In the foreword for the upcoming book Starmus: 50 Years of Man in Space, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warns that the recently discovered Higgs boson, sometimes called the “God particle,” has the potential to destroy the Universe. Hawking writes,
The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV). 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.
Although Hawking says the Higgs boson has the theoretical potential to cause this “catastrophic vacuum decay,” he also clarifies that “a particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.”
image via NASA
via The Sunday Times