Seminar to explore discovery of newest subatomic particle

Scientists are hailing the discovery this summer of a new boson as the most significant advance in particle physics in 30 years.

Robert Harr, a professor of physics at Wayne State University and a member of the Collider Detector at Fermilab experiment, will discuss the implications in a free public seminar entitled “Sighting the Higgs boson: a field guide,” Thursday, September 13, at 2:30 p.m. in room 108, Odette Building.

Dr. Harr played a leading role in the operation of the experiment and the analysis of the data, which released its results days before scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland announced their discovery of a candidate for the long-sought Higgs boson.

Harr will discuss

  • the role of the Higgs boson in the theoretical framework of particle physics,
  • the methods used to produce and observe a Higgs boson,
  • the results from the Fermilab and Swiss experiments, and
  • what is needed to confirm the new boson as a Higgs boson.

He says the Fermilab findings complement the work being done at the Large Hadron Collider.

“This result wrings everything possible out of the data taken over the last ten years,” he says. “It tells us that the odds favour a light Higgs boson, and supersymmetry is a good bet.”

Thursday’s event is sponsored by the UWindsor Department of Physics.

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