Some bozos may know that Boz was the father of Oliver Twist, but would not have a clue as to what a boson is. Most people have never heard of S.N. Bose for whom the subatomic particle was named. But if they have any idea what a subatomic particle is, by reading Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”, for example, they may have heard of the “GOD – PARTICLE”, alias the equally misnamed HIGGS BOSON which is, to be fair to the American and Belgian scientists, Robert Brout and François Englert, who shared with the Brit Peter Higgs the speculation in 1964 about its existence, should be called the BROUT-ENGLERT-HIGGS or B E H boson.
All three physicists hit the headlines in July 2012, when the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN complex in Geneva recreated the conditions of the “boson moment”, one ten billionth of a second after the Big Bang, at one million billion degrees Celsius (some like it hot …), thereby proving the hitherto speculated existence of the boson and demonstrating that energy could give mass to matter. Four years of research by a scientific staff of 6000 at the LHC, built at a cost of seven billion euros (the Americans abandoned their efforts after spending two billion), resulted finally in the “discovery of the century”. The boson had been so much talked about for the previous forty-eight years that physicist Leon Lederman had spoken of it as “that Goddam Particle”, a phrase which had no theological implications whatever. But the name stuck.
The achievement was recognized by the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Higgs and Englert (Brout died in 2011, a year too early to witness the confirmation of his and his colleagues’ hypothesis, and two years too early to share the Nobel.)
The impact of the “God Particle” on religious belief and practice will continue to be zero, rather than the theological Big Bang some expected it to be. But it is already a major milestone in science’s search for understanding our Universe. We can only admire the brilliance of the minds which imagined its existence and the expertise of the researchers who demonstrated it. No Conclave of Cardinals or Faculty of Sacred, Sterile Theology will ever contribute an iota to expanding our knowledge of our expanding Universe, which they continue to attribute blindly to a non-existent God. Goddam religion !