[Advaita-l] deva kaNa or God particle

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 5 09:21:13 CDT 2012

> At the outset I am no way qualified to raise any question on science 
> related matters as I am below average student in this subject even in my 
> high school days. Since yesterday there is a huge applause and cheers 
> from scientists that they have 'discovered' the magic particle called 
> 'deva kaNa' or God particle which is the main cause behind big-bang and 
> something like that. I have read today's news paper, watched TV shows 
> with regard to this but those explanations are just going over my head. 

Bhaskar, please do not attempt to glean any deep meaning from TV reports
and news articles about this.
Higgs Boson is the proper name for the particle that scientists think they may
have some evidence for now. It was predicted in the 1960s by a physicist
named Peter Higgs. As with all such particles, the experiments to find some
empirical evidence of the particle were complicated and it proved elusive.
Basically, it is the particle that accounts for why physical objects have mass.
Much later, another physicist called Leon Lederman wrote a book meant for
popular comsumption, in which he gave the term "God particle" to the Higgs
boson. If scientific folklore is right, apparently, he wanted to name it the
g--d--- particle (you can fill in the blanks!), but the editors wouldn't let him
do that. :-)
So, some scientist's expression of frustration with finding a particle prediced
by the statistics used in modern physics and his editor's modification of what
the scientist actually wanted to say gave birth to the name God particel. Today,
it has stuck and taken a life of its own. It means (or should mean) nothing
for anybody who is serious about science and/or philosophy.

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