Stephen Hawking talks of impact of Higgs boson discovery

Nov. 12, 2013 at 7:05 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Physics would be "more interesting" if the Higgs boson hadn't been found by the Large Hadron Collider, renowned British cosmologist Stephen Hawking said.

The world-famous cosmologist made the remark at an event to mark the opening of a new exhibit on the LHC at London's Science Museum, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Though predicted by theory in the early 1960s, not everyone believed the Higgs would be found.

If the Higgs had not been confirmed, physicists would have needed to rethink many of their fundamental assumptions about the nature of particles and forces -- an exciting prospect for some scientists, Hawking said.

"Physics would be far more interesting if it had not been found," Hawking said. "A few weeks ago, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert shared the Nobel Prize for their work on the boson and they richly deserved it. Congratulations to them both."

But the discovery of the Higgs came at a personal cost to himself, Hawking noted.

"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."

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