High-Energy Future

The Higgs Boson? Supersymmetry? A theory of everything? A cosmological constant? Strings? These are discoveries that some scientists believe may be just over the horizon at the end of the twentieth century.

An electronic signature of the
hypothetical Higgs boson

At the beginning of the twentieth century, some scientists believed that all the important discoveries in physics had already been made. They could not foresee the extraordinary changes that technology, theory and experiment would bring to our understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and the universe.

Where will the next century take us?

"The hope of elementary particle physics today is to take the next step-and eventually the final step-toward finding a deeper set of physical laws . . . that are simple, unified and altogether persuasive. No one can say that this will happen soon, but there is a growing sense that it is within our grasp."

"Particle physics is not the only kind of important science, or even the only kind of important physics. Most scientific research is motivated by practical needs, or by a fascination with strange phenomena, or by our natural wish to know more about ourselves. Elementary particle physics is different. Its aim is to complete our understanding of the ultimate rules that, at bottom, govern everything." –Steven Weinberg, theoretical physicist, in Forbes ASAP.