Physics Colloquium: Engines of Discovery

Event Details

  • Speaker(s): Robert Orr
  • Date:
  • Time: 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Science Complex, Atrium Wing, Rm. 1511

Our knowledge of the most fundamental structure of matter has increased enormously over the past 50 years. We now know that quarks and leptons form the most basic structures, at least at this energy scale. We also know that the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces can be understood to be the result of gauge invariance in various abstract spaces. In order to bring gravitation into this framework, many theorists have spent enormous efforts on developing string theory. At the present time, the Large Hadron Collider is coming online. We expect to discover the elusive Higgs boson, and perhaps supersymmetry and new space dimensions. We may even see evidence for the "stringy" nature of matter. These theoretical ideas, and the experiments, are often discussed. However, the accelerator itself often gets little attention. All our knowledge of the most basic level of matter has been due to advances in accelerator science. Accelerators are an amazing union of physics and engineering. I will discuss some of the ideas of basic accelerated beam dynamics, and also talk about the status of the LHC itself.