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The rivals who fought for the Higgs boson

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LHC tunnel
LHC tunnel

Last summer's announcement that scientists at CERN had discovered a particle "consistent with" the legendary Higgs boson was an incredible moment for physicists — the boson's existence could explain why particles have mass and help to confirm the longstanding Standard Model of particle physics — but for laymen it was little more than a barrage of articles with obtuse phrases like "God particle" and "5-sigma." Now, The New York Times is profiling the two rival teams that made the discovery happen, and they explain what it all means along the way. As one professor told The New York Times, "The experiments are very large collaborations and they have the good, the bad, the crooks, the Sopranos, the opportunists — a prototype of the world as we know it."