- Written by Josh
£2,800,000,000 + $100 represents the cost taken for humanity to finally crack the secrets of the Standard Model. This is the framework that we believe our universe is built around.
The Standard Model details all the tiny particles, what they are made from and how they interact with each other, it's these interactions that govern how our world works. The model has been discussed for a while but our expectations were finalised in the 1970's. Since then we have been through a series of discoveries that confirmed our predictions, all was going well. This was until 2000, which was when the penultimate particle was found, we then began the search for the last piece of the puzzle. The Higgs Boson has proven tricky to find with the construction of the worlds largest science experiment approved to try and unlock its secrets. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) cost £2.8billion and was designed to investigate the very fundamental nature of physics, searching for the Higgs particle as well as testing other particle physics theories.
So far the LHC seems to be performing exactly to plan, it was not without its setbacks at times but overall the progression of results has been steady. Having already achieved one of its major objectives, there is an argument for it being a £2.8 billion well spent, but what about the $100. Well back in 2000 Prof. Stephen Hawking made a $100 bet with a colleague that the Higgs particle would never be found. With the recent results Prof. Hawking has conceded that he backed the wrong horse and has handed over his cash. He isn't bitter though, revelling in the discovery and even tipping Peter Higgs, the man who predicted the particle initially, for the next Nobel Prize. Once more the limit of our understanding has been pushed back a little further and with operations at the LHC due to continue, who knows what secret we will unlock next.