2016 : WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST INTERESTING RECENT [SCIENTIFIC] NEWS? WHAT MAKES IT IMPORTANT?

Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Professor of the History of Science, Emeritus, Harvard University; Author, Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture
An Unexpected, Very Haunting Signal

The exciting big news for many in the physics community worldwide is that at the collider at CERN an unexpected, very haunting signal of a possible new particle was found, one that would not fit into any part of the current high-energy theory. An entirely new region in experiment and theory might open up, making the finding of the Higgs an old story.

But just after this finding, the collider was shut down, as usual, until next spring. There is now a tantalizing wait. It is, in a way, analogous to the event when the first nuclear reactor in Chicago, in wartime under Enrico Fermi, got to the brink of becoming critical late one morning. But instead of continuing, Fermi asked everyone there to wait until he would return from his mid-day siesta.