UC Berkeley physicists to hold lecture on Higgs boson

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UC Berkeley physicists involved in the search for the Higgs boson will hold a free public lecture and panel discussion Friday at noon.

The lecture and discussion will be held on campus at the Chan Shun Auditorium in the Valley Life Sciences Building.

Last week, two teams of physicists conducting experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, announced the discovery of a new particle they believe could be the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson has been dubbed the “God Particle” because it imbues all particles in the universe with mass.

The announcement by the physicists at the Large Hadron Collider — the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator — was hailed by some scientists as a success worthy of a Nobel Prize, and equated the results to the discovery of DNA.

Campus physicists at the lecture and discussion will explain what the Higgs boson is, why it was predicted and how a Higgs-like particle was proven to exist.

Speakers include UC Berkeley associate professor of physics Beate Heinemann, who is also a member of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider run by CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research — and UC Berkeley professor of Physics Lawrence Hall, the former director of the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics.

After presentations by Heinemann and Hall, Mark Richards, the executive dean of the College of Letters and Science, will moderate a discussion between Heinemann, Hall and three other UC Berkeley physicists.

All members of the campus community and the public are invited to attend.