In Search of “The God Particle”

Two videos on the Large Hadron Collider project

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EINSTEIN SAID THAT ENERGY equals Mass times the Speed of Light, squared (E=MC2). I don’t pretend to understand much of the Theory of Relativity. But I do “get” that in some way beyond me, energy can transmute into mass, and vice versa.

When I read in the Word that God spoke the universe into existence, my own suspicion is that as the Source of infinite energy, God translated some of His energy into mass, in the form of planets and suns, galaxies and constellations and nebulae.

I believe in a God big enough to easily create matter by His creative choice, through thought and words alone—and then to keep it all—quarks, black holes, pulsars, gluons, gravity, supernovae, dark matter and energy—the whole amazing lot of it, under His perfect control.

He’s big enough to keep the entire universe in perfect order, right down to the smallest atomic and sub-atomic particles.

In a few weeks, sometime this summer, scientists in Europe will throw the switch on the Large Hadron Collider—likely the most ambitious scientific experiment ever.

A massive underground loop 27 miles long straddling the French/Swiss border, the Collider will fire particles toward each other at near the speed of light, to crash into each other, recreating—scientists hope—the conditions a nanosecond after the Big Bang.

When that happens, scientists are hoping for Something Stupendously Amazing to happen. As Joel Achenbach, in the National Geographic of March 2008 put it, scientists are hoping “to crack the code of the physical world; to figure out what the universe is made of; in other words, to get to the very bottom of things.”

The door to the grand theory of everything. The holy grail of physics. The master key that unlocks all doors.

They are hoping to discover the Higgs boson—also called by some “The God Particle”—the suspected but never-yet-isolated particle that gives mass to all matter. In other words, what makes a table a table instead of a diffuse field of energy—what makes a car a car, or you you, and me me. Or a planet a planet. A universe a universe.

Science and religion often circle one another warily, if not getting into outright fisticuffs. Which to me seems strange, since my own view of it is that God is the Author of both—and that if they seem at odds, they ultimately are not.

Perhaps the apparent incompatibility is simply because we humans are not as knowledgeable as we’d like to think we are—that our view of life and faith and science is so limited, that we can’t see much of the Big Picture that God sees.

Even most scientists agree that 95 percent of the contents of the cosmos is invisible to our current methods of detection.

So in my book, 5 percent means we’re still in kindergarten. We’re hoping to find the “God Particle”—the key to how the universe works—to how it got here. How we got here.

So the Hadron project is now up past $8 billion and counting. It might have been far cheaper to just accept Genesis 1 and Psalm 33:6 and 9. But then, if the Hadron finds the God Particle, perhaps it will at least suggest that behind the particle is the God who created this glue of the cosmos.

Like a father watching his child’s early discoveries, I think maybe God looks on as we try to make sense of His Creation—and smiles.

But would that we here on Earth were as eager to find God—as to find His particles.

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