Together with Glasgow University, the IPPP co-sponsored a public talk by Professor Fabiola Gianotti at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 12 May 2008.
The most powerful accelerator ever built, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will start operation at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, in Summer 2008. It will smash proton beams of unprecedented intensity and energy, and huge high-technology detectors will record the products of the collisions. The LHC should be able to solve several mysteries, such as what is the origin of dark matter? Why do elementary articles have different masses, so that the heaviest quark weigh as much as a Gold atom and the photon weigh ... nothing? Is this due to the famous Higgs boson, the particle postulated in 1964 by Professor Peter Higgs FRS FRSE from the University of Edinburgh? This lecture will present the goals and challenges of one of the biggest and most difficult projects in science ever.
People of all ages flocked to hear how the forthcoming experiments at CERN may provide the experimental evidence of a theory developed more than 40 years ago by Edinburgh resident Professor Peter Higgs.