These days, “The Simpsons did it first” has become a bit of a cliché, but that’s only because the show has been on so long that anything the human race will ever accomplish from this point on has already been done by The Simpsons. Anyway, the latest thing that The Simpsons did first involves the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle.” As reported by The Independent, Dr. Simon Singh says in his book, The Simpsons And Their Mathematical Secrets, that Homer came very close to predicting the mass of the Higgs boson in the episode “The Wizard Of Evergreen Terrance” when he wrote an equation on a chalkboard, coming up with an answer that’s only slightly larger than the thing’s actual mass. Oh, and that episode aired in 1998, 14 years before actual scientists ripped him off, Family Guy-style.
Of course, Homer Simpson isn’t a real person. He didn’t write anything on any chalkboards, because he’s a cartoon. The real story behind the equation comes from the Daily Mail—apparently the British media has nothing better to talk about—which explains that Simpsons writer David X. Cohen basically called up one of his smart friends and got the equation from him, and it just so happens that it was pretty accurate. So, technically, David X. Cohen’s smart friend did it before The Simpsons, but shows like The Flintstones also did a bunch of stuff before The Simpsons and it’s not like we’re giving them any credit, so why start now?
The Higgs boson, for anyone who doesn’t keep up with their scientific journals, is some science-y thing that we are grossly unqualified to talk about, but here’s a Wikipedia page about it. What we can do, though, is rattle off quotes from “The Wizard Of Evergreen Terrace” so we don’t look that stupid. Here’s one: “Do us a favor. Invent yourself some underpants.” Here’s another: “Crap, boobs, crap!” Try this: “Homer, you’ve got it set on whore!” Nothing? It’s the Thomas Edison episode. We remember it being pretty good, as far as season 10 goes.