As Peter Higgs, professor of Edinburgh University, who predicted the existence of what is known officially as the Higgs boson and informally as the god particle in the 1960s, tearfully said at the confirmation of its discovery by the Cern nuclear physics centre: “I am astounded at the amazing speed with which these results have emerged.

“I never expected this to happen in my lifetime.”

In this poignant piece of reportage by the Financial Times, the news provider summed…

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