summed it up for me then and it still serves me well today. These fruitcake scientist are a bunch of eccentric theorists. I want real proof.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • cybercmdr

      Riiiiight! I imagine you don't believe in electrons, because you can't see them.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • guest


      July 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Mister Jones

      Hopefully, it will have an impact on our belief system. As science continues to disprove the bibles time and time again, enough thumpers will have to actually accept the fact that the planet is more than 6,000 years old. Then maybe, just maybe, some of them will see their bibles as simply an allegorical work, and stop killing people over it

      July 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • AaaaCccc

      Then throw out your computer, cell phone, car. They came from science using things we can't see or understand fully. Therefore must be making your life no better.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Preirin

      So what you are saying is the discovery or invention of penicillin, the internal combustion engine, computers, generic mapping and, more recently, potential cures for cancers have made no difference in your life?

      Riiiiight. The world would be SO much better running around naked, banging rocks together and worshipping the Gods we made to blame our fears and place our hopes on, yes?

      Well, in that sense we really haven’t changed at all, I suppose…

      July 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
      • Kamal

        DEad rught!!!!!!!

        July 6, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Gadflie

      Cured no diseases? Really? Ask the vast majority of people who suffered from stomach ulcers.

      July 6, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • USminority

      the year is 2012. 50 years ago was 1962. Not even a generation. Microwave Ovens. Remote control...everything. Cellular towers. Mars. My phone is more powerful than my previous laptop. The internet. And that is just a 10 second brainstorm.

      July 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  30. dhaval rana

    I think Writer Don't know what Boson stands for....You have to do more research and Please mention Boson stands for Satyendra Bose,an indian scientist....Please mention it and it won't hurt your EGO...

    July 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Stephen Miller

      This is a silly complaint. The article doesn't claim to be about Boson theory in general, so why would it need to mention Satyendra Bose, let alone the (irrelevant) fact that he's Indian? If we followed that rule consistently, we'd need to wade through descriptions of Fermi, Dirac, Pauli, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Hermite, Lagrange, Laplace...every time we opened a pop sci article. Half of the internet would be a biography of Gauss or Euler.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • Name* talisman

        Giving credit where it is due is the basis of scientific discovery & author could have followed that.

        Satyendra Bose, an Indian prof. makes a novel discovery & sends his article to Einstein, who translates it into German & was acknowledged by German scientific community. His followup work with Einstein led to Bose-Einstein statistics, a novel way of counting.

        Later in 1960s Higgs & 5 other scientists published a theory explaining a Higgs field.

        An article presenting about Higgs boson wld have done well to explain what a boson is. Accuracy in facts can give it more credibility.

        July 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  31. Alberts Eyenwien

    Excellent. We are almost there. Now we'll know how life began....and possibly why? And in the meantime as we're bickering over which God to worship, trying to get each other off, hating each others color, shape, intelligence and ideas...we'll blow each other up. To quote an old movie....We're as insignificant as a gnat on a cow's ass in a pasture as we're driving by at 75 miles an hour on the interstate.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  32. southernwonder

    some hindus here seem to be loudly claiming that one of their guys discovered bosons first. and, that einstein was about the only guy in the whole world who understood him, and together they both published some paper on it that made headlines around ww2.
    i find that hard to buy. as far as i know, india was a british colony in einstein's time, and they did not have enought to eat because the colonialists looted them to dry bones. i don't see how they could have done it without the amercian aid.
    ok, the hindus seem smart. my doctor is a nice hindu guy, and i see several professors here who are hindus. but i think it is because they can eat good food here, unlike polluted poor india. i can't see why the hindus are making a fuss over a boson we can't see.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • dhaval rana

      Yaa...Brush up your History knowledge PAL.... Don't show your Ignorance by writing any religion.... May be your GOD BLESS YOU

      July 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • SwissGuy

      HEEEEYYY!!!! it was discovered in SWITZERLAND!!!!! lol

      July 6, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  33. ronindavid

    Some scientist have spent most of their career looking for the Higgs boson. They have spent BILLIONS of dollars building a device to look for it. And yet, even if they find it they admit it won't explain everything. In fact, they admit the possibility that is may not even exist at all...and even that excites them! This is why I trust science more than religion.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  34. Hugo

    Were George Washington Carver, Michael Faraday and C.S. Lewis stupid people in your opinion?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  35. George Jenkins

    Why isn't there more coverage about this event on CNN's home page? We're only talking about the discovery which can change our understanding of...everything. I guess CNN viewers are too engrossed about Arafat's poisoning, Anderson being gay, and other superficial stuff. Move over soap opera's, here comes CNN.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Curtis - theNohmad

      Yet you find yourself posting comments on the CNN website perpetuating the very framework you denounce. Just relax, it's free information, take what you like and leave the rest.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Curtis - theNohmad

      Yet you find yourself posting comments on the CNN website perpetuating the very framework you denounce. Just relax, it's free information, take what you like and leave the rest..

      July 6, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  36. southernwonder

    article does not explain it right. bossons helps to collect mass only hwen they travel linearly, the rolling bosons can gather no moss.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Sam

      Papa was a rolling boson.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  37. TruthShallCome2theLight

    Most of u on here just want to down play religion because u just want 2 do what u want and not feel guilty about anything.

    July 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • don

      You just have to be a Calvinist to not feel guilty.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • bob

      Stupid statement! Why would anyone WANT to feel guilty about ANYTHING?

      July 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  38. Bob Lewis

    Ridiculous. I know for an absolute fact, based on popular fantasy books, that the Earth is no more than 40 years old. It's also true that Republicans and dinosaurs lived together at the same time (although they bickered constantly). God put Richard Nixon's bones in the ground to test our faith.

    July 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Trevor

      Best thing I've read all day.

      July 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Yea, combining the Straw-man Fallacy with a good dose of humor at least scores some entertainment points. 🙂

      July 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Billy

      Best quote ever. Kudos, sir.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • cybercmdr

      @Merritt: Sounds like someone who really doesn't understand biochemistry and genetics, but takes talking points from people who pretend to understand those fields. I do happen to have a good understanding of biochemistry and genetics, and they are always studied in the context of evolution. Evolution is the conceptual glue that integrates these fields with embryology, comparative anatomy, and all the other subsets of Biology. Only someone without a clue about these fields would even think they disprove evolution.
      Think of it this way. Everything in science is based on data, obtained through experimentation and observation. If ANYONE had definitive, reproducible proof that the central theory in Biology was wrong, they would be famous. Any good scientist would give their favorite appendage to make a discovery that fundamental. Yet it hasn't happened.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  39. DrD

    physics is sooo awesome!

    July 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • George

      Our God is an awesome God...

      July 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
      • DrD

        thanks for trying to ruin this ...

        July 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  40. Beam48

    Ok...so on one article they say they have discovered it...follow the link to here and they say..."IF" they find it...:/

    July 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  41. A.W.Messenger

    For over fifty years scientists have been totally mesmerized as to how atomic particles retain mass consistently.
    What is this magical power, that somehow defies science, that holds all atoms in place and keeps all particles from just exploding, existing otherwise in a scientifically explainable mass incoherence?

    July 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • ptkins49

      Thank you so much, A.W.Messenger for putting this scientific mumbo-jumbo in layman's terms. I get it, thanks to you.

      July 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  42. dave

    I thought it was "What is a Higgs boson ANWAY? Get some decent proofreaders!!!

    July 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  43. nepawoods

    But truthfully, the vast majority of people who accept this new finding accept it purely on faith, with no real understanding. It takes quite a bit of effort for an above average intelligence person to really understand the explanations, and even then they must accept on faith that the evidence is real. It's not like I can go out an reproduce this myself.

    July 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Sofia

      @nepawoods – You're really stretching the use of the word "faith" in this case... to make some failing point I imagine. I don't have working knowledge of the combustion engine, but it has been demonstrated time and time again to work by people who do understand, and by others who can replicate those results (that's how science works, too) – and so I know that when I turn my key my car will start. I don't have faith it will start. I don't need a degree in automotive engineering for it to be true.

      July 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • DrD

      they have "faith" in the scientific methodology – but I see your point. Open up a quantum field theory book someday - pretty hard stuff for the most of us - even the physicists themselves struggle with it.

      July 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Michael Fread

      I'm surprised you don't have more zealots popping out attacking your use of the word faith and science in the same sentence. You are right. Faith in the scientific method and the assumptions made in its design (the biggest of which is that everything can be discovered via our senses or doesn't matter). Faith in the tiny handful of men that can see this particular result and replicate it. Faith that the very tiny handful of men who understand the physics behind this aren't collectively overlooking something.

      It is actually scientists who get confused on this. They take the opposite road. They delude themselves into thinking that the equations prove the hypothesis and theories, the math proves only the math, the hypothesis and theories are just mental masturbation for smart people. Sort of like mnemonics to help them find new equations. The equations aren't based on the hypothesis or theories, they are based on observation of reality and tested against the same. Unless observed reality changes or the math was flawed in the first place, the equations continue working despite the theories and hypothesis. Only the math matters the math is what we've discovered about reality, not the theories or hypothesis.

      Feel free to give this a reality check. If they fail to find the higgs go outside and toss an apple in the air and watch it continue to fall down in spite of this exercise in mental masturbation.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Sofia, actually you do have faith (trust) that your car engine will start the next time you turn the key. You base this on the experience you have of your car; that it isn't out of gas, that the battery is still good and you didn't leave the lights on, and that it has generally been a reliable car. However, since you don't actually know it will, you have to have faith. You probably have enough faith, in fact, that you head to the car in the morning with only minutes to spare on your way to work (certainly not enough time to repair it, should it not start).

      nepawoods actually used the term even more accurately, as the term usually involved a personal, relationship aspect. So, it is probably more accurate to speak of faith in these scientists than it is about an inanimate object like your car. The false assumption, often made, is that the term faith has a meaning closer to 'wishful thinking.' Whether religious or otherwise, this is simply a distortion of the intended or original meaning of the term.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      nepawoods, if you watched the full presentation, starting at 0300 EDT, you would have seen the project leader of two groups presenting two sets of data. The reason for this replication was to validate one experiment against the other. Ideally, in science, the same result should be carried out in various labs around the world. Unfortunately, humanity was only able to build one LHC, since the SSC in Texas was cancelled and Tevatron was decommissioned. The only way to perform any type of validation was to have another project conduct testing at the same facility. It's not ideal, but it's what we have.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • howzer

      What is a "vast majority?"

      July 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  44. bob

    Nazi - just making sure Godwin's Law stays relevant! Carry on.

    July 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  45. AmadoC

    Maybe their hinting at the existence of an antibosom? Looks already what they're up to. I have to admit, the diagrams are superb! There must be a bosom in everything now!

    July 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • DrD

      boson – 🙂

      July 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
      • Michael Fread

        I like his better and find it has much more impact on my daily life 😉

        July 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Imhotep

      You need to keep abreast of your spelling.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  46. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Thank God for scientist because I don't understand any of this and because I don't I won't be criticizing scientist who studied to know what they know.

    July 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  47. 5y5y5rcghchchfh

    Understanding how particles acquire mass *could* have MASSIVE benefits to society. If we understand how mass works, we might find ways to alter somethings mass without removing pieces of it. And if we can figure out a way to easily lower somethings apparent mass, it will change the world in which we live more then any other discovery in history(flying cars would be easy, space travel across the solar system would be extremely easy compared to today, travel to nearby stars would also be possible with decade tip times instead of realistically impossible(millennial trip times) with todays physics understanding).

    July 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • DrD

      Recall that gravity acts on energy too

      July 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • Michael Fread

        We can already do what he describes. E = MC^2. Mass and Energy are directly related properties of the same thing.

        Finding the higgs won't let us do anything we couldn't do before. It's the most boring possible result. Finding there is no higgs on the other hand. That could lead to new equations and the equations are the only real discoveries.

        July 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • 5y5y5rcghchchfh

      re: Michael Fread

      Finding the higgs doesnt do any of what i posted. I said understanding mass could lead to a way to alter an objects rest mass without removing pieces of it(ie taking things away or transforming the mass to energy both of which we can already do and doesnt give us what we need). It might not be possible to change an objects rest mass in such a way, but understanding what mass is would go a long way to answering that question. IF it could be done, it would be a massive discovery(forgive the pun!).

      July 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • 5y5y5rcghchchfh

      And forgive me i was talking about an objects inertial mass. I tried to dumb it down for the article, and i fear i may have gone too far.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
      • cybercmdr

        Understanding mass could present some interesting options. For example, inducing artificial gravity in a spaceship might be possible. We might be able to generate a gravity well in front of a spaceship so that it is constantly accelerating towards that gravity well but never catching up to it. Create micro singularities in a tritium/deuterium mix to induce fusion. Who knows what would be possible if this Higgs field can be manipulated?

        July 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  48. gary

    YES whether it is reduced or zero the equation goes out the window in that it is based on mass increasing as property of mass.Iwill agree that the logistics of arrival and turning off such a theroretical mass reducing field presents awide variety of problems such as not landing inside a star or black hole or whatever. not to mention hitting something along the way...

    July 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  49. 5y5y5rcghchchfh

    The data they have has a stastical significance of 2.5 or 2.8 ish sigma(from what i remember) Discoveries are announced at the 6 stigma level.

    They are about 99% sure that the data they are seeing indicates excess particles. But a discovery is usually announced at 99.99999% sure....

    They sitll have a long way to go and a lot of data to collect before anyone will say they have discovered anything.

    July 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Shane

      "6th stigma" I lol'd

      July 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Actually, they have announced that it is a 5 sigma surety.

      July 6, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  50. Bv

    Hey Nick,

    How about some credit to BOSE (Boson).
    Don't like the name??!!!

    July 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  51. gary

    Everyone here is missing a very important fact. Dynamic was close. If we can determine the characteristics of the boson field, we could possibly create an energy field to reduce mass. E=MC squared is difficult to beat. Energy is varible but speed of light is constant. Up to now mass has been constant. BUT if we can reduce mass....bingo faster than light travel becomes possible! A lot of ifs I agree...but a possible first step.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Joe

      Mass is not constant according to Einstein. It varies with your speed. Object gain mass the faster they go.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • gary

        Agreed mass increases as aconstant to infinite as you approach the speed of light...the energy required also increases to infinite to exeed that barrier. but if mass is reduced the energy required is also reduced hence the possibility of being able to travel at translight veloccities

        July 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Mexicali

      Umm, no.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • John


        July 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Nemo

      this may (or may not) clear things up. E = MC2 (there is more to this equation but we will ignore that for right now). C2 equals speed of light squared.

      Lets rearrrange this to C2 = E/M. In this case if mass is reduced, the energy has to equal C2. If mass increases, then so does E, again to match C2. There is no way to exceed the speed of light, because it is a constant.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • gary

        Yes Nemo that is the equation but if mass could be DECREASED through discovery of the properties that govern this bson particle then a decrease of mass would mean a decrease in energy allowing for the possibility of translight travel. speed of light notwithstanding. I believe that was the point of my first post.

        July 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • Nemo

        I guess maybe I don't understand what you mean by translight speed.

        Because by the equation (C2 = E/M) the modification of the value of mass, even by experimental means of the Boson, if you reduce mass, you are still stuck with the speed of light equalling the energy required to balance the equation. You cannot have mass equalling 0, as that invalidate the equation.

        Which maybe this what you getting at, 'potentially' if an item has no mass, it is not restricted by this equation.... but you are not guarentteed to be in this universe anymore if you cannot reclaim your mass again, after your trip.

        So the key wording might be zero mass, not reduced mass.

        July 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Oscar Pitchfork

      Gee, Gary! You absolutely sound like someone parrotting laymen-level tech info off the internet in an attempt to sound like an expert. Think a little farther and you'll realize that the quality that gives stuff mass is also the quality that lets force accelerate it. That STILL doesn't mean you can go faster than light, anyway. It's only a theory, you know...

      July 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  52. inewt

    The article does not explain why the other particles dont give matter mass, or what is different about the HIggs that it does. It also implies that HIggs bosons are everywhere, which begs the question of there being mass everywhere.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Nemo

      many of the articles out ther eon this subject are trying their best to explain something whihc is fairly complex. Your statement that mass is everywhere is not far from the truth. The Higgs Boson is what gives each atom the 'ability' to have, feel drag due to mass. If they did not have mass, these particles would nto exist in our universe of particles that have mass.

      Even I am havign difficulty tryign to describe this.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Al

      So now we need to find just how prevalent they are. Do they fill what we consider to be empty space?

      July 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  53. Mexicali

    I love the ignorant comments about Dr. Bose not being mentioned and claiming racism, funny and predictable.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • jV

      See this link – its not unique to Prof. Bose, see the story of Dr. Yella, an Indian Scientist, who discovered tetraclycline and synthesised first anti-cancer drug – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellapragada_Subbarao

      July 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  54. Mat

    A hypothesis with no solid proof and its called scientific discovery and a expensive one at that.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • good_answer_nah

      sorry, but when did a hypothesis ever _require_ proof in order to be a hypothesis? They are carrying out a testable, scientific endeavor... in order to try and prove a hypothesis.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • good_answer_nah

      Besides, for the expense, I think it is worth it simply for the fascination factor.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • HealingMutti

      hypothesis: a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Robrob

      Actually, you will notice this article is excerpted from a 2011 article. The recent discovery is so new they had to go find an old (outdated) article just to explain what it was.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Curtis - theNohmad

      When scientist make discoveries, usually it doesn't get the same press as, let's say the NBA Finals, however I think it's perfectly fine to put the spot light on even the smallest discoveries that scientist make. It may or may not be true, but knowledge is a progressive and sometimes a small discoveries help clarify the context of previous assumptions.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  55. Tunny

    Im indian as well and i feel that the fellow indians complaining of racism or unprofessionalism in this artice are wrong. The article is about the discovery of a special Boson, called Higgs Boson in this case and all the credit goes to Higgs and others to have proposed this theory which was considered outlandish at that time. If it was being called Higgs particle then that wud have been racist. Grow up guys and understand how the citations work in the world of academia. For it to be called Higgs Boson is a enough recognition of Dr. Bose's work and no more shoud be mentioned or cited. It's sad he did not get a noble prize for it although so many others got it for taking his work further but neither did Gandhi get noble peace prize, so his chances were next to none anyway!!

    July 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  56. Jeff

    I love when CNN comes out with these science articles..

    Brings out not only the "Big Bang Theory" geeks...but the insults that only geeks can produce. lol.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  57. Charlie in Maine

    OMHB! nah it does not have the same impact as OMG.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • michael

      Hi Charlie! OMHB. LOL! What a good one.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Raj

      LOL. gr8 1

      July 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Dick Diamond

      And I thought all along that this was just another variety of the American Bison! LOL. No, I'm not serious, but as a former h.s. teacher, this would be one that students would say in Science class.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  58. guru

    Wow...Article about Higgs Boson without mention of Dr.Bose. Grow up CNN . This theory was first proposed by Dr.Bose and he collaborated with Einstein . And then Prof. Higgs continued .

    July 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  59. bencoates57

    Next up. The elementary particles that make up the boson. I propose we call them Zenu, Xantev, and Quarrels.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  60. Rachelle

    I just watched a video called "The higgs boson explained on vimeo " which was very helpful. It breaks down the concept behing the higgs boson particle even more so that those of us with a limited physics background can better understand.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  61. Darsh

    The Sub-Standard Journalism of CNN is on display again. The name Higgs Boson came from a British scientist Peter Higgs and Satyendra Bose. Successor to the work done by Bose himself and Albert Einstein, later added by Higgs, lead to this pioneering day. I see a racial flavor to this article that CNN novice have conveniently ignored by just saying "Higgs and Others". SHAME. CNN should focus on what its good at – Apple, Facebook and Lady GaGa

    July 4, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • southernwonder

      next thing you will tell us is that we can count is because the hindus gave us a number system. the fact is it came from rome.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • Raj

        That is exactly what I would say and is well known. LOL. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numeral_system

        July 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Paul

        From Rome came the Roman Numbers with no zero. Present day numerals are the Indian numerals. Einstein in mentioned in few of Dr Bose discovery as Einstein_Bose cause Einstein only helped in publishing Dr Bose discovery

        July 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • Paul

        The present day numbers are known as Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals or Indo-Arabic numerals. Arabic cause they brought these numbers to the west from India

        July 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • JC

      The main purpose of the article is to explain what the higgs boson is, not to exalt those who first proposed its existence. If you want a real scientific article, go to scientificamerican.com or nasa.gov.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  62. hermes96

    I have wondered for some time now, if the string theory and rubber band theory would produce unusual particle behavior that we could detect...the shadow of a another dimensional particle...The string and rubber band theories call for up to 24 dimensions all around us..

    Take a piece of white paper, a desk lamp, a ball, and some other object, like a child's toy..

    Place the paper on a table...and the lamp above the paper..hold the ball, above the paper but between the lamp and paper..notice the shadow..rotate the ball..the shadow, minus your hand stays the same...Now holds the toy..and notice the shadow..then rotate..the shadow is very different..but it is coming from the same object...

    Matter and anti-matter, have the same mass, but different spins..and if they come in contact they convert 100% into energy...

    In memory of dreamer96....

    July 4, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Dan, Tx

      yes, as far as I know, there is no reason to reject the notion that just like shadow on a two-dimensional space., three dimensional space can also host shadows from higher dimensional space. As far as I can tell, physicists have arbitrarily envisioned that higher dimensional spaces are of such small dimensions we can't see them in 3-dimensional space. But I think several macro and micro behaviors of the universe can be interpreted as interactions (shadows) with other spatial dimensions that need not be small.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • hermes96

        Yes Dan What I was implying, with my example, was this Higgs-Boson partiles could be an effect from another dimension...each shadow is micro...but many together form the Higgs-Boson field...

        Or explained in another way ...like if a 3 dimensional object moved through a 2 dimensional space, it would effect that 2 dimensional space with it's material, right?....But it may pass right through it's space, and be seen, or not seen...but could still effect objects in the 2 dimension space...Just think of the real space between our dimensional atoms...and if two objects from different dimensions pasted through the same space..would their atoms of those two different dimensions..interact??

        July 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  63. Tim

    The following quotation from the article makes me wonder:
    "It just makes sense within the framework that we've got everything set up in, given that everything else that we can describe and we can see seems to be described in this simple way,"
    The wonderful thing about science is when you discover something that has never been discovered before and and when that discovery leads to new and amazing things, which in turn builds our framework of understanding. I find it troubling when people try to force a theory into a "framework." A framework should be built by the science. Science should not be built around a preexisting framework. It is definitely a tricky balance and I applaud all the scientists out there helping us understand the world in which we live.

    July 4, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Rajinder Goyal

      I don't think CNN intentionally left out Satyendra Bose's name. Most likely, those who compiled this information, did not know about him. So, I wouldn't blame CNN. But having said that, there is no doubt in my mind (I am from India, now living in Canada and studied in America) that its far more difficult for someone from a country like India to gain the recognition that is so richly deserved. I would like to see CNN publish another article, explaining how the word 'boson' came into being.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  64. Raj

    The Bose in Higgs Boson is Satyendranath Bose, an Indian scientist.

    July 4, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Angelo

      Raj, this article is about the Higgs boson and not about bosons in general. I doubt very much that CNN has any ill will against Prof. Bose. By the way, I recall that it was the Western ("white") world that honored Styendranath Bose with naming the particles "bosons."

      July 4, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Raj

        It was Einstein, a friend of India to be more accurate.
        Bose worked with him on this research.
        The particle Higgs Boson is a subclass of Bosons and Bose's name definitely merits to be mentioned.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:32 am |
      • Angelo

        Raj, you are correct. There have been many remarkable Indian (and other non-white scientists) that have contributed much to our modern understanding of the world around us, and their achievements are noted. So kindly take it easy on the racism suggestions – they really do take away from the beauty and wonder of this moment in time.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Raj

        The point was about Bose getting credit and not about other Indian or non-Indian scientists (that would be a very long topic).
        Indeed, this is a wonderful moment and it would be even more enjoyable if due credits are given.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • rog

      How wonderfully eloquent and racist of you to point this out.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:28 am |
      • cesarchavez

        Then what would be your explanation for this omission?

        July 4, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • openMiND

      the following people and places however, were mentioned: peter higgs, martin archer, gordon kane, leon lederman, geneva, LHC...
      I'm just saying, either its racism or unprofessionalism

      July 4, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Angelo

        I now see your point, openMiND (and Raj too)... I'd still like to believe that it is incomplete journalism vs. racial malice.

        July 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • Jacob

        Lack of professionalism or callousness have always guised racism in public life.

        July 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • inewt

      Most of us never knew Bose was Indian; we just thought he designed speakers.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • abc

        Bose is a last name. So the person who designed the speaker and Dr. Bose who worker with Einstein are different person.

        July 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  65. Jim

    One would think that scientist's profession would explain creation. I mean show me one scientist that does not control
    or create the experiment they are trying to accomplish. Hence control & create

    July 4, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  66. Madtown90

    "The theory proposes that a so-called Higgs energy field exists everywhere in the universe." – Did they just discover the force?

    July 4, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  67. hemchandra

    The article so smacks of racism. The theory was first proposed by Dr. Satyendra Bose of India and Higgs worked on it. To name only Higgs in this article really shows how racism still prevails in subtle way. The name Higgs Boson is derived from the name of Bose. Bose did not get noble price because he was an Indian. This article does injustice to bose by not mentioning his name along with Higgs. Please reply agree if you think CNN should mention name of Bose in this article.

    July 4, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • George


      July 4, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • ArizonaYankee

      Yet another inept liberal claiming racism...You people are sickening. Clearly you have learned well from the blacks around the world. They contribute little, but cry racism all the time. Get a life.....

      July 4, 2012 at 10:39 am |
      • Darsh

        You are plain wrong and very well represent the other side of racism. So don't claim that you are Mr. clean either. Hypocrite. The Sub-Standard Journalism of CNN is on display again. The name Higgs Boson came from a British scientist Peter Higgs and Satyendra Bose. Successor to the work done by Bose himself and Albert Einstein, later added by Higgs, lead to this pioneering day. I see a racial flavor to this article that CNN novice have conveniently ignored by just saying "Higgs and Others". SHAME. CNN should focus on what its good at – Apple, Facebook and Lady GaGa

        July 4, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • hemchandra

        You are typical southerner who does not recognize contribution of those beyond your own race. In fact you sound like a person who don't even know where on the world map India is or even don't know anything outside of Arizona. Typical of racists who blame eveything on the label "liberal". When there is no substantial argument label someone liberal. What you are saying implies that conservatives are racists. But that is not true. I am neither a liberal nor a conservative. Btw, I come from the civilization which was among the firsts to study physics and mathematics and master it.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:16 am |
      • joey joe joe

        Bad Redneck!!! No NASCAR today!!

        July 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • JC

        You're wrong to assume that anyone claiming the article is racist is also a liberal.

        July 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Johan S

      Being a boson is a characteristic of the higgs boson. It's like saying the person who first found out there were glass marbles should be given credit for the discovery that there should be blue marbles. It's a separate discovery from the first.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • hemchandra

        If what you are saying is correct then scientists should have name the thing only "Higgs" instead of "Higgs Boson" because the name "Higgs Boson" implies the major contribution by Dr. Bose. You are generalizing this issue by giving a very naive analogy.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • Dr_Flow


        Actually, this seems a reasonable appropriate analogy.

        A Boson is a more general term, one of the two classes of elementary particles (the other being Fermions). Bosons include other well known particles, including photons and gluons. You're correct that we don't commonly refer to photons and gluons as "photon bosons" and "gluon bosons", but in this case "Higgs" is just an adjective. Maybe "Higgon" would have been a good idea.

        Should Alexander Graham Bell get credit for the invention of the "mobile phone"?

        Now, I'm no expert in particle physics (aerodynamicist), so I don't know how integral Dr. Bose was in the theory of the Higgs Boson, if he was, then he very well may have been shortchanged, but I can't see that just based on the name.

        In fact, particle classes Fermions and Bosons are unique in that they are named after important scientists. Most (all?) specific particles are not named after individuals (photons, gluons, protons, nuetrons, etc...).

        Seems if anything, Bose (and Fermi) have special recognition. And because Bose's name is appended to Higgs, the continues to enjoy continued recognition.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • pensimmon


      July 4, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Tayyiba Bhatti

      I feel cnn is unfair by not mentioning bose, and should have been a little more thorough with their article and give credit to where it is due.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • YV

      I agree – I usually don't agree with claims of racism, but in this case you're 100% correct. It's shamefully racist for the white scientist to get all the credit. Boo CNN

      July 4, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Sam

      You know who else never got the Nobel peace prize – Mahatma Gandhi, the man who inspired many by his peaceful ways.
      You know the reason why.
      If Mahatma Gandhi could not get peace prize being an Indian then what chance do others stand.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • lexlea

        That's disturbing to find out. He of all people should have received the noble prize for peace.

        July 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mb

      There are 6 types of bosons. The Higgs Boson is one of them and the only one in the article they are talking about.
      From Wikipedia:
      While most bosons are composite particles, in the Standard Model, there are six bosons which are elementary:

      the four gauge bosons (γ · g · W± · Z)
      the Higgs boson (H0)
      the graviton (G).

      July 4, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • hemchandra

        The word Boson itself is derived from the name Bose.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Ray

      For Pete's sake, is there ANY subject that can be discussed without it degenerating into a racial war and name calling? Grow up...you all sound like idiots.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • lexlea

      Ordinarily, I assume the worst in people and their intentions. This is not an exceptional moment, either. CNN omitted Dr. Bose either out of ignorance or intentionlly. Nevertheless, this thread has allowed Dr. Bose to receive his due credit with passionate support. So instead of being passively mentioned within the article he is receiving acolades and multideminsional views of his wonderful contributions to the field of physics.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  68. Victoria

    The article said "The general consensus among physics academics is that the Higgs field and boson exists, according to Archer." It is interesting to see how scientists rely on faith and emotion. There still is no definitive proof and yet they have this faith. Maybe it is there and maybe it isn't. Faith and emotion have no place in the scientific process. These people sound like religious nutcases as they are relying so much on faith and emotion to prove a point instead of data.

    July 4, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Abbeystone

      Billions of dollars, trillions of particle collisions, and thousands of physicists all say you're a complete ignoramus.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • bmjohnson75

      Don't confuse a consensus of opinion with faith and emotion, please. One is a highly educated guesstimate based on facts, the other is a leap of belief based on limited evidence.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Jerome Haltom

      A theory makes predictions. If every aspect of a theory is confirmed, multiple times, in many ways: then the predictions are highly likely to occur.

      They still might not. Which is why they're bothering to look for the Higgs in the first place.

      This is not faith. There is evidence that the Standard Model works for everything currently observed. A consequence is the Higgs. So instead of believing that the Higgs exists, they're going to go find it.

      When you come up with an experiment to find God, let us know. Or a cohesive tested theory which makes predictions of God that even allow you to test something.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Phaedrus

      If you replace 'physicists' with 'religious people' and 'Higgs field and boson' with 'god' your statement would be correct. As written the statement merely displays a gross lack of understanding for the Scientific Method. This lack of understanding for how science conducts itself seems to run rampant in those of religious faith... I suppose because it's much more convienient to simply claim "goddidit" than tax the grey matter with complexity.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • stateschool

      As of yesterday, there was a 1/16,000 chance that they were in error in claiming that they discovered the Higgs Boson. That is unacceptable to the scientific community, which requires no less than a 1/1,700,000 possibility of error in order to call it a "discovery." That's the difference between faith and science. Bottom line: they found the Higgs Boson.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Laura

      Victoria – I guess you would consider Father Georges LeMaitre a religious nutcase also. He was one of the earliest proponents of the Big Ban Theory. He was a priest and Monsignor who had a PHD in physics.
      So much for the argument that science and religion do not mix.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  69. Paul

    What other tricks can this CERN thingy do? Was the $10B investment just to find this one particle?

    July 4, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • stateschool

      Go light off some fireworks, and let the grownups talk.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • Paul

        Well, was it??? If this particle is the only thing it was created for, was it worth it?
        And excuse me for interrupting this highly intellectual discourse.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • geekycraig

      CERN is actactually an organization, European center for nuclear research, the lhc is a particle accelorator/atom smasher . Like a really big Fermi lab. While the inspiration was to prove/disprove the highs. However it has many many research stations and thousands of projects. The highs is a big one but it is really to figure out the universe. I really can't list off ALL it does, bit no, the highs isn't the only thing. A Wikipedia search should help you greatly.

      July 4, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • geekycraig

        Highs =higgs auto-correct is going nuts today.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  70. Binta

    Whatever you call it Higgs Boson, God, Christ Consciousness. This has everything to do with religion! Science and religion are one and we are at the brink of discovering that creation is real. Who made the Higgs Boson? All the particles of the universe are discussed in the Autobiography of a Yogi! East and West need to talk and then the cause behind the particles and the force of all of creation (will) will be understood. I'm not a scientist. I do believe in alchemy! Good luck Archer. When you find Higgs Boson you will still need to find what created it! This is facinating and wonderful.

    July 4, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • axby

      @Binta What are you smoking? That must be pretty good stuff. Can you please share it with the rest of us?

      July 4, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • fakda

      "Science and religion are one and we are at the brink of discovering that creation is real. " – Gosh you are so dumb...

      July 4, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Yea Right

      Very interesting point Binta. I have also come to believe that God, science and math are one. The true knowledge of science and math is God. But for centuries, man has been trying to exclude God from science and math. Therefore their thought of discovery has become corrupt. Just like when they tried to build a tower up to heaven. Their goal of doing so was corrupt and the language was changed, that caused confusion, that resulted in an unfinished tower. The God Who created the Universe created it on the basis of mathematics and science. Isn't it funny how people studies what God created, and becomes a scientist. Then they come up with all these theories that excludes God. And you wonder why we can't evolve into anything greater then what we have become. Weather God used a big bang or took His time, does it make a difference? Scientist say we ozzied out of water and dirt. Is that any different from, "God made a mist come on the ground and He formed man from the dust of the ground? So, really, man is trying his best to excude the creator from the creation. And so, they continue to come up with alot of endless discoveries of nothing. In all these post these wise people are saying on this thread, are still just as endless and clueless as the scienctist who still came up with nothing.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • Dodo

        They "ozzied out of water and dirt"? I am not familiar with the verb "to ozzy", but it sounds fantastic!

        July 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """I'm not a scientist. I do believe in alchemy! """

      Well, then – we shall accordingly grant you all the credibility you deserve.

      Which is none.


      July 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  71. Dynamic

    It should be called "Some Physicists' God Particle" as in "some Physicists' version of finding the elusive proof to support their theoretical beliefs".

    July 4, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  72. PT Barnum

    If the discovered particle turns out to be an imposter, perhaps it should be renamed the "Higgs Bozo."

    July 4, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Rachelle

      Ha! That's funny

      July 4, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  73. PT Barnum

    If this discovered particle turns out to be an imposter, perhaps it should be renamed "the Higgs Bozo."

    July 4, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  74. Frank

    Wow! This research is right on the foreskin of science!

    July 4, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  75. Dynamic

    I thought mass was due to a displacement of space-time. E=mc^2 because mass is a function of photonic self-interference and the resulting space-time displacement (didn't Einstein theorize this many decades ago?)... Gravity coincides with mass and the ensuing displacement of space-time ("warping" of space-time) via photonic self-interference, thus the association of mass and energy with the speed of photons. This is high-school level Physics, right? "Scientists" seriously think there is a PARTICLE that can have mass associated with it? That's LUDICROUS!!! Unless by "particle" they mean "phenomenon"...

    July 4, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Phaedrus

      Okay. That was impressive. Now, if you could explain all that in relation to how the tin-foil hat you are wearing protects you from extraterrestrial mind warping rays we would have the whole picture.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Dynamic

        You humans ... so humorous, and yet you're so close to the truth (with the tin replaced by gold ... good protection from other human's thought energy).

        July 4, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  76. Ted

    Is Higgs boson antimatter ?

    July 4, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • geekycraig

      /o, it is in simplest terms the particle that causes mass. Anti-mater is the opposite of matter. Thing of an acid and a base, the acid would be like matter the base acid. Vinegar and baking soda. When they interact, they cease to exist. In my example you have a neutral, no more acid or base, bit just a crude example. Antimatter is very abundant but very hard to contain since we like to use matter to contain things, which is why you see magnetic or electrical containment in movies, like the Tom hanks one.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:45 am |
      • geekycraig

        Sorry, using a tab and uninteded words appear, I meant base is like antimatter (in my example)

        July 4, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • stateschool

      Or you could have just said, "No, it isn't anti-matter."

      July 4, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • Angelo

        And yet you, Statechool, could have just kept your pointless opinion to yourself.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  77. Debra

    Fascinating article. The great thing about this subject is, all the great replies .Having a good time reading them .

    July 4, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • pallidin

      i think i just fell in love with you.

      July 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  78. wizard2399

    Sheldon, Leanord, and Raj are doing cartwheels.

    July 4, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  79. onestarman

    SHOT in the DARK. The LHC at CERN is Looking for a Missing Particle. There is a 'Niche' waiting for it in the Standard Model. We have an idea of where to look – at what energy level – so we are looking with our new, more powerful machine. It looks like the Detectors have found something where we are looking – so it is probably the particle that fits in the missing slot. But the idea that THIS particle has some kind of 'Magical Power' that makes Other Particles have MASS is just SPECULATION – There is No Reason that THIS Particle is 'The One'

    July 4, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  80. charles andress

    scientists do not realize that if you think God created the universe or not, it is one of the major reasons we are not killing, raping, and looting at will. laugh at me or not, but think if one day someone just happens to prove that when you die that is it. then there is no reason to act morally, or the will to get up each day and try to do the right thing. P.S. the billions they have wasted on these projects could feed the hungry for years.

    July 4, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • daniel

      So the only reason to act morally is so you go to heaven when you die?

      You don't act morally because it's the right thing to do?

      July 4, 2012 at 9:34 am |
      • Lowell

        To act morally in this life you will be at peace with yourself not torn because inside us there is an innate desire to have balance. No matter how we choose to veer from the correct path, we can almost see where we need to go to get back to it. In society today, many are trying to make a new balance or morality, but no matter much they strain at the balance, it violates the peace of another. So perfect peace is not only acting moral for oneself but acting morally as a whole society. The inner peace has to be a choice of an individual or else it doesn't work. So if I tell you what or how you should live then because you obey me doesn't give you peace, it simply gives me control. I have no right to control you because that is not a part of your peace. How were we born so complex that balance and peace involve everything we do? How come love is the supreme motivator for all of society? Like it was written, "Love your neighbor like your love yourself." Why?

        July 4, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Fritz

        That's the thing that bugs me the most about the religious folks. They won't do good unless they get something out of it. In the case of Muslims, it's their 72 virgins, with Christians it's looking forward to sitting on a cloud with Jesus and their loved ones admiring God for all eternity. For the Jews, I guess frolicking with Moses and Elijah in Yahwayland. They like using that 'pain and reward' tactic to scare the rest of us into becoming like them. "Join us or face the lake of fire! And give us your money and don't tax us!" That's how you train a dog! The Christians are the worst. You can't lose in that religion! You can be a mass murdering child molestor but if you repent and do your penance and declare Jesus as your lord and savior while getting dunked, then you're in! Right through the pearly gates! No questions asked! Doing right for the sake of righteousness alone WITHOUT the reward of Heaven is somthing they wll never understand.

        July 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Phaedrus

      So... CNN does an article on the possible discovery of the Higg's Boson, dummies it down so that a third grader can grasp its meaning, and all you can see is something from the Holy Babble, Epistemophobia 1:6, that reads "thou shalt not try to comprehend the meaning of science nor its discoveries, for they that dwell in the house of science are apostates who promulgate rape, killing and looting. Science is the enemy of all things good. Science is false prophecy, the laboratory of evil."


      July 4, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Lejaune

      So you think it's the threat of going to hell after death that keeps people from committing crimes and murders, not the lengthy imprisonment or death penalty?

      July 4, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • egl1091

        it's not why everyone doesn't kill people, but it's why a lot of people don't kill people:


        July 4, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • Fritz

        I keep telling my 'id monster', "I know you keep me alive and safe, but if I let you out your box you'll run amuck and kil too many people. Then the state will have to kill both us and and that sniveling weakling 'God boy' (superego) to save themselves." That's why the death penalty works with most of us I think.

        July 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • ADudeOnABike

      I wholeheartedly disagree. I have been an atheist for most of my life, and I already personally believe that when you die, that's it. I believe this with every fiber of my being. Yet I don't spend all day trying to destroy society for my own personal gains, even if I thought I could get away with it... what a shock!

      I believe that when you die, you are gone forever, and there is no afterlife. This gives me more motivation to be the best person I can be and to make the most of every moment. I have a limited time in existence, and during my time being alive on this planet, I strive to do the best to better the planet and those around me.

      If the only reason you don't commit flagrant crimes all day and act selfishly is because you believe some higher power will reward you if you behave, I think you have some soul-searching to do.

      I would also like to add that this article had absolutely nothing to do with religion... so I don't see where your comment fits in.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • egl1091

        do you think everyone has your moderate character and capacities for rational reflection?

        July 4, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • lexlea

        Reseach shows that the death penalty does not deter people from killing.

        July 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
      • leftinbrooklyn

        Classic. An atheist who believes that 'when you die, that's it', also believes that some of us may have 'some SOUL-searching to do. I LOL'd on that one. Cake, and eat it, too....

        Pick a lane, Dude....

        July 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mike

      Sorry Charles after you die that's not all. There is a god and heaven is real. People need to wake up.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • Todd in DC

        And your proof of this, Mike, is...

        And please don't say "the bible". That just proves that Santa is real by all the Christmas stories written by him.

        And also, please don't say, "I just know". Unless you are claiming you are God yourself.

        July 4, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Sorry

      So sorry that you need the thought of a God or heaven to be a good human being. You would not want to live a good life, have fun, have love, have kids and family if 70,80,90,100 years of life is al you get? OK so without God and heaven you would be mean, killer, hate everyone?

      July 4, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Oh Charles

      rape pillage plunder is so often done in the name of God it is not even funny. To say we would do something at will if we did not have God and heaven that we already do at will is just well simple minded.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Potshard

      Do you have any idea what the US spends each year on its food stamp program? The money spent on this project would only dent a single year's budget, much less "feed the hungry for years". At least get your proportions right before you start believing your own recipes for others' wrongness.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • withoeve

      The waste is much like wasting money on inventing irrigation or electricity or even wasting a perfectly good piece of club-wood to make a fire.

      And as for morality, a man or woman who will not be moral unless there is a god is not moral, only afraid.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • bptsj

      I don't believe in a God but I live by the Golden Rule because I believe it's the right thing to do. I'm kind to people and animals because it makes me feel good about myself. Discovery or not of the Higgs particale won't alter my morals.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:21 am |
      • Believer

        BTW, the so called Golden Rule comes from the Bible as a quotation from Jesus Christ and can be found in Matthew 7:12. The basis for morality quoted by so many self-proclaimed non-believers comes from the words of the Son of God.

        July 4, 2012 at 11:23 am |
      • Jeff Williams

        """so called Golden Rule comes from the Bible"""

        Don't kid yourself. Most of what you know from the bible came from previous cultures and civilizations, *including* the sentiment behind the golden rule. The bible was most certainly not a cutting edge treatise on ethics.

        July 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """it is one of the major reasons we are not killing, raping, and looting at will"""

      Charles, your comment is another example of how irrational religious beliefs can totally distort one's view of reality. Men have believed in mythical gods since early times yet the killing, raping, torture, looting, thievery, adultery, etc have all continued to plague mankind.

      Maybe, Charles, mankind should give atheism a chance. I think we'd see some improvement in the human condition when we actually take charge of our own destinies.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  81. Sheldon


    July 4, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  82. haha

    CNN Worst ratings ever. Keep spinning the liberal garbage and avoiding the real news please, you deserve every poor rating you get.

    July 4, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • onestarman

      Silly Fox-Bat Trix are for Kids.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Johan S

      What liberal garbage? Physics is now liberalism? LOL.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """Keep spinning the liberal garbage"""

      Yeah, man – enough of dat libtardl educational knowledge, science and physics stuff.

      Who needs all dat when we gots FOX and NASCAR?

      July 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • nwg6011

        Where would NASCAR be without physics?

        July 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  83. Raven

    Well written article. But lets face it, history has shown that once scientists find their elusive tiny particle.
    The numbers then say there is an even smaller more elusive particle.

    July 4, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  84. maitai

    Sorry guys but I can think of 10 billion ways to spend $10 billion. What a waste of money. Imagine using that money to clean our oceans of plastic, cleaning our rivers, streams, the very air we breath. To find this particle does not and will not enrich our life, nor the lives of all the endangered animals and those near extinction. Discovery is great yes, but at a time when our world is so damn polluted, and we are losing so many creatures due to our carelessness and mistreatment of the environment....how people can accept such a waste of tax payer money is beyond me. Fix the planets ills and then, yes, allow the scientists "play" with their toys for their self gratification. Hopefully they wont create a mini-black hole to destroy the planet, and everything in it.

    July 4, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • conch39

      I tend to agree with maitai in tackling our global priorities and have commited my professional life to "saving the seas and all its wonders"...and in so doing, helping to rebuild and replenish reefs, coastal shores, and ultimately a blue/green planet Still, we all have vital personal, professional, and global goals to reach, and so I do believe that particle research in physics is also an important part of building our knowledge of universe(s). In saving the planet and humankind, we must also keep scientific research and the age of new discoveries alive, too. I just want to work on the more immediate human and planetary needs. Keeping our global priorities, goals and visions straight–that has always been difficult for humans to do.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • dj

      10 billion is nothing compared to the cost of the last ten years of war...which I notice you did not mention. I don't deny that we should focus on taking care of the planet and cleaning up our mess for our children's sake and all the children after them. The first step is to stop trying to solve our problems using the biggest kid/bully on the playground model, (do it my way or I'll bust you in the mouth with a drone). It is time we evolve and grow up to be smarter and more tolerant.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • kris

      CERN is privately funded

      July 4, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Stephen

      How can you say it will not enrich our lives? Did you not go to school or educate yourself at all? Most of what we have is because of physics. Electricity, airplanes, cars, buildings, your home and computer you are currently using to spill your garbage...the list goes on and on and you're going to type up some ignorant message declaring to the world that it isn't important to study the field whose study gives us a life, even the innate things like many of our body's mechanisms that keep us alive and give us a "soul"? It is because of physics we have our planet and would be able to fix problems with it that you would probably suggest. Please educate yourself. Also, on a side note, even if this money hadn't gone to the collider it NEVER would have gone to feed starving people, because the people funding this stuff are educated and aware of the food curve. The more starving people you feed, the less food there is for other people who are marginally starving, which eventually kills them. It's the food curve and the only way a population can continue to exist without wiping out the planet. Please educate yourself.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:33 am |
      • maitai

        Stephen, you should be careful insulting people who you do not know assuming they are not educated. Who are you to suggest such a thing. I retired at 48 after a very successful career in "my" chosen profession. What about you? My point was only to suggest this type of spending is at a time when there are far more immediate / pressing problems that need attention. You have your opinion and I have mine. Who are you to dismiss mine, just because you don't agree. Now go back into the corner and contemplate patting yourself on the back for insulting others to make you feel better about yourself.

        July 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • George Jenkins

      I agree, we need to drastically slash our military budget to support the areas you indicate. Science funding is necessary to our future survival on this planet and should be drastically increased. Over 50% of each federal tax dollar goes to military funding. Our military budget is almost all the other nations on this planets military spending combined. If we were to reduce the military budget by 25%, we'd have ample funds to clean up our country, provide better education, and increase science funding.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  85. Wayne

    Um, certainly interesting, BUT... Why would bunch of elementary particles clinging to other particles (an electron, for example) give that electron mass? in other words, why do Higgs bosons themselves have this property called "mass" so that they can transfer it to other particles? From the (admittedly) popular explanation given here, it seems like we're just "passing the mass buck" along to another particle candidate.

    July 4, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Vince

      Exactly Wayne. Most of science is just explaining one unknown in terms of another unknown, and call it progress. I am not a physicist, but this sounds like another trivial discovery blown all out of proportion.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:02 am |
      • Phaedrus

        Exactly, Vince. You are not a physicist.

        July 4, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • mschlichting

        The Theory:

        Particles are events happening in fields. Particle + Field 4eva. Particles are not -solid things-. They can come and go. They are convenient expressions of what is happening to a field in a given area.

        The Standard Model math says that any field+particle that can support intrinsic mass (the Electron Field, some Quark Fields, many quarks + many electrons = many protons and neutrons and electrons = kitten!) does so only because it is geared into the Higgs Field.

        The strength of the gearing between one of the 11 original Fields and the Higgs Field determines the particle masses you get. This is why some particles have more mass than others. How are the strengths chosen? Who knows!

        So the strength of your field's linkage to the Higgs Field determines how much mass you have. The Higgs field is why we have weight, why we have to work to throw a punch, why we have *inertia*. Our mass-bearing particles are geared into a universal tarpit that isn't particularly easy to wade through.

        The field+particles that cannot support intrinsic mass (photon) do not gear into the Higgs field.

        The Experiments:

        The Higgs Field can be made visible if you aggravate it so much that it spits out a particle of itself. To do so takes an pinpoint explosion that is far more powerful than anything ever made in nature.

        That is exactly what the particle accelerators do! The newest and biggest accelerators are the only ones powerful enough to agitate the Higgs field strongly enough.

        In a particle accelerator explosion, a Higgs boson (particle!) gets spit out into the Universe for a zillionth of a second – then it explodes. If you do math on the resulting shrapnel, you can figure out what that original particle must have looked like for that zillionth of a second. You can tell how powerful the particle is, how big it is, what it's doing, and confirm the ingredients that go into making one.

        Tonight's Punchline:

        Scientists are now 99.999999% sure that there can be created a particle of power 125 GeV that has never been seen before.

        Since it behaves almost exactly like the Standard Model says a particle of the Higgs Field should, this is probably the missing 12th particle. Fields that can draw mass, draw their mass from this field.

        The Standard Model looks really good. More complicated theories lose. The carton has all 12 eggs. Yay science!

        July 4, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """I am not a physicist, but this sounds like another trivial discovery blown all out of proportion."""

      'I am not a physicist;' says it all, Vince. This is no trivial matter at all – its a very big deal in physics.

      Why in the world, would you guess, has biliions of dollars been spent on such a *trivial* matter?

      July 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  86. Moby Schtick

    Holy sh!t!! Thank you, LHC and Switzerland!!

    Now go find it, please!. I wonder how soon they could actually find the particle, and how much the discovery might change our lives? Will finding the Higgs allow us to "customize" chemical and mechanical processes and allow us to control our environment even more?

    July 4, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Jack sheet

      Think of it as another step in mankind's ability to kill more humans, leading to the extinction of the human race.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  87. jrvinnh

    How lucky we are to live in an age where the truth about the universe and the answers to long-asked questions are finally starting to become known. It's so unfortunate that some still cling to ancient explanations that are simplistic and obviously wrong.

    July 4, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  88. Tap

    Good to find the "God Particle" but do the scientists know how to contain that particle if anything goes wrong???

    July 4, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • stevie weevie

      Nothing can go wrong. They are merely looking for evidence that it exists. It's sort of like a spec of dust. A spec of dust can't do much, and this particle is most likely the smallest thing in the universe. It's mass is so small, that it won't have much energy at all.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Phaedrus

      I'm not sure what you mean by 'contain'. If the theory is correct, that little bugger is everywhere now, floating around, uncontained...

      I think what you are insinuating is the canard about the LHC creating 'black holes' that will suck the universe into oblivion. Makes for great science fiction and feeds the paranoia of conspiracy theorists and religious quacks, but it ain't gonna happen. Besides, even if it did... if the universe was destroyed in an almost immeasurable instance of time... it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. What would follow could only be better than the mess we humans have created.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  89. AGuest9

    It is in precisely the area that the teams at Tevatron were looking. Unfortunately, they were told to stop (as well as were defunded). We have now handed over the mantle to the Europeans. They will fly into space, they will find new science, just as the Chinese will invent and build new things. This country is through. How appropriate for July 4th!

    July 4, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • AGuest9

      Thank the fundamentalists and the conservatives for destroying a great nation.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:04 am |
      • Consequence

        Uh, What? Religious inquiry into questions of from where we came, what is our purpose, do we have a life beyond death are the well spring of scientific discovery.

        July 4, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • jrvinnh

      What does NASA stand for? Needs Apollo Started Again

      July 4, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Mark

      You know, I looked around and around and around and tried as hard as I could to find any evidence that what you were saying was correct. The Tevatron ran for over 2 decades and was shut down partially because of a decrease in funding. I see no mention, anywhere, of fundamentalists fighting to shut it down. You can blame them if you want, but I think you're laying the blame at the feet of the wrong people.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • ADudeOnABike

        Well, I can kind of understand his train of thought. Not that fundamentalists and conservatives actually shut the place down, or were picketing outside the facility, or anything like that... but that conservatives are usually pushing for removing funding from scientific programs not deemed to be money-makers. To a conservative, if it doesn't make money, then it's not important. I personally believe that mindset is one of the reasons the USA is so far behind other countries in science and math– we, as a society, place little importance on scientific discovery for the sake of scientific discovery. All science must either make the country money, work to cure diseases, or make things more efficient. Anything else (like... particle physics, for example) is a useless waste of time and resources. This has, unfortunately, been an idea more propogated by conservatives.

        However, I would like to add that I am getting very tired very quickly of the comments section of every news story being turned into political ranting. This article had absolutely nothing to do with funding, with conservatives vs liberals, or with anything political in even the smallest sense. Society is so polarized that we can't STOP thinking about politics, even for one second. We read articles about pure scientific discovery and nothing more, and instead of focusing on how the discovery might change our understanding of the universe, we just right to "Is this a liberal or conservative agenda? I know there's a political agenda in there somewhere!" It's quite unhealthy.

        July 4, 2012 at 9:41 am |


    July 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  91. warsteiner

    I love reading about theories at hopefully the edge of discovery. Thanks for the explanation it was well thought out and written so even a novice like me could understand.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:12 am |
  92. Web Design Package

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    July 4, 2012 at 1:37 am |


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