Saturday, July 28, 2012

The God Particle

The God Particle

“By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” ~ Hebrews 11:3

Several weeks ago while the Nation was celebrating its Independence Day on July 4th, the rest of the world was celebrating the likely discovery of a highly theoretical Higgs boson subatomic particle aka, the “God Particle.” The God Particle nickname actually arose from a book The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? published by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman back in 1993. Since then, this term has taken on a life of its own because of the monumental questions about matter that the God Particle may be able to answer. Being an avowed atheist, the man who first proposed the Higgs boson’s existence, Peter Higgs, is still around to witness the discovery and obviously isn’t all that amused by the nickname.  

 So what does all this mean? In layman’s terms, different subatomic particles are responsible for giving matter different properties. One of the most mysterious and important properties is mass. Some particles, like protons and neutrons, have mass. Others, like photons (light particles), do not. The Higgs boson, or God Particle, is believed to be the particle which gives mass to matter.

When Sir Isaac Newton popped on the scene in 1665, he truly changed the world. If you spent your Saturday mornings in the early ‘80s, plopped in front of a television with a big bowl of Honeycomb cereal like I did, I’m sure you are already aware of how the School House Rock episodes depicted Newton discovering gravity. There are many variations of the popular story that Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell and bopped him on his head. Suddenly, the Universal Law of Gravitation was born. However, I submit that apple also helped to usher God out of humanity and science, and those who understood it became the new gods. Newton went on to revolutionize science and along with James Clark Maxwell is responsible for the classic understanding of physics and how all, so it was thought, worked and could be explained. Prior to Newton, the unexplained was often attributed as simply an act of God. Now, everything could be explained with a Newtonian-Maxwellian equation.

   Following Newton, the next 400 years of science was largely built on the notion that everything was based upon matter. Matter is anything that can be touched physically. Everything in the universe (except energy) is made of matter, and, so, everything in the universe is made of atoms. Therefore, an atom is a fundamental piece of matter. As a refresher, atoms combine to make molecules, and molecules combine to make matter. Therefore, Newtonian Laws were used to explain how everything worked down to the atomic level.


   Nearly 60 years ago scientists discovered that the atom could also be divided into subatomic particles consisting of a nucleus (neutron & proton) and an electron. Even at the subatomic level God provided a Trinitarian clue for man to discover once he was mature enough to better understand. Unfortunately, the old Newtonian ways of explaining things failed to hold up at this level and therefore ushered in a whole new level of science known as quantum physics.

It is in the field of quantum physics that the God Particle was first theorized when scientists began to imagine that neutrons, protons, and electrons could also be divided into leptons and quarks.   Bottom line, despite the billions of dollars (that’s billions with a “B” ) and legions of scientists who continue to journey down the quantum physics rabbit hole, in the end man will never be able to see what God created from the unseen.

About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va., and his latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

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