D'Oh! Homer Simpson Figured Out The Higgs Boson Years Before Physicists Found It

Homer Simpson Had A Head Start On The Higgs Boson

Maybe Homer Simpson only acts dumb.

How else to explain a 1998 episode of The Simpsons in which a guy who usually comes across as a doughnut-eating doofus stands at a chalkboard bearing a complex equation that prefigures the discovery of the Higgs boson.


“That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson” Simon Singh, author of the 2013 book The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, told 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.”

The equation was snuck onto the blackboard by one of the writers for the episode, who had a friend involved in research on the Higgs, the Daily Mail reported.

Singh knows a thing or two about the Higgs boson, the elementary particle whose existence was predicted in the 1960s but not detected experimentally until 2012. In addition to being the author of several popular books about science, he holds a Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of Cambridge.

His doctoral thesis is entitled "Heavy flavour physics at the CERN PP̄ collider"--CERN being the Swiss-based research organization whose scientists confirmed the Higgs' existence.

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