God particle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Leon Lederman's book The God Particle was thus called at the suggestion of his editor. According to Lederman (page 22) he wanted to call the Higgs boson the Goddamn Particle, "given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing," but his publisher wouldn't let him. So they agreed to call it the "The God Particle" as "there is a connection, of sorts" to The Bible and the story of the Tower of Babel in the sense that it appears as if the Higgs boson "has been put there to test and confuse us."

Noun[edit]

God particle ‎(countable and uncountable, plural God particles)

  1. (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.