9/10/2008

Father Of The "God Particle" Confident; Bashes Hawking

It seems even the world of science can turn into the WWE. The man who developed the theory of a particle that gives matter mass known as the Higgs Boson or "God Particle," says he's pretty confident that he'll be proven right by the new CERN super collider in Switzerland, though it may take about three years to find the particle. He also heaped scorn on the world's most famous physicist, Stephen Hawking, who doesn't believe the particle exist.

Professor Hawking once placed a $100 bet that the particle does not exist and continues to argue that there are more interesting outcomes to be drawn from the LHC than the discovery of the Higgs boson.

Professor Higgs, who first postulated the existence of the particle 44 years ago, reacted with visible irritation. "I have to confess I haven't read the paper in which Stephen Hawking makes this claim," he said. "But I have read one he wrote, which I think is the basis for the kind of calculation he does. And frankly I don’t think the way he does it is good enough.

"My understanding is he puts together theories in particle physics with gravity . . . in a way which no theoretical particle physicist would believe is the correct theory.

"From a particle physics, quantum theory point of view, you have to put a lot more than just gravity into the theory to have a consistent theory and I don't think Stephen has done that. I am very doubtful about his calculations." Other members of the panel moved swiftly to cut off the discussion, suggesting that he had taken Professor Hawking's views out of context.


It appears science is not devoid of emotion after all. Higgs also stated that the fear that the super collider will create a black hole that swallows us up is nonsense. Whew!

Interesting too about Hawking, while he is an international celebrity it has more to do with the fact that he's handicapped and a genius. Most physicist consider him and his theories to be second-rate at best. Pop culture is so often misleading.