God Particle Atheism

"Mexican Hat" Higgs Potential There’s a good article in Slate today about the Higgs boson, and why we shouldn’t be surprised when the Large Hadron Collider doesn’t find it (assuming of course that the LHC doesn’t destroy us all when they fire it up tomorrow). I say it’s good because it says exactly what I’ve always thought about the Higgs particle: it’s an ugly mathematical hack, merely the simplest thing Weinberg and Glashow and Salam had handy to make SU(2) × U(1) electroweak theory work1. “God Particle” indeed. Please don’t believe this sort of thing (found just now by googling):

Specifically, the Higgs boson, the most elusive speck of matter in the universe. Often called the God particle, it’s supposed to be the key to explaining why matter has mass. Physicists believe that Higgs particles generate a kind of soupy ether through which other particles move, picking up drag that translates into mass on the macroscopic scale. The Higgs is the cornerstone of 21st-century physics; it simply has to be there, otherwise the standard model of the universe collapses.

The last sentence is, as far as I can tell, drivel. Actually, the collapse of the standard model would be just fine; it’s kind of a kludge, really, neither complete nor elegant.

For the record, I’m not expecting the LHC to find any squarks or sleptons either.


1. Actually the general mechanism is neat; it’s the specifics that are ad hoc and inelegant.

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2 Responses to “God Particle Atheism”

  1. reader Says:

    I must concur with your comments completely, having just reviewed “The Atheist and the God Particle,” a book that explains why the God Particle won’t be found, why the standard model goes nowhere, where/when it derailed, and the path everyone missed.

    More fascinating than the “no shows” to come is the explanation that completing the basic set of Maxwell equations sufficiently solves many of the unsolved mysteries – without the aid of hundreds of supercomputers. There won’t be a God Particle and there won’t be any superpartners because there are only four particles (electron, neutrino, up quark, down quark) and everything else is a composite/derivative of these. There are no bubble universes or multiverses. The Gene Man Theory mathematics are most compelling, and can even derive the fine structure constant, which apparently the standard model fails to do.

    While tenured physicists will fight the demise of the Standard Model to their graves, the untenured and graduates will be excited by the release from the religiously held dead-end theory. The new model will allow them to get on with the true course of science – explaining our real world and real universe, not creating elegantly complex new mythologies.

  2. george Says:

    I personnally do not believe in the God Particle, the Higgs particle, because I think they should already have found it a long time ago. I also do not believe in a graviton to explain gravity … it is too easy : when you cannot explain something, you just create another something to imagine what happens, but that also does not explain anything.
    Maybe the Higgs ” field ” exists, if we may call it aether, yes why not …. but particles moving in it and gaining mass ….. I think for exemple they then should slow down at some moment …
    No ! I believe only in energy, it’s all about energy and vibrations/energy fields !! I think MATTER only is existing when mass particles come together to form atoms and molecules and matter is just the new vibration on a different level created by the protons and neutrons and electrons together … it is the vibration/energy field of the atom, of the molecule … Mass becomes matter only on atom scale, I think you have MASS particles ( proton, electron, neutron ) and massless ones ( photons ) and when you put mass particles together they form a atom, and that atom IS MATTER.
    If I may explain it this way : it feels like matter in the same way that you can feel a resistance when you put 2 magnets North against North : you feel resistance, the more you want to put them together, the more resistance you feel … and MATTER IS resistance – it’s all a question of vibrations, energy fields.
    Photons have NO MASS, but they can give energy to mass particles – electrons – to move on a higher level, and when the electron looses its energy again it gives birth to a photon …. When you knock on matter, you knock on a energy field !! do you really think that your feet are walking on the ELECTRONS ( around the nuclei ) of the stones ?? You surely also do not walk on the protons ! the electrons of your feet atoms are NOT touching the electrons of the stone atoms : you walk on a energy field created by the ATOM of the stone, the electrons around the nucleus !! otherwise you would smash and crush the atoms or you would be like a photon pushing electrons away !!!!! Not convinced ?

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