Special Report

Famous Scientific Discoveries That Changed the Course of History

Higgs boson
> Year of discovery: 2012
> Person(s) involved: CERN

Some call the Higgs boson “the God particle,” for its theoretical role in the “Big Bang” that created our universe. The Higgs boson is a particle that bestows mass to other subatomic particles. In 2012, CERN, the European Council for Nuclear Research, observed the Higgs boson for the first time. Scientists at CERN used the Large Hadron Collider, a machine capable of detecting subatomic particles, to make this observation.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Gravitational waves
> Year of discovery: 2015
> Person(s) involved: Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

In 2015, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, a joint project between Caltech in California and MIT in Massachusetts, observed gravitational waves for the first time. These waves were caused by two black holes in distant reaches of the universe, swirling together. This discovery was so important because it proved Einstein’s theory of general relativity, opened a new window into the cosmos, and could help advance technology.

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