Professor Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, presented a lecture to a packed lecture theatre at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh Campus This is Professor Heuer's first and only engagement in the UK following the CERN team's announcement on the 4th of July of the discovery of a 'Higgs-like' Boson, popularly known as God's Particle.
The lecture noted that with the start of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, particle physics entered a new era as the LHC will provide a deeper understanding of the universe and the insights gained could change our view of the world. Professor Heuer's lecture also presented some of the reasons for the excitement surrounding the team's current work as the LHC is expected to yield insights into the origin of mass, the nature of dark matter, and the existence of hidden extra dimensions. He also outlined the work behind the July 4th announcement on the Higgs-like Boson, and said that, while verification work continues, he would stick his neck out and say that he believed the Higgs Boson had been found.
In the audience was Professor Peter Higgs, who first postulated the existence of the particle now named after him in the 1960's and who joined Professor Heuer for a question and answer session following the lecture. A video recording of the lecture is available.
Referring to the fact that the Higgs-Boson had featured in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, Professor Heuer said that it signalled that science was claiming its place in popular culture. Asked about the effect the announcement of the apparent Higgs Boson discovery had had on him, Professor Higgs said, "Life is getting more eventful."
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