In the latest in a series of terrific TED presentations filmed and posted to YouTube, particle physicist Brian Cox explains why the Large Hadron Collider matters.
Twelve particles of matter stuck together by four forces of nature interact in ways that have resulted in the mind and the eyes you are now using to read this post. To complete the mathematical equations in the Standard Model, which, as Cox says, elegantly describes why the sky is blue and could, given enough computing power, suggest why DNA is shaped the way it is, particle physicists want to uncover the Higgs Boson, which the last remaining undiscovered particle predicted by the Standard Model.
He concludes the 17 minute video with a three minute description of what particle physics means to him. Pointing to the stage props around him, he memorably says that everything from Saturn V rockets, to great literature to DNA to science itself "are the things that hydrogen atoms do when given 13.7 billion years." What's more, this narrative, which has only come into focus in the past fifty years, leaves him feeling privileged to be a part of this moment in history.
But to answer the question with which he begun, the LHC matters, he says, because it will write the next chapter of the creation story. Enjoy.