Professor Peter Higgs, the British physicist whose theories led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, has admitted that he has “no idea” what practical implications the breakthrough could have.
Higgs refused to be drawn on whether the discovery proved there was no God, stating the name ‘God particle’ was a joke by another academic who originally called it the ‘goddamn particle’ because it was so hard to find.
The 83-year-old was giving his first detailed press interview since the discovery earlier this week of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.
The Higgs boson helps to explain how fundamental particles gain their mass - a property which allows them to bind together and form stars and planets rather than whizzing around the universe at the speed of light.
“It’s around for a very short time,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying while speaking at Edinburgh University, where he published his theory about the boson’s existence in 1964.
“It’s probably about a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. I don’t know how you apply that to anything useful.
“It’s hard enough with particles which have longer life times for decay to make them useful. Some of the ones which have life times of only maybe a millionth of a second or so are used in medical applications.
“How you could have an application of this thing which is very short lived, I have no idea,” he added.