We still haven't found the Higgs boson, the hypothetical particle that explains why other particles possess mass. But that might not be the only cosmic mystery the Higgs can solve. It could also explain how the universe got its shape.
That's the theory put forward by researchers at Switzerland's École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, or EPFL. They argue that the Higgs boson might allow us to account for inflation, the otherwise unexplained process in which the early universe grew by a factor of at least 10^26 in an instant. It's not a universally accepted idea, even among physicists and cosmologists, but it seems to be the best way to account for the uniformity of the modern universe. (For an excellent, comprehensive primer on inflation, check out this post by our own Dr. Dave Goldberg.)