British physicist, cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking, has warned the plausibility that the catastrophic destruction of the universe “could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming”.
In the preface to his new book, Starmus, the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge warned that the Higgs boson – also known as the God particle – carries enough energy to potentially wipe out the entire universe, the Sunday Times reported.
Hawking said the Higgs boson, discovered by scientists in 2012 at the Cern particle accelerator in Switzerland, “has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable” which could cause space and time to collapse.
“This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light.
“This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming,” he said in his preface.
Hawking was quick to add that such an event was unlikely to occur in the near future.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.