- (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
The Higgs Boson's discovery, the highly sought after subatomic particle, may lead to the complete destruction of our universe billions of years in the future, scientist warned this week.
While researchers are not absolutely sure the particle discovered last year at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland is the elusive Higgs boson, the characteristics and mass of the particle are unlike anything ever discovered before.
If calculations are correct, the particle, which is responsible for unifying the understanding the intricacies of space-time, would be responsible for rendering the universe unstable and therefore lead to its destruction.
"This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now there'll be a catastrophe," Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., said at The American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual convention recently.
Two independent research groups examined data that was produced by crashing proton particles together at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. When analyzed, the scientists determined that the signature of an unidentified particle resembled that of the highly sought after Higgs boson particle, but it is still unclear if the new particle is exactly the Higgs boson as it was described.
The Higgs boson is the missing particle that would unify a theory that explains how particles close together in the universe form stars, planets and perhaps life itself. Researchers contend that without the Higgs boson, the universe would have remained without form as particles traveled around the universe at the speed of light.
"We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature," CERN director general Rolf Heuer read in a statement.
"The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle's properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe," Heuer added.