Every religion has a name for it. Ragnarok, Armageddon, the Apocalypse, just to name just a few. But the end of the universe may be closer than anyone has ever realized, anyone other than Stephen Hawking, arguably the smartest man alive.
In a recent story on the Daily Mail, Hawking admitted that CERN’s large Hadron supercollider could, in fact, find and isolate the Higgs Boson particle, also known as the “God Particle,” and in so doing, cause the destruction of the known universe. Hawking famously bet against researchers ever discovering and isolating the Higgs Boson, and lost $100 when CERN did it in March of 2013, as reported by The Inquisitr.
Hawking, who is one who knows, argues that the Higgs Boson, once isolated and then highly powered, could create an “end-time event” that would essentially end all life. As reported by C/NET via Yahoo! News, Hawking explained his position on and the dangers of humans trying to play god.
“The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV).”
Granted, according to Hawking, an immense amount of energy would need to be fed into the God Particle for it to essentially go supernova, which in this case isn’t even a strong enough word when talking about the destruction of everything.
“This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming.”
“Catastrophic vacuum decay” sounds more threatening if you say it out loud. It’s not as sexy as an alien invasion or the second coming of Jesus Christ, but it is something that could very well happen sooner rather than later. Of course, Hawking also says that for the Higgs Boson to absorb the amount of energy needed to end everything, there would need to be a particle accelerator built that would be bigger than earth itself to be able to generate 100bn gigaelectronvolts.
While this is a cause for relief, technology is constantly changing, advancing, and shrinking. Just 50 years ago, computers filled whole rooms and sometimes whole buildings, and now, your phone is more powerful than those computers ever were. So, a particle accelerator that could destroy us all may not be that far off.
No matter how the end comes, no religion on earth has ever predicted that the overfeeding of a particle could be the instrument of our destruction. The God Particle could be that instrument.
[Images courtesy of Google and The Guardian]