Thursday, February 9, 2012

GOD PARTICLES


That's a photograph of a "God Particle." If you have any room in your brain for a new concept, it may be a way to find out if God exists

Next to John Cullum, my husband's side of the bed, there's a book by Stephen Hawking, a bible, and this magazine picture. He's fascinated by religion, "black holes" and this latest new theory.

Einstein's relativity, the Fourth Dimension, speed of light, black holes, and gravity are not my cup of tea.

I remember Newton and the apple, but what is "matter," why do things have "mass," why does "matter" have gravity -- when JC's talking about "particles," I find myself blinking -- not bored, but not sure what we're talking about.

I can chat about who's winning in sports, but except for the Green Bay Packers, and Roger Federer, it doesn't excite me. I don't know why "matter" is such an important issue, so I went on a Googling adventure.

It was THE Issue at a get-together in the packed auditorium at the Cern laboratory outside Geneva. The Lab houses the large Hadron Collider.

At the center bottom of this picture, you can see a tiny figure (it's in a dark jacket, brown pants), and get a sense of the size of the machine that is the world's most powerful particle accelerator.

It's mammoth. The Hadron Collider sends subatomic protons (smaller ones) racing in opposite directions through a 17-mile tunnel, getting them to move faster and faster until, at nearly the speed of light, they collide head on -- bang-crash-boom -- smash together.

The impact vaporizes the particles into tiny fireballs of pure energy. The scientists in charge of this say they have, with this process, re-created the conditions of the first moments after the Big Bang. Each collision is a mini Big Bang" creating so many particles that decay into many-many other particles. But one particle -- the one that Peter Higgs, top scientist at the University of Edinburgh, saw, noted, measured, and photographed occurs at the same place with each test.

It's called the "Higgs Boson." In particle physics "boson" is a rarely used term that, means particle. (My husband pronounced it "bow son" -- is that southern politeness? Maybe it's booson --sort of like a woman's chest?)

Anyway, It's a huge discovery. It's been seen by a second team that referred to the Higgs boson as "The God particle."

It needs to be proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this "boson always appears in the same space, same time. To me, reading through a mountain of technical descriptions, it sounded like much ado over nothing, but a particle, according to Hawking, is probably what created the world.

The woman who heads a third team, Fabiola Gianotti, said, "We cannot conclude anything at this stage. We need four times as much data."

Getting sufficient data requires many thousands of fireballs, and the giant accelerator will need another year or more to crank all of them out and allow Gianotti and her colleagues to announce whether or not they've proved the Higgs Boson.

Gee, if it's proved, does it prove God created the world? Did God create all the the other fantastical things that scientists can't really explain?

I'm not ready to debate any of this with bible-Hawking-book-reader-husband JC. But I'm not blinking, wondering what the fuss is about.

Now that you've read what irreligious Em has gleaned, here's a educated scientist summarizing what I've explained.

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5 comments:

Maureen Jacobs said...

My views on this one are unconventional. I do believe in evolution, I also believe in a higher power. Who that higher power is, that is the unconventional part.

Hear me out. Simply put, the higher power is energy. You can call it God, Buddha, the man on the moon, or a head of lettuce, but energy is the higher power.

Energy can flow forever. It can be recharged, renewed, and even expanded. In order for folks to understand things, myths, stories, and legends have been handed down to explain the unexplainable. Take Thor, he rules the thunder. The ancient Greeks had no idea why the sky did what it did, so they assigned that power to a God. Now it can be explained scientifically.

I believe in a higher power, but not a god per se. I pray for those who need help, but I picture warmth and energy enveloping them. I do not picture my Roman Catholic god. While I still believe religion has its place, it sort of serves as a teddy bear to help you sleep. Like the ancient Greek gods sitting upon Mt. Olympus, so do our current gods. They explain the unexplainable. JC is a wise man. He keeps his mind open to all things. I am sure you do as well.

Love and light, Maureen

Carola said...

Ultimately, they'll figure it out and fit it into the rest of their theory. We are specks in a giant universe and can't understand everything, although that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying to learn more. (But it bores me too.)

Anonymous said...

Well Em-this is above me. I think it is good we are finding these things out, but it all is overwhelming to believe. Finding this will bring us closer to God and the creation of the earth...imagine that! I was always amazed at protons and neutrons in chemistry class and how something so small could be so powerful. But, then again, God is a very powerful being and works in mysterious ways.... kam

A.S. Washington said...

I too like Maureen have an unconventional take on religion, which isn't so unconventional, but I don't believe in religion. I believe that their is something/someone that gave us breath/life. Like it is stated, there are far too many things that can never be understood, or explained, even in a lifetime. As man we can only deduce, hope, and have faith in whatever it is that we decide.

I see God as a master scientist and thus science and spirituality has its place. When you've been to enough funerals you know that the person you see lying in the coffin isn't the person you knew. It wasn't just clockwork and meaninglessness animating their body. There was something there. Perhaps this God particle is synonymous with the soul or scientifically, the energy that gives us the animation of being able to speak and type the words that uplift and simultaneous destroy the world.

It is quite an interesting discusssion and I was present with God the Mother on a trip to Target last night. There is too much to know and too much to care about, so in some ways I am like you. I just largely leave it all alone. Someday or maybe never I'll know the truth. Since no one yet has the absolute truth walking this Earth, I should be ok with that.

Kaye Francis said...

This is a very difficult blog post for me to respond to Ms EM!
* * *
My Mama was a 'GOD' hardliner & I spent many hours, many days per week parked on a church bench with her. Doing so, I do recognize gave me a solid foundation & a basic moral compass.
* * *
How the world all came about, how it all works together...GOD, science, the universe...I don't know that I will ever know all the hows or whys of it.
* * *
I only know that FAITH in a higher power, that is which is beyond our own selves is essential help & favor to me personally as a human being. Do I know that I love God? Yes. Do I know that I love many of the common sense spiritual truths that I also refer to as 'universal guides' to living contained within the Bible? Yes.
* * *
Do I consider myself to be 'the best Christian who ever lived' (or is currently living).....? NO
* * *
I only know I am a far better human being than I ever would have been because my Mama was a 'GOD' hardliner. While the hows & whys are interesting, I'll be ok if they are or are not ever revealed to me in this lifetime.
* * *
I'm @grammakaye on twitter...much love to you both EM & John.

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