The theory of $C^*$-algebras traces its origins back to
the development of quantum mechanics and it has
evolved into a large and highly active field of mathematics.
Much of the progress over the last couple
of decades has been driven by an ambitious program
of classification launched by George A. Elliott in the
1980s, and just recently this project has succeeded
in achieving one of its central goals in an unexpectedly
dramatic fashion. This Snapshot aims to recount
some of the fundamental ideas at play.