A lot of fuss has been made over the almost discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, or something called the “God Particle” that is the one from which all other particles gain their mass. Or as this Wikipedia entry explains:
The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is a proposed elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics. The Higgs boson is named after Peter Higgs who, along with others, proposed the mechanism that suggested such a particle in 1964. The existence of the Higgs boson and the associated Higgs field would be the simplest known method to explain why certain other elementary particles have mass. In this theory, an unseen field permeates all of space; this field has a non-zero value everywhere, even in its lowest energy state, and various other elementary particles obtain mass when they interact with it. The Higgs boson—the smallest possible excitation of this field—is predicted to exist by the same theory, and as this would be detectable, it has been the target of a long search in particle physics. One of the primary goals of the Large Hadron Collider (“LHC”) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland—one of the most complicated scientific instruments ever built—was to test the existence of the Higgs boson and measure its properties which would allow physicists to confirm this cornerstone of modern theory….According to the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a boson, a type of particle that allows multiple identical particles to exist in the same place in the same quantum state. It has no intrinsic spin, no electric charge, and no colour charge. It is also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately after its creation. If the Higgs boson were shown not to exist, other “Higgsless” models would be considered. In some variants of the Standard Model there can be multiple Higgs bosons.
By late 2011 a number of these experiments had gradually and consistently highlighted a range of energies around 125 GeV (a unit of mass for particles). On 4 July 2012, the CMS and the ATLAS experimental teams at the Large Hadron Collider independently announced that they each confirmed the formal discovery of a previously unknown boson of mass between 125–127 GeV, whose behaviour so far was “consistent with” a Higgs boson, while adding a cautious note that further data and analysis were needed before positively identifying the new boson beyond doubt as being a Higgs boson of some type.
Ok, that’s fine, but it’s all part of particle physics, and that branch of science, by its very nature of study of what happened after the “Big Bang” – the theory that the universe was created from one idea that the universe was in an extremely hot and dense state and expanded rapidly. But what’s lost in that, and in the talk about the Higgs Boson is that all of this has not been proven beyond a shadow of doubt, and the simple, prevailing fact is we don’t really know.
So what’s the importance of the Higgs Boson is all of this to us? In other words, does the finding of a “god particle” mean we can replicate the creation of the Universe? Will it lead to stronger and better materials for human use? Will it increase our lifespans? I’m not trying to discount science, I’m just admitting that I have no idea what this all really means. And the funny thing is, I’m not sure many other people do either, including those doing the research.
Because much of this is theory on top of human theory, how much of particle physics is really intellectually stable? That is, so robust because of physical evidence that it’s unshakable via change in technology or perspective – it lasts through time.
What does this mean? It means we’re still trying to figure it all out. That’s why I read Garance Franke-Ruta’s “Still Confused About The Higgs Boson?” article on The Atlantic website, and since it was a mashup of terms I’ve seen before, I didn’t come away any less confused at all.
In frustration, I turned to what I love: Science Fiction. It’s perhaps the one best tool to use in trying to discover why the Higgs Boson discovery, along with The Higgs Field and The Higgs Mechanism, is not just important, but significantly important. And in that, I look to the various ideas about ghosts, gods, and alternative universes. If you think about Higgs Boson from that perspective, then it’s at least possible to presume that a non-corporeal (not of the body) being can exist in that way. In other words, there very well could be a God that’s everywhere, passing in between things, and ghosts that pass through walls. We call them sprits.
Once I think of Higgs Boson from that view, I get it. I think we’re coming closer than ever before to explaining how corporeal and non-corporeal Worlds can exist at the same time. In other words, that idea of Heaven that some, like myself, think is just plain faith, may indeed be a reality.