The God Particle – Higgs Boson

Physicists working at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider said on Wednesday July 4, 2012 that they had discovered a new subatomic particle that looks for the entire world like the Higgs Boson, a potential key to understand why elementary particles have mass and indeed to the existence of diversity and life in the universe.

Everyone is talking about Higgs Boson but do you know what it is? Why it is called the God Particle or antimatter? How can one who is not an expert in Physics understand and explain this phenomenon? I have tried my best to explain this phenomenon in simple terms so everyone can understand this.

An elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle not known to have substructure, thus it is not known to be made up of smaller particles. If an elementary particle truly has no substructure, then it is one of the basic building blocks of the universe from which all other particles are made.

Our universe is made of 12 fundamental particles and 4 fundamental forces. This is called the Standard Model of Physics. In 1964, one more particle was predicted by Higgs, Brout & Englert. This particle has a major role in the most important property of matter which is mass. In simple words, matter is anything that occupies space & mass is the amount of matter in an object. Mass combines with gravity to give an object weight. Mass is a property of matter, so it is considered as a role model in creation of universe.

The existence of this universe (partly) depends on the matter, and matter depends on its mass. Mass, which is a ground for existence of matter is also a reason for weight (don’t forget the gravity) of matter. Some particles have mass and others have not. What is the reason behind the mass of a particle? Why particles like light don’t have a mass? What is that mysterious particle that made some particle gain mass? The answers of these questions may unravel the mystery of creation of universe.

This particle was called Higgs Boson in the name of British physicist Peter Higgs. If one ask a question that why matter has a mass, then Higgs Boson is the answer. Shortly after the big bang, it is thought that many particles had no mass, but became heavy later on due to interaction with the Higgs field. Higgs field is a theoretical, invisible energy field that stretches throughout the universe and makes particles heavy.

It is not a God particle. This name is so much confusing for everyone. This name was given by Nobel winning physicist Leon Lederman. This particle was so much hard to find & it was an unsolved mystery for all the scientists. Even after so many efforts no one was confirmed about this particle. Due to this, Lederman refers to it as the “goddamn particle” that is so difficult to find. But his editor did not allow this name and he changed the name to “god particle”. Since then everyone is calling this particle, god particle. Just because this strange name, religious & theological groups are also interested in this.

And if you want to ask me what happens inside the Collider then sorry to say, I was not there and I am really happy about it. LoL.


1950s: Invention of particle accelerator opens the gates of discoveries of sub-atomic particles.

1964: British physicist Peter Higgs accepts and suggests the existence of a particle, later known as the Higgs Boson that provides mass to matter.

1974: Creation of Standard Model theory.

2008: CERN starts up the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest particle physics lab. Suffers damage after 9 days.

2009: Re-starts after repairs.

2010: First proton collisions.

July 4, 2012: CERN announces it has discovered a new particle consistent with the Higgs.

Thank you.

6 thoughts on “The God Particle – Higgs Boson

  1. Thanks for this article. This is the simplest explanation of this goddamn particle. May you please explain the process of brain cells while emerging the insights?

    1. Thank you devika. You have to wait for sometime to know the answer of your question. Because I am still thinking about it, I did not find any connection between the thoughts and insights. Without knowing this relation, I can not say something. So please wait for a few days.

  2. The announcement from CERN was a huge moment for the people who are waiting for such kind of positive response from the scientists for years. About the confusion at the name of the 'God particle' is pointed. Yes, it should be more elaborate and clear to all. I hope after the termination of the initial thrill our scientist will work for it. Good luck for all and thanks Vikas!

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