Why the LHC won’t help us find the “god particle”

pr_06The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, was designed to create the same sort of high energy conditions that were present during the so-called “Big Bang”. Among the mysteries that Team LHC hopes to unravel: Revealing the nature of the theoretical substances known as “Dark Energy” and  “Dark Matter”; confirming the existence of the Higgs Boson (or “god particle”) as predicted by the Standard Model of quantum mechanics; and determining which, if any, of the current Grand Unification Theories is correct.

With respect to the Higgs Boson (the quantum particle thought to be responsible for giving atoms their mass) as well as with much respect to Dr. Higgs, I have a problem with the concept of a quantum “god particle”. My objection has little to do with the sacrilege of the name (offered by Leon Lederman in his 1993 popular science book), but rather the notion that one particular subatomic component can be responsible for all the mass of the unity to which it belongs.

There are two absolute states of unity in the universe: the atom (chiefly represented by hydrogen) which will endure indefinitely if sequestered from the transformative traumas of fission and fusion; and the universe itself (which has reportedly been around for a very, very long time). In between these absolutes exist myriad aggregations of matter displaying varying degrees of unity, mass, homogeneity and permanence: from planets, comets, stars and galaxies, to the seeming singularity of “black holes” — but each of these is simply echoic of our atomic and universal archetypes.

From everything I’ve read (never having had the pleasure of meeting the man) Peter Higgs seems to be a learned, conscientious physicist and a bona fide gentleman. This does not, however, vaccinate him against ever having a bad idea.

So, it has to be said:   The mass of the atom comes from the functional structure of the atom itself, not from a theoretical subatomic particle. Simply put, the atom is the “god particle” — and so is the Universe.

Keep up to date on LHC activities at CERN.



Filed under Reason, Science

10 responses to “Why the LHC won’t help us find the “god particle”

  1. Bryan

    Your criticism is limited in the sense that you insinuate Peter Higgs as the only proponent of the Higgs Boson particle’s existence. Dr. Antony Garrett Lisi has developed a mathematical configuration of the universe that predicts the existence of not only the Higgs Boson particle, but other particles that have yet to be even considered possible.

    My attempt is not to undermine your argument, yet merely to push you to consider incorporating other individuals in your critique of the existence of the Higgs Boson particle. Undoubtedly there are even more physicists who are attempting to critique the theory in question (see Bilson-Thompson, Markopoulou, and Smolin 2007), yet your critique seems a little lacking. The final point you make about the atom being the primary building block in all of creation is extremely limited. I was hoping you would offer some reasoning as to why physicists should no longer consider the existence of alternative theories to the Higgs Boson – like the existence of quarks. Or even something smaller than that.

    Lastly, in response to your comment above: “In our macro-atomic level of existence, it’s easy to forget that the space in between all atoms and molecules is indistinguishable from the space that exists beyond our atmosphere. And, on the quantum level, it is this vacuum that interacts with the void that rests at the very centre of the atomic structure, creating the effect we call gravity,” – you touch on exactly the problem physicists have when incorporating the physics of the incredibly large to the physics of the incredibly small. Hence the interest in a unified theory. I may have missed your point (considering there is not much here to interpret may explain this possibility), but from what I gather from your explanation above, even though there has been a failure to incorporate the two levels of physics, we should simply be assured that the true physics of the incredibly small also explain the behavior of the incredibly large? Intriguing idea, but you do not offer enough of an explanation here (or ANY references for that matter) to convince anyone of such a profound (yet archaic – I must add) hypothesis to explain the universe around us. For me, your explanation and ideas would be a lot easier to interpret if you linked your assertions with references to the existing literature that is critical of the Higgs Boson particle – such as references to physicists like Csaki, Grojean, Pilo, and Terning (2004).

    Like I said before, I am intrigued by your argument. It’s just that you do not support your argument very well.

    • imahd

      Thank you for your well considered comments, Bryan. The piece was not intended as a comprehensive refutation of the g-particle hypothesis but as something of a hint — and as a prod in what I (and many others) believe to be the right direction. A documented and referenced article is scheduled to be published by next year and a link to that paper will be provided here when it becomes available. Thanks again.

      • Bryan

        Beautiful. Thank you for your interest in the topic. The more people like you are able to add to the discussion, the better the discussion becomes.

        I look forward to your article – published or not.

  2. imahd

    LHC result pointing to Higgs boson “false alarm”

  3. Pingback: Cleaving the Higgsian Knot «

  4. Very Good blog! I Will subscribe to your feed. Im trying to bulk up but reading all i can in the meantime.

  5. Pingback: LHC: The Beam is Back «

  6. Sometimes I wonder if our theories don’t seem to work or get over-complicated because we think about physics in a certain way based on our sensory perceptions of reality. In my science classes, I was taught to perceive particles as little spheres that attract or repel each other, magically; and light as particle-waves that want to go fast and propogate through space, magically. These particles reside in a vast emptiness we call space. Einstein got us to perceive space, time, and matter as interchangeable states of the same energy: E=mc^2. The results from LHC may give us some never before seen clues into physics that will perhaps cause us to perceive the nature of universe, differently.

    • imahd

      I do agree that we will gather significant data from the LHC experiments, just as we have from so many other explorations in science. Sometimes, though, the data derived from these pursuits are more valuable than the conclusions we draw from them.

      Highly accurate data usually “outlives” the original hypothesis of the particular experiment which generated it, and this information remains applicable far into the future, lending support to newer theories about the nature of our universe.

      Just a small correction on your statement: Matter, energy, time and space are not interchangeable. Matter and energy are equatable to one another. Time and space are codependent, often being referred to as a continuum.

      And here’s an additional thought:

      The vacuum of space exists right here on Earth, despite the fact that we have air to breathe. In our macro-atomic level of existence, it’s easy to forget that the space in between all atoms and molecules is indistinguishable from the space that exists beyond our atmosphere. And, on the quantum level, it is this vacuum that interacts with the void that rests at the very centre of the atomic structure, creating the effect we call gravity.


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