Colloquium - James Wells (University of Michigan) The Theoretical Physics Ecosystem Behind the Higgs Boson Discovery

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James Wells (University of Michigan) 4/3/18 colloquium speaker
April 3, 2018
3:45PM - 4:45PM
Location
1080 Physics Research Building - Smith Seminar Room - reception at 3:30 pm in the Atrium

Date Range
Add to Calendar 2018-04-03 15:45:00 2018-04-03 16:45:00 Colloquium - James Wells (University of Michigan) The Theoretical Physics Ecosystem Behind the Higgs Boson Discovery

A simplified history of the Higgs boson has Peter Higgs positing it in the mid-1960s followed by a long wait while experimentalists progressively turned up collider energies until it appeared as expected several decades later. However, in order for both the hypothesis and the experimental discovery to occur, a vast and complex theory ecosystem, across multiple subfields, had to thrive in the years before Higgs's hypothesis and in the years that followed, building up to its discovery, which was not universally believed would even happen. In the process I describe how important the discovery of the Higgs boson has been to particle physics and what it means for the future. I also provide a response to Phil Anderson’s statement in Nature: “Maybe the Higgs boson [of particle physics] is fictitious!”

1080 Physics Research Building - Smith Seminar Room - reception at 3:30 pm in the Atrium Department of Physics physics@osu.edu America/New_York public
Description

A simplified history of the Higgs boson has Peter Higgs positing it in the mid-1960s followed by a long wait while experimentalists progressively turned up collider energies until it appeared as expected several decades later. However, in order for both the hypothesis and the experimental discovery to occur, a vast and complex theory ecosystem, across multiple subfields, had to thrive in the years before Higgs's hypothesis and in the years that followed, building up to its discovery, which was not universally believed would even happen. In the process I describe how important the discovery of the Higgs boson has been to particle physics and what it means for the future. I also provide a response to Phil Anderson’s statement in Nature: “Maybe the Higgs boson [of particle physics] is fictitious!”