If calculations of the newly discovered Higgs boson particle are correct, one day, tens of billions of years from now, the universe will disappear at the speed of light, replaced by a strange, alternative dimension, one theoretical physicist calls "boring."
Scientists last year announced they had discovered what appeared to be the long-sought subatomic particle that accounts for how matter gets its mass.
Analysis is ongoing to fully characterize the particle, known as the Higgs boson, and its related daughter, grand-daughter and cousin particles, all of which are needed to assure scientists that they've truly found what was once pure theory.
"It sounds too easy -- a particle with no spin and no charge. Like you made it up and yet there it is," theoretical physicist Joseph Lykken, with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., told Discovery News.
So far, scientists have found nothing to indicate that the particle discovered last year at Europe's Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, is not the Higgs boson with a mass of about 126 billion electron volts. It turns out that's a critical number when it comes to the fate of the universe.