Stephen Hawking is worried that technology and science may be getting out of hand. The noted physicist recently warned that artificial intelligence and aliens pose a serious threat to the human race and planet Earth, but now he’s concerned that the so-called “God particle” or Higgs Boson could become unstable and destroy the entire universe.
Scientists discovered the Higgs Boson during experiments in Switzerland with the CERN Large Hadron Collider. The particle was named after British physicist Peter Higgs, who predicted its existence in 1964. The discovery was key in explaining why objects have mass.
Hawking was skeptical of its existence from the start and was disappointed by its discovery, saying that physics is less interesting now. After much thought, Hawking now believes that the God particle is dangerous. He expressed his view in a preface to a new book called “Starmus.”
“The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV),” 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.”
However, Hawking acknowledged that this catastrophe isn’t likely to happen any time soon. After all, scientists would have to build a particle collider larger than Earth itself to reach 100bn GeV and thereby destroy the universe.