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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.

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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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The Higgs Boson: A Celebration of Human Reason & Creativity

July 11, 2012, 7:44 AM
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What's the Latest Development?

Scientists at Europe's CERN laboratories, who operate the world's most powerful machine—a particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Colliderhave announced the discovery of what is likely the Higgs boson, a fundamental particle that unites our understanding of the subatomic world. Physicists now have experimental data supporting their theory, first written down by the British physicist Peter Higgs, that the Universe's four fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force and the strong force—interact with a field of background energy that determines their specific properties. 

What's the Big Idea?

Confirming the existence of the Higgs boson through running experiments is a major achievement for human mathematical reasoning. It supports the idea that that although our senses are limited, we are capable of reaching beyond them, with the help of scientific instruments, to understand the nature of the Universe. Theoretical physicist and popular author Lawrence Krauss shares the opinion of CERN's first director, Victor Weisskopf, who once described large particle accelerators as the Gothic cathedrals of our time: "Most significantly perhaps, cathedrals and colliders are both works of incomparable grandeur that celebrate the beauty of being alive."

Photo credit: CERN

 

The Higgs Boson: A Celebrat...

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