- This event has passed.
Scientific Controversies: #3. The Goddam Particle with Janna Levin, Sean Carroll and Melissa Franklin
Apr 29, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm| Free
Citizens worldwide have tried to pronounce “Higgs Boson,” the name of the particle that glues the pieces in the puzzle of our material reality. The Higgs was found, Nobel prizes were awarded, and the discovery was both a disappointment (is there nothing more?) and a triumph (they did it!). The particle physicist Leon Lederman famously referred to the Higgs as the “Goddamn Particle,” a moniker his publisher resisted so that his book was titled “The God Particle.” Unfortunately the flourish has stuck. We prefer the original. We’ll discuss the Goddamn Particle, how it keeps every thing and our theories hanging together, and why we built a multi-billion dollar machine in Switzerland just to find it.
Sean Carroll (Research Professor of Physics at Caltech, author of “The Particle at the Edge of the Universe” and “From Eternity to Here”)
Melissa Franklin (Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard)
About The Series:
What Is Quantum Reality? Does Time Exist? Will Dying Black Holes Explode in Firewalls?
Major Scientific discoveries can disrupt the traditional order, leaving scientists adrift in concepts that resist familiar intuitions and beliefs. Of the new ideas that emerge, some will be wrong and some will be right. Honest and open scientific controversy helps disentangle one from the other. Eventually, one side of a debate grows in strength and finds confirmation in experiments, while the other atrophies. But both sides of a controversy contribute to the breakthrough of actual discovery – when the utterly abstract barges into the realm of the concrete. This series celebrates that passionate spirit of scientific debate.