Higgs Find Kind of a Letdown

Could be Large Hadron Collider's last major discovery
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 10:34 AM CDT
Higgs Find Kind of a Letdown
This 2011 image shows an event whose characteristics are expected from the decay of a Higgs boson.   (AP Photo/CERN)

The discovery of the Higgs boson deserves applause—but it also brings a touch of sadness to at least one leading physicist. It's probably "the last major discovery that could be made in a particle accelerator in our generation," writes Stephen Wolfram at his blog. And instead of offering any surprises, the find just confirms what physicists already thought they knew.

"I've always hoped that in the end there'd be something more elegant and deep responsible for something as fundamental as the masses of particles," writes Wolfram, who viewed the Higgs model as something akin to a "hack." It's as if "nature is just picking what seems like a pedestrian solution" to fundamental physical questions. The post was spotted by Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic, who agrees: "Discovering the Higgs boson is a victory for physicists but a sad day for physics." (More Higgs boson stories.)

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