Department of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

Public lecture

(Jointly organised by The School of Communication Studies and The Department of Physics)

Time and date: 22 August 2012 (Wednesday), 4:00 pm
Venue: University Auditorium

Title: The holy grail of particle physics: The search and discovery of the Higgs boson

Speaker: Dr. R. Ramachandran. Trained as a theoretical physicist with a PhD in particle physics and now a journalist, Dr. R. Ramachandran is an Associate Editor of Frontline, a publication of The Hindu Group. He has served as the President of the Indian Science Writers Association and is currently a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change.

Abstract: The present understanding of the structure of matter at the subatomic scale is a consequence of the two major revolutions in 20th-century physics—quantum theory and special theory of relativity. The Standard Model of particle physics is the most successful theory so far in the description of the basic constituents of matter and whose predictions have been experimentally verified to a very high degree of precision. The Standard Model has also been able to partly achieve a major theoretical goal of physics since the beginning of the 20th century—the unification of fundamental forces of nature. At the same time the Model had a major shortcoming. A new field called the Higgs field had to be postulated to explain the observed masses of particles in the universe. But this hypothesis came with a price, the presence of an as-yet-unseen particle associated with the field called the Higgs boson. The announcement in early July of the discovery at CERN of what in all likelihood seems to be the Higgs boson marks a major milestone in physics.

Guest of honour: Shri Raj Chengappa, The Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune

Presided by: Prof. A.K. Grover, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University