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Home » Why our Universe Might Exist on a Knife-Edge: Gian Giudice (Transcript)

Why our Universe Might Exist on a Knife-Edge: Gian Giudice (Transcript)

Gian Giudice

Gian Giudice – TRANSCRIPT

So last year, on the Fourth of July, experiments at the Large Hadron Collider discovered the Higgs boson. It was a historical day.

There’s no doubt that from now on, the Fourth of July will be remembered not as the day of the Declaration of Independence, but as the day of the discovery of the Higgs boson. Well, at least, here at CERN. But for me, the biggest surprise of that day was that there was no big surprise. In the eye of a theoretical physicist, the Higgs boson is a clever explanation of how some elementary particles gain mass, but it seems a fairly unsatisfactory and incomplete solution. Too many questions are left unanswered.

The Higgs boson does not share the beauty, the symmetry, the elegance, of the rest of the elementary particle world. For this reason, the majority of theoretical physicists believe that the Higgs boson could not be the full story. We were expecting new particles and new phenomena accompanying the Higgs boson. Instead, so far, the measurements coming from the LHC show no signs of new particles or unexpected phenomena. Of course, the verdict is not definitive.

In 2015, the LHC will almost double the energy of the colliding protons, and these more powerful collisions will allow us to explore further the particle world, and we will certainly learn much more. But for the moment, since we have found no evidence for new phenomena, let us suppose that the particles that we know today, including the Higgs boson, are the only elementary particles in nature, even at energies much larger than what we have explored so far.

Let’s see where this hypothesis is going to lead us. We will find a surprising and intriguing result about our universe, and to explain my point, let me first tell you what the Higgs is about, and to do so, we have to go back to one tenth of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. And according to the Higgs theory, at that instant, a dramatic event took place in the universe.

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