Peter Higgs says, “It’s very nice to be right sometimes”

The British physicist whose theories led to the discovery of the Higgs boson has admitted he has “no idea” what practical applications it could have. Prof Peter Higgs said the so-called ‘God particle’, which is the building block of the universe, only has a lifespan of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second.

He refused to be drawn on whether the discovery proved there was no God, stating the name ‘God particle’ was a joke by another academic who originally called it the ‘goddamn particle’ because it was so hard to find…

Speaking at Edinburgh University, where he published his theory about the boson’s existence in 1964, he said: “It’s around for a very short time…”It’s probably about a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. I don’t know how you apply that to anything useful…

“It’s hard enough with particles which have longer life times for decay to make them useful. Some of the ones which have life times of only maybe a millionth of a second or so are used in medical applications…”

He said he had not originally thought the particle would be discovered in his lifetime and confirmed he has been contacted by Prof Stephen Hawking, who has lost a $100 bet with another academic that it did not exist.

Prof Higgs did not gloat but said in a typically modest manner: “It’s very nice to be right sometimes.” He said it was unusual that a particle bear a scientist’s name and suggested it be renamed simply ‘H’.

It emerged that celebrated the discovery with a can of London Pride ale but is now expected to receive a much more eminent reward, a Nobel prize for science…

Asked if he had ever had any doubts over the last 48 years, he said: “The existence of this particle is so crucial to understanding how the rest of the theory works that it was very hard for me to understand how it couldn’t be there.”

The popular press rarely comprehends what basic research in any science is about, how we as a species got to where we are, how the mechanisms and mechanics of all societies progressed from cave and forest to modern times.

Don’t worry, I won’t try to take the time right now to explain all that. Though, it’s simple and direct enough in my own consciousness after all the decades I’ve watched just the tiny bit of progress we’ve made in my lifetime.

I’ll stand at one side and applaud for a very long time.

One thought on “Peter Higgs says, “It’s very nice to be right sometimes”

  1. Sophie Germain says:

    “D’Oh! Homer Simpson Figured Out The Higgs Boson Years Before Physicists Found It” “Maybe Homer Simpson only acts dumb. How else to explain a 1998 episode of The Simpsons {link} in which a guy who usually comes across as a doughnut-eating doofus stands at a chalkboard bearing a complex equation that prefigures the discovery of the Higgs boson.”
    “That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson” {link} Simon Singh, author of the 2013 book “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets” { }, told The Independent. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”
    The equation was snuck onto the blackboard {link} by one of the writers for the episode {David X. Cohen}, who had a friend involved in research on the Higgs, the Daily Mail reported.
    Singh knows a thing or two about the Higgs boson {link}, the elementary particle whose existence was predicted in the 1960s but not detected experimentally until 2012. In addition to being the author of several popular books about science, he holds a Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of Cambridge.
    His doctoral thesis is entitled “Heavy flavour physics at the CERN PP̄ collider” {link} -CERN being the Swiss-based research organization whose scientists confirmed the Higgs’ existence.
    See also “How did Homer Simpson work out the mass of the Higgs” @

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