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Physical sciences/Physics/Particle physics/Hypothetical particles

The observation of an elusive sub-atomic particle known as the Higgs boson has been heralded by the journal Science as the most important scientific discovery of 2012. This particle, which was first hypothesized to exist more than 40 years ago, holds the key to explaining how other elementary particles such as electrons and quarks (those that aren’t made up of smaller particles) get their mass.

She is among the world’s top theoretical physicists, influential among colleagues and well-known for popularizing the esoteric science of string theory, branes, and unseen dimensions. Now, though, Lisa Randall is focused on experiments underway beneath the floor of a European valley that may provide solid evidence to explain the fundamental nature of matter.