I did my graduate work in experimental particle physics. Big science, large collaboration, lots of people, cables, computers, and money, looking at very small things - quarks, leptons, neutrinos, weak bosons - you get the idea. I was a member of the DØ collaboration from 1993-2001, though I worked on the experiment as an undergrad at Michigan State University from 1988-1991. I went to graduate school at the University of Rochester, graduating in 1997. For my PhD thesis, I measured the transverse momentum distribution of the Z boson. As a postdoc at Michigan State from 1997-2001, I worked primarily on the Level 2 trigger for Run II.

The center of the particle physics universe has moved Europe. The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is nearly finished and will be taking data soon. The big deal there will be looking for the Higgs Boson and clues to the origin of mass. What the heck does that mean? Here are a couple of links:

What is the Higgs Boson?/What is mass?

How Does a Particle Accelerator Work?

The Quantum Universe from interactions.org