Professor Peter Higgs has a bone to pick with the media and anyone else who continues to refer to the sub-atomic particle Higgs boson as "the God particle." The atheist scientist, one of the individuals to have confirmed its alleged existence last year, doesn't believe in a higher power and, thus, dislikes the name that has been given to the Higgs boson.
Higgs, who, as the Telegraph notes, drafted the theory of a subatomic particle -- one that would explain how items have mass -- isn't hiding his disdain for theological terms being applied to scientific notions. According to the Daily Record, the 83-year-old said that the name "God particle" started as a joke, but it has now translated into contemporary labels of what he and other scientists continue to explore.
British theoretical physicist Professor Peter Higgs before a press conference at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday Aug. 30, 2012. Credit: AP
It was apparently a phase coined in physicist Leon Lederman's 1993 book, "God Particle," in which he wrote, "Why God particle? The publisher wouldn’t let us call it the goddamn particle."
Higgs is now speaking out against the joke, claiming that labeling Higgs boson with the term is misleading.
"First of all, I’m an atheist. The second thing is I know that name was a kind of joke and not a very good one," he said in an interview with BBC Scotland. "I think he shouldn’t have done that as it’s so misleading."
Professor Peter Higgs, poses for photographs after receiving an honorary degree of doctor of science, from Heriot-Watt University on November 16, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Professor Peter Higgs, the scientist who postulated and gave his name to the recently discovered Higgs boson, the so called god particle, received the degree in recognition of his pioneering and greatly influential contribution to physics. Credit: Getty Images
The Telegraph provides more background information on Huggs and his theoretical constructs:
Prof Higgs has become a global celebrity over the past year since the discovery of an elementary particle consistent with the Higgs boson, which he predicted in 1964. Last year he was recognised in the New Year Honours.
In the 1960s, Prof Higgs and other physicists proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass.
The mechanism predicts the existence of a Higgs particle, the discovery of which was claimed last year at the Large Hadron Collider.
TheBlaze last reported about the so-called "God particle" in March, when scientists, again, claimed that they had located Higgs boson.
As both the AP and TheBlaze reported at the time, the Large Hardon Collider (an atom smasher) that lies beneath the Swiss-French border, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to investigate how the universe came to be the way it is.
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