Dr. Hesketh to Speak at the Fall 2012 Honors Athenaeum

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The Honors Program at West Virginia Wesleyan College is proud to announce the Fall 2012 Honors Athenaeum:  a lecture by Dr. Gavin Hesketh of The Royal Academy of Science in London titled “The Higgs Boson: solving a subatomic mystery”.

On July 4th of this year, The European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland announced the discovery of a new particle: the Higgs Boson. First postulated in 1964 and sought ever since, the Higgs Boson is a key ingredient of the Standard Model of particle physics, and our understanding of the sub-atomic world.  Dr. Hesketh is part of the team that made this important discovery.

In his talk, Dr. Hesketh will provide the historical background to the discovery, explain what the Higgs Boson is, why it got people so excited, and where the research goes from here.  As an active researcher on the ATLAS experiment, he will also share his insights into what actually goes into making such historic scientific discoveries.

Dr. Hesketh holds a PhD in Experimental High Energy Physics from the University of Manchester.  After a stint on the Tevatron at Fermilab (just outside of Chicago), 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.

Dr. Hesketh is currently a Royal Society University Research Fellow, based at University College London. The Royal society is the most prestigious science institute in the UK, founded in 1660, funding around 30 research fellowships a year in all scientific disciplines.  He continues the work he began at CERN as an active researcher on the ATLAS experiment, where he has been studying backgrounds to the Higgs Boson, and in his words, ”generally trying to do my bit to keep the experiment running smoothly.”

“The Higgs Boson: solving a subatomic mystery” will be presented Thursday evening, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hyma Auditorium of the Christopher Hall of Science.  The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the event, or about West Virginia Wesleyan’s Honors Program, contact Honors Director Doug Van Gundy: vangundy_d@wvwc.edu, 304-614-3290.