Posted on 24/01/2013
Colloquium Seminar: Prof Tom Kibble
Prof Tom Kibble (Imperial College London) will be delivering a seminar at Royal Holloway on the History of the Higgs and Electroweak Unification on Friday 1st February, HLT2 at 1pm. Prof. Kibble together with others and of course Higgs himself, were instrumental in elucidating what we now call the Higgs mechanism as a means to give fundamental particles mass. His paper "Global conservation laws and massless particles" has been selected as one of the most important papers of the last 50 years by the leading journal Physical Review Letters, in addition to many honours bestowed on him. This is a colloquium seminar so undergraduates are very welcome to attend.
If you are interested in attending this seminar please register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name (and year if you are a student). Please note, you will only be contacted if we have reached our maximum capacity and are unable to register you.
Abstract: The Higgs boson is predicted by the Higgs mechanism, an essential part of the standard model of particle physics. This talk is intended to explain where the idea came from. I shall start by describing the state of particle physics just after the second world war, including the development of quantum electrodynamics and renormalization theory. Then I will talk about the idea of a gauge theory, and about the search for unification, in particular for a unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions. I shall describe the obstacles to unification, notably the Goldstone theorem, which seemed to predict unwanted and unobserved particles, and the way in which these were removed when the Higgs mechanism was discovered, paving the way for the development of the unified electroweak theory by Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam. Finally I will briefly discuss the significance of the almost certain discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC.