The Higgs boson at the LHC - a voyage to the heart of matter | by Christophe GROJEAN | December 18

Tuesday 18 December 2012
at 8.30 p.m.

Globe of Science and Innovation
Route de Meyrin, 1211 Geneva

Lecture will be in French - Translation available in English
No specialist knowledge required - Entrance free
Limited number of seats - registration is essential
Reservation: +41 22 767 76 76

The Sun has been warming our backs for several billion years now, and it’s all thanks to a handful of elementary particles and their mass.

The Higgs boson is a particle that interacts with others, giving them mass. The long and painstaking search for this elusive particle finally bore fruit in July this year – but only one in 10 billion collisions in the LHC produces a Higgs boson. Worse still – no sooner is it produced than it vanishes again and is replaced by other, run-of-the-mill particles.

You might ask: “what on earth can we learn from the discovery of a new particle?” Quite a lot, as it happens. It might explain why matter dominates antimatter in the Universe, or help us understand the nature of dark matter, or reveal the existence of new structures of matter, or new fundamental forces, or even tell us how many dimensions are occupied by our space-time.


Christophe Grojean is a physicist who works in the Theory Group of the CERN Physics Department and for the Autonomous University of Barcelona (IFAE/ICREA). He specialises in theoretical physics and cosmology and has developed a talent for communication on particle physics and the Universe.