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The Higgs boson particle
If you tried you could trace the search for Higgs back to 2,400 years. In ancient Athens, philosophers asked whether you could break matter into infinitely small pieces, or whether you would eventually get to a smallest possible piece that could not be divided.
One philosopher, Democritus, wondered whether such indivisible particles could possibly make up everything on heaven and earth. In his vision, the cosmos was just matter and void, and matter was just different combinations of atoms. This meant that the same building blocks followed plant, animals and everything and everyone. Many disagreed, but despite that the idea was threaded through history.
By the 1800s, experimental science was starting to give substance to this remarkable philosophers dream. Only last year in 2012 did they find a breakthrough. After spending 8 billion dollars on a device, to coax it into existence for a nanosecond befor it returned itno oblivion.