Everyone’s lovable animated idiot was doing some serious mathematical lifting in a 1998 episode of ‘The Simpsons.’ In it, Homer has a mid-life crisis and becomes an inventor. During one scene, Homer can be seen working on a complicated equation on a blackboard.
“That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” Simon Singh, author of The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets, tells The Independent. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”
One of the episodes’ writers had a friend involved in research on the Higgs and tossed the equation into the show, according to the Daily Mail.
A Theory Since 1964
The idea of the Higgs boson, sometimes called the ‘God particle’ was first theorized in 1964 by Professor Peter Higgs and five other physicists. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman, author of The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is The Question?, explains in his book why it’s sometimes called the god particle.
“This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive, that I have given it a nickname: the God Particle. Why God Particle? Two reasons. One, the publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing. And two, there is a connection, of sorts, to another book, a much older one…”
Large Hadron Collider Discovers Particle Matching Higgs Boson
Proof of the Higgs Boson didn’t come until 2013 when scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced they had discovered a particle that matched what the particle would look like.
The Large Hadron Collider is expected to fire back up later this month. It was shut down in early 2013 to undergo planned maintenance. During this maintenance, several improvements were made. Some of these include newer magnets, better cryogenics, more powerful energy beams and a more secure vacuum.
Particle collisions experiments will start up again in May if tests this month go smoothly.