Hawking Bets CERN Wonâ€™t Find â€˜God Particleâ€™
LONDON ~ Renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has bet US$100 that a mega-experiment this week will not find an elusive particle seen as a holy grail of cosmic science.
In the most complex scientific experiment ever undertaken, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was switched on on Wednesday, and will accelerate sub-atomic particles to nearly the speed of light before smashing them together.
â€œThe LHC will increase the energy at which we can study particle interactions by a factor of four. According to present thinking, this should be enough to discover the Higgs particle,â€ Hawking told BBC radio.
â€œI think it will be much more exciting if we donâ€™t find the Higgs. That will show something is wrong, and we need to think again. I have a bet of $100 that we wonâ€™t find the Higgs,â€ added Hawking, whose books, including A Brief History of Time, have sought to popularize study of stellar physics.
Physicists have long puzzled over how particles acquire mass. In 1964, a British physicist, Peter Higgs, came up with this idea: there must exist a background field that would act rather like treacle.Filed under: Headlines