According to quantum theory observation affects reality. Could the God particle, the Higgs Boson, simply be projected reality?
One of the most astounding discoveries of quantum mechanics is that the very act of watching affects the observed reality. This was demonstrated in the minuscule world of waves and particles by a highly controlled experiment where electrons under observation change their “regular” wave-like behaviour to particle-like.
Today’s news are filled with reports from the latest experiments at CERN claiming that the God particle, the elusive Higgs boson, was finally proven to exist. Since ancient times people have strived to explain the universe. The so-called Standard Model theory is the modern take of scientists at that. A theory, however, must be proven experimentally in order to be accepted as true, and there a crucial missing piece for many years was the Higgs boson. And now that its existence is finally validated, scientists are one step closer to proving their theory of (almost) everything.
But wait a minute – if observation plays such a gigantic role in the subatomic world – what is then the likelihood of the detected traces of the Higgs particle simply being observer effects of the experiment and that mammoth machine behind it, the Large Hadron Collider? How much of these building blocks of matter is simply there because we’re looking for them?
Fantasy turned reality – ironically, this was the title of the Economist’s cover story on the God particle today 🙂