The Cathedral Of Science

The elusive Higgs boson is at last found--and the universe gets a little less mysterious

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The 7,000-ton ATLAS detector was one of the two key instruments the Large Hadron Collider that found the Higgs.

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In the meantime, the rest of us can take a moment and reckon with what just happened. There will never be much return on investment--at least in the traditional sense--in the work at CERN. The field will spin out no Teflon or faster processors or global wireless service the way the space program did. But it is already paying other, far more valuable dividends. The boson found in the deep tunnels at CERN goes to the very essence of everything. And in a manner as primal as the particles themselves, we seemed to grasp that. Despite our fleeting attention span, we stopped for a moment to contemplate something far, far bigger than ourselves. And when that happened, faith and physics--which don't often shake hands--shared an embrace.

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