By Kate Kershner
In July 2012, the whole world came face to face with the Higgs boson: a sparkly, little light that danced across our screens like Tinker Bell. Wait, that’s not right.
While physicists jumped for joy to “see” the Higgs boson — that elusive particle that composes the Higgs field, which allows particles to gain mass — the truth is that they actually saw a whole bunch of numbers, graphs and general data that told them that the Higgs boson was detected. And even saying that it was “detected” deserves some explanation.
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