The Higgs Boson

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What’s it all about?

So you’ve seen it in the news, but do you know what it is?

The Higgs boson discovery is the result of the work of thousands of physicists, costing billions of euros, and is the final piece in our understanding of the universe. Or is it? Find out what a Higgs boson is, how those thousands of physicists found it, and why they think we should care. Just don’t mention the God particle.

What will we cover?

We’ll run through a brief history of attempts to understand the inner workings of the universe, from Ancient Greece to modern New Zealand, culminating in the Standard Model of Particle Physics and words like quark and gluon. We’ll attempt to explain how the last remaining piece, the Higgs boson, was needed to explain how the other particles had mass. And how it was finally found in Switzerland by smashing other particles together at ridiculously high speeds and seeing what comes out. Finally, now that it’s been discovered, what’s next for physics?

Who will be teaching?

chris lassigChris Lassig is a former theoretical particle physicist who once wrote a paper called ‘Phenomenology of the two Higgs doublet sector of a quark-lepton symmetric model’, so he ought to know what it all means. And fortunately, since then he’s also learnt to speak English and is currently a presenter on the program Lost in Science, on 3CR community radio.