Physicists have a Massive Problem as Higgs Boson Refuses to Misbehave – A Spiritual Insight

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One of the fundamental particles in physics is known as the Higgs Boson, a subatomic particle whose existence is predicted by the theory which unified the weak and electromagnetic interactions. The Higgs boson is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics, produced by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the fields in particle physics theory. It is named after physicist Peter Higgs, who in 1964, along with five other scientists, proposed the Higgs mechanism to explain why particles have mass. This mechanism implies the existence of the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson was initially discovered as a new particle in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations based on collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and the new particle was subsequently confirmed to match the expected properties of a Higgs boson over the following years. Recently, Physicists have spotted the Higgs boson performing a new trick, but one that brings us no closer to understanding the workings of this fundamental particle. [1]

Reference

  1. Virtual International Conference on High Energy Physics, CERN, August 2020, https://atlas.cern/updates/press-statement/first-indications-rare-higgs-boson-process

The Higgs Boson is the fundamental particle that gives all other fundamental particles mass according to the Higgs model of particle physics.  Following its experimental observation in 2012, researchers have been trying to design experiments in such a way as to study the properties of the Higgs Boson.  Nobody however has been able to sort out exactly how the particle gives mass and why some particles have higher mass than others.  The way researchers have attempted to solve this problem is by observing how the Higgs boson interacts with other particles using the LHC. The researchers who use the LHC have observed the Higgs boson decaying into two muons. A muon is an unstable subatomic particle of the same class as an electron but with a mass around 2090 times greater.  Muons make up much of the cosmic radiation reaching the earth’s surface. This decay is something they have not seen before as reported at the Virtual International Conference on High Energy Physics. [1] Other researchers have suggested that particles have different masses due to there being more than one type of Higgs boson, this allows for different mass ranges with different types of Higgs. The Higgs interaction with the muon is a much smaller type of particle than what had previously been observed, and so this discovery suggests there is only one Higgs.  This however leaves the question of why different particles have different masses. Scientists say this also leaves the question on dark matter and dark energy.  The researchers in particle physics believe the standard model is incomplete, however all of the experimental results thus far have been within the specifications of the model. The next step to solving this problem is to take more precise measurements of the Higgs interactions with a varying range of different particles.  Many of the measurements need to be more precise and so there is the need to build an even larger, more powerful collider.  The scientists are able to predict theoretically thousands of mechanisms for how Higgs interactions may occur but each of these need to be experimentally verified in order to ascertain the exact mechanism of interaction. 

The Spiritual Insight that we receive from this type of research is related to the mystery of the Higgs Boson and how it works. There is something Paul wrote to Timothy when he spoke of something very similar.

אָכֵן גָּדוֹל סוֹד הַחֲסִידוּת

הִתְגַּלָּה בַּבָּשָׂר,

הֻצְדַּק בָּרוּחַ, נִרְאָה לַמַּלְאָכִים,

הֻגַּד בַּגּוֹיִם, הֶאֱמִינוּ בּוֹ בָּעוֹלָם,

הָעֳלָה לַמָּרוֹם בְּכָבוֹד.

1 Timothy 3:16

3:16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (NASB)

Paul is trying to explain something here that we are trying to understand in regards to the nature of reality.  In the Scientific research physicists are trying to understand the mystery of a fundamental particle that explains why things work the way they do in the observable universe. The Biblical text speaks of the mystery of God who created all of these things to be so. These things lead to the question of reality, for those who are scientifically minded, their reality may be that God does not exist with the underlying presupposition that these things are a phenomenon that do not have the need for God to have created them.  The study of the Higgs Boson is funded by Basic Science research grants and is led by the questions about life and how things work.  There are mysteries that we do not know about in this world until we have explored them and sought out an explanation for the way they work. These things remain a mystery until we have experienced them, or as in the experimental method, the phenomenon is probed until we have sorted out what is truly happening to determine its function. The Torah, Prophets, and Writings (Tanakh) and the NT speak to questions not just of how things work, but also of a realm that goes beyond our physical bodies (spiritual things).  The questions we ask ourselves, the assumptions and presuppositions that we hold on to, the expectations, hypothesis, and theories we embrace ultimately shape what we believe to be true in relation to spiritual things.  These things can shape our version of reality as either being devoid of the existence of God, or as one that includes the existence of God. 

Paul speaks of the mystery of godliness in 1 Timothy 3:16. The primary principle that Paul is speaking of when writing about the mystery of godliness is of the revelation of God to man. This is the primary point as Paul wrote about Yeshua as “He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.” (NASB)  We are told in Hebrews 4 that God had revealed himself to the people of Israel in the wilderness, and the gospel was preached to them.  The Lord God Almighty had given His people His Words so that they could learn His ways and walk in them, by beginning the process of becoming like Him. This process of beginning, or seeking Him out, and of walking in His ways, is contained within the revelation of God by His Spirit such that we are able to comprehend the mystery of God.

The example we have that illustrates the significance of seeking out spiritual truth is found in the story of Korach according to Parashat Korach. In Parashat Korach we read from the book of Bamidbar / Numbers the following וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח מֹשֶׁ֔ה לִקְרֹ֛א לְדָתָ֥ן וְלַאֲבִירָ֖ם בְּנֵ֣י אֱלִיאָ֑ב וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ לֹ֥א נַעֲלֶֽה 16:12 Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab; but they said, “We will not come! הַמְעַ֗ט כִּ֤י הֶֽעֱלִיתָ֨נוּ֙ מֵאֶ֨רֶץ זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ לַהֲמִיתֵ֖נוּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר כִּֽי־תִשְׂתָּרֵ֥ר עָלֵ֖ינוּ גַּם־הִשְׂתָּרֵֽר 16:13 Is it not enough that you brought us from a land flowing with milk and honey to have us die in the wilderness, that you would also lord it over us? אַ֡ף לֹ֣א אֶל־אֶרֶץ֩ זָבַ֨ת חָלָ֤ב וּדְבַשׁ֙ הֲבִ֣יאֹתָ֔נוּ וַתִּ֨תֶּן־לָ֔נוּ נַחֲלַ֖ת שָׂדֶ֣ה וָכָ֑רֶם הַעֵינֵ֞י הָאֲנָשִׁ֥ים הָהֵ֛ם תְּנַקֵּ֖ר לֹ֥א נַעֲלֶֽה 16:14 Even if you had brought us to a land flowing with milk and honey, and given us possession of fields and vineyards, should you gouge out those men’s eyes? We will not come!” וַיִּ֤חַר לְמֹשֶׁה֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה אַל־תֵּ֖פֶן אֶל־מִנְחָתָ֑ם לֹ֠א חֲמ֨וֹר אֶחָ֤ד מֵהֶם֙ נָשָׂ֔אתִי וְלֹ֥א הֲרֵעֹ֖תִי אֶת־אַחַ֥ד מֵהֶֽם 16:15 Moses was much aggrieved and he said to the LORD, “Pay no regard to their oblation. I have not taken the ass of any one of them, nor have I wronged any one of them.” Note how the people respond saying, לֹ֥א נַעֲלֶֽה “we will not ascend.” This draws out the rabbinic thought process as the Land of Canaan was situated higher in elevation than that of Egypt which was situated at sea level. This suggests that the Lord God in heaven was drawing the people nearer to Himself by bringing them into the Promised Land, to an elevated place, i.e. to live in a place that is closer to heaven. This is illustrated at this time the people were at a high plateau in the wilderness and the imagery that is given them is to the Lord lifting them up to heaven, raising them up to set them in a place of blessing even to having heard the voice of God and receiving His holy Words (His mitzvot). What this reveals to us concerning truth, is the need for us to seek the Lord God in heaven.  There is a spiritual aspect of lifting up, something the Lord God is wanting and doing in our lives, and we must seek His help for this.  When a person relies upon intellect alone and who does not keep the commandments, he or she would never be able to comprehend the mystery of godliness.  There is probably more confusion on the mystery of godliness than on any other concept found in the Scriptures. Even for those who are God’s people, the lack of knowledge and intellect (i.e. referring to not studying the Bible) and also due to worldly enticement, has led many to fall prey to false doctrines, and sensuality, and even to ungodly ways of thought. Pride is a major component that forms our presuppositions and philosophical beliefs. The issues at hand here are in relation to being humble before God and men where our primary objective is to cry out to God for His help! The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:3 “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Pride is “thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think” and this is a direct function of the reality we develop and shape our lives by. Humility on the other hand is not “thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.” The one aspect of the commands that Yeshua taught us and commanded his disciples was to learn the lesson of humility by humbling our lives according to God’s Word. We are told to be humble servants before God. (James 4:10

The command and humility go hand in hand. This is the point of Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (NASB) The Word of God (mitzvot) judges the thoughts and discerns the intention of the heart.  Sin is disobedience to the command. The danger that we have is that in our sin it is possible to develop a perspective and stories (or a narrative) in our hearts that are contrary to God’s Word and His commands. This narrative that one creates will lead one to further sin. We have to be careful not to create our own reality, but to stay in God’s reality by walking in his ways and remaining in His Word (the Scriptures). This is what was going on in the Torah based example of Korach, the people did not hold fast to the Word of God, they refused to ascend by going up to meet the Lord. The concept of ascending and descending parallel the spiritual and the base nature of man. When we seek the ways of God according to His Word, and seek His help to live by His Word, the analogy is to one ascending to a spiritual place.  Sin keeps us in the descended realm, that which is below, or the base nature (the flesh), a place of separation from God. The presuppositions and philosophical beliefs we have been taught shape our perspective (our reality) based upon the stories we tell ourselves in regard to the commands and sin. In the case of Korach, this led to their utter destruction. Can you see the parallel to what Yeshua taught in Matthew 7 and Luke 13 regarding those who stood before Yeshua and his response was “I never knew you, you worker of iniquity” as referring to those who are lawless? This is one of the major issues with modern theologies today that exclude the Torah as a way of life and disregard the commands as valid for each of us to live by. Modern theologies are the stories we tell ourselves so we do not have to be accountable to all of God’s Word. 

The Greek text of 1 Timothy 3:16 state the following:

1 Timothy 3:16

3:16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (NASB, καὶ ὁμολογουμένως μέγα ἐστὶν τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον: Ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί, ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι, ὤφθη ἀγγέλοις, ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν, ἐπιστεύθη ἐν κόσμῳ, ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ)

The Greek word musterion (μυστήριον, “mystery”), as it is used in the NT refers to the things of God which are hidden.  A mystery requires a revelation from God in order to make it known (Romans 16:25-26, Colossians 1:26-27), this was the point of the revelation at Sinai the Lord God of Israel revealing Himself to His people in a powerful way, what was once a mystery. The revelation of God in the Torah reveals how YHVH is powerful, merciful (full of grace), slow to anger, and long suffering for His people. The NT speaks of a mystery that at times past was hidden, and is now revealed in Yeshua the Messiah. Yeshua spoke of the mystery of the kingdom of God according to Mark 4:11 and that he was the one who is being revealed through God by divine inspiration.  The Greek Word “godliness” (εὐσεβείας, yooseb’iah) means “reverence, respect, piety towards God” in the sense of Kavanah (כַּוָּנָה) in which means “intention” or “sincere feeling, direction of the heart.” It is the attitude that one has, our motivation, that is most important in relation to faithfulness to the miztvot (commandments) and prayer, remember, this is what Hebrews 4:12 is revealing to us. Yeshua demonstrated this attitude of complete commitment to God and His Word. His life was dedicated to the glory of the Father, and He always did what pleased Him (John 8:29). This is why we are told to walk in the footsteps of the Messiah, to pursue godliness, righteousness, holiness, and truth by following the example of Yeshua in dedicating every decision to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). In fact, Godliness is not a suggestion; it is a command! (see 1 Peter 1:15–16, Hebrews 12:14)

 The Scientific research on the Higgs Boson where physicists are trying to understand the mystery of a fundamental particle that explains why things work the way they do in the observable universe tends to draw out these points. Basic Science leads us to the questions about life and how things work.  There are mysteries that we do not know about in this world until we have explored them and sought out an explanation for the way they work. The same effort in exploration is needed in matters of faith as well.  We can see this illustrated in the Hebrew translation of the NT in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and in Yeshua’s words in Matthew 5.

1 Corinthians 15:9

שֶׁכֵּן אֲנִי הַפָּחוּת בַּשְּׁלִיחִים וְאֵינֶנִּי רָאוּי לְהִקָּרֵא שָׁלִיחַ מִשּׁוּם שֶׁרָדַפְתִּי אֶת קְהִלַּת אֱלֹהִים

15:9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Matthew 5:3-12

“אַשְׁרֵי עֲנִיֵּי הָרוּחַ, כִּי לָהֶם מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמַיִם. 4אַשְׁרֵי הָאֲבֵלִים, כִּי הֵם יְנֻחָמוּ. 5אַשְׁרֵי הָעֲנָוִים, כִּי הֵם יִירְשׁוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ. 6אַשְׁרֵי הָרְעֵבִים וְהַצְּמֵאִים לְצֶדֶק, כִּי הֵם יִשְׂבָּעוּ. 7אַשְׁרֵי הָרַחֲמָנִים, כִּי הֵם יְרֻחָמוּ. 8אַשְׁרֵי בָּרֵי לֵבָב, כִּי הֵם יִרְאוּ אֶת אֱלֹהִים. 9אַשְׁרֵי רוֹדְפֵי שָׁלוֹם, כִּי בְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים יִקָּרֵאוּ. 10אַשְׁרֵי הַנִּרְדָּפִים בִּגְלַל הַצֶּדֶק, כִּי לָהֶם מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמַיִם. 11אַשְׁרֵיכֶם אִם יְחָרְפוּ וְיִרְדְּפוּ אֶתְכֶם וְיַעֲלִילוּ עֲלֵיכֶם בִּגְלָלִי. 12שִׂמְחוּ וְגִילוּ, כִּי שְׂכַרְכֶם רַב בַּשָּׁמַיִם; הֲרֵי כָּךְ רָדְפוּ אֶת הַנְּבִיאִים שֶׁהָיוּ לִפְנֵיכֶם.”

5:3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5:4 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5:5 ‘Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 5:6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 5:7 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 5:8 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 5:9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 5:10 ‘Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5:11 ‘Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 5:12 ‘Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NASB)

Note the Hebrew word רָדַף which means “to run after, usually with hostile intent.” This is translated as “to persecute.” Here Paul wrote that He persecuted the church, pursuing with hostile intent and putting men in prison and even to death. Yeshua also speaks of those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (Matthew 5:10), for the sake of false testimony (5:11), and being persecuted in the same way as the prophets were in times past (5:12). What is interesting is how the word רָדַף is used (רוֹדְפֵי) in the sense of the blessedness of pursuing peace (5:9, being peacemakers). The Hebrew translation reveals to us how being a peacemaker is to pursue peace with hostile intent as being the sons of God! I find it interesting how this word is used in parallel to being persecuted for the sake of righteousness, and truth (i.e. false witness will be said against us because we are pursuing truth), etc. These things speak to the intention we are to have, to be unwavering in seeking truth, in living for the Lord, and in applying His principles to our lives in peace, righteousness, and truth. This pursuit is the mystery of godliness that is at the heart of faithfulness to God! These passages from Matthew 5 speak to the necessity of pursuing these things. They do not just come or happen naturally.  This is what the Scientific research on the Higgs Boson is drawing out for us.  Physicists are in hot pursuit of understanding the mystery of this fundamental particle. This points to the need for us to seek and pursue the God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua. The righteousness, holiness, and truth of God’s Son, His godliness, is to now be reflected in us!  Again, this doesn’t just happen without us pursuing these things! At the heart of our faith is the mystery of godliness, the idea that God sent His Son, the living Word of God, into this world, to live among us, to live in our midst, such that we having faith in Him, we receive the Holy Spirit of God into our hearts, and the God of Israel will dwell in our midst for the rest of our lives! (see Philippians 2:5-11)  The mystery of these things causes us to seek out truth, and this is the very thing that causes man to study the basic sciences to understand the fundamental phenomenon that is at work in the universe.  Yeshua lived these things and then offered himself in our place (John 10:18, Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21). The Almighty God raised Him from the dead (Resurrection) and in doing so Yeshua conquered death and this is given to all who trust in Him (see Matthew 28:6, 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, 13-14, 55). We must seek these things out in order to understand them. Just as the Scientists are searching out the Higgs Boson, they are putting their time, money, and all their resources in the search for understanding of this particle in physics. We too must put in the effort to study God’s Word, to seek out truth, and to live our lives for Him for His glory! Because Yeshua gave His life for ours, we by faith are declared righteous before God and born new (John 3:3). This enables us to walk in the spirit which is an observable phenomenon in the sense of how our lives are changed by our faith to walk according to God’s Word in faithfulness to Him! The Lord who lives in us is what produces true godliness (2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 3:8-10). The life that is transformed is the mystery of godliness and is comprehended only through the revelation of God in the Messiah! This is why Paul speaks of the greatness of the mystery of godliness, (1 Timothy 3:16) because it is the power of God in our lives! 

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Dr. Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!