News24

Higgs delighted after particle milestone

2012-07-06 16:01

London - The British scientist who gave his name to what is likely to be the Higgs boson particle spoke of his delight at the discovery on Friday, saying it was "nice to be right sometimes".

Professor Peter Higgs was making his first detailed public comments since researchers at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) announced on Wednesday they believe they have found the sub-atomic particle thought to confer mass on matter.

The announcement came following nearly 50 years of research after Higgs published the conceptual groundwork for the elusive particle, nicknamed the "God particle" because it is powerful and everywhere, in 1964.

Asked at press conference at Edinburgh University if he now felt a sense of vindication, Higgs said: "It's very nice to be right sometimes... it has certainly been a long wait."

The modest 83-year-old also brushed off suggestions he would now be in the running for a Nobel Prize as a result of the discovery.

"I don't know, I don't have close friends on the Nobel committee," he said, when questioned about an honour which academics including Professor Stephen Hawking have suggested he should receive.

Asked what he was going to do next, Higgs said he was simply looking forward to continuing his retirement.

"The only problem, I think, will be that I shall have to dodge the press," he quipped.

Comments
  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-07-06 17:19

    History and science will still prove how futile religion is.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-06 17:43

      Could you at least attempt to remain on topic?

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-06 18:27

      Sarcastic twit - science is the topic. Science 1. Religion 0.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-06 18:52

      Could have fooled me.

  • eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-06 18:11

    Science has made Christianity and all other superstitions redundant and confined to the dump heap of history. Thanks, but no thanks, today we HAVE the science and technology. The Big Bang has now been confirmed to the order of 99.99955% with this "God particle" discovery. Time for Preachers to stop skinning their gullible Church members. There is no God needed to explain the origins of the Universe and with Evolution there is no God needed to explain how life came to be as it is today. So the God notion can be shelved. Bible God and the God of the gaps are no longer required. The Higgs bosun has all ways existed and is eternal so you cannot say there must have been a God to create it. No it is and was all ways there. There was no Adam and Eve, therefore there was no original sin committed and hence no Saviour required to make atonement. So even Jesus can now retire. How any preacher can stand and preach from the Pulpit today with such a lot of embarrassing egg on their face beats me. Why are they not blushing and speechless is beyond words? They are shamelessly lying for Jesus.

      reine.marais - 2012-07-06 19:35

      You poor misguided soul. Higgs only found what already existed. And yes, it was always there. God reveals Himself to man yet again, and you scoff.

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-07 00:28

      Reine - I don't need to prove or disprove anything to reject all magical explanations and supernatural suppositions just like you don't need to know where missing children are to reject the idea that aliens are eating them. (Read that last sentence over and over until you understand it.) That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence; you do it all the time-- you just aren't comfortable when others do it to your sacred God beliefs.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-07 08:19

      No need to disprove that which you repeatedly deny.

  • reine.marais - 2012-07-06 20:00

    What is odd, is that many an atheist has set him/herself on the road to disprove the existence of God. Yet many of those have found themselves convicted, through evidence, of God's existence, and the facts that surround the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It doesn't really matter to Christians whether God chose to use a Big Bang to make the world happen, or not. Truth is that no man has yet created life. No man has yet created spirit. Man may enact life. Man may clone it. Man may enable whatever spiritual force he or she chooses to enable. Whether you like it or not, there remains a highly organised being behind the creation of Earth. If you choose to believe that the breath that you breathe and the food that you eat and the starts that you sea and the earth beneath your feet are all some obscure accident, and that yes, you yourself are some obscure accident, then that is your choice.

      wesleywt - 2012-07-06 20:30

      Which God are you talking about. I think you mean there is evidence for his execution by Pilate, not the resurrection. Jophesus a roman historian does mention this. It was written about 70 years later.

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-06 23:30

      reine.marais - when it comes to the explanation of the whole shebang we are faced with basically two options, that, (1) something—anything—has always existed, or (2) something—anything—popped into existence out of nothing. Either choice seems extremely unlikely—or possibly even absurd. There is little in our experience that can help us choose. But one of them is correct and the other is false. We either start with the brute fact that something has always existed or the brute fact that something popped into existence out of nothing. So the simpler our brute fact is then the more probable it is, per Ockham's razor. All that scientists have to assume is an equilibrium of positive and negative energy and the laws of physics. This is as close to nothing as science can get. But grant it and physicist Victor Stenger argues “the probability for there being something rather than nothing can actually be calculated; it is over 60 percent.” As such, “only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe, such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God.” As for creation of life go here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment and here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis Your God is only needed and found in your imagination and in the Bible. Nowhere else.

      enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-07 18:22

      name one famous person that converted and wasn't tortured !

  • darren.peach - 2012-07-06 20:00

    Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon using this discovery as their proof of whatever side of their arguement is. Why dont we all sit back and see what the research says before thinking its the smoking gun either way. Discovering this particle means nothing other than it has been discovered and I certainly dont know the ramifications of this any more than anyone posting here does.Unless someone here works for Cern.

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-06 23:34

      It proves that the Big Bang happened as Scientists have said. Therefore no God required. It means that the universe in 13.75 billion years old and not six thousand like the Bible tell us. I ask you who is correct?

  • reine.marais - 2012-07-06 20:12

    I think, Darren, what has created an issue is the reference by Higgs to 'the God particle'. We are talking about something that enables mass. How on earth did Higgs conclude that this is 'the God particle'. If you are looking for the crux of the issue, then I suggest that Higgs be requested to rephrase his term.

      ruudzlaffl.bairdimpfl - 2012-07-06 22:56

      reine, Higgs did not name it the 'God-particle'. The Higgs boson is called the god-particle after Leon Lederman's popular science book on particle physics, "The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?". Lederman said he gave it the nickname "the God particle" because the particle is "so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive," but jokingly added that a second reason was because "the publisher wouldn't let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing." Higgs, who is, like most scientists, an atheist, doesn't like the boson to be referred to as the god particle, because the term "might offend people who are religious" See wikipedia's page on the Higgs boson.

      enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-07 18:28

      Reine. If you go to Physics.com and check on the interview with Peter Higgs, you willl learn from his own mouth that the god particle was a joke and that he was actually a bit annoyed with the whole thing. When he wrote the related book, he originally titled it The goddamn particle due to it's elusiveness. The aditor disliked it and the name was changed to god particle. Go on, check yourslef' its on the net, just for you

  • shawnbrownphoto - 2012-07-07 11:04

    You cannot separate God from Science or Science from God. It certainly is an amazing discovery that the Higgs boson has been found. Science tells us that nothing is effected without a cause, i.e. each action has an opposite and equal reaction, therefore, If we say that 'a primordial soup' caused a series of events that 'caused gases to ride on the backs of crystals' and that caused a big bang, and we presume that because of these theories, that are only parts of the picture, and not the whole itself, confirms that God doesn't exist, then we cannon call ourselves scientists and to have considered all the evidence and then in fact science has a long long way to go. What caused the primordial soup, big bang, Higgs boson(or so called God particle)? I truly believe that if science digs deep enough it will find the self existing, uncaused One caused all the events that so many scientists try to use to explain that He doesn't exist..

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-07 14:57

      You bring god into existence by claiming it is the supposed "un caused cause" of the universe and then add all the extra supernatural : You claim the uncaused cause is conscious.... it wants things... it is male... it is immaterial... it is omnipotent... it is omni benevolent... it made the universe from nothing... it exists outside time... it is omnipresent... it is omniscient... it has a plan... it created a universe FOR humans... it inspired a book... it (knowingly) created imperfect people (and a hell to punish them in)... it wants you to have "faith" in it... it answers prayers... it impregnated a virgin... it's 3-in-1... it became it's own son... it works in mysterious ways... etc. None of this makes any sense at all... or no more sense than any other myth or cult-based belief. How is it that people imagine they can "know" stuff about the "uncaused cause" they defined into existence? Why should an outsider take such people more seriously than believers take the claims of competing faiths or the beliefs of myths past?- articulette

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-07 18:17

    Jannie jammer has scored a point. your comment re whether they have found anything is so incredibly silly, not even a five year old would give it any credit, either way. I simply can not believe you said that.

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-07 18:20

    What exactly, in short, is the difference between religion and superstition ?

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