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The Particle at the End of the Universe

How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World, by Sean Carroll

7:11pm, November 29, 2012

There seems no end to the titles shoved on the unsuspecting Higgs boson. First it was the “God particle.” Now it’s the “particle at the end of the universe.”

Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, doesn’t mean this literally; the Higgs is not roaming out there at cosmological distances. It’s at the explanatory end of the universe, the last piece in understanding how the matter that makes up our everyday world works.

Anyone paying attention to science knows by now that particle hunters at the CERN lab, in Switzerland, found the Higgs this summer in debris left behind by crashing protons together. Carroll seizes this moment to explore the scientific significance of the Higgs and what its discovery means from here.

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