Homer Simpson, the fictional character in the animated TV series "The Simpsons," is portrayed as a hapless doughnut lover who works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Although his character is known as incompetent, clumsy, ignorant and lazy, Homer Simpson appears to have outwitted the world's brightest minds.
A book author who looked for maths that were hidden within the episodes of the television series has discovered that Homer almost predicted the mass of the Higgs Boson 14 years before it was discovered by scientists working at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Simon Singh, a physicist and author of the book "The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets" found the complicated equation in a 1998 episode of the long running cartoon. In the "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace," Homer became an inventor and in one shot was shown standing in front of a blackboard with an equation.
Singh said that the complicated equation predicted the mass of the Higgs boson. The physicist said that the formula was written by Homer in his attempt at coming up with a series of madcap inventions such as a make-up gun and an electric hammer.
One of the episode's script writers, David Cohen, was responsible for the equations. He contacted his high school friend David Schiminovich, an astronomer at Columbia University, with the first equation on the blackboard largely based on his work that predicted the mass of the Higgs Boson denoted as H0.
Cohen and Schiminovich came up with the equation to give the best possible answer based on the data that were available at the time.
"The equation is a playful combination of various fundamental parameters, namely the Planck constant, the gravitational constant, and the speed of light," Singh said adding that if the numbers are plugged into an equation, they predicted a 775 giga-electron-volts (GeV) mass, which is not too far from the 125 giga-electron-volts (GeV) estimate when the elementary particle was discovered.
"Indeed, 775 GeV was not a bad guess bearing in mind that Homer is an amateur inventor and he performed this calculation fourteen years before the physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, tracked down the elusive particle," Singh said.
The Higgs boson was first predicted in 1964 but it was not until March 2013 that scientists working at the LHC found proof of its existence. The elementary particle is crucial to explain the mass of other fundamental particles of the universe.
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