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

itoggle caption CERN

A visualization of proton-proton collision events recorded by the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

One way we make sense of the cosmos is to study what's in it, objects like this brown dwarf (artist's impression) observed by the ESO's ALMA project. Another way is to watch what happens when tiny particles are smashed together in "labs" such as the LHC at CERN. M. Kornmesser/ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO hide caption

itoggle caption M. Kornmesser/ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO

The Universe of Particles exhibition at CERN in 2011. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images