We have discussed this before a little when the Large Hadron Collider started up last year, and how one of the prime objectives is to find the so called Higgs Boson. The Higgs Boson is a theoretical particle that scientists believe give the other particles mass. The best description I have read is that the Higgs Boson provides the treacle that other particle have to move through.
Anyway – as we know the LHC was shut down soon after it started, but Fermilab in the US has just released details of some research that narrows down the possible mass of the Higgs Boson:
The Higgs particle, the last piece of the Standard Model of particle physics menagerie that has yet to be observed, is running out of places to hide—if, that is, it exists at all. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., today narrowed the range of mass where the Higgs might be found.
I love how the search for this particle is right at the limits of our knowledge of the universe. As the article says:
But what if the entire mass window were exhausted—if experiments showed that the Higgs, or something like it, didn’t exist at all? “That would basically mean we have a very deep and fundamental lack of understanding of what is going on in the Standard Model,” Blocker says. “If there’s not something like the Higgs or something similar giving masses to the W and Z, we have no clue as to how that’s happening.”