God particle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unclear. Leon Lederman's book The God Particle was apparently thus called at the suggestion of his editor. It is also claimed that Lederman himself dubbed it (the particle) the goddamn particle, for its elusiveness, the term being toned down for public use.

Noun[edit]

God particle (countable and uncountable, plural God particles)

  1. (physics, informal) The Higgs boson.
    • 1998, Phillip E. Johnson, Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law & Education[1], ISBN 9780830819294, page 229:
      Among other fascinating insights, Penrose explains that the God particle was originally proposed by Peter Higgs as "an ingenious theoretical device, and not necessarily appearing as an actual particle. As a device, it allowed other particles to acquire mass, [] ."
    • 2008, “National Geographic”, volume 213, page 101: 
      The first thing you learn when you ask scientists about the God particle is that it′s bad form to call it that.
    • 2010, Mu Soeng, The Heart of the Universe: Exploring the Heart Sutra[2], ISBN 9780861715749, page 40:
      To his contemporaries, his desperation seemed like a search for the "God particle," something seen as daft, even obstructionist.