Friday, June 8, 2012
God Particle could soon be found
The search is like "looking for a needle in a haystack... In a haystack full of needles."
But after 50 years, the involvement of thousands of scientists and cost of billions of pounds, he believes CERN is close.
"If the Large Hadron Collider continues to work I know we have enough collisions to produce enough signals to identify the Higgs Boson.
“We will know by the end of this year whether it exists or whether it is non-existent.
"This would be a huge discovery that after 50 years we are able to describe the visible universe."
CERN require a high level of proof and will only announce that the Higgs Boson exists when there is just a one in three million chance they are wrong.
Dr Heuer said the Large Hadron Collider will be closed down at the end of this year for two years in order to build the power up to the next level and continue with more experiments.
Once the existence of Higgs Boson is known, there will be further work to prove its properties and understand the origins of the universe.
"We will have taken a big step forward about our knowledge of the physical world. It will help us to understand the creation of the universe,” said Dr Heuer
The visible universe only makes up 5 per cent and the rest is 'dark energy' and 'dark matter'.
Dr Heuer said the discovery of the Higgs Boson will also help investigations into this wider universe.
He said it was impossible to imagine at this stage how the knowledge of the particle could be applied to practical applications but pointed to previous discoveries have led to developments in medicine and the internet.
“Whatever basic science resolves, at some stage it is of use to society. The problem is we do not know when or where.”
The search for the God Particle has proved controversial. Critics feared the Large Hadron Collider could create a massive black hole that would "swallow the Earth". Religious groups have also questioned the search for a particle at the origins of the universe.
Dr Heuer admitted that "micro blackholes" may be created in the Large Hadron Collider but he insisted this was safe as they would decay almost immediately and it could even be good for science as it shows that micro blackholes are occurring all the time.
He has had meetings with the Pope and insisted that the interface where science ends and religion or philosophy begins is changing all the time.