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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Hints of the Higgs Particle Found

December 14, 2011, 7:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Yesterday, scientists working at Europe's Large Hadron Collider announced they have found hints of the elusive Higgs boson, the elementary particle which is thought to endow matter with mass. The Higgs particle itself has a mass and while previous experiments narrowed down the range of its value to between 115 and 140 giga–electron volts (GeV), the LHC now says its value can be no greater than 127 GeV. LHC scientists expect to have an answer one way or the other by the end of 2012, perhaps sooner.

What's the Big Idea?

A mass of 125 GeV would support the extension of the Standard Model known as supersymmetry which states that every known particle has a heavier (and yet-undiscovered) partner. Finding evidence of the Higgs particle would answer the long-standing question of how matter gets its mass. It would also reveal the nature of the connection between the weak nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. These fundamental forces were initially united when the universe began but now they function separately.


Hints of the Higgs Particle...

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