It just might, says Scientific American:
The universe has no center and no edge, no special regions tucked in among the galaxies and light. No matter where you look, it’s the same—or so physicists thought. This cosmological principle—one of the foundations of the modern understanding of the universe—has come into question recently as astronomers find evidence, subtle but growing, of a special direction in space.
The first and most well-established data point comes from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the so-called afterglow of the big bang. As expected, the afterglow is not perfectly smooth—hot and cold spots speckle the sky. In recent years, however, scientists have discovered that these spots are not quite as randomly distributed as they first appeared—they align in a pattern that points out a special direction in space. Cosmologists have theatrically dubbed it the “axis of evil.”
This hasn’t yet been confirmed, and nobody knows what it might mean if it were. Still, it’s got cosmologists pretty excited, because if true, it will rewrite our understanding of the universe.
“So which direction does the universe point, then?” my son asked when I read him the item.
As if there were any doubt:
Or, if you don’t have time for the 11 min video, this from the National Post gets to the heart of it:
The boson was posited in 1964 by British physicist Peter Higgs as the agent that gave mass to matter in the wake of the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, making possible the formation of stars and planets, and eventually the appearance of life.
But efforts since the mid-1980s to find the particle in the U.S. Tevatron collider and the LHC’s predecessor at CERN, the LEP, and prove Higgs correct by smashing particles together and creating mini Big Bangs, have until now failed.
The boson has been called the “capstone” of Albert Einstein’s universe of elementary particles and three fundamental forces that control the cosmos under the “Standard Model” finalized by physicists in the 1970s.
The Higgs particle was the missing linking brick in this architecture.
Its discovery, if eventually confirmed and especially if it is at the low mass levels where bloggers are saying ATLAS and CMS have found it, would open the way to what CERN calls the “New Physics” of super-symmetry and dark matter.
Some top scientists, such as Briton Stephen Hawking, have long voiced doubt that the boson exists and should be replaced in the Standard Model by something else.
But in an interview in the December edition of the British monthly Prospect, the 82-year-old Higgs – who has been tipped for a Nobel prize – said that “if you tried to modify the theory to take it out, the whole thing becomes nonsense.”