A scientist who helped find the so-called “God particle” says he could never have made that discovery if he hadn't first been found by God.
Rahmat Rahmat, Ph.D., was once a failing student with a bleak academic future.
Now, the Indonesia native is a noted scientist who contributed to the discovery of the so-called “God particle” — a discovery that is being hailed as one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 21st century. In addition, the Nobel Prize nominee helped develop the HF G-Flash, a simulation of electromagnetic showers used to advance physics research.
Rahmat, 38, said his transformation from struggling learner to top pupil occurred when, as a curious teen, he visited a place that had attracted many of his classmates.
It was there in the most unlikely of places — a small Christian church in his mostly Muslim native country — that he began to blossom academically and spiritually.
Rahmat said one day he accepted Jesus into his heart, and his destiny was forever altered.
That life-changing Gospel — being emphasized today as Resurrection Sunday, or Easter, in churches around the globe — proved eye-opening for the young Rahmat.
“I was a bad student in high school. I always got a minus — below F,” he said, shaking his head during a recent interview in Oklahoma City.
“The Bible opened my eyes to see the beauty of physics — the beauty of the universe.”
The faith that transformed him has now drawn Rahmat to Oklahoma.
He will lead the physics department at Mid-America Christian University, a private school affiliated with the Church of God, in fall 2013.
Rahmat said he was attracted to the school, which has campuses in Moore and northwest Oklahoma City, because of its faith-based foundation.
“I want to help students dream bigger and do greater for Jesus Christ,” he said.
A ‘God thing'
Kerry Park, Mid-America's vice president of communication, said Rahmat's personal mission in life ties in with the university's mission: to equip students to impact their world for Christ through achieving Bible-based academic excellence in a Christian environment, so that students professionally serve in their chosen vocation-ministry.
She said in that sense, Rahmat is a great role model for the students he will lead.
Kathaleen Reid-Martinez, the university's provost, agreed.
She said the university's leaders are thrilled to partner with the noted scientist, and bringing him to the metro area will give students an opportunity to learn from someone at the top of his field.
“It just converged at the right time,” Reid-Martinez said. “One could say it was a ‘God thing.'”
Putting faith above fame
The two university officials said it is clear that Rahmat, now a physics and astronomy instructor at Kentucky Community & Technical College, could be making other plans besides instructing college students.