CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) have, amongst their august goals, the challenge of finding the postulated Higgs Boson. This is the theoretical particle that gives all things mass. Without it, we’re back to the drawing board in our fundamental understanding of the universe.
Today, particle physicist Fabiola Gianotti did a live webcast from CERN talking about this very subject. Courtesy of Boing Boing, the short summary is this:
The public announcement wasn't really an announcement of anything. Instead, it was more like a year-in-review presentation. CERN has made some good progress in the hunt for the Higgs Boson, they've been able to narrow their search to small field, and they have seen some potentially interesting things happening within that field. But there's not really enough here to say, one way or the other, whether the Higgs Boson is there. What they can say: 2012 is likely to be a really exciting year for particle physics, as researchers dive into experiments that will help them figure out what those "interesting things" really are.
Hey! There’s another reason to look forward to 2012!