More than a year ago, scientists found the Higgs boson. Yesterday, two physicists who 50 years ago theorized the existence of this particle, which is responsible for conferring mass to all other known particles in the universe, got the Nobel, the highest prize in science.

For all the excitement the award has already generated, finding the Higgs — arguably the most important discovery in more than a generation — has left physicists without a clear roadmap of where to go next. While popular articles often describe how the Higgs might help theorists investigating the weird worlds of string theory, multiple universes, or supersymmetry, the truth is that evidence for these ideas is scant to nonexistent.

No one is sure which of these models, if any, will eventually describe reality. The current picture of the universe, the Standard Model, is supposed to account for all known particles and their interactions. But scientists know that it’s incomplete. Its problems need fixing, and researchers could use some help figuring out how. Some of them look at the data and say that we need to throw out speculative ideas such as supersymmetry and the multiverse, models that look elegant mathematically but are unprovable from an experimental perspective. Others look at the exact same data and come to the opposite conclusion.

“Physics is at a crossroads,” said cosmologist Neil Turok, speaking to a class of young scientists in September at the Perimeter Institute, which he directs. “In a sense we’ve entered a very deep crisis.”

[MORE: Higgs Boson Gets Nobel Prize, But Physicists Still Don’t Know What It Means]

  1. century95 reblogged this from wired
  2. octagonperfectionist reblogged this from spaceexp
  3. alhberto reblogged this from wired
  4. shanemaxemow reblogged this from wired
  5. castoreum reblogged this from wired
  6. wozziebear reblogged this from wired
  7. alter-eggo reblogged this from abcstarstuff
  8. teeveemuveefreek reblogged this from wired
  9. amphiarus-moon reblogged this from abcstarstuff
  10. quarksandcoyotes reblogged this from abcstarstuff
  11. abcstarstuff reblogged this from todiwan
  12. todiwan reblogged this from spaceexp
  13. kanna-kijik reblogged this from wired
  14. rtoffanin reblogged this from wired
  15. tankerboy reblogged this from wired
  16. cybercomplex reblogged this from wired
  17. oneill2684 reblogged this from wired
  18. i-sanket reblogged this from wired
  19. jmbrns reblogged this from wired
  20. thekeepupworld reblogged this from wired
  21. thecircuscomeswithoutwarning reblogged this from wired
  22. appropriationofthekimono reblogged this from spaceexp
  23. stuffjonlikes reblogged this from wired