Scientists went into a frenzy following the announcement, speculating that it could one day make light-speed travel possible by “un-massing” objects or allow huge items to be launched into space by “switching off” the Higgs. CERN scientist Albert de Roeck likened it to the discovery of electricity, when he said humanity could never have imagined its future applications.
– Higgs boson find could make light-speed travel possible, scientists say
This is of course free speculation at this point, but it is possible that understanding the Higgs field better, and how matter gains mass, may lead to technologies that earlier belonged just to science fiction and not science. As this article suggest, if we can suspend mass it would allow very fast vehicles on earth and in space, and much easier access to space. With mass, getting close to light speed is just about impossible. Without mass, it’s very much possible.
This is another reminder that much of what has happened in history and technology was unimagined and sometimes unimaginable to earlier generations, just as much of what we do imagine never do happen. And when I turn that around to my own life, I see it’s true. Much of what did happened were things I didn’t expect or couldn’t imagine, and much of what I did imagine didn’t happen.