Quest for the "Devil" Particle
Fermilab is extremely envious of the LHC, according to the PBS documentary, "The Atom Smashers."
Fermilab's been after the God Particle for quite some time. Along comes the largest particle accelerator in the world, and allegedly "bumps in the data" hint the LHC team might have found God...I mean the God Particle. Meanwhile, Fermilab hurts for financing.
But the big question is: So what? We can't ask what finding this particle will do for us because...no one knows.
The "Space Race" has morphed into the "Particle race," and most people understand outerspace. But, Particle physics is as much of an enigma as nanotechnology...or God...or Lady Gaga.
In 1964, Peter Higgs, a physicist at Edinburgh University, laid out the Higgs-Boson theory describing how fundamental particles gain mass from an invisible field that pervades the cosmos. If the field is invisible, how do they know it's there?
Anyway, the boson was nicknamed the "God particle" in 1993 by Nobel prize-winner, Leon Lederman, and Higgs was never happy about it. No doubt neither are the creationists.
Surely it offends many that God would be reduced to the size of a sub-atomic particle. And just how much does the LHC cost? When it was launched, according to Popular Science is was tagged at 6 billion. How much did Fermilab cost?
According to Fermilab FAQ'S, "Fermilab was built for $243 million in 1967. The Tevatron, completed in 1983, was built for $120 million, but it took advantage of all the lab's previously built facilities. Building an equivalent facility from scratch would cost many billions of dollars."
When it comes to the allocation of funds, the biggest argument for scientific research is, "Well,it's better than spending money on the war machine."Continued on the next page