MUSE: Rumors flew when the largest physics laboratory in the world scheduled a major announcement for December 13, 2011. Had researchers found the elusive “God particle” at last? Had the final piece of a decades-old puzzle fallen into place?

When the big day came, Switzerland’s CERN laboratory announced that it had seen “tantalizing hints” of the missing particle called the Higgs boson. It was still too early to say for certain whether the particle existed or not, but science was very close to finding the answer. For physicists at a laboratory in Illinois, however, the search would no longer happen on their home turf. The year that brought scientists closer than ever to the Higgs boson had also brought the retirement of one of their hardest-working particle accelerators. Read more.

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