The majesty and glory of the Universe is raised to supernatural mysticism by the very consideration of how it is possible to have existed at all. To the best understanding of the unimaginable, the Universe Became from a single point and single moment, the Singularity, and from nothing came everything. This creation has been theorized from the visible record provided by the expansive universe studied by scientists for centuries, referred to as the Big Bang, with only the resultant evidence available for interpretation billions of years after the fact to infer what must have occurred at the creation of everything. The greatest creation scientists from Ptolemy acknowledging a heaven and earth, Copernicus defining the correct relationship of earth to those heavens,, Newton providing the natural laws that govern the heaven’s behavior, the quantum physicists constructing the building blocks, and finally Einstein reflecting how the energy of the universe and the building blocks creating all that is, are interchangeable and one and the same, have progressively pealed the shadows and fog off the light of truth. With each achieved clarity of definition, we grow more and more in awe of that unknowable truth.
Some fifty years ago, a young theoretical physicist from Edinburgh named Peter Higgs surmised that some “structure” would have had to be in place to progressively “slow” and collect particles from such an explosive birth, to explain how particles from an exploded singularity that should have progressively travelled away from each other began to collect together and form mass with atomic structure- resulting eventually in gases, stars, and planets. The theoretical field, in order to slow and capture massive particles traveling near the speed of light, would be comprised of innumerable particles that would create “drag” on the particles, much like barnacles on a ship. The field has become known as the Higgs field, and the particle, the Higgs Boson.
Like all incredible mental leaps of theory, the theory remained just a mind exercise until technology existed that could possibly discern such fantastic conceptualizations. It took five decades for man to finally create the environment that could finally prove the existence of such elusive particles. It appears that at Hadron Collider in Switzerland, a vast particle accelerator sending protons around a 27 kilometer magnified loop managed to achieve a head on head collision of protons that produced a briefly visible subparticle, existing for millionths of a second, that fits the expected field particle, the Higgs Boson to a tee. Suddenly the unification of concepts of the fundamental particles and forces that control our universe from the time of its birth are starting to crystallize and the capacity of man to peak into the infinite and provide some measure of understanding is upon us.
Peter Higgs is about to join the select group of mind voyagers such as Galileo, Newton, Heisenberg, Einstein, and others that have elevated our understanding of who we are and why we came to be. The Higgs Boson has been referred to as the God particle for its elusiveness and its fundamental necessity of existence in order to explain how the entropy of Creation was possibly corralled into a conceivable universe. Einstein himself felt that the immensity of what is required to conceptualize an entity like the universe would not be a discussion of elements, particles or theorems:
I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details.
Peter Higgs in one mystical way fifty years ago tried to imagine how God might think, and thanks to the window provided by the Hadron Collider and its scientists, we appreciate what is slowly unveiled, and gasp at the wonder of it all.