The discovery of “God-particle” is making news in India as much as in any other country of the world. The scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) have finally found the elusive particle that can help in explaining what gives size and shape to all matter in the universe. This particle called Higgs Boson, named after the British scientist Peter Higgs and his Indian counterpart Satyendra Nath Bose, had been desperately sought after by scientists for past few decades and its discovery is being termed as a turning point in the scientific realm.
CERN’s experimental laboratory is a $10-billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, and has been involved in creating high-energy collisions of protons for years to find out questions pertaining to the universe, which is supposed to have occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang. The Higgs Boson was until now a theoretical particle and seen as the key to understanding why matter has mass. It is the mass that combines with gravity to give weight to an object. You may wonder how this is relevant to the common man and if spending such a large amount towards its research is justified in times of economic downturn. To this the scientists replied that just like the uses of an electron was not known at the time of its discovery and life today is unimaginable without its contributions like electricity, the importance of this particle will be known with further advancements. But how is this particle in anyway related to God? Apparently a Nobel laureate physicist from Fermilab called Leon Lederman wrote a book in the early 1990s about the search for the Higgs boson and his publishers coined the name “God-particle” as a marketable title for the book. It turned out to be a remarkable marketing strategy which is now being used in all news channels to sell the discovery to masses.
Though scientists have yet to confirm if this new-found particle is the Higgs Boson or some new particle altogether, in which case it will lead to a completely new theory about the world we live in, they believe that in any case, we are a step closer to unravelling the secrets of this mysterious Universe.
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