With the large hadron collider running out of places to look for clues to a deeper theory of physics, we need a bigger particle accelerator. We have one – the galaxy.
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Physics is currently in a weird place. Historically, no matter how crazy our theories got, there were always new ways to test them. Does your theory predict a new particle? Build a particle accelerator big enough to see it. But once your collider spans entire countries – like the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland – there’s only so much larger you can go – at least on the surface of the Earth. The LHC has thoroughly tested the standard model of particle physics. The last component of that model – the Higgs boson – was verified in 2013. But the standard model isn’t the end of the story – there MUST be a more fundamental theory that explains the origins of this rich family of particles. Proposals for such grand unified theories proliferate, unconstrained by even the tiniest hint of new physics from the LHC.