The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), based in Geneva, is responsible for the project known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC lies in a tunnel 17 miles in circumference and as much as 570 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border. It is funded by and built in collaboration with more than 10,000 scientists and engineers from more than 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. This is a monumental project of epic proportions, and yet most people are unaware of it. The scientific purpose in lay terms is to measure energy in highly accelerated motion.
Dec. 9, 2009, CERN tested the Super Collider and had results based on accelerating protons to energies of 1.2 trillion electron volts apiece and then crashing them together. At first glance, you may wonder how this would impact your life. Actually, the implications are profound. If the collider gets the results the scientists are looking for, it will rewrite the future in terms of energy production. If it fails, it means the work will go out the window or, perhaps, more appropriately, down the hole.
Recently, CERN scientists announced the discovery of what they are calling “the missing cornerstone of physics.” The Higgs boson was the missing particle, and one of the main reasons for the development of the LHC. It was named after professor Dr. Peter Ware Higgs, a British theoretical physicist, who in 1964 predicted the existence of the particle.
In tests conducted in July, the scientists of CERN have apparently successfully found this theoretical subatomic particle that has been unofficially named the “God particle.” Since Dr. Higgs first proposed his theory, 11 of the 12 proposed particles have been found, but the Higgs boson particle continued to provide a challenge to scientists. Understanding it is essential to understanding the composition of the universe. It is regarded as a key to understanding why matter has mass. Dr. Higgs’ theory claimed that the missing particle allows all particles to combine with gravity to give objects weight. Mass is absolutely essential for the universe, as we know it, to exist.
The results are not 100% conclusive. Rolf Heuer, director of CERN, told the elated crowd, “As a layman, I think we did it. We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson.”
The term, “God particle,” was initiated by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. Leon Lederman. Understanding what happened in lay terms is the following. Particles in the universe theoretically should have no mass. The results of the super collider in demonstrating the existence of the boson is of major importance. The full understanding of this particle could provide the basis for new thought and information that can result in today’s conventional wisdom disintegrating under analysis. It could possibly lead to harmonious theories embracing the core philosophies of all religions, as well as scientific theory.
It does not solve the religion vs. science dilemma, because scientists can use the data to prove that life arose spontaneously in the universe. The religious can use the data to claim that when the Supreme Being created the universe, the elements and potential for life were implanted in it. What might be most interesting is the mutual acceptance of its existence and what, ultimately, will result from the discovery.
CERN and collaborators point to the discovery as being so fundamental to the laws of nature that it could spawn a new era of technology and development in the same way that Newton’s laws of gravity led to basic equations of mechanics that provided the basis for the industrial revolution. The potential harmony between core religious thought and science is awesome to consider; add the economic and scientific potential and it is understandable why this discovery is getting so much attention. It is an extraordinary breakthrough.
Carol B. Green is the author of the Franchise Survival Guide and Spiritual Transformation in America.