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

Uberboffin also avoided 'factual knowledge' exams at uni

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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." ®

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