Feeds

Stephen Hawking: 'Boring' Higgs Boson discovery cost me $100

Uberboffin also avoided 'factual knowledge' exams at uni

Boost IT visibility and business value

Stephen Hawking hijacked an event at the Science Museum to tell the world he thinks the Higgs Boson has made physics a boring subject.

The celebrated boffin has a long-standing rivalry with Nobel Prize-winner Professor Peter Higgs, who gave his name to the famous "God Particle".

At an event in London's Science Museum to celebrate the launch of an exhibition on the Large Hadron Collider, Hawking said "physics would be far more interesting if it had not been found".

"I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found," he said. "The Nobel Prize cost me $100."

The Higgs boson is thought to give particles within atoms their mass and is a crucial part of the Standard Model which explains how the universe works.

However, Hawking has never been a fan of the boson.

El Reg previously reported on a "boffinry bitchslap brouhaha" between Higgs and Hawking, which has been brewing ever since Hawking bet $100 that the famous boson would never be found.

At the Science Museum event, the professor also revealed he did just 1,000 hours of work during three years at Oxford University - roughly an hour a day.

"Because of my lack of work, I had planned to get through the final exam by doing problems in theoretical physics and avoiding questions that required factual knowledge.

"But I didn't sleep the night before the exam, because of nervous tension, and so I didn't do very well. I was on the borderline between a first and second class degree."

He predicted that a hypothesis known as M-Theory, which points to the existence of multiple universes, would soon be proven true.

"These multiple universes can arise naturally from physical law," he said. "Each universe has many possible histories and many possible states at later times, that is, at times like the present, long after their creation.

"Most of these states will be quite unlike the universe we observe, and quite unsuitable for the existence of any form of life. Only a very few would allow creatures like us to exist.

"Thus, our presence selects out from the vast array only those universes that are compatible with our existence. Although we are puny and insignificant on the scale of the Cosmos, this makes us, in a sense, lords of creation." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.