We talk to our favorite astrophysicist about the crazy new particle, and other stuff.
"In the history of science, there are three kinds of discoveries you can make. One of them is what you expected to be there—confirming your understanding of nature. Another one is, you don’t find what you expect to be there, so you have to go back and rethink everything. And sometimes when you’re forced to go back and rethink things you end up making discoveries you had not previously anticipated. The third kind of discovery is discovering something you didn’t expect at all. Like, who ordered that? [Laughs] The [Higgs discovery] is something we all kind of expected to be there. It’s there, it’s confirmed, and certainly worth a bottle of champagne. But it doesn’t really bring a new understanding of physics; it confirms our prevailing understanding of physics. And that’s a good thing, but sometimes when things go as you don’t expect them, major advances occur.”