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Date: April 05, 2013

UVic And Higgs Boson At 50th Anniversary Event

The University of Victoria will present the free public lecture “Subatomic Smash: The Quest for the Higgs Boson” on Apr. 9, 2013 as the latest signature event in UVic’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Particle physicists recently caught early glimpses of a Higgs boson—perhaps the predicted particle responsible for the origin of mass. What is this elusive particle and where exactly could it be hiding?

UVic physics professor Dr. Michel Lefebvre, an internationally renowned physicist and founding spokesperson of ATLAS-Canada, will address these and other questions about what the Higgs boson represents for particle physics and how it may help explain the very origins of our universe.

In the early 1990s, Lefebvre was instrumental in coordinating Canada’s participation in the ATLAS project, the particle detector component of a massive proton collider facility built by the world-famous European Laboratory for Particle Physics, or CERN, on the French-Swiss border. Lefebvre calls it an “exploration machine.”

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a circular tunnel nearly 30 km long and buried 100 metres underground. Inside this massive circuit, trillions of protons are sent into deliberate head-on collisions; the resulting debris produces the data which allows researchers to look even more closely at the fundamental building blocks of matter and how they interact. The UVic-ATLAS team—which benefited from early work by UVic particle physicists Drs. Alan Astbury and Richard Keeler—now includes Drs. Justin Albert, Robert Kowalewski, Robert McPherson, Randall Sobie and Isabel Trigger, as well as more than 25 students, associates, technicians, computer experts, engineers and scientists. McPherson is the current spokesperson for the ATLAS-Canada team.

Gregor Craigie, host of CBC Radio Victoria’s “On the Island” morning show, will emcee the event, which takes place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in UVic’s David Lam Auditorium, room A144 of the MacLaurin building. The event will include a Q&A session and interactive exhibits. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; seating is limited. The event will be simultaneously webcast to an auditorium in an adjacent building.

Update: Visit http://youtu.be/xBkTs2GoALw to view a video of this lecture.

More info on UVic’s hunt for the Higgs: www.uvic.ca/news
More info on UVic’s 50th anniversary celebrations: www.uvic.ca/anniversary
More info on particle physics research at UVic: www.uvic.ca/science/physics/vispa/

Media contacts:

Tara Sharpe (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @uvicnews

UVic is celebrating its 50th anniversary from Sept. 2012 to June 2013: www.uvic.ca/anniversary

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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