Scientists in Catfight to Rename Higgs
Name makes Peter Higgs a 'rock star,' fellow theorist complains
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2013 2:10 AM CDT
Updated Apr 23, 2013 6:21 AM CDT
University of Edinburgh emeritus professor Peter Higgs, speaks during a press conference at the European Organization for Nuclear Research.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Fabrice Coffrini, File)

(Newser) – Amid rumors that this year's Nobel Prize for Physics will go to the Higgs boson theory, some scientists say the particle's name should be changed so that all the glory doesn't go to British physicist Peter Higgs. At a press conference last year to announce the particle's discovery, Higgs "was treated as something of a rock star and the rest of us were barely recognized by most of the audience," American scientist Carl Hagen tells the BBC. Hagen is considered to have helped develop the theory, along with Higgs and four others.

Most scientists, however, agree that calling it the Englert-Higgs-Guralnik-Kibble-Brout-Hagen particle would be too unwieldy—and the acronyms aren't much better. Hagen favors the name Standard Model Scalar Meson. In a BBC interview last week, Higgs himself argued that it should really be called the Goldstone particle after Cambridge physicist Jeffrey Goldstone. Higgs explained that the "God particle" nickname for the Higgs started out as a joke, after an editor rejected an author's plan "to call it 'that goddamn particle' because it was clear it was going to be a tough job finding it experimentally."

View 1 more image
Next on Newser: Evacuation Flub Spooks LAX
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Scientists Push to Give Higgs New Name is...
55%
17%
1%
3%
1%
23%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 27 comments
1492
May 11, 2013 9:39 PM CDT
There is jealousy among the scientists who are not getting the glory for the discovery of the Higgs-Boson God particle. Since they will not be included in the Nobel Peace Prize, they now want to deport the Higgs-Boson because it is in the shape of a Mexican hat. Go figure. Blame it on the illegals. 1942
right2dave
May 5, 2013 2:32 AM CDT
I think it should go to the person who came up with Cool Ranch Taco for Taco Bell.
sat5360
Apr 26, 2013 2:56 PM CDT
THEORY. MY THEORY IS :THAT THIS FINE MEN ARE ALL FULL OF SHIT. THANK YOU. CAN I NOW GET THE NOBEL PRIZE,THANK YOU.