Pretty much everyone — including, probably, you — thought that the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics would go to the people who discovered evidence of a particle that meets the description of the theoretical Higgs Boson.
But, it didn't.
Instead, the winners are Serge Haroche and David Wineland, two physicists whose work is all about the way that photons — the tiniest pieces of light, which simultaneously behave as both shifting waves and packaged particles — interact with everything else in the Universe.
I really dig this video put together by Brady Haran of Sixty Symbols, because it captures both the surprise associated with today's announcement (turns out, a lot of physicists thought the Higgs Boson would win, too) and does a good job of explaining what Haroche and Wineland do, and why it's important.
Quote of the day: "Have you tried to capture a single atom?"
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.