msnbc | July 04, 2012
>>> of a lifetime. scientists at cern said they have all but proven the existence of the so-called god particle . their discovery is a significant step forward to solving the mystery of how the universe is held together.
>> as a layman, i would now say, i think we have it. you agree? [ clears acheers and applause ]
>> joining me right now is a professor of sfiz physics at the suny university of new york , the author of "physics of the future" and host of "sci-fi science" on the science channel . good to see you. what is the god particle if you can give us an analogy?
>> well, champagne bottles are being cracked open around the world because this new particle, the higgs , we think was instrumental in helping to set the universe into motion. you know, the bible says god said let there be light and there was the universe, genesis. well, if it was a big bang 13.7 billion years ago, what set off the bang?
>> what helped us set off the explosion? we think the higgs particle could be the key to that.
>> it's the match?
>> it's the match which set the fuse which then let up the big bang and the expanding universe we see today.
>> we saw in that video this is a big deal to the scientific community .
>> that's right. $10 billion, 30 years worth of work, thousands of physicists around the world have spent their life spans, their professional careers working to prove that there was this higgs boson . it's the last missing piece of what is called the standard model , but we now hope to get-go to the next level. we hope to find new forms of matter like dark matter , perhaps higher dimensions, perhaps evidence of a multiverse of parallel universes. this is just the beginning of a new branch of physics.
>> so is this the big deal ? we now know how the universe started? we have a way of looking at this scientifically, whether it be from a perspective of religion or science?
>> well, we now know with 99.9999% confidence that we have banged the higgs boson . the higgs boson in turn allows us to explain why the universe was set into motion. now, we think that several higgs particles were responsible for actually creating the big bang itself, but this is the first of the higgs to be discovered, and that's why it's a milestone.
>> when you've discovered it, do you have any sense of the timing, how long the bang took?
>> well, we think that the instant of the big bang took place in trillions of a second, but it happened so long ago, 13.7 billion years ago, we had to create new instruments in outer space to be able to detect the first moments of the creation of the universe itself. but here on the planet earth , outside geneva, we're able to re-create some of the conditions that set off the big bang .
>> you'll be busy in the coming years, aren't you.
>> that's right. this is just the first step to unlocking the secret of why the universe banged.
>> all right. professor kaku, thank you so much. very interesting stuff.