Tags: stephen hawking | god particle | destroy | universe

Stephen Hawking: God Particle Could Destroy the Universe

By    |   Monday, 08 September 2014 06:42 PM

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking is warning that the Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle," may destroy the universe.

According to the U.K.'s Sunday Times, the 72-year-old Hawking suggests in his upcoming book "Starmus" that the God particle, which has been hailed as the "missing piece" that binds the universe together, could cause a “catastrophic vacuum decay” if it becomes unstable at high energy levels, which would cause "time and space to collapse."

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Stressing that such an occurrence is highly unlikely, Hawking writes in the preface of "Starmus" that "the Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn giga-electronvolts (GeV). This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn't see it coming."

With a sense of humor, however, Hawking added: "A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate."

In 2012, soon after the Higgs boson was discovered, Hawking admitted that he had lost a bet with Gordon Kane of the University of Michigan that the particle wouldn’t be found by scientists.

Hawking is the Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge. He wrote “A Brief History of Time” and an essay collection, “Black Holes and Baby Universe,” and “The Universe in a Nutshell.”

Nearly 50 years ago, Hawking was stricken with motor neuron disease. He was given two years to live, according to his website. He has gone on to be regarded as “one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.”

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Famed physicist Stephen Hawking is warning that the Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle," could destroy the universe.
stephen hawking, god particle, destroy, universe
Monday, 08 September 2014 06:42 PM
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