Cyprus & World News

Who needs the Higgs boson?

16 January, 2013

Public Lecture by The Cyprus Institute

The Cyprus Institute (CyI) is organizing its annual Hubert Curien memorial lecture on Friday, 25 January. This year’s lecture, is entitled “Who needs the Higgs boson?’’ this topic will be presented by two internationally renowned scientists, Prof. Edouard Brézin, a theorist, former President of the French Academy of Sciences and Prof. Herwig Schopper, an experimentalist, former Director General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Prof. Brezin is the Chair and Prof. Schopper a founding and an honorary member of CyI’s Board of Trustees and Chair of its Scientific Advisory Council.

The discovery of the Higgs boson comprises the last piece of the puzzle validating the most comprehensive theory in Physics, the Standard Model which explains interactions between fundamental particles. The Higgs boson is thought to be responsible for the existence of mass in fundamental particles which constitute the building blocks of the universe. The lecture will approach the “hunt” for this elusive particle from two perspectives: theory and experiment.

Although radioactivity was discovered more than a century ago, its precise understanding went through a long series of experimental and theoretical puzzles which kept busy many of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Prof. Brezin will give a brief survey of this history ending (?) with the "Higgs mechanism". Prof. Schopper will continue and explain the painstaking and long hunt for the Higgs particle which may have finally been detected in 2012 at CERN. Its significance for physics will be described from the point of view of a ‘pedestrian’, i.e. as an experimentalist. Prof. Schopper will discuss the consequences of this discovery for the understanding of the micro and macro cosmos and for the relations between science and society.

The lecture will be held on Friday, 25 January, at 18:30, at the Journalists’ House in Aglandjia, Nicosia.

The Hubert Curien memorial lecture is open to the public and entrance is free.

Speakers Profiles
Prof. Edouard Brezin has served in numerous administrative positions including the Presidency of the Administrative Council of CNRS (1992-2000). He was elected a member of the French National Academy of Sciences in 1991 and served as its President from 2005 to 2006. He is a member of various societies including the National Academy of Sciences (US), the Royal Society (UK), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the Academia Europaea. Recipient of many distinctions and awards, both from the US and European Academies, including the Dirac Medal for his scientific contributions to theoretical physics. This month he was named as “Commander of the French Legion of Honor, one of the highest distinctions of the French Republic.

Prof. Herwig Schopper is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Hamburg, Dr.h.c.mult. He is also the former Director General of CERN, Geneva and former Director of DESY Laboratory, Hamburg. Schopper is a co-founder of SESAME International Laboratory in Jordan, former President of the German and European Physical society and member of several national and international academies (e.g.German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, World Academy of Science and Art, Academia Europea). He has received numerous distinctions and awards including the Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit, UNESCO Albert Einstein Gold Medal and the Tate Medal of the American Institute of Physics.

In December 2012 both scientists were awarded by the President of Republic H.E. Demetris Christofias the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Cyprus for their contribution in science, technology and education in Cyprus and the wider region.