Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Why Some Physicists Bet Against the Higgs Boson - By Robert Wright
After Stephen Hawking conceded that he'd lost his bet about the Higgs boson, I wondered why he had been on the wrong side of the bet. Why had he doubted the existence of a particle widely assumed to be an essential constituent of physical reality?
Hawking wasn't available to answer that question, but I did manage to have a long conversation with an American physicist who had also doubted the existence of the Higgs--Lawrence Krauss, author of
The Physics of Star Trek
A Universe From Nothing
. Krauss explained the generic reason that a number of physicists had doubted the Higgs: Its posited existence was suspiciously convenient. When you understand what he meant, I think you may conclude that physical reality is cooler than you'd thought.