oh-my-god-particle

The Oh My God-Particle was detected over Dugway Park, Utah around 1991– probably a proton traveling at almost the speed of light (99.99%). It allegedly carried the same kinetic energy as a baseball traveling at 90 kmph. Most cosmic ray particles are of low energy and arise locally from solar flares. Another more energetic class of cosmic particles are thought to originate from elsewhere in the galaxy. They probably come from supernovae. Then there are extragalactic cosmic rays, which are of the Oh-My-God variety, with energy levels exceeding 1015 eV and rarely even 1020 eV are more formally known as ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. These particles travel very close to the speed of light and must have had a heck of a kick to attain such speeds. It is “proposed” that extragalactic cosmic rays are spun up in supermassive black holes. Furthermore, they estimate that nearly all extragalactic cosmic rays that reach Earth come from Centaurus A. It is unclear who or what sent these particles on course to earth.

What is the “Oh My God” Particle?

One of the most entertaining names that I’ve come across in the physics sector is the “Oh My God Particle.” Scientists also refer to this particle as the “ermahgerd particle” (kidding, kidding. It’s not really called that, but it is called the “Oh My God Particle”). Now, the first thing that my pop into some of your minds is the Higgs Boson, which was discovered in 2013. This isn’t too surprising as the media went around calling it the “God Particle.” However, these two particles are very different.

So what is the Oh My God Particle? Well it is a simple, lowly proton. Why the name? Because the Oh My God Particle is the fastest ever found.

Learn about it, and find how fast it was traveling, at:
http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/what-is-the-oh-my-god-particle/

Image via NSF