Thursday, 5 July 2012

Significant particle discoveries of the week - Higgs and Arafat

This week will be remembered for the momentous discovery of the elusive Higgs boson, a wondrous accomplishment of scientific theory and painstaking detection that finally confirms the existence of a vital sub-atomic particle giving coherence to all life-forming matter.

As elated scientists gathered in Geneva to praise Professor Higgs and contemplate the mass potentialities of the breakthrough, one could feel a sense of pride in the knowledge-first ethic of science.

The same week will also go down in the annals as the one in which other diligent scientists, from a Swiss laboratory, confirmed particle traces of polonium-210 in the clothing and other personal effects of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Coupled with long-held suspicions that Arafat was poisoned, most likely by Israel, the Palestinian Authority has now granted a request from Arafat's widow that his body be exhumed from his lair in Ramallah for further examination.

Polonium-210 is a rare, deadly substance held and controlled mainly by nuclear-advanced states and valued as a toxic agent for its relative untraceability in the victim's body.

So, while scientists at CERN are deep underground colliding atoms together in hopeful, life-revealing discovery, others are busy finessing polonium, white phosphorous and other deadly cocktails for use against human beings. 

The staggering revelations and contrasting appliance of science: on the one hand, Higgs and a community of appreciative physicists working for the pure joy of finding the wonder 'God particle' and enhancing our understanding of the universe; on the other, the dark dealings of a desperate state and its terror alchemists planting cancerous particles and plotting to eliminate a figurehead for the liberation of an occupied people.


No comments: