Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that bears his name as the “God particle.”
In an interview with BBC Scotland, the 83-year-old atheist scientist explained that it was “misleading” to suggest that the Higgs boson, a partial that he theorized holds the universe together, was powered by supernatural forces.
The phrase was first coined in the 1993 book “God particle” by Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi.
“This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive, that I have given it a nickname: the God particle,” Lederman wrote. “Why God particle? The publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing.”
But in an interview for an upcoming special on BBC One Scotland, Higgs strongly objected to the phrase.
“The second thing is I know that name was a kind of joke and not a very good one,” he pointed out. “I think he shouldn’t have done that as it’s so misleading.”
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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