GENEVA, Switzerland – Physicists at the CERN research center here have found a new subatomic particle believed to be the Higgs boson, or so-called God particle, which is thought to be the key to how matter developed from the primordial soup of the early universe. “We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” CERN director general Rolf Heuer told a gathering of scientists and the world’s media near Geneva on Wednesday. “This discovery may turn out to be the most significant milestone ever in science, a major step in explaining our very existence. And we found it, so the rest of you can suck it. Swit-zer-land! Swit-zer-land! Swit-zer-land!”
The existence of what is now called the Higgs boson was predicted 48 years ago by theoretical physicist Peter Higgs. Now 83, Higgs was one of six theorists who proposed the existence of a mechanism by which matter in the universe gained mass. Higgs argued that if there were an invisible field responsible for the process, it must be made up of particles. Such particles would be the emissaries of the field and would prove its existence. “I wasn’t serious when I said that,” Higgs said from CERN, where he was on hand for the announcement. “I mean, mass coming out of nowhere from some invisible field? That’s some way-out shit, man.
“I was totally baked when I said that. But the other people on the team were too, so we just wrote it down. We never expected that such a thing existed, let alone that anyone would find it. Hot damn! I mean, hot damn!”
The discovery has reverberated not just through the scientific world, but also the political realm. In a hotly contested election year, an enormous revelation about the evolution of our universe that began almost 14 billion years ago has many U.S. Republicans uneasy. “Oh, this is bad. This is really bad,” said Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s campaign manager. “We can’t disavow this achievement that has come from decades of research from thousands of the finest minds our planet has ever known. We would look like a bunch of backwater yokels, not fit to hold national office. But if we acknowledge this incredible discovery, we alienate the Republican base of fundamental Christians who believe that God created Heaven and Earth 6,000 years ago, and that dinosaurs and people once walked side by side. What the hell—pardon my language—are we going to do?
“And those people at CERN had to announce their findings on the Fourth of July of all days!” Rhoades added. “Holy crap, this is bad.”