Lakeshore News Tonight

Parashar Part of Nobel “God Particle” Team

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October 8, 2013 — As one in 6000, Purdue University Calumet professor Neethi Parashar is a member of a select group of scientists.

She is part of a Nobel Prize-winning team, and for Dr. Parashar, today is a day this daughter of a physicist has dreamed about.

“It’s exciting, exhilarating!”

As a member of a team of researchers led by scientists who won a Nobel Prize in physics today, Parashar had one man to call, “My dad turns 70 today. It’s his birthday, so I called him in the morning, he’s right now visiting my brother at Cambridge in England. So, he just choked with the news.”

The Purdue Calumet faculty member helped discover the Higgs Boson sub-atomic particle,  also known as the “God particle.”

She suggests, “Think of the universe filled with something like a giant vat of molasses. And anything that passes through that molasses will actually stick to the molasses, and the molasses that make up the field is like the Higgs Boson that make it up, and that’s the God Particle.”

Parashar worked in part at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, contributing to the discovery with a worldwide team 6000­ strong.

With cameras flashing, former students such as Dayna Thompson gathered to honor their mentor, “I often talk about this to planetarium groups that come through my planetarium down at Ball State University, and now I can add to the story and make it have an ending (laugh).”

Parashar says the future of her work is still to be written, “There are no immediate direct benefits of this kind of research but when they do, they are just completely revolutionary.”

The effort is an ongoing search that Parashar hopes will attract even more minds to study science.

By Hilary Powell


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