The largest scientific machine ever constructed, the Large Hadron Collider outside of Geneva, will be releasing the first significant results later this summer. The data from this experiment could have a dramatic effect on our beliefs about the origin of matter, the properties of space and time, and the mysterious contents of the Universe. In this talk, I will describe the Large Hadron Collider and explain why we do such experiments. I will also talk about the underlying rules of Nature, governed by Quantum Field Theory, and describe some of the fantastical things we hope to see: dark matter, supersymmetry, or extra dimensions. Finally, I will describe the historical context of this moment in science and the uncertainty of the future direction of fundamental physics.
Dramatic Impact: A Visit to the LHC
July 14, 2011
David Kaplan, JHU & KITP
David Kaplan is a professor of theoretical particle physics at Johns Hopkins University. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, David held research positions at the University of Chicago and Stanford's Linear Accelerator Center. He has been awarded the Outstanding Junior Investigator prize from the Department of Energy and named an Alfred P. Sloan fellow. He has been a featured host and consultant on numerous science programs for the History Channel and National Geographic. He is a creator and producer of Particle Fever, an upcoming feature-length documentary about the Large Hadron Collider.