Monday, September 08, 2014

The mystery called Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is accredited to be one of the all-time greats among physicists. His explanation of black holes and theory of expansion of universe is phenomenal. He has recently hypothesised the nagging possibility of the Higgs Boson aka the God Particle becoming extremely unstable and devouring the universe.

PTI reports:

"The elusive ‘God particle’ discovered by scientists in 2012 has the potential to destroy the universe, famed British physicist Stephen Hawking has warned.
According to Mr. Hawking, 72, at very high energy levels the Higgs boson, which gives shape and size to everything that exists, could become unstable.
This, he said, could cause a “catastrophic vacuum decay” that would lead space and time to collapse, reported.
“The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become megastable at energies above 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV),” Hawking wrote in the preface to a new book called Starmus.
“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,” said Mr. Hawking.
The Higgs boson, also known as the God particle, was discovered in 2012 by scientists at CERN — who operate the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.
Hawking said the likelihood of such a disaster is unlikely to happen in the near future, however, the danger of the Higgs becoming destabilised at high energy is too great to be ignored."

Scientists are no doubt entitled to indulge in outlier thoughts. They need however to be cautious enough to avoid floating panic theories. Serial decay and origins of the universe are postulated in many religious scriptures. Scientists are not entitled to the luxury of ridiculing such scriptural thoughts and at the same time propagating their fancy theories on termination of universe. Stephen Hawking is not doing himself or science any favour by flip-flopping on his theories regarding black hole and expansion / contraction of universe. Sanity of thought presupposes a modicum of stability of views. Though foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, foolish inconsistency cannot be the hobgoblin of scientific minds.

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