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The long road to the Higgs boson

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fionn Bishop.

The discovery in July 2012 of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), one of the most important of this new century, completes the particle content of the standard model (SM) of particle physics, a theory that describes our visible universe in exquisite detail. At the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN , Geneva we can probe Nature moments after the Big Bang to tackle the questions about the origin, evolution and composition of our universe. These include: What is the origin of mass? What constitutes dark matter? How many dimensions of space and time do we live in? Why is the universe composed of matter and not antimatter? The answers have the potential of altering our perception of how Nature operates at the fundamental level. This talk will briefly outline the theoretical and experimental work that led to the creation of the SM and discuss the journey to the discovery of the Higgs boson, and look ahead. The CMS experiment at the LHC will be used as an example to briefly recall the physics aims, outline some of the challenges faced during its construction, and major physics results produced so far, including the searches for widely anticipated new physics beyond the SM. It is known that the SM is only a low energy manifestation of a more complete theory. Discovery of new fundamental physics should illuminate the road ahead to the cherished goal of a unified theory of all physical phenomena in Nature. The talk will also touch upon the societal impact of fundamental research, CERN and the LHC .

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Physics Society series.

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