Particle Physics & Astrophysics

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US Scientists Celebrate Nobel Prize for Higgs Discovery

The Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert to recognize their work developing the theory of what is now known as the Higgs field. U.S. scientists played a significant role in advancing their theory and confirming it with the discovery of the Higgs boson.

SLAC Theorist Helps Sharpen Tests of Fundamental Theory in High Energy Experiments

Three theoretical physicists have taken an important step toward eliminating theoretical ambiguities from the staggeringly complicated mathematics used to explore the interactions of quarks, the tiniest known bits of matter inside protons and neutrons, and gluons, the enigmatic particles responsible for keeping them trapped there. Simplifying these calculations can make them easier for other particle theorists to perform and lead to more accurate predictions for experimental particle physicists to test.

SLAC Summer Institute Featured Collaborative Mini-projects

For the 41st annual Particle Physics & Astrophysics Department’s SLAC Summer Institute (SSI), organizers introduced a successful new feature.

In addition to hearing the traditional program of high-level physics lectures and enjoying the social events, the particle physics graduate students formed teams to work on one of four mini-projects during the two-week institute held July 8–19. They reported their findings on the penultimate day.

Fermi Sees Record Gamma-ray Burst

A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced light with the highest energy ever measured from such an event.

Steven M. Kahn Named Director of LSST

Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy press release

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) announced today that Dr. Steven M. Kahn will assume the role of Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project effective July 1, 2013. Dr. Kahn will succeed Dr. Sidney C. Wolff and retain his current affiliation with SLAC and Stanford.

Underground Search for Neutrino Properties Unveils First Results

Scientists studying neutrinos have found with the highest degree of sensitivity yet that these mysterious particles behave like other elementary particles at the quantum level. The results shed light on the mass and other properties of the neutrino and prove the effectiveness of a new instrument that will yield even greater discoveries in this area.