Stephen Hawking: God particle discovery disappointing

In a speech at London's Science Museum, the famed physicist says the Higgs boson discovery makes physics less interesting. He adds that we've only got 1,000 years left on Earth anyway.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
Stephen Hawking says physics would be far more interesting if the God particle hadn't been found. BBCWorldNewsWatch/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I was immersed in learning that Lady Gaga doesn't care that Madonna doesn't like her when I had this thought: "Physics doesn't seem that interesting anymore."

No sooner had this vexing notion entered (and exited) my head than I learned I was not alone. For famed physicist Stephen Hawking feels the same way.

Speaking at London's Science Museum, Hawking lamented the discovery of the so-called God particle.

It seems that once you've located the Higgs boson, the particle responsible for mass in the standard model of physics, well, what are you going to do?

Hawking's words, as quoted by The Guardian, were: "Physics would have been far more interesting if it had not been found."

Perhaps it's a little like watching Mark Zuckerberg create Facebook and entice everyone onto it. What to do now? Google+?

Hawking, though, claimed not to be entirely pessimistic -- and I suspect he was joking more than a little. After all, he did lose a $100 bet over the God particle discovery.

His next hope is that the Large Hadron Collider work will move toward finding some unifying theory for the whole of the universe. He mentioned M-theory, which attempts to find a uniting principle between gravity and quantum mechanics.

He wasn't cheerful for too long, though. He also warned that we don't have all that much time left on Earth.

"I don't think we will survive another thousand years without escaping beyond our fragile planet. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space," he said.

So that's Hawking, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, and Newt Gingrich. Anyone else?