Speaker Name(s): Wendy Taylor, Ph.D. Description: Wendy Taylor, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Experimental Particle Physics, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, York University
Why is the photon massless? Why is the top quark as heavy as 175 protons? How can electromagnetic phenomena and radioactive decay be due to the same force? Physicists on the new ATLAS experiment hope to answer these questions and more with the discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson, the Holy Grail of particle physics for over thirty years. When the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland starts operation in spring 2008, it will expose physics never seen before. The ATLAS experiment will either discover the Higgs Boson or something else even more intriguing. In this talk, I will discuss the motivation for postulating the Higgs Boson, describe the LHC and the Atlas experiment and explain how the Higgs Boson could be detected, giving you a flavour of the challenges and rewards of “big science” along the way.
*Co-sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Toronto Centre