The Higgs particle
It was misleading of The Times to entitle an article on the Higgs particle God Particle Found (July 5). Nowhere in the article do the words “God” or “God particle” occur. All the article deals with is the Higgs boson.
A sidebar in the same article has as a heading What Is The Higgs Boson? It simply explains what the Higgs boson is. There’s no mention of God whatsoever.
The Times has a responsibility to be accurate in its reporting. The headline of the article should have been Higgs Particle Found because that’s all that has actually been discovered at the Cern laboratories in Switzerland.
The origin of the phrase “god particle” goes back to 1993 when the American physicist Leon Lederman called the “Higgs particle” the “goddamn particle” because it was so hard to discover whether there was such a particle or not. Prof. Lederman’s publisher then went ahead and substituted the phrase “goddamn particle” with the phrase “god particle” as a sales-boosting title for Prof. Lederman’s book.