An introduction to particle physics (short course) June 2023

Dr Harry Cliff presents a six part introduction to the world of particle physics in a repeat of his sucessful short course

An LHC collision in which a Higgs Boson is produced.

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.

All sessions start at 7.00pm. The timetable is:

Monday 5th June 2023

Monday 12th June 2023 

Monday 19th June 2023

Monday 26th June 2023

Monday 3rd July 2023

Monday 10th July 2023

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 £400 (£340 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.

About Harry Cliff

Harry Cliff is a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge working on the LHCb experiment, a huge particle detector buried 100 metres underground at CERN near Geneva. He is a member of an international team of around 1400 physicists, engineers and computer scientists using LHCb to study the basic building blocks of our universe in search of answers to some of the biggest questions in modern physics.