The Higgs Boson Has Been Found? So ... what is it and who cares?

Particle Collision What is everything made of? Our current best answer to this question is given by the “Standard Model of Particle Physics,” a list of roughly 20 particles that form the building blocks of everything we have ever observed, created, or measured in a lab. The Standard Model was developed as a theory in the 1970s, but at the time about half of those particles had not been observed. By the year 2000 all of them had been found except for the most mysterious and elusive particle in the theory, the “Higgs Boson.” The observation of the Higgs Boson in 2012 completed our verification of the theory.

In this talk I’ll discuss what the Standard Model says, how the Higgs Boson fits into this model, how it was discovered, and why this discovery was so crucial to our understanding of the basic laws of the universe. I’ll also talk about some of the reasons we know for certain that the Standard Model is not complete, and some of the ways we are working to further our understanding of the basic building blocks of nature.

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