Swarms of locusts in Madagascar, or clouds of elementary particles, without sound, odor, flavor or color? Reality is harder to pin down than you first might think. Bilal Tarabey/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Gold exists, just as it really is, just as the physicist knows it to be, and that has nothing to do with us. Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Physicists searching for a "Theory Of Everything" are like kayakers paddling against the current, in search of the water's source. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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High-energy physics in action: an image of an event in CERN's CMS detector during the search for the Higgs boson. CERN hide caption

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Girls are more likely to take high school physics if they see women in their communities working in science, technology, engineering and math, a new study finds. Dominik Pabis/iStockphoto.com hide caption

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T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965), winner of the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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