MEYRIN, Switzerland — Fabiola Gianotti is one of the most important physicists in the world, and when she gazes at the heavens after dark, she sees more than the moon, the stars and the Milky Way.
For her, the night sky is a daily reminder of humanity’s ignorance of the origins of the universe.
“When you look at the sky at night, you see only 5 percent of what’s out there,” she said in an interview. “The rest we don’t know, so we call it dark energy and dark matter. It’s a bit embarrassing for us physicists to understand only 5 percent of the universe. Come on! We have to solve this problem, O.K.?”
Dr. Gianotti, 57, is neither arrogant nor naïve. She is the first female director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research — or CERN — where the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator is deep underground outside Geneva…
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