November 2011 Science Under the Dome

Friday, November 11th at 7:00 PM  Professor Robert F. Harr, WSU Experimental Particle Physicist  



With a nod to Agatha Christie, Professor Robert F. Harr presented the search for the Higgs boson as the summary of a murder mystery! 


The suspects will be assembled and analyzed, eliminating those that can be ruled out. But this mystery remains unsolved. So, while we're unable to finger the killer (Higgs boson), the remaining possibilities will be discussed, along with the possibility that there is no killer (Higgs boson) at all.

More than 40 years since it was first postulated, particle physics experiments in Europe and the U.S. are at the threshold of discovering or definitively ruling out the existence of the Higgs boson. Discovering the Higgs boson would be an amazing culmination to 40 years of testing the standard model.

The standard model of particle physics was assembled about 40 years ago. In the intervening years, the model has been tested and verified to an amazing level of accuracy. One remaining piece is the discovery of the method of "symmetry breaking" that gives mass to particles.The Higgs boson is the manifestation of the favored "Higgs mechanism" of symmetry breaking.

Ruling out the existence of the Higgs boson would usher in a period of intensive work to resolve the issue of symmetry breaking in the particle physics model.


An RSVP is required for this free lecture as seating is limited.  Please RSVP at the WSU Events Calendar.

A copy of the event poster is avaiable here.



The Wayne State Planetarium is dedicated to the promotion of science. We are proud to feature a new series of free public lectures covering modern topics in science.