August 27, 2014 We've learned so much, yet we still don't know the composition of 95 percent of the cosmos. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says it is good to stay humble and keep an open mind as the search continues.
The Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS detector under construction in 2005. ATLAS is one of the tools physicists are using to try and understand how the universe works.
April 26, 2014 It's been four decades since the idea of supersymmetry was proposed as a better way to explain the universe. The problem is, says commentator Marcelo Gleiser, that we haven't been able to prove it.
High-energy physics in action: an image of an event in CERN's CMS detector during the search for the Higgs boson.
August 21, 2013 It's time to reconsider the grand quest for "unification" in modern physics, says commentator Marcelo Gleiser. Our unrelenting search for symmetry and perfection in the natural world leaves us blind to data that seems to depict an imperfect and asymmetric Universe.
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
February 27, 2013 Scientists have found a Higgs-like particle, a key component in modern physics theory. But is it the Higgs particle, or a new one, part of a more complex model?
Big science in orbit: the Hubble Space Telescope
January 30, 2013 In the wake of the Hubble Space Telescope and the discovery of the Higgs boson, should we continue to pursue big science projects, in spite of their costs? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says it's a no brainer.
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.
December 5, 2012 Can scientists create universes in the lab? Although that may not be possible, physicists can recreate the young universe in high energy particle collisions. Recent results indicate that the young universe may be stranger than anticipated.
November 27, 2012 If you're the kind who secretly obsesses about the fundamental nature of reality but wouldn't know a boson if it was delivering roses at your doorstep, I have good news for you.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/165906767/165729890" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
The Universe of Particles exhibition at CERN in 2011.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
November 21, 2012 Theories are the life-blood of science; but ruling them out may be harder than you think. And letting a cherished model fall on the trash heap of history is even harder, yet. Take "supersymmetry" from the world of particle physics, for example. When might we see its demise or its vindication?
July 4, 2012 Count your money or look to the stars, either way, the discovery of the Higgs is significant and a significant step forward for humanity.
The Large Hadron Collider.
CMS Collaboration/dapd via AP
July 4, 2012 The Higgs, credited with giving particles mass, was the missing piece of the Standard Model of physics. Without it, the world would be a massless mess of photons flying at light speed.
July 2, 2012 Scientists at the Tevatron may be announcing their own results on the Higgs search today.
May 9, 2012 In a time of budget woes, how much should a country invest in basic science research? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says a country that stops investing in basic research compromises its future.
December 13, 2011 The Higgs might be found. The Higgs might not be found. After all that time and all that effort, the Higgs might not exist in the energies we can probe or, might not exist at all. More data, more observation will eventually give us the answer.
June 7, 2011 The strange existence of anti-matter and its radical imbalance as a cosmic constituent is a fundamental mystery that has persisted for eight decades. We may finally be poised to understand not only the universe that is but also the universe that might have been.
A view of the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider. For scale, note the workers toward the bottom of the image.
April 27, 2011 Rumors that the Higgs particle (aka the God particle) has been found teach us how large-scale science projects work and how science advances
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor