Monday, July 9, 2012

Higgs boson: Prof Stephen Hawking loses $100 bet

not a wizard afterall

When Peter Higgs first proposed that an invisible field strewn across space gave mass to the building blocks of the universe, the theory was ridiculed by some of the most respected minds of the time.

His first paper was rejected by a journal, while other scientists accused him and his colleagues of failing to grasp the basic principles of physics.

Despite the sleights Prof Higgs, at the time an 34-year-old physicist at Edinburgh University, was convinced his idea was right although he never envisaged being able to prove it.

48 years on, his radical concept was finally proved correct by an international team of physicists at the Cern laboratory using a £6 billion piece of  equipment designed to uncover the secrets  of the Universe.

Announcing the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, scientists from confirmed they had discovered a new particle bearing all the hallmarks of a Higgs boson. The Higgs Boson helps to explain how fundamental particles gain their mass - a property which allows them to bind together and form stars and planets rather than whizzing around the universe at the speed of light.

Prof Higgs, 83, who travelled to Switerland to witness the landmark announcement first-hand, was visibly moved as the presentation was rounded off to tumultuous applause from a wildly excited audience, some of whom had waited overnight to secure their seats. Choking back tears, he said: “I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement. It’s really an incredible thing that it’s happened in my lifetime.”

His response was characteristically modest. Professor Higgs has repeatedly resisted requests for interviews and comments, insisting the limelight should be taken by the scientists who have proved that his theory is correct. He has long been uncomfortable even having his name attached to the particle, which is the key missing cornerstone of the Standard Model of physics.

Here's a video when Stephen Hawking said he lost the bet about the Higgs bosons.

Such a wonderful man, how many likes for this smile? :D