News Tip: Duke Physicist Comments on Higgs Discovery as Science's 2012 Breakthrough of the Year

Mark Kruse reflects on the Higgs discovery and its meaning for science and humanity

Science magazine has named the discovery of what could be the Higgs boson as its 2012 Breakthrough of the Year. 

Duke physicist Mark Kruse reflects on the recent success of the Higgs search and what it means for science and humanity if we have found the long-sought fundamental particle and, as a result, the mechanism that gives mass to quarks and possibly all of dark matter. 

Mark Kruse, professor of physics, Duke University mkruse@phy.duke.edu @markckruseKruse specializes in experimental high-energy physics and uses the ATLAS instrument at LHC to search for the Higgs boson. Quotes: "It is amazing that we, as a human race, have been able to ask a very subtle and esoteric question of nature. We asked if there is a particular type of field that fills all of space and gives rise to the masses of fundamental particles, and were able to build a machine that has answered that question." "The discovery of this particle has been tremendous for physics. I'm already seeing a lot more interest in particle physics from students, and it has provided an avenue to explain our field to younger colleagues. This is an important opportunity to motivate the next generation of physicists, and more broadly, scientists in general. It has also been great for the exposure of our field to the general public. Higgs is almost a household name now. That can't be a bad thing." "In many ways the Higgs search is only the beginning of our attempt to answer the many questions we still have for Nature. There is still an incredible amount we don't understand, and we know the Standard Model is not 'the' model of the universe. We all hope that the LHC is able to discover something more that will give us more concrete hints as to what new theory lies beyond the Standard Model."