Stephen Hawking says the ‘God Particle’ that scientists believe created the world could actually end it, too.
The particle – know as Higgs boson – “has the worrisome feature” that it could become unstable at extremely high energies and create a “black hole” that would collapse the universe, the legendary British physicist has warned in a new book titled Starmus, according to the Daily Express.
“This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming,” Hawking claimed in the book.
But don’t quit your job and empty your bank account just yet. Such a black hole could take trillions of years to topple the universe, and scientists don’t yet have a particle accelerator large enough to create the conditions necessary for such a doomsday.
“A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV [the required giga-electron-volts] would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate,” Hawking added, according to the report.
The largest existing accelerator — the Large Hadron Collider, which helped discover the Higgs boson in 2012 — is in Switzerland. Other physicists note that it’s highly unlikely the described scenario would ever occur, but Hawking disagrees. “It places important constraints on the evolution of the universe.”