Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator announced Tuesday, Dec. 13, that they are closing in on the elusive Higgs particle. The Higgs particle is popularly known as the “God particle”; a moniker beloved by the press, but almost universally despised by experts who study particle physics.
“I detest the name ‘God particle,’” Vivek Sharma, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego, and the leader of the Higgs search at LHC’s CMS experiment, wrote in an email. ” I do experimental physics not GOD.”
“It’s an awful name,” Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist at the City College of New York, says. “It does not convey the particle’s true role, that it is the last missing piece of the Standard Model, and that it gives mass to the other particles.”
What do you think? Good marketing? Bad marketing? Meh? Is a new nickname in order for the particle? What nickname would you suggest?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.