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Hank talks to some VIPs from CERN about the question on everyone's mind: does the Higgs Boson particle exist? And describes how CERN is going about finding the answer.

Hank interviewed Sergio Bertolucci on October 11, 2011 and Rolf Heuer on October 25, 2011. In the time since then, CERN researchers have gotten some tantalizing clues, but the Higgs boson has yet to be found.

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For more on the search for the Higgs-Boson, watch Hank's full interview with Joe Incandella, the deputy spokesperson for the CMS detector at CERN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWEOUgMq88o
Hank Green: Hang on to your freaking hats, people, because today I’m talking to two senior scientists from CERN. And I’m talking to them about how a failure to find a fundamental particle could end up being one of the most revolutionary things to happen to physics since Einstein. [SciShow intro] You heard right, I’m talking to two actual lead scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, about a really important non-discovery in the world of nuclear physics. And the news is that everything we know about everything is probably wrong. And when it comes to understanding how matter, that is, all the stuff in the universe that has mass, came to be, we’ll likely have to go back to the drawing board. This is because physicists at CERN are beginning to speculate that a particle they’ve been searching for for years may, in fact, not exist. How do you just say ‘derp’? A-derp. But in my conversation with Sergio Bertolucci, the director of research at CERN, here’s how he put it. Sergio Bertolucci: Imagine that you are a fisherman. And your fisherman, eh, you are a fair fisherman, so what you do is that you buy line, a hook, bait, and then, armed with your patience, you go and fish. If you don’t get the fish, you are left with two possible explanations: there are no fish in the pond or you are a lousy fisherman. Hank Green: Now, no one is actually saying that anyone here sucks at angling. What they’re saying is they went so far as to remove all of the water from the pond, and if there are no fish in there, there are no fish in there. So here’s what they’re hunting. Since 2008, CERN researchers have been looking for a particle known as the Higgs Boson, and they’ve been doing it using the biggest and most expensive and most powerful piece of scientific equipment on planet Earth, and that is the Large Hadron Collider, which we generally call the LHC. The LHC is a 17-mile long tunnel that travels under Switzerland and France, that uses thousands of magnets, some as big as four story buildings, to smash together high energy particle beams in an effort to create miniature big bangs. The Big Bang, of course, being the theoretical explosion that caused all things to exist, starting about 14 billion years ago. By reproducing The Big Bang, scientists have hoped to find clues to unravel the greatest mysteries of cosmology. Things like, how did matter form? Why do things have mass? You thought you were so clever when you were asking your dad why the sky was blue. But you forgot to ask him why stuff exists! Those are the questions, the most fundamental questions, that these people are trying to answer. A crucial piece in this puzzle has been the Higgs Boson, and that’s mostly because it’s the only piece that remains missing. It is the only particle predicted by the Standard Model of physics that hasn’t yet been observed. And yet, one of the most widely accepted theories of physics, the Standard Model, predicts that the Higgs must exist, because it explains, within this model, how all other particles get their mass. But apparently, it may well not. CERN scientists announced in the summer of 2011 that they have excluded the existence of the Higgs with a 95% certainty, and they should know, for certain, within a year’s time whether or not the Higgs exists. So there’s still a chance, and to be clear, these people want to find it. But CERN’s director general, Rolf Heuer, told me that the real news here is that not finding the Higgs would, in itself, be a total game-changer. Rolf Heuer: So, we will make a discovery next year, and the discovery will be either that we find the Higgs particle, the famous Higgs particle, or that we will exclude the Standard Model Higgs particle. Both would be a huge discovery. Hank: Not catching the Higgs means that assumptions that we’ve made about particle physics since the 1970's are probably really wrong, and that a whole new set of rules will have to be figured out. Bertolucci told me that this could likely revolutionize physics as we know it. Bertolucci: Any answer that we find after now is opening up a deeper question, which we try just to solve, and we are also smart, and this way we are never get unemployed. Hank Green: So, yes, even scientists have the instinct of self-preservation! But what these researchers are showing us is the best of scientific pursuit in action. It’s about finding answers, whether they please our prejudices or not. We’ll keep you updated on whether or not the Higgs ends up being the one that got away ,and for that news, there will be a link here [gestures]. If there’s no link here, we don’t have any new information, but if we do, then click there, and there will be new information about the Higgs. Also, you can follow us on the Twitters and on the Facebooks, right over here [gestures].