Stephen Hawking has suggested that the Higgs particle has the potential to collapse space and time.
The Large Hadron Collider caused something of a panic among members of the public during its hunt for the Higgs Boson due to speculation that a sufficiently high-energy collision could produce a black hole that would swallow up the whole planet.
Now Professor Stephen Hawking’s new book “Starmus”, which is due out next month, may have the potential to raise similar concerns due to its preface in which the celebrated physicist suggests that the Higgs Boson could destroy the entire universe.
While he stresses that such an eventuality is extremely unlikely, the possibility exists that should the particle become unstable at high energy levels it could collapse the whole of space and time.
“The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts,” he wrote. “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.”
Source: The Australian