However, to understand why the so-called God particle is so crucial and why so many scientists celebrate it, we must understand where it comes from. The 17-mile circuit of superpowerful electromagnets can accelerate charged particles to significant fractions of the speed of light, causing collisions violent enough to break these particles into fundamental components and deform the space around the point of impact. Just like watching a miracle before your eyes without seeing God or an angel perform it, a certain amount of faith is still required to understand and explain it. For example, the photon, which is the particle of light that carries electromagnetic force, has no mass.
And while the name of the divine particle may ring a bell to many, it is still not as well-known as the enormous device used to finally demonstrate its existence: the Large Hadron Collider. This type of particle science is now commonly referred to as Standard Theory, largely because it is the standard for understanding everything from the periodic table to complex chemical processes such as fire and metallurgy. Now, in the preface to a new collection of essays and lectures called Starmus, the famous theoretical physicist warns that the particle could one day be responsible for the destruction of the known universe. The mass of a particle determines how much it resists changing its velocity or position when it encounters a force.
But supersymmetry is a theory that suggests that every particle also has a supersymmetric companion particle. The standard model of particle physics establishes the basic concepts of how particles and elementary forces interact in the universe. Demonstrating the existence of the particle, with the properties that physicists expected based on their understanding of the field, was in effect the same as demonstrating the existence of the field directly. After turning on the LHC and smashing protons and observing what was happening, the scientists were practically certain that they had conclusively observed the so-called God Particle, even though they hadn't seen it.
Now that scientists measured the mass of the particle last year, they can make many other calculations, including one that seems to indicate the end of the universe. This concentration of energy is what allows scientists to create completely unnatural particle interactions in a controlled environment. The Large Hadron Collider needs little introduction, since it is one of the most famous and successful scientific experiments of all time, but the identity of its main target particle remains a mystery to much of the public.