Physics Seminar

Date: Thu. 23 Jan, 2014 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Duration: 1 Hour
Location: Workman Center

Dr. Paul Arendt, will present the Physics Department seminar. His talk is titled, "The Higgs Boson and Gauge Theories." The year 2013 was marked by an historical event in physics: the discovery of the final particle which had been predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics, the Higgs Boson (and a Nobel Prize to Englert and Higgs, two of the theorists who had predicted its existence). Arendt will talk about the reasons why physicists were so confident that the particle absolutely must exist. To understand the details of the Higgs mechanism (and theorists' resolve in the Boson's existence for so long), one must first understand the so-called "gauge theory" structure of the fundamental interactions, which can itself seem a mysterious concept (as its name is not very descriptive). Arendt will present several arguments motivating the structure of gauge theories, through arguments stemming from classical mechanics, quantum theory, and geometry. After that, the Higgs mechanism will be presented, to show why physicists had believed for so long in the only fundamental particle ever to be assigned a spin of zero. 4 p.m. in Workman 101.