Higgs researcher presents colloquium at Wesleyan

 

     October 25, 2012—Dr. Gavin Hesketh visited Wesleyan tonight to talk on the Higgs boson. Hesketh is a Royal Society University Research Fellow, based at University College London.    

     The Higgs boson’s existence was confirmed experimentally on July 4, 2012, by a research team at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. Hesketh is a member of the research team that made this discovery.

 

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Dr. Hesketh is introduced by Honors Program Director Dr. Doug Van Gundy.

 

     The Higgs boson had been an elusive subatomic particle subjected to an intensive search by physicists since 1964, when Peter Higgs first made a case for its possible existence.

 

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President Balch, Dr. Hesketh, Patrick Balch, and

Dr. Van Gundy

    

     Experimental evidence of the Higgs particle will greatly affect human understanding of the universe and validate the final unconfirmed part of the Standard Model as essentially correct.

 

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Student Ken Benson is asking Dr. Hesketh a question following the colloquium.

 

     Dr. Hesketh provided the historical background to the Higgs discovery, why it got people so excited, and where the research goes from here.

     He also shared his insights into what actually goes into making such historic scientific discoveries. He stated that he is “generally trying to do my bit to keep the experiment running smoothly.”

     Dr. Hesketh worked for a stint at the Tevatron at Fermilab. Then he joined CERN just in time to see the start of the Large Hadron Collider as it took over from the Tevatron as the highest energy machine in the world.