On the Fourth of July, physicists at the biggest particle accelerator ever built, the Large Hadron Collider, announced that they had found a new subatomic particle. Many believe it to be the long-sought Higgs boson, which accounts for the basic mystery of why certain other elementary particles have mass. Finding the Higgs boson will surely result in a well-deserved Nobel prize, perhaps as soon as this year.
But amid the applause, the popping of champagne corks, and the rare phenomenon of breathless news coverage for a physics experiment, some scientists are beginning to get nervous. For many particle physicists, lurking beneath the celebration is a fear—a fear that finding the Higgs doesn’t mark a beginning for science, but an end.To read more, click here.