SLAC Public Lecture Series
The Large Hadron Collider: Redefining High Energy
Particle physicists have a description of the forces of nature known as the Standard Model that has successfully withstood decades of testing at laboratories around the world. Though the Standard Model is powerful, it is not complete. Important details like the masses of particles are not explained well, and realities as fundamental as gravity, dark matter, and dark energy are left out altogether.
I will discuss gaps in the model and why there is hope that some puzzles will be solved by probing high energies with the Large Hadron Collider. Beginning next year, this machine will accelerate protons to record energies, hurling them around a 27 kilometer ring before colliding them 40 million times per second. Detectors the size of five-story buildings will record the debris of these collisions. The new energy frontier made accessible by the Large Hadron Collider will allow thousands of physicists to explore nature's fundamental forces and particles from a fantastic vantage point.