An introduction to particle physics (short course)

7.00pm to 8.30pm (every Monday), Monday 15 July

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • An LHC collision in which a Higgs Boson is produced.

    Credit: CERN


Standard £225
Members £190

This covers all six sessions.

Event description

Particle physics is the study of nature at the highest energies and shortest distances that we can probe in a laboratory, an ambitious attempt to construct a fundamental picture of what the universe is made from and how it works.

A repeat of his successful short course, Cambridge physicist Dr Harry Cliff we will discuss the current state of particle physics and the key experiments and insights that led to the development of the Standard Model. As the Large Hadron Collider prepares to restart at even higher energy we will also explore some of the unsolved problems in particle physics and how theorists and experimentalists are trying to solve them.

In this course you will learn:

- How the Standard Model describes matter and forces in terms of quarks, leptons and gauge bosons.
- How a century of experiments and theoretical insights led to the Standard Model.
- A simple introduction to quantum mechanics and special relativity, the two revolutionary ideas that led to modern 'quantum field theory'.
- What the Large Hadron Collider is, how it works and why it was built.
- What the Higgs boson is, why it matters and how it was discovered.
- What questions remain to be answered and how experiments in both particle physics and astronomy are helping us to attack them.

Timetable (all classes start at 7pm):

Monday 15 July
Monday 22 July
Monday 29 July
Monday 5 August
Monday 12 August
Monday 19 August

In addition, course attendees are invited for drinks after the first session to introduce themselves to the group and chat about the course with Dr Cliff in an informal setting.

The course costs £225 (£190 Ri Members) for six sessions, including all course materials and refreshments. The course is for interest only, with no qualification, examination, or certificate of attendence at its conclusion.

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