Scientists at CERN (The European Organisation for Nuclear Research) began a landmark particle-physics experiment. The experiment is taking place in a 27km ring-shaped tunnel made of super-cooled magnets 100m under the French-Swiss border. Attached to the tube are barrel shaped detectors that will look for the elusive particle, the Higgs boson.

I am not sure why this particle is sometimes called the God particle. It is probably hoped that finding this particle would give science more insight into the origin of matter.

Associate Press Writer for WTOP News, Alexander G. Higgins, wrote:

“The CERN experiments could reveal more about “dark matter,” antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time. It could also find evidence of the hypothetical particle _ the Higgs boson _ which is sometimes called the “God particle.” It is believed to give mass to all other particles, and thus to matter that makes up the universe.

“The two beams of protons will travel in two tubes about the width of fire hoses, speeding through a vacuum that is colder and emptier than outer space. Their trajectory will be curved by supercooled magnets _ to guide the beams. The paths of these beams will cross, and a few protons will collide. The two largest detectors, essentially huge digital cameras weighing thousands of tons, are capable of taking millions of snapshots a second.”

CNN (10 Sept 2008) reported:

In the coming months, the collider is expected to begin smashing particles into each other by sending two beams of protons around the tunnel in opposite directions.

Skeptics, who claim that the experiment could lead to the creation of a black hole capable of swallowing the planet, failed in a legal bid to halt the project at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Others have branded it a colossal waste of cash, draining resources from its multinational collaborators that could have been spent on scientific research with more tangible benefits to mankind.

The issues of ‘danger to the earth’ or ‘wastage of money’ are beyond my scope. However, as a Christian, the idea of a real pure-science experiment by real scientists, pardon my expression, is exciting.