Fermilab’s Hooper to talk Higgs at TEDxNaperville

Fermilab scientist Dan Hooper will discuss Higgs theory on Friday at TEDxNaperville. Photo: Reidar Hahn

If you’re interested in delving deeper into what the Higgs boson is all about, you’ll want to attend Fermilab physicist Dan Hooper’s talk at TEDxNaperville on Friday, Nov. 9.

Hooper, author of two physics books for non-physicists and an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago, said he hopes to bring his listeners further into the science of the Higgs discovery without getting too technical.

“There are no equations in my talk, so it’s not hardcore theory in that sense,” he said. “But I’m trying to treat the audience like grown-ups.”

Hooper’s talk will begin with the problem the Higgs theory was designed to solve—the fact that the W and Z bosons should be massless but in fact are heavier than the proton. Hooper will discuss the notion of a Higgs field, first put forth in 1964, and show how decades of searching led to the first real evidence of a possible Higgs boson earlier this year at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

Hooper’s presentation is scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. at the Grounds for Hope Café, 2701 Maple Avenue in Lisle.

This is the third year for TEDxNaperville, an outgrowth of the original TED conference in California. This year’s local event features a dozen speakers and promises an “immersive, high-tech experience.” Tickets are $50 and can be ordered online. For more information, visit the TEDxNaperville website.

Andre Salles