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The Higgs is important because the elusive subatomic particle is believed to give everything its mass. But as Marcelo Gleiser — of NPR’s 13.7 — explained, the nickname doesn’t quite explain the particle because while it “does have something of a centralizing influence,” it’s “nothing quite divine.”
It’s misnomer, even stupid, some physicists say.
All Things Considered spoke to the man credited with giving the particle its moniker. In 1993, Dick Teresi co-wrote The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? with Leon Lederman, the Nobel prize winning physicist.
He told Melissa Block that the name was born out of a joke, a working title he never thought the publisher would buy.
In fact, he said, “for us being atheists, it’s kind of a scary, evil kind of particle that obfuscates what’s really going on.”
So what does he say to his detractors?
“They protest too much,” he said. In fact, the name will likely stick, he said, just like another famous deregatory term has — “The Big Bang.”
Teresi added that in truth, he didn’t resent most physicists for complaining. The only one he has a problem with is Peter Higgs himself.
Six others helped discover that particle, he said.
Yet the Higgs is “the only major particle that the discoverer, or the theorist, named after himself,” he said.
If there’s a misnomer, it’s Higgs.
Much more of Melissa’s conversation with Teresi on tonight’s All Things Considered. Check here for a list of local stations that carry the program. We’ll post audio of the as-aired interview on this post later tonight.
Update at 6:01 p.m. ET. An Explanation:
We should have included an explanation for the Higgs. Here is a comprehensive one we provided back in July of last year.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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KRCC presents JOHN PRINE
Saturday, May 4th – Pikes Peak Center
Reserved seating on sale now at all Ticketswest locations, or on line at www.ticketswest.com
2013 MEADOWGRASS MUSIC FESTIVAL – featuring Blitzen Trapper, Kristen Hersh, Anais Mitchell, Chauncy Crandall & the Rocket Flies, Sera Cahoone, and many many many many more!
Three days and nights of music at beautiful La Foret in Black Forest – Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th, 25th, and 26th.
Full festival details through www.meadowgrassmusicfestival.org
KRCC Member discount tickets available only at the KRCC Studios – 912 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs, or by calling 719-473-4801 or 1-800-748-2727.
7th Annual Blues Under The Bridge – July 20th, 2013
WATERMELON SLIM & THE WORKERS, JOHN HAMMOND, BLUES CARAVAN W/ JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR, THE SLIDE BROTHERS, D.B. REILLY, and THE JUST US LEAGUE
www.BluesUnderTheBridge.com for festival information
KRCC Member tickets on sale for $25. General Public tickets on sale for $35. VIP tickets $91.50. Day of show tickets $40 at the west gate. Tickets available through www.TicketFly.com or at KRCC.
Pre-festival Party Friday July 19th from 5-8pm at the Wyndham Grand Mining Exchange with Watermelon Slim, and Big Jim Adams!
Pikes Peak Center, Saturday October 12th, 2013 8pm
KRCC member pre-show meet and greet opportunity 6:30-7:30pm – pre-show meet and greet tickets available for $40 to members ONLY at the station.
Advance KRCC member tickets on sale now through August 2nd through www.TicketsWest.com. Enter member promo code and click find.
General Public tickets on sale August 2nd, 2013