Time to retire it. Shame on media for using it. It's not that scripture bothers me - religious literature and myths are powerful concentrators of meaning and feeling. Leon Lederman may have called this last boson the god particle, or at least was talked into it by his publisher, but he does not like it now. Few physicists do. Few might mean none. Only media foment the term. It's like Sultan of Swat. I'd bet nobody on the 1930s Yankees roster ever address Babe Ruth as "Hey Sultan" except maybe to mock reporter-talk. One wonders if anybody on today's Yankee squad ever mouths "A-Rod."
So what'll we call it? Make comment with any suggestions. "Higgs particle" and "Higgs boson" don't count. They're already the main norm. Let's hope they run 'god particle' out of business.
To prime the pump:
- Bod particle, because Higgs field and particle give the universe body.
- Rod particle it whips the cosmos into shape.
- Sod particle because it is the soil in which stars and planets etc. sprout.
- Got particle because they finally got it.
- Scrod particle because nobody knows what's in it.
- Ought particle because it so clearly ought to exist.
- Flawed particle because it's the linch pin for the imperfect, perhaps doomed Standard Model.
- Lego Particle because it allows all particles to hang together.
- Pot Particle because it you use it too many times somebody will take a pot shot at you. Alternatively, smoke enough joint and you'll think the god particle is God.
- Not Particle because it's not god.
- Nought particle because that's how much this news means to our daily lives.
The public agrees.
- Guardian Poll - Should people stop calling Higgs boson the "God particle?"
That image top right? Purloined from this excellent essay:
- Io9 - Dave Goldberg: Stop calling it "The God Particle!"
- Charlie Petit