"God Particle" Further Confirmed to Have Been Found

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"God Particle" Further Confirmed to Have Been Found

The particle found by the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 has been confirmed to be the Higgs Boson.

It had already been established that the particle discovered in 2012 matched the Higgs Boson with respect to its mass, its lack of spin, and its rapid decay into pairs of photons. However, one key attribute remained unconfirmed: whether it gave mass to fermions, a group of particles that includes quarks and leptons.

Analyzing data from the Large Hadron Collider, MIT physics professor Marcus Klute and a team of colleagues confirmed with a strong degree of confidence that the 2012 particle meets the final criteria.

"We made this big discovery back in 2012-we confirmed the particle, its [lack of] spin, everything was consistent," says Klute. "What was missing were the fermions." 

But they are missing no more, thanks to the work of his team. "Our findings confirm the presence of the Standard Model Boson," Klute says. "Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself."

The Higgs Boson was first theorized in 1964, and its monumental discovery was announced at CERN in 2012. The importance of the Higgs Boson to our understanding of particle physics is so great that it launched a 40 year search to prove its existence, which culminated in the construction of the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator. Mainstream media refer to the boson as the "God particle," a name disliked by many physicists, including Higgs himself.

Source: Nature Physics, via Popular Mechanics

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Firstly on topic, awesome news that it has further been confirmed as being the true deal. what this means, I dunno. I'm an IT guy, not physics.

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Slegiar Dryke:

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Because if they just called it the higgs-boson particle then nobody would care. Except for scientists ofcourse. Most people still don't know what it does. And Im not talking specifics. Just a general idea.

OT: nice. I wonder if it will translate into real world applications.

...did you make some of those words up?

There is no such thing as a "God particle." That's the distorted version for people who want to understand this without actually understanding it.

It seems to me that the biggest enemy they're facing here is the overwhelming forces of confirmation bias.

They built this massively expensive facility because they're pretty sure the particle existed.
They were pretty sure the particle existed because they've derived it from abstract concepts of particle physics that were, in many ways, tenuous.

So it's not just confirmation they've fighting against, but confirmation bias within existing confirmation bias. How do you get away from that much drive to confirm what you already believe to see anything else?

iseko:

Slegiar Dryke:

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Because if they just called it the higgs-boson particle then nobody would care.

I find that hard to believe. I think they've done a great job getting the name Higgs-boson out there. It even features on comedy shows on tv! Almost everybody I know has some idea about what it is and know the name.

geldonyetich:
It seems to me that the biggest enemy they're facing here is the overwhelming forces of confirmation bias.

They built this massively expensive facility because they're pretty sure the particle existed.
They were pretty sure the particle existed because they've derived it from abstract concepts of particle physics that were, in many ways, tenuous.

So it's not just confirmation they've fighting against, but confirmation bias within existing confirmation bias. How do you get away from that much drive to confirm what you already believe to see anything else?

It's not confirmation bias. It's the scientific method.

Testing a sound theory that can be demonstrably repeated with the exact same results.

Are you seriously accusing these scientists on just saying, "This idea sounds about right. Let's pour a ton of money and time into a project we have no strong belief in the potential results of."

Good new its confirmed but can we please get away from this "god particle" nonsense. Using this term implies that god exists and we cannot confirm this ether way (however there is no evidence for gods existence)we can confirm the higgs boson exists and this is good news for advancing humanities understanding of the universe, it has added to the sum of human knowledge that can be passed on to future generations, i consider that far more heartwarming than any story about a imaginary magical man written down by some desert folk 2000 years ago. So please don't ruin that by referring to it as a "god" particle.

So I know three people have already said it, but it is kind of a big deal that a site like this (that does a pretty respectable job of reporting science findings compared to most) has to resort to using that phrase. It's an unhelpful buzz term invented by a book publisher that doesn't actually make the topic easier to understand by the layperson. By all means give the snappy terms to important simpler concepts. "Global warming" is a lot easier to digest at first glance than "enhanced greenhouse effect", but no one's going to google "god particle" and suddenly have a good understanding of bosons and gravity fields. It benefits no one.

EDIT: Clarification. I don't dislike the term just because it's misleading. Some buzz terms have some use introducing people to new ideas. This one fails to do that. There's just no point to its existence.

Glad to see so many other people disagreeing with it. Gives me hope that some day we might hold mainstream science journalism to a better standard than we do right now.

I wish the article would focus more on things that actually mean something to the layman. E.G. Why do they call it "god" particle? What is the significance of having no spin? What the fuck is a fermions? Why is "Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself."?

ExtraDebit:
I wish the article would focus more on things that actually mean something to the layman. E.G. Why do they call it "god" particle? What is the significance of having no spin? What the fuck is a fermions? Why is "Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself."?

As someone who knows jack-all about particle physics yet is quite fascinated by it...all the stuff about spin and fermions doesn't make sense to me either.

But from whatever little I've read/heard, the Higgs Boson is supposedly the particle that gives every other particle mass which is a pretty huge deal. In high-level physics "mass" isn't really a defining property since it's interchangeable with energy and nobody knows what mass even is, or where it comes from. The Standard Model is a rather chaotic and confusing set of rules which governs how the elementary particles behave, but it's not complete and the Higgs is one of the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Completing the standard model in turn is one of the big keys to figuring out the Theory Of Everything. The Theory Of Everything is basically something that can explain everything from huge galaxy clusters (General Relativity) to the small elementary particles (Quantum Mechanics) using ONE complete set of consistent rules/theories.
Currently there's a big fat divide between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, both of them work fine using their own sets of rules...but they are incompatible with each other, sometimes even contradicting each other.

Though I might be horribly wrong about all this :S

Cool, so what's next? What's the next big ass awesome project?

MasterBetty:

Are you seriously accusing these scientists on just saying, "This idea sounds about right. Let's pour a ton of money and time into a project we have no strong belief in the potential results of."

To me, he seems to imply that the scientist could have, consciously or unconscioulsy, gave into their desire to find something. Pretty preposterous idea. Probably has no idea of the scientific method and the academic world these people are working in.

Why does mainstream media refer to it as the "God" particle. I'm not seeing the connection.

ExtraDebit:
E.G. Why do they call it "god" particle?

-Dragmire-:
Why does mainstream media refer to it as the "God" particle. I'm not seeing the connection.

The term was started in the title of a 1993 book by physicist Leon Lederman, because his publisher wouldnt let him call it "the goddamn particle". He wanted to call it that due to the trouble and expense it was causing physicists to track it down.

As several people already said, I dislike the name "god particle" as well. It's misleading. I have already argued with several people that science did not prove the existence of God.
Seriously, they read "Scientists have found the God particle" and that's all. God exists.

iseko:

Slegiar Dryke:

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Because if they just called it the higgs-boson particle then nobody would care. Except for scientists ofcourse. Most people still don't know what it does. And Im not talking specifics. Just a general idea.

OT: nice. I wonder if it will translate into real world applications.

I dunno, Higgs Boson is a widely enough known name for it. God Particle is the one I barely hear. And on this site I say it was safe enough to assume most people have /heard/ of the Higgs Boson, with a lot of us likley excited. Granted I don't really know much of the physics about it, beyond it being important in the Standard Model of physics in regards to certain mass, but I don't actually understand what knockon effect it'll have in the world of physics.

BiH-Kira:
As several people already said, I dislike the name "god particle" as well. It's misleading. I have already argued with several people that science did not prove the existence of God.
Seriously, they read "Scientists have found the God particle" and that's all. God exists.

Sweet shit? That's an argument you've had?! That's painful. However, if Science had just discovered God:

I did some work on the tau-lepton decay path of the Higgs boson in Uni this spring, so i thought i might give my two cents:
The standard model of particle physics is the current theory of describing high energy physics (high energy as in really hot and dense, like moments after the big bang), despite its problems incorporating gravity, it is insanely accurate in its predictions. Now, the standard model predicts certian kinds of elemental particles of which everything is made from: The fermions and the bosons.
The fermion group consists of quarks (makes up the elements) and the leptons (like the aforementioned tau and the electron).
The Boson group is the force carriers: The photon (responsible for light) , W^+/ W^- and Z^0 (responsible for nuclear decay) and gluons (responsible for "gluing" the quarks together).
The standard model predicts, that in order to obtain mass, some particle interfere with an underlying field, called the higgs field, giving the particle mass, others, that does not interfere with the field does not obtain mass and thus are massless (like the photon).

Now the higgs boson is supposed to be an exitation of the underlying field, producing a particle (like an exitation of the electron field is the same as an electron), so it is not the higgs boson that gives mass, but the underlying field, that it represents.

What we physicits really were hoping for were some unpredicted result (like when J.J. Thompson found the electron), something that we did not expect, that would force us to rethink everything we knew, however it seemed that even on the very high energy levels of the expirement our model (the standard model) worked flawlessly, which was acutelly surprising for many of us. So after the one year break of the LHC we're planning to run on even higher energy levels in our search for new physics.

Sorry for the long post (and bad english).

geldonyetich:
It seems to me that the biggest enemy they're facing here is the overwhelming forces of confirmation bias.

They built this massively expensive facility because they're pretty sure the particle existed.
They were pretty sure the particle existed because they've derived it from abstract concepts of particle physics that were, in many ways, tenuous.

So it's not just confirmation they've fighting against, but confirmation bias within existing confirmation bias. How do you get away from that much drive to confirm what you already believe to see anything else?

Confirmation bias is typically when you perceive what you want to perceive because it meets with your pre-existing ideas.

The higgs boson is not identified by human perception, it is mechanically and mathematically identified - mostly by computers.

This is actually a poor outcome for physicists as if your ideas are always confirmed to be correct there is the likelihood they will declare your field complete and shut down funding and you are now an expert in nothing at all useful.

If the higgs boson didn't couple to fermions it would mean there was far more investigation to be done.

elvor0:

iseko:

Slegiar Dryke:

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Because if they just called it the higgs-boson particle then nobody would care. Except for scientists ofcourse. Most people still don't know what it does. And Im not talking specifics. Just a general idea.

OT: nice. I wonder if it will translate into real world applications.

I dunno, Higgs Boson is a widely enough known name for it. God Particle is the one I barely hear. And on this site I say it was safe enough to assume most people have /heard/ of the Higgs Boson, with a lot of us likley excited. Granted I don't really know much of the physics about it, beyond it being important in the Standard Model of physics in regards to certain mass, but I don't actually understand what knockon effect it'll have in the world of physics.

I rarely take what people on the escapist know as a basis for what the general population knows. I shit you not, 9/10 of my friends don't know the lightest atom. Let alone the higgs boson particle (they know the name but thats about it).

Slegiar Dryke:
nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

iseko:

Slegiar Dryke:

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Because if they just called it the higgs-boson particle then nobody would care. Except for scientists ofcourse. Most people still don't know what it does. And Im not talking specifics. Just a general idea.

I used the term God Particle in the title (and note that the term was only in the title, and subsequently at the end of the article as an explanation) because either:

1. You've heard of the Higgs Boson, and know that it's been referred to as the God Particle
2. You have no idea what the Higgs Boson or God particle is

In the later case, someone reading "Higgs Boson" isn't going to click on the link to learn about something important happening in the world physics. I'm being neither misleading nor deceptive - I'm choosing the use the commonly-accepted term that will draw more attention to an important issue. Physicists can hate it all they want, but at the end of the day, I'm helping their bottom line by helping spread awareness.

Something we often discuss on the sci-tech podcast is that, in general, scientists are just bad at marketing themselves (which is normal, since they're busy learning more important things). There are so many interesting things going on in their world, but not enough people pay attention to them because these discoveries are buried under jargon and technical terminology that is all very "correct," but sounds terribly dull to the layperson.

iseko:
[quote="Slegiar Dryke" post="7.853521.21119971"]OT: nice. I wonder if it will translate into real world applications.

There will be real world applications... eventually. Maybe in a couple of decades. But certainly nothing immediate, unfortunately.

Scientists should learn to relax and let things go a little. I mean, if god exists, it doesn't magically negate science. It just means he's the best at science, on Arthur C. Clarke levels. It shouldn't bother people so much.

OT: So...now that you've found it, what're you gonna do with it?

ExtraDebit:
I wish the article would focus more on things that actually mean something to the layman. E.G. Why do they call it "god" particle? What is the significance of having no spin? What the fuck is a fermions? Why is "Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself."?

"Why do they call it "god" particle?"

Particle physicists don't. Sensationalist Journalists do.

"What is the significance of having no spin?"

Spin is what characterizes particles. If the Spin is whole numbers (1,2,3...) then it's a Boson, or a force-carrying particle (Gravity, Strong Nuclear Force, Weak Nuclear Force, Electromagnetism). If the Spin is some kind of fraction (1/2, 1/3, 1/5) then it's a fermion. So the Higgs-Boson having "no spin" is quite significant since it distinguishes it from all other particles.

"What the fuck is a fermions?"

A fermion is an elementary particle. Electrons, Electron-neutrinos, Up-Quarks, and Down-Quarks are all fermions. They're the basic building blocks of everything.

"Why is "Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself."?"

It is one more step towards a GUT (Grand Unified Theory) which is, sort of, the "Holy Grale" of theoretical physicists.

"Why do they call it "god" particle?"

Leon M. Lederman wrote a book called the "The God particle" about it. He wanted to call the book "That god-damn particle" - because it was difficult to find, but his publisher insisted on the "The God Particle".

I have worked at CERN, it doesn't get called this except when speaking to the media and even then most don't like it.

"Why is "Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself."?"

For every day human society it isn't important, but modern physics is a massive set of interconnecting equations where understanding of one area can affect the understanding of another. So determining key elements of the standard model can have implications on say - understanding how the universe began.

Rhykker:
I used the term God Particle in the title (and note that the term was only in the title, and subsequently at the end of the article as an explanation) because either:

1. You've heard of the Higgs Boson, and know that it's been referred to as the God Particle
2. You have no idea what the Higgs Boson or God particle is

In the later case, someone reading "Higgs Boson" isn't going to click on the link to learn about something important happening in the world physics. I'm being neither misleading nor deceptive - I'm choosing the use the commonly-accepted term that will draw more attention to an important issue. Physicists can hate it all they want, but at the end of the day, I'm helping their bottom line by helping spread awareness.

Something we often discuss on the sci-tech podcast is that, in general, scientists are just bad at marketing themselves (which is normal, since they're busy learning more important things). There are so many interesting things going on in their world, but not enough people pay attention to them because these discoveries are buried under jargon and technical terminology that is all very "correct," but sounds terribly dull to the layperson.

Kind of my point but much more eloquently explained by you. And yes marketing is not a scientists strong suit because there are two ways of saying something:
1) the right way
2) saying something semi-right (but understandable)

Most scientists just prefer saying it right. Marketings'/media's job of making it understandable/interesting for the common man (e.g. god particle).

It's awesome that scientists are still making progress on this. Every little step they make is building to amazing stuff in the future. I hope some of it comes to fruition in my lifetime.

Also, this "god particle" buzz word has got to go.

Slegiar Dryke:

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

Because, accurate or not this is how people identify and understand the particle. It's become the mainstream term.

QuadFish:
So I know three people have already said it, but it is kind of a big deal that a site like this (that does a pretty respectable job of reporting science findings compared to most) has to resort to using that phrase. It's an unhelpful buzz term invented by a book publisher that doesn't actually make the topic easier to understand by the layperson. By all means give the snappy terms to important simpler concepts. "Global warming" is a lot easier to digest at first glance than "enhanced greenhouse effect", but no one's going to google "god particle" and suddenly have a good understanding of bosons and gravity fields. It benefits no one.

"Global Warming" is a terrible way of relating the concept to the public, because people look around and say "but it's cold here. Where I live. At the moment." Compared to that, "The God Particle" seems more or less like a lateral move.

Valderis:
Cool, so what's next? What's the next big ass awesome project?

They'll search for the Satan particle, the hypothised particle which carries with it Original Sin.

No, but seriously, I doubt they're exactly done with this yet.

wizzy555:

Confirmation bias is typically when you perceive what you want to perceive because it meets with your pre-existing ideas.

The higgs boson is not identified by human perception, it is mechanically and mathematically identified - mostly by computers.

Confirmation bias is not limited to that which we directly perceive. Virtually anything can be subject to the concept of confirmation bias. The human mind is really good at picking up patterns, even if they aren't really there. This is one of the reasons we don't just take the Higgs Boson or any other concept on faith, but test and retest.

Rhykker:

Something we often discuss on the sci-tech podcast is that, in general, scientists are just bad at marketing themselves (which is normal, since they're busy learning more important things). There are so many interesting things going on in their world, but not enough people pay attention to them because these discoveries are buried under jargon and technical terminology that is all very "correct," but sounds terribly dull to the layperson.

iseko:
[quote="Slegiar Dryke" post="7.853521.21119971"]OT: nice. I wonder if it will translate into real world applications.

There will be real world applications... eventually. Maybe in a couple of decades. But certainly nothing immediate, unfortunately.

I guess that has always been an issue...everything nowadays needs some sort of spin, or twist, or marketing guru behind it, which takes away from the process of actually discovering.

Slegiar Dryke:
...everything nowadays needs some sort of spin...

Well, everything but the Higgs Boson... ;)

Oh and for the record, the higgs analysis was "blinded", this means the data is distorted in such a way that the physicists working on it can't "fake" a result. Once everything is working properly they unblind it to see the answer.

Slegiar Dryke:

Rhykker:

Something we often discuss on the sci-tech podcast is that, in general, scientists are just bad at marketing themselves (which is normal, since they're busy learning more important things). There are so many interesting things going on in their world, but not enough people pay attention to them because these discoveries are buried under jargon and technical terminology that is all very "correct," but sounds terribly dull to the layperson.

iseko:
[quote="Slegiar Dryke" post="7.853521.21119971"]OT: nice. I wonder if it will translate into real world applications.

There will be real world applications... eventually. Maybe in a couple of decades. But certainly nothing immediate, unfortunately.

I guess that has always been an issue...everything nowadays needs some sort of spin, or twist, or marketing guru behind it, which takes away from the process of actually discovering.

The key point that is being missed here is that buzz words in science help people outside the field of study get a grasp of the concept being discussed. This hopefully then leads to interest then research and then the actual scientific answer. I've never heard anyone complain about the term "Building Blocks of Life" but it's pretty much a "spin", too.

They call it the God Particle because scientists are bad at PR. A similar Large Hadron Collider project was rejected in the 90s (in America) because they just said "oh, we are looking for the Higgs Boson". Another sub-atomic particle did not justify the cost of the project, so that's why the US doesn't have a collider, and why scientists may resort to more sensationalist names.

Back on topic: This is pretty great, I can't wait to hear what they will say about it when I actually go to the accelerator this July ^_^

Sigmund Av Volsung:
They call it the God Particle because scientists are bad at PR. A similar Large Hadron Collider project was rejected in the 90s (in America) because they just said "oh, we are looking for the Higgs Boson". Another sub-atomic particle did not justify the cost of the project, so that's why the US doesn't have a collider, and why scientists may resort to more sensationalist names.

Back on topic: This is pretty great, I can't wait to hear what they will say about it when I actually go to the accelerator this July ^_^

Well there were numerous issues. Personally I blame the collapse of the soviet union, since there were no communists to shoot death rays at any more the republicans lost the urge to fund the giant death ray machine.

[/joke]

Slegiar Dryke:
Firstly on topic, awesome news that it has further been confirmed as being the true deal. what this means, I dunno. I'm an IT guy, not physics.

nit-pickingly though, if they dislike it being called quote "God Particle", than WHY use that in the freaking title!? *throws a rolled up newspaper* bad escapist! no on the click-baiting!

it was originally called the "God-Damned Particle" because of the difficulty of observing it.

Of course, mainstream media cant say "God-Damned". so they shortened it to "God".

And now we have one of the most annoying common names for a particle ever.

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