Professor Stephen Hawking Loses Higgs Boson God Particle Existence Bet
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Published on Jul 4, 2012
His first paper was rejected by a journal, while other scientists accused him and his colleagues of failing to grasp the basic principles of physics.
Despite the sleights Prof Higgs, at the time an 34-year-old physicist at Edinburgh University, was convinced his idea was right although he never envisaged being able to prove it.
Yesterday, 48 years on, his radical concept was finally proved correct by an international team of physicists at the Cern laboratory using a £6 billion piece of equipment designed to uncover the secrets of the Universe.
Announcing the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, scientists from confirmed they had discovered a new particle bearing all the hallmarks of a Higgs Boson.
The Higgs Boson helps to explain how fundamental particles gain their mass - a property which allows them to bind together and form stars and planets rather than whizzing around the universe at the speed of light.
Prof Higgs, 83, who travelled to Switerland to witness the landmark announcement first-hand, was visibly moved as the presentation was rounded off to tumultuous applause from a wildly excited audience, some of whom had waited overnight to secure their seats.
Choking back tears, he said: "I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement. It's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime."
His response was characteristically modest. Professor Higgs has repeatedly resisted requests for interviews and comments, insisting the limelight should be taken by the scientists who have proved that his theory is correct.
He has long been uncomfortable even having his name attached to the particle, which is the key missing cornerstone of the Standard Model of physics.
The son of a BBC sound engineer from Newcastle, he was raised in Bristol and excelled at Cotham Grammar School.
During a school assembly he saw the name of a former pupil, the great quantum physicist P.A.M. Dirac, on an honours board and decided to read about his work. He was quickly hooked, reading as much as he could find about the subject to satisfy his curiosity.
He went on to King's College, London, where he graduated with a first class honours in 1950. He was denied a lectureship at the university, however, so became a researcher at Edinburgh University.
His "eureka" moment reportedly came in a flash of inspiration while on a walking trip to the Cairngorms. When one of his initial papers was rejected, he insisted the journal had clearly not understood him.
Upon publication in 1964, he and his colleagues were ridiculed as young pretenders and urged to abandon their research or risk "professional suicide".
Prof Gerry Guralnik, an American researcher who published a paper on the same subject with colleagues Tom Kibble and Dick Hagen within months of Higgs, recalled a galling encounter with Werner Heisenberg, the esteemed German physicist who gave his name to the famous "uncertainty principle" of quantum mechanics.
He said: "A lot of famous people told us that we were wrong. Heisenberg told me I did not understand the rules of physics, which is pretty scary if you are 26 and are worried about getting a job."
Yesterday, the scientific community was united in its praise for Prof Higgs, with some calling for him to be given a knighthood.
Prof Stephen Hawking said Prof Higgs deserved a Nobel Prize for his work, but admitted the discovery of the new particle had come at a cost.
He said: "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."
What has been found?
Both of the Cern teams have announced the discovery of a new particle which is consistent with theories about the Higgs Boson. Although they haven't proven it is definitely a Higgs, there is little doubt in most experts' minds that the sought-after particle has indeed been unearthed at last.
What does it mean?
Finding the Higgs Boson proves the existence of the Higgs Field, a force which provides fundamental particles - the building blocks of the Universe - with their mass. Without mass they would simply zip around the cosmos at the speed of light and never form into stars and planets. It is also the last missing cornerstone of the Standard Model of Physics, which explains what the Universe is composed of.
Will it have any practical applications?
Immediately, no. The purpose of the research was simply to uncover one of the Universe's great mysteries and further our understanding of science. But experts firmly believe it will be of paramount importance in future research which could provide new breakthroughs.
Standard YouTube License
- 1:38 Stephen Hawking on Godby Your local Musicmaker/ZOMBIESLAYA!Featured 85,706
- 1:03 When Hawking Was Talkingby BruceRamsey28 1,151,476 views
- 1:57:14 The Four Horsemen: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris e Christopher Hitchens.by Ronaldo Batista 143,906 views
- 4:05 Dr. Michio Kaku Says America Has A Secret Super Weaponby sup 912,965 views
- 25:31 Dan Dennett: Responding to Pastor Rick Warrenby TEDTalks 514,689 views
- 3:27 What is a Higgs Boson?by Fermilab Videos 1,533,092 views
- 42:29 Through the wormhole - The Higgs Bosonby Wonder Road 6,797 views
- 3:09 Michio Kaku speaks on the discovery of a particle consistent with the mysterious "Higgs Boson"by KaluzaPryme's channel 63,631 views
- 83 videos Play all ross' favouritesby euana7x
- 58:37 Revelation TV Interview with Richard Dawkins, amazingly idiotic Creationist questions!by bjnr0 272,324 views
- 44:05 Stephen Hawking's Grand Design - The Meaning of Lifeby Dherius 112,227 views
- 14:17 Higgs Boson - God Particle by Sri Sri Ravi Shankarby The Art of Living TV 44,749 views
- 1:21 God Does Not Exist - Stephen Hawkingby rohith kumar 39,263 views
- 18:59 Higgs Boson and Higgs Fieldby Physics Lectures 23,060 views
- 5:37 Sadhguru on the God Particle - Higgs Boson (Part 1)by sadhguru 50,303 views
- 0:40 Stephen Hawking On The Afterlifeby Jesus Saves... At Citibank! 354,774 views
- 5:20 THE GOD PARTICLE -THE QUESTION OF THE AGES ANSWERED? Carl Gallups Explainsby ppsimmons 24,416 views
- 8:55 top 10 best commercials of all timeby Oh hey what's up 6,453,406 views
- 0:21 Malas noticias para Albert Einsteinby euronewses 10,755 views
- 3:23 Brian Cox Higgs Boson Particle Discovery BBCby ChristopherHitchslap 45,993 views
- 2:28 9-Yr-Old Prodigy Explains "God Particle"by THNKR 481,297 views
- Loading more suggestions...