Well, that got your attention. But the title isn’t original; it’s taken from a number of newspaper articles that describe the approaching end to the search for the mysteriously named Higgs boson.
As we all know (!) the Higgs boson is that supposed subatomic particle, that basis of all matter, which, if it exists is god – perhaps I should leave the typo – news for those who persuaded Europe to spend close to $7 billion looking for it, and a lot of red faces if they find out it doesn’t exist.
Far be it for me to write a science blog and explain that discovery of the Higgs boson would support the standard model of physics that supposed tiny ‘subatomic’ particles combined to form the atoms that make the universe. The elusive one of those particles is our Higgs boson. Not finding it will have all students of physics since the 1960s with a great hole in their knowledge, or to put it another way, a whole lot of knowledge that is quite simply wrong.
The reason I am finding this so interesting is the connection to nothing. After all, what is the Higgs boson if not the closest we can get to nothing? And it is why it is also called “the God particle”.
And so it goes on: the unquenchable quest for nothing, the urge to find the smallest point before there is nothing. The Higgs boson, God, or whatever…
After they find it – or some other “God particle” – what happens? One step beyond, will there be nothing? Will everything all disappear?