The Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle-smasher, is now up and running. Here's a link to an opinion piece I wrote about it that has recently been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Understanding what our universe is physically made of is one of the oldest and most researched scientific quandaries to date. Deep beneath the Swiss-French border, the Large Hadron Collider is smashing particles to deconstruct matter to its smallest pieces and test the existence of the elusive and theoretical Higgs boson–a.k.a. the God particle–among other experiments. The results could confirm or disprove what we supposedly know about quarks, string theory, dark matter, dark energy, and the fundamental tenets of modern physics. Paul Halpern explains what scientists are searching for and why particle physics could well be on the verge of some of its greatest breakthroughs.