Since Wednesday, 04 July, there has been lots of buzz about CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) possibly finding the Higgs boson all over the web in news reports, blog entries, humorous memes, tweets, etc. Nothing is confirmed yet but the findings look promising.
What is it?
In at nutshell, the Higgs boson is the particle that creates a field (ie the Higgs field) which imparts mass to all other particles as they travel through it. It means that matter matters because it has mass.
Finding the Higgs is a verifiable Big Deal because without it, the standard model -the prevailing cosmological explanation of the origins and functioning of the universe- collapses and we're left to sort out of a new model of the universe once again.
Why is it referred to as "the God particle"?
Dr. Peter Higgs himself explains why author Leon M. Lederman coined the term (see Library Resources below).
- Physics & Astronomy LibGuide, Ball State University Libraries (subject guide including links to the BSU Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, professional organizations, databases, and more)
- Search CardCat for books beginning with Library of Congress (LC) call number QC793.3
- The book that coined the term: The God particle: if the universe is the answer, what is the question? by Leon M. Lederman (QC793.5 .B62 L43)
- The standard model and beyond by P. Langacker (QC794.6 .S76 L36 2010)
- An introduction to particle physics and the standard model by Robert Mann (QC793.2 .M36 2010)
- Infographic: "Will the Real Higgs Please Stand Up?" from LiveScience
- CERN Press Release: "CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson"
- "God-damned science! The Higgs boson in 10 easy steps" by Chris Paine, news.com.au