We talk a lot about big data and how it could change the world, but the truth is that data doesn’t come much bigger — or more world-changing — than this: On Wednesday scientists at CERN, the physics research institute on the French-Swiss border where the web was invented 22 years ago, announced that they were sure they’d found the almost-mythical Higgs boson — the so-called “god particle”.

Well, they announced that they were pretty sure they’d found it, because scientists are never entirely sure of anything.

In a live video stream beamed to hundreds of thousands of physics fans with breath so bated that oxygen masks were being readied off-stage, Cern officials took the stage to reveal they had found evidence that the Higgs boson — an until-now theoretical sub-atomic particle that gives everything in the universe its mass — exists.

The announcement drew plenty of reaction online.

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