In 2013, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for their work on what is now commonly known as the Higgs field and the Higgs boson. The existence of this fundamental particle, responsible for the creation of mass, was confirmed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in 2012. The journey between the initial proposals of the theory in the 1960s and the discovery of the particle itself has been fraught, not only with technical challenges, but with fierce debates within the scientific community.
Below, you can listen to Frank Close, author of The Infinity Puzzle: The personalities, politics, and extraordinary science behind the Higgs boson, discuss the stories behind this work in quantum physics. The podcast is recorded by the Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association who produce regular Oxford SciBar podcasts.
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Frank Close is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and former head of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. During his career he has worked closely with CERN, home of the LHC. He is a well-established science writer, and his recent short books for The Void and Antimatter – have been highly successful. In 2013 Professor Close was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for communicating science. He is the author of The Infinity Puzzle, Particle Physics, Nothing, Antimatter, and Neutrino.