Stephen Hawking. (Photo : REUTERS/Sheryl Nadler)
The Fourth of July celebrations in the United States this year came with an extra caveat - scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) publicly announced that the Higgs boson particle does exist. While everyone rejoices over the biggest physics discovery of this century, one notable person might have a bone to pick with the announcement. Physicist Stephen Hawking told the BBC that he lost a bet with Professor Gordon Kane because he thought the particle would be far more elusive.
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How much did he lose? Hawking says he has to pay $100 to the physicist from the University of Michigan.
"The results at Fermi lab in America and CERN in Switzerland strongly suggest that we have found the next particle, the particle that gives mass to other particles. If the decay number interactions of this particle are as we expect, it will be strong evidence for the so-called Standard Model of particle physics, the theory that explains all our experiments so far," said Hawking.
"This is an important result and should guarantee Higgs the Nobel Prize" Hawking predicted. "But it is a pity in a way, because the great advances in physics have come from experiments that gave results we didn't expect. For this reason, I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found. It seems I have just lost $100."
The Higgs boson particle is the last missing piece of the Standard Model of particle physics and is thought to be the particle that gives all other particles mass. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the 'God Particle.'
See the BBC interview with Stephen Hawking here: