When people say they’ve found God, they’re usually referring to an experience they had in church, in crisis, or near death.
A group of scientists at Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory, however, believe they’ve found a particle many are calling the “God” particle: the Higgs boson.
The Higgs boson is significant because it, in theory, gives mass to all other particles in the universe. Its presence is said to establish the presence of an invisible field — the Higgs field — that emerged from the Big Bang and gives rise to everything from electrons to electronics.
At the very least, says a spokesman for the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Italy, the Higgs boson would be a sizable piece of the universal puzzle:
“Without something like the Higgs boson giving fundamental particles mass, the whole world around us would be very different from what we see today.”
The caveat here is that scientists still aren’t sure exactly what they’ve found, if anything at all.
They’ve established a probability of their discovery being a statistical glitch at 250:1. The threshold of error to scientifically establish the particle’s existence would have to drop down to 740:1.
A press release from Fermilab reported:
“Higgs bosons, if they exist, are short-lived and can decay in many different ways.”
In other words, these theoretical particles can’t be measured on their own. Because they’re so unstable, they have to be measured by what they become. Again, if they exist.
Scientists searching for the Higgs boson believe that their research has tilted the probability in favor of their existence after having taken measurements during 500 trillion particle collisions.
Fermilab claims to have produced about 1,000 Higgs bosons during its experiments, but they still haven’t reached the “proof” threshold where they can be totally certain it’s not a fluke.
It is possible, after all their research, that the scientists won’t find it. And it’s also possible, perhaps, that God doesn’t want to be found.