At first glance a scene from a 1998 episode of The Simpsons may not seem like anything particularly notable, but a closer look suggests Homer Simpson may have predicted the mass of the Higgs boson.
A new book released on the math featured in the popular cartoon series draws attention to an equation shown in an episode from the late ’90s.
The episode “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” features an inventive Homer Simpson in front of a blackboard with an anything but ordinary equation.
“That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” Dr. Simon Singh, author of 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.”
Although the general audience may not notice, The Simpsons features a significant amount of math throughout its episodes. Dr. Singh says this is mostly due to several mathematicians contributing to the show’s writing.