When the Superconducting Super Collider project was canceled back in the early 90s, America, and even more to the point Waxahachie, missed an incredible opportunity to beat France and Switzerland to the punch in identifying the “Higgs Boson,” euphemistically referred to as the “God Particle.”
A few weeks ago it was announced by CERN that they were 99 percent sure that among the particles detected from some 800 trillion proton-proton collisions they had identified the long postulated Higgs Boson that completes the Standard Model, a theory concerning electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear interactions.
The SCSC would have operated at over twice the power of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and confirmed American supremacy in subatomic particle physics.
For all the knowledge accumulated about the universe in which we live, there remains a lot to learn, but scientists are steadily gaining. There are three families of matter identified in the Standard Model for elementary particle physics: Quarks, Leptons and Force Carriers, all of which have been found. The only particle postulated and yet to be found is/was the Higgs Boson, thought to impart mass to the other particles.
Confirming or disproving its existence is very important for our understanding of particle physics and our physical universe. The “God Particle” is invisible, very short-lived, and man-made in particle accelerator/colliders by accelerating protons to very near the speed of light and crashing them head-on into other protons headed in the opposite direction at the same speed, thereby creating conditions found only during The Big Bang.
One must wonder if the SCSC had been completed in Texas and the “God Particle” identified thereby, if today’s fundamentalist politicians in Texas and/or America would have done the same thing that Moslem fundamentalists have done in Pakistan (probably).
Early work by physicist Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate, helped lead to the apparent discovery of the subatomic, and one must suppose, blasphemous “God Particle” last week. However, the late physicist is no hero at home where his name has been stricken from school textbooks.
Sound familiar? The Texas State Board of Education has been purging famous American historical figures from history and other books simply because the board didn’t like their politics, words and/or actions that the SBOE deemed too liberal for modern-day conservative Texas students to study and emulate.
That’s saddening and disgusting. If I had school-age children living in Texas today I’d move to a more enlightened environment.