July 5th, 2012
04:31 PM ET

Higgs boson is like ... a Justin Bieber fan?

It's like molasses! But sort of like the air! Yet it also behaves like fans of Justin Bieber!

Everyone's talking about the Higgs boson, even though there's no really great metaphor for describing what it is and how it works. We know that this particle is responsible for the fact that matter - i.e. the stuff we are made of - has mass. Beyond that, physicists have to get creative.

Scientists from the European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN) said yesterday that they had discovered a new particle with attributes of the Higgs boson, a particle that had never been detected, but needs to exist in order for current theories about the universe to remain true.

"It's an enormous celebration and everyone's incredibly excited to have found it, but this is by no means a gigantic surprise," said prominent theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed.

Profile: Colliding with the universe's best-kept secrets

In fact, Arkani-Hamed, who works at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, said he was "dead certain" that the Higgs would be found, and would have staked a year's salary on it.

"It's amazing that something so simple is actually involved," Arkani-Hamed said of the Higgs boson.

For the public, however, it's not such an elegant idea: The theory goes that everything in our universe exists in a Higgs field, which is uniform everywhere. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to excite the field enough to detect a Higgs boson. If Higgs bosons were just free-floating, we wouldn't need a $10 billion collider to detect them, Arkani-Hamed explains.

How can we visualize this?

Imagine we are all immersed in an invisible molasses-like bath, physicist Brian Greene of Columbia University said earlier this year. As electrons move through the bath they experience a resistance, which corresponds to mass. "As far as the Higgs particle itself, it’s actually the tiniest nugget of this molasses-like substance," he said.

Martin Archer, a physicist at Imperial College in London, explains it differently: He compares the phenomenon to Justin Bieber in a crowd of teenage girls. If he tries to move through them, they slow him down, and his speed decreases the more they're attracted to him. "We think we have found these teenage girls," he told CNN Wednesday.

Similarly, if the universe is like a party, people who are relatively unknown will pass through the room quickly, while more popular people are slowed down by their friends, who correspond to Higgs bosons.

OK, so how about detecting the Higgs bosons? Imagine air isn't something that you need to survive, but you want to know if there is air in the room that you are standing in, says Arkani-Hamed. If there's a piano in the room and you can hear someone playing it, there must be air, because sound needs air to travel through. You can think about the Higgs field like the air... or not.

Where did it come from?

It's not as if a particle just showed up and said, "Hi, I'm a Higgs boson; sorry I'm late." More data is needed to determine what exactly the results mean.

Scientists had to look for the particle's signature at the Large Hadron Collider, which operates in a 17-mile tunnel underneath the border between France and Switzerland. This $10 billion machine smashes protons together at unprecedented energies to look for indications of never-before-seen particles and other clues to outstanding mysteries about the universe.

The results announced Wednesday were almost exactly what physicists had believed: The Higgs boson appears to be 125 to 126 times the mass of a proton, and has other properties consistent with the leading theory.

But there are some aspects of these results that don't quite match up to expectations. The number representing the rate at which the particle is produced and decays seems to be one-and-a-half to two times too big. This could very well be a statistical anomaly that will disappear as more results come in at the Large Hadron Collider this year. Or, this could mean that there's about to be a lot of new physics to explain it.

"It certainly adds a lot to the fun right now," Arkani-Hamed said.

Of course, discoveries are always made in a messy way, and the results would have appeared more suspicious if they had been neater, he said.

Physicists speculate that the early universe was extremely hot and not filled with a Higgs field, but the field formed as the universe cooled, changing phases the way that water solidifies into ice. There is no direct evidence of this, however.

What else might the LHC deliver?

As confident as Arkani-Hamed is about the Higgs boson, he's less certain that the Large Hadron Collider's will confirm supersymmetry. This is a theory that Arkani-Hamed works on personally. The basic idea is that every particle has a "super partner" with similar properties in a quantum dimension. It is possible that scientists will see evidence of these extra dimensions at the collider; supersymmetry could even modify aspects of the Higgs boson.

Scientists are also hoping to learn new insights about the early universe, and perhaps even get indicators of dark matter, a mysterious invisible substance thought to be involved in galaxy formation.

The Large Hadron Collider will continue operating until the end of 2012, and then come back online in 2014 after a two-year shut-down with its full energy of 14 TeV.

"The common expectation is that we'd see the Higgs, ... and then we'd also see other physics," he said. "It would be a wonderful, extra surprise if we see new physics in the production of the Higgs."

And here's one analogy that Arkani-Hamed and colleagues hate: the Higgs boson as a "God particle." That name came about because Leon Lederman reportedly wanted to call his book "The Goddamn Particle." But he shortened it to "The God Particle," a term that has become inextricably linked to the Higgs boson.

Follow CNN Light Years on Twitter

soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. HolisticDNA

    Higgs Boson / “God Particle” -2012 Science validates a 150+ year old discovery ……….Steve Meyer / New Thought Movement / HolisticDNA

    This definition of New Thought / The New Thought Movement represents an excellenet summary from Wikipedia, and I agree wtih 98% of it. The other 2% – I believe that sickness can start in the mind and/or the body; not just the mind, and that “God” is a religous manufactured term and description of what is actually Infinite Intelligence, and therefore should be removed from the definition….

    “New Thought promotes the ideas that “Infinite Intelligence” or “God” is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and “right thinking” has a healing effect.Although New Thought is neither monolithic nor doctrinaire, in general modern day adherents of New Thought believe that “God” or “Infinite Intelligence” is “supreme, universal, and everlasting”, that divinity dwells within each person, that all people are spiritual beings, that “the highest spiritual principle [is] loving one another unconditionally … and teaching and healing one another”, and that “our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living”.

    The New Thought movement is a spiritually-focused or philosophical interpretation of New Thought beliefs. Started in the early 19th century, today the movement consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations,[citation needed] authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and personal power.

    The three major religious denominations within the New Thought movement are Religious Science, Unity Church and the Church of Divine Science. There are many other smaller churches within the New Thought movement, as well as schools and umbrella organizations.”

    August 30, 2012 at 5:24 am |
  2. Sad State of CNN

    Thank you for reminding me why I don't get my news from CNN anymore. Cronkite is probably rolling in his grave.

    July 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  3. Brian

    How is something 126 times larger than a proton considered a subatomic particle? That is the size of Iodine.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Great Dane

      Please read: "The Higgs boson appears to be 125 to 126 times the mass of a proton". Mass, not size. There is a huge difference.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  4. tsharlie

    Great discovery, might mean we can calculate its regression sincce there is almost a reverse reaction most of the time. wonder what would happen.

    July 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  5. Valery Fabrikant

    What amazes me is that not a single reporter at the press conference asked the scientist the questions that need to be asked:

    Would you kindly explain what exactly was observed? How do you know this is unknown particle? What if it was not Boson, but rather compendium of 133 protons stuck together?

    July 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  6. AGuest9

    It is so sad to see the depths that science writing has sunk. Really? Justin Bieber? If this is how science is now taught, it explains the following paper: "The Elements of Item Response Theory and its Framework in Analyzing
    Introductory Astronomy College Student Misconceptions. I. Galaxies". In it, three university professors explore the understanding of their students, and their misconceptions regarding galactic and extra-galactic astronomy in a 100-level course. 75-80% of students of an introductory astronomy course at the University of Maine – Orono went into the course thinking that: the Milky Way is the center of the universe, the Sun is at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and the Sun is at the center of the universe. Just as frightening is finding that nearly as many students were of the impression that there are only a few galaxies, OR that the Milky Way is the only galaxy, as not. I think this begins to explain our low standing amongst the industrialized nations. What is being taught for science in this country's high schools?

    July 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  7. $tillRun!n1@Ya.Com

    Science is AWESOME!!!

    July 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  8. scamarena

    thanks, that's all i needed to prove my point!

    July 6, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Primewonk

      No. The point is that purposefully choose to be ignorant about science. And then you have the balls to complain that since you can't understand science, science is wrong, and scientists are lying. We see your ilk do this on every science thread.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  9. TiredOfPaying

    Here's why this discovery is so important, for the non- and anti-science folks:

    The Standard Model of Physics allows us to predict how things will work. This boson was predicted by the Standard Model, but we had not found it till yesterday. So finding it shows we are on the right track. That's important, cuz we had been wrong before. For example, if conclusive proof was found that ships fell off of a giant waterfall at the end of the world, then that would have supported the 'Earth is Flat' theory. When it didn't happen, it punched a hole in that theory.

    The Standard Theory describes 4 forces of nature: The Strong and Weak Nuclear Forces, Electromagnetism and Gravity. When we understood Electomagentism we were able to design all the electronic gear ever created as well as nifty things like the electric motor. When we understood the Weak Nuclear forces we were able to advance Chemistry because we knew how atoms bound themselves into molecules. When we understood the Strong Nuclear forces we were able to create Nukes and Nuclear power, both Fission and Fusion.

    The problem is that we have not understood Gravity. The Higgs Boson is the particle that imparts Mass, which causes gravity. Now that we've go a glimpse of how that works we may be able to actually manipulate Gravity. And being able to alter Gravity will allow us to do wonderful things like colonize the universe, accellerate close to the speed of light, etc. For example, if we can nullify gravity then and ENTIRE CITY could be lifted off of the earth and sent to a promising star system. Accellerate it to near the speed of light and suddenly you can colonize everythign within 10 light years in less time than we've been fighing in Iraq. And THAT is something worth doing!

    BTW: I vote that the first city we send off is Detroit. I grew up in that rathole and it certainly doesn't have much promise here on Earth.

    July 6, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • skylermoon

      you really think Detroit should represent our planet? Or are you just suggesting a penal colony?

      July 7, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Battygirl

      TiredOfPaying: Thank you very much for your explanation. Found it very helpful.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  10. scamarena

    so find out what created this 'GOD' particle, and then what created that particle, and the next one, and the next one. sounds like the scientists have alot of FAITH in this discovery. how do we know that there aren't a bunch of scientists sitting in a lab, about to lose they're jobs, and one pops up with the idea to grab a box of crayons and start being an artist to get a paycheck?! this is so absurd! once again, the public is told something WITHOUT PROOF. if you want the average person to believe it, them explain it better! because just like 'justin bieber', i say, what's the big deal. and for all the athiests out there, you shouldn't be happy that this particle just 'came out of nowhere'! you should be ranting and raving that it is impossible, and demand that your belief not be jepordized about things being created 'out of thin air'! GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU ON YOUR QUEST!

    July 6, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      Wow, the lack of understanding in this post is amazing. First of all, nothing created this particle, just like nothing created an electron, they're just part of our universe. Next, it wasn't created out of nothing either, it took the energy from the largest atom smasher in the world to be able to pull this particle into something that we can test and see. And there is proof that this is real, although if you saw it I doubt you would understand it, not to say I would but these scientists do.

      Brush up on theoretical physics before you start bashing again.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • CatSh

      I think CNN should do a better job matching interviewers with interviewees. Then maybe scientists wouldn't feel the need to 'dumb down' their answers to the point of being a comedy.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:52 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        I very much agree with you on that.

        July 6, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Primewonk

      Good lord. These scientists are working with fermions and bosons, gluons, top and bottom quarks, charmed and strange quarks, quantom foam and entanglements, multi dimensional hyperspace.

      How would you suggest they dumb it down so you can "get it"?

      Your comment about the scientists sitting around drawing with crayons sums up your perspective perfectly. Because you purposefully choose to be ignorant about science, you assume scientists are lying to you.

      Yet you have no problem posting your drivel on the worldwide web. Which by the way, was invented by these same folks at CERN. Can you even spell hypocrite?

      July 6, 2012 at 10:28 am |
      • Tamaskan

        I agree

        July 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Brian

      The Higgs Boson is what is calculated as needed to understand and connect the standard model with quantum mechanics. That has been worked on by hundreds if not thousands of physicists and unlike political 'facts' is subject to peer review.

      They have plenty of proof, feel free to go look up what has been released by CERN. Would you rather see the raw numbers would that be proof enough?

      July 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  11. Topper

    It's hard to accept the false teachings of man over the past couple of centuries, so the non acceptance of evolution by religious types is not surprising. The truth is hard to swallow, drinking the kool aide for all these years, then to have the air let out of your judgemental ballon.

    July 6, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  12. Kurt

    Hmm...I wonder if the LHC discovers something on December 21, 2012 – just before it's to be shut down – and destroys the Earth proving the Mayan Calendar correct? Yeah. I went there.

    July 6, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  13. Noelia

    I'll give you presents of 4 of July for all!!!

    Search my public wall for more info


    July 6, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  14. GHale

    July 5, 2012 – the day that will be remembered as the day on which CNN.com stopped pretending to be a news outlet.

    July 6, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  15. glenview0818

    It is very unfortunate that to get people to read an article about science, they must use a pop culture ploy. This is sad. Not for CNN, but for our culture in general.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • CatSh

      It's not just our culture. Most people are not able to grasp reality beyond their immediate experience. To them all this is just fairy tales.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  16. GOD

    Hmm since you have found my particle.. there should be no debates so as to if i exist

    July 6, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • J

      Seriously? Get your atheism out of here. That's just it's nickname.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:30 am |
      • Mark

        Just a nickname??? Just a STUPID creationist nickname. Atheism is not going to "get out of here." This nickname is just one more example of deluded "believers" trying to muck up sound science. There is no god, so get your belief "out of here." and out of our government. Also, forcing a child into ANY RELIGION IS CHILD ABUSE.

        July 6, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  17. Hale-Bopp

    Higgs-Boson...Hale Bopp...this is what happens to physicists when they are unemployed at NASA, or need a job and have entirely too much time on their hands!!!

    July 6, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Primewonk

      Bosons are a category of subatomic particles. Higgs is the last name of the theoretical physicist who proposed the existence of the particle. Hale and Bopp are the last names of the 2 astronomers who identified the comet C/1995 01.

      Your post is an example of what happens when folks choose to purposefully be ignorant about science.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Topper

      a book written by man, passed on by man, to influence a way of life, with no physical validation and gaps in time that are unexplained. Oh and 2500-3000 so called years, rewritten, reinterpretted, etc, etc, etc........

      July 6, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  18. Nate S.

    As a scientist myself, this article name is insulting. They should take down this article, it's embarrasing for everyone, especially CNN. Idiots.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Gary

      I am not a scientist, but I agree with you 100%.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  19. johnquepublique

    Like a Bieber fan??? Does that mean they're all going to disappear and make no sound??? Sounds like a win-win to me!

    July 6, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  20. Ryan

    I'm officially finished with CNN.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  21. $tillRun!n1@Ya.Com

    What in the Selena Gomez is going on here?

    July 6, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  22. James

    If we have to relate physics discoveries to the likes of Justin Bieber and his fans then the decline of Western civilization is almost complete

    July 6, 2012 at 5:32 am |
  23. Dave

    I want to pass through this teenage girl field 🙁

    July 6, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • Dave

      I'd pass through them and when they start to acquire mass it's going to take a 10 billion dollar effort to find me.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:11 am |
      • Bishop

        You, sir, win the internet for today.

        July 6, 2012 at 7:32 am |
      • Scott

        Agreed. Thank you for making my morning.

        July 6, 2012 at 8:09 am |
      • Dude-Dude-De-Oto

        Now THAT, sir, is funny. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless you with his noodly appendage. Pasta be upon thee.

        July 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  24. Hmmmm

    does this Higgs Boson constantly run into immovable objects also?

    July 6, 2012 at 3:02 am |
  25. Morrigan in Oregon

    I'll bet the Higgs Boson never knew it was lost. . .

    July 6, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • basketcase

      No, it knew, it was just too stubborn to ask for directions.

      July 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  26. mary

    I fail to see how this is any bigger than discovering the atom or a quark..
    It is simply the glue that holds it together.. And since we all suspected there was something that held it all together.. How does it explain the who or the what that brought it all into being..
    Its just another scientific discovery of something that has been there for years.. Might help us move further along as humans..Travel further into the unknown.. But I don't believe it actually explains away a creator.. or proves it was one giant cosmic blast out of nowhere, and Wa La.. .We eventually came into existence..
    We might actually find our selves meeting up with God one day..
    Stepping through his front door~!!

    July 6, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Born again Athiest

      It is also the fuse. It is what ignited the big bang and allowed the universe existance in the first place. It is why it has been misappropriatley called the god particle (also due to publisher trolling).

      July 6, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Dave

      Nothing accessible can disprove a creator, but so far science has proven that anything they possibly did beyond the big bang was simply for fun and would have happened anyway on it's own. Creation of the stars, sun, moon and even life was automated and required no further input. Thank god for your bang, but anything further is just denial or poor understanding.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • Dave

      It's important because we can concentrate out efforts in the right direction now, without a bunch of people saying pics or it didn't happen.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • basketcase

      By "Wa La" I'm guessing you mean voila?

      July 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  27. helenecha

    Congratulations to Scientists! We have made tremendous progress for Newton and Einstein didn't even spend such a large sum of money on their permanent achievements.

    July 6, 2012 at 12:00 am |


      July 6, 2012 at 12:17 am |
      • TiredOfPaying

        In the interest of true science, I must point out that the particles smashed already existed, therefore there is no 'extra' mass created. Nice try though. In the interest of Reality, I must point out that the earth is hit by approx. 300 tons worth of micrometorites and dust each day, so good luck with finding a single Higgs Boson in all that mess. It also 'evaporates' quite a lot of mass into space each day.

        In the interest of internet sanity, I must point out that Caps Lock IS AWESOME!

        July 6, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  28. Mathew

    How dare you compare one of the greatest discoveries in science to some pop culture icon.

    July 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • einsteen

      stop spending billions of public dollars and then claim there is no money for social programs while your sole mission is to disprove the existence of GOD. It wont work. Faith is deeper than anything science can explain

      July 6, 2012 at 7:47 am |
      • Newyorker

        Faith is for people like you who do not have the intelligence or the curiosity to understand how G8d really created the universe. Pathetic loser.

        July 6, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • quantent

        faith, the least exclusive club in the world –O. Wilde

        July 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
      • I'm The Best!

        No one is trying to disprove god, just trying to prove how they think the universe works, if that disproves god then so be it, but no one is actively trying to disprove god.

        July 6, 2012 at 9:01 am |
      • TiredOfPaying

        $10 billion, while it sounds like a lot, is not enough to give the 'social programs' you desire to everyone. In comparison, the monthly bill to air condition the tents for our troops in Iraq was $18 billion. So if you're looking to save some money for 'social programs' you might wanna start there instead.

        The rest of your rant indicates that you have not understood anything this article is saying. You glommed onto a nickname and made a whole bunch of wrong conclusions. Thinkin that the name 'God Particle' has anything to do with God is wrong. Then again, I bet you think that Federal Express is a Government agency that spends your tax dollars shipping stuff around the world.

        July 6, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  29. edgar

    You just compared one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time to a twitter fad. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    July 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Scott

      Tha why science writing for laymen is called popular science. They simply are using an analogy that will communicate the very basic idea to people who otherwise wouldn't understnd or purhaps have the interest to read.

      July 5, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Mike

      This is really only news for scientists. Everyone in this forum is a retard.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  30. martin

    "They’ve done a bunch of tests, analyzed the results, and while they didn’t find the elusive object itself, they’ve found an empty space where it WOULD be, if they could actually see it. So they can’t PROVE it conclusively, and you can’t see it, but you can infer its existence from how it affects the surrounding area.

    Which if you ask me, is a delightfully ironic way to describe something colloquially known as the God particle."

    July 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  31. Erin

    You gotta wonder about the state of our science education when you need to make an analogy of a Higgs Boson to a Bieber fan. RIP education

    July 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  32. Zanatos

    The Higgs boson has to exist for current physics theories to remain true.

    Scientists are claiming to have found a particle that fits the description of the Higgs boson.

    Where is the evidence, and can the experiment be reliably repeated? Until those questions are answered, nobody should believe anything.

    Particles and waves at the quantum level do not follow the rules of physics on a larger scale – probably because these particles and waves can travel into other dimensions that we can never observe.

    July 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • brian Monosso

      Who really cares. We llive our lives then die. End of story.

      July 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Joe

      And what is the difference between believe or not believe? Although your fine understanding, you notoriously play the game of the nonsense man. Let me know when in a lab man touches the sky!

      July 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
      • brian Monosso

        who cares, when I die I will find out one way or another.

        July 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm |


      July 6, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  33. Joe

    Frankly ridiculous. Man is nothing and nobody to try to affirm something that will not change anything nor add something to the vain and absurd human being's intelligence. Man dies ignorant. Such intelligence would need to be multiplied by zillions times to try to knowh a minimum of the facts of life. Something that of course will never happen. Man will never know more than what it is around the corner. He is not capable of learning the things that eventually could take us to know a minimum percentage of the whole true. Many do not know yet what is. Universe, what is cosmos. Many absurdily think that the space where earth resides is finite. What is even worse, many think that this huge type of matter was created by a god. Man in general is the stupidest product brought to life. A life that is utterly nonsense. To live to die is stupid and insane. So, men, please continue inventing things in a lab, so that you assure your paycheck. No offense toward the NASA experts please.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • John

      I think that some where down the line between science and religion they will meet. And man will know the truth... not in our life time though. But when they meet I hope that humans will see beyond the bs and do good for all....

      July 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  34. 4thdimnsnal

    There is a reason for the exclusivity of this illusive particle. Humanity will behold the word 'breakthrough' take on an entirely new meaning. Hold on to the edge of your seats folks the time is almost ripe for the next shift...

    July 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • rs


      July 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  35. Villager

    The Higgs boson turned me into a newt!

    July 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  36. mo

    Wow CNN, way to lower the bar with this article. I want the 3 minutes I wasted on reading this article back.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • gangsta

      just use the god particle and travel back to the time before you read this article

      July 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  37. carfg

    Readers should also know – The 'boson' in the Higgsboson particle, whose search and ultimate detection was one of the longest and most expensive in the history of science, owes its name to Bose. In 1924, the Calcutta (India) based physicist Satyendra Nath Bose had sent a paper to Albert Einstein, describing a statistical model that led to the discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate phenomenon. The paper laid the basis for describing the two classes of subatomic particles – bosons, named after Bose, and fermions, after Italian physicist Enrico Fermi.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  38. Dave

    This must be the most ridiculous 'article' ever written... what a completely pop cultured moron.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  39. GOPlies

    Who names their daughter Justin Bieber?

    July 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  40. Higgs Boson

    All this money spent. The answer is obvious, mass is given by Taco Bell, Burger King, Mc Donalds, KFC, pop, candy. Now that is a real and tangible problem.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  41. Higgs Boson

    OK, got it. Found the God particle, now that you know it exists then find the whole thing.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  42. Faisal

    It's all still hazy as gravitons for gravity

    July 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  43. Dimo

    That's too difficult for me. so higgs is not concrete block of universe is just another particle maybe most popular one. and what the heck is love doing with higgs man!!!

    July 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  44. Alex

    Everyone needs to keep in mind that there is TONS of physics behind what this particle is, what it does, and what it tells us. These dumb little video summaries that they release to the public (who they think are stupid) are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to try and bash this discovery, you need to read up on modern physics and brush up on your understanding of mathematics before you can make an educated point.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • THACO

      I agree in principal but math is not reality. Math is a very good language to describe the universe. So an object or phenomena that is predicted by mathematical extrapolation is just a an idea until there is data. Seen amy imaginary apples? 🙂

      July 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • Pepinium

        Thaco, you may think that Math is not reality, but Math certainly helps us to understand reality. For example, using only their imagination and understanding of Geometry and Trigonometry, the Greeks were able to very accurately calculate the shape and size of the Earth (Erithostenes) and the distance to the Moon (Hiparchus) 200 years before the birth of Jesus. Now, if you don't have the capacity to admire the reasoning processes that allowed humans to figure out these "realities" , along with other ones such as the orbits of the planets and so on, this speaks more about your own lack of mental development and fear of what you don't understand than about the real value of Math. Go back to school or buy a few books, there is still time to become fully human !! :)))

        July 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  45. David Drake

    There was a group of religious Higgs Bosons gathering at the Great Hall.
    The tall one in the big red hat says "Its time to start the Mass".

    July 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  46. quantent

    yes the question of what gives mass, but it is not the fundamental question; i think we get more questions! that's great. for one, when we know more about mass, we can ask what is gravity? mass. gravity. curvature of spacetime? extra-dimensional planes? string theory? branes? and then, what is a particle? or, why? and what is "underneath" particle? turtles :)? we keep going, keep asking, stay curious, that's what's FUN!

    July 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  47. mhklein

    I dont understand something. If the Higgs boson gives matter their mass, how can itself have mass? What gives the Higgs boson its mass? Other Higgs bosons?

    July 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Dave

      Don't ask questions, answers just rattle faith, you some kind of atheist or something?

      July 6, 2012 at 5:22 am |
  48. Oh boy

    Why do Mericans have to explain everything like they are talking to 11 year olds.

    July 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Dave

      Because it's public media caters towards idiots, same as any other country but the USA just happens produced the highest quality, therefore you see it more often wherever you are. This saddens me because the idiots who watch it believe it. What would your country look like if we based it off it's media huh?

      July 6, 2012 at 5:26 am |
  49. 2/8

    LoL, typical American responses. It's no wonder your country is tanking and nobody can agree on anything. Please....keep this particle out of the hands of the U.S., pllllllllease!

    July 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • tryclyde

      That comment makes you sound dumber than anyone else that made a comment here.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • Kristian

        Much more dumberer.

        July 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Dave

      It's not a particle to be had, it simply disappears soon as it's created.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  50. Me 3

    A while ago they told us that they needed more money for Fermi lab to find the top quark, and that was the last particle they were looking for. Then they came up with the Higgs Boson, and needed billions to build a new unit (CERN) in a beautiful location on the Swiss-France border (I guess that there was not enough room in Hawaii). By the way this cost U.S. jobs. They shut down Fermi lab in Batavia, IL, etxcept for the computer jocks looking at the CERN data. They ran it for a few weeks, and now they have likely found what they were looking for. But, wait, they are only 90+ some % certain, so they need billions more to run the darn thing some more to make it 99.9% certain. What a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Worse than the bank bailout (bank heist) of Bush that made $750 billion vaporize.

    July 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • stan turecki

      who is 'us' and who is 'they'? the LHC evolved out of an existing, old accelerator (the LEP). this was the work of CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research. Notice the first word? EUROPEAN – this is NOT the same group that built and ran Fermilab. The United States is NOT a member of CERN and we didnt build the LHC.

      as far as 'them' telling 'you' that the last particle we were looking for was the top quark, the higgs was proposed 3 years before they broke ground on what would eventually become fermilab. So maybe they didnt tell 'you' about this particle, but they told the rest of us.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • Azo

        It's not his fault that his world is flat.

        July 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
      • johnmcgurk

        well done good sir!!!

        July 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  51. Steve A

    I hate CNN a little right now

    July 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  52. Dr James Lawrance

    Please do not compare a significant particle like the Higgs Boson, to the likes of Justin Bieber. Peter Higgs did not spend 50 years waiting for his boson to be 'like a Justin Bieber fan'

    July 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Angela

      Thank you!

      July 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Cathy

      I agree.Beiber,a fellow Canadian,is a pathetic twit.Higgs is a great man with great vision,initially shunned for his ideas.50 years later the greatest physics minds on earth are backtracking,saying they believed it all along.A great find for the understanding of mass and matter.Stupid or ignorant people don't need to know about it except that it holds things together.:)

      July 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • AGuest9


      July 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  53. Adam

    Hmmm...sounds like they're hunting for bigfoot.

    July 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  54. D Rock

    Just another attempt by the leftist lib media trying to brainwash us!

    July 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  55. tsgt Smako

    I could discover a particle in my garage and say it is the God particle just the same. If this is science, then prove it. Repeat it, explain it, and prove it, make it happen. Too easy to explain why they can't prove it, unlike Pee Wee when he wrecked his bike, you can't say "I meant to do that" when you prove the theory and create another universe. This is not a "God" particle because all it shows is that matter has mass. That is the secret of the universe? Matter has mass?

    July 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Ravi

      Go ahead and discover a new particle in your garage and let us see how many people see it as credible and how many ignorant people say I too can discover a particle in my garage. The fundamental question is, what gives everything mass? This is one step closer to answering that question.

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

        Thank you Ravi. I almost lost it on that guy until I saw your comment. The fact is they DID repeat the experiment and that is why they made the announcement. Fermi-lab did theirs and the large Hadron did theirs and they match. Please READ more folks. Science is not a conspiracy theory, it requires patience and diligence and hard work.

        July 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Luke

      You do not understand science.

      July 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Jason

      Prove it? They have supercomputers storing and analyzing millions of iterations of the same experiment!

      July 6, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • mary

      Actually the guy called it the god d.***med particle.. Because it was so elusive and hard to find..... It was called the god particle to clean it up for the press.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • William

      They collected over billions of data for evidence in the past few years. In the future, please do the research to get your fact straight before you berate.

      July 6, 2012 at 3:44 am |


  • Elizabeth Landau
  • Sophia Dengo
    Senior Designer