Okayama University Holds Special Lecture on “Higgs Boson – the Last Elementary Particle”
Okayama University held a special lecture on the Higgs boson, known as the “last” elementary particle, at the 50th Anniversary Hall on August 1. In physics, standard theory holds that there are 17 particles one of which had not been found until recently—the Higgs boson. Things changed not long ago with the discovery by an international research team of what is thought to be the Higgs boson. The special lecture at Okayama University featured Prof. Itsuo Nakano, Director of Research Center of Quantum Universe, a participant in the search for the elusive particle, who spoke about the significance of the discovery.
The event attracted a crowd of approximately 350 people, which included not only Okayama University students, but a number of high school students and citizens as well. In advance of Prof. Nakano’s talk, Hirokazu Ishino, an associate professor at the Department of Physics gave a presentation entitled “Seeking the Secrets of Particle Physics in Space.” Prof. Ishino gave a simple explanation of the types and sizes of particles and why a high energy accelerator is needed to see them. “Particle physics,” he enthused, “will lead us to discovery of the origins of the universe.”
Then it was Prof. Nakano’s turn. He started with an overview of the Higgs boson, which is said to be the origin of mass itself, and went into detail about the make-up of the detector he helped develop as part of the series of experiments performed using the Large Hadron Collider. According to Prof. Nakano, “we cannot rest on the laurels of this great discovery, emphasizing that “the real research starts now.”
He continued: “We need to continue our research into the properties of the new particle and ascertain that it is, in fact, the Higgs boson.”
The professor had a message for the high school students in attendance: “There are many particles besides Higgs-Boson that remain a mystery to us and the onus is on you to unlock those mysteries in future.”
< Photo > Prof. Itsuo Nakano gives his presentation