Re: The "God particle"

From: george murphy (
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 07:41:21 EDT

  • Next message: Mccarrick Alan D CRPH: "(no subject)"

    Lawrence Johnston wrote:

    > ASA'ers: If this discovery (from another List) is confirmed, it will be very exciting. It will have a very interesting effect on
    > our "Fine Tuning" concept. If the Higgs Field does indeed determine the masses
    > of all the elementary particles, that would reduce by quite a bit the number of
    > independent "knobs" the Designer needed to adjust, in order to give us our life-
    > friendlly Universe.
    > Of course, it may turn out that these deleted knobs are still required to determine
    > the complex properties of the Higgs Particle itself. What excitement wells up in
    > this usually placid physicist!
    > C U R R E N T N E W S S U M M A R Y
    > by the Editors of ReligionToday
    > September 20, 2000
    > ---
    > Physicists say they have glimpsed the "God particle." Officials
    > at a laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, said they may have
    > observed a type of tiny particle that lies at the heart of one of
    > the most important mysteries of modern science, according to The
    > Washington Post. Scientists have been searching for the particle,
    > which they theorize gives all of the matter in the universe the
    > property of mass. It is so important that Nobel physics laureate
    > Leon Lederman calls it ''the God particle.''
    > ...Officials of the European Laboratory for Particle Physics call
    > the particle ''the missing link,'' the last tiny component of
    > energy and matter that has not yet been observed. The particle is
    > known as Higgs boson, named for University of Edinburgh physicist
    > Peter Higgs, who first postulated a mass-conferring field.
    > Scientists said they now will delay the start of construction of
    > a $6 billion particle accelerator designed to find Higgs boson.

    A few comments:
            1) It goes without saying that the term "God particle" should be resisted by anyone concerned about serious science-religion discussions. Please spare us another "We've seen the face of God" declaration!
            2) While gauge unification of EM & weak interactions now seems to be successful, I don't think it's so clear that those can be unified with the strong interaction in a GUT in the same way. Thus a single Higgs boson
    may not provide what's needed for all massive particles.
            3) Even if it does, there still remains the graviton & the problem of the relationship of gravitation to the other interactions.


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