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Lunch With Honors: Aaron Pierce

Thursday, January 24, 2013
5:00 AM
1330 Mason Hall

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Weighty matters: what is the Higgs boson, and what's next for particle physics?
With Professor Aaron Pierce.

Last July physicists announced the discovery of a "Higgs like" particle.  It had been sought for decades, and its discovery was widely hailed.   What is the Higgs boson, and why does it matter?  Why are particle physicists referring to it as "Higgs like"  what would it take for them to be convinced that the discovered particle is in fact the Higgs boson?  And what is a boson anyway?  This discovery required one of largest and most complex scientific undertakings of all time.  I hope to convey some of the excitement around the pursuit of this particle, the challenges in making  this discovery, and the path forward for particle physics.  (This image depicts a Higgs boson particle created by a proton-to-proton collision at the Large Hadron Collider, detected by ATLAS. Photo courtesy CERN.)
Professor Pierce is a particle theorist at the University of Michigan , a winner of the 2012 Henry Russel award and acting director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics.