RECENT NEUTRINO EXPERIMENTS PROVIDE A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO GLIMPSE NEW PARTICLE PHYSICS
The field of particle physics spent much of the last century converging on the "standard model" that describes subatomic particles and the forces by which they interact. Ambitious research that began in the early 1900s with hot-air balloon experiments aimed at catching cosmic rays, and followed later in the century with accelerator-based experiments, led to the extraordinary success of the standard model. Nonetheless, the excitement in particle physics often lies not with the vast body of solidly established textbook knowledge, but rather on the fringe, where researchers seek to identify new physics beyond the standard model. Some even hope to find a problem with the model, in order to spur an intellectual expedition into the unknown. And mounting evidence indicates they may finally get that chance.