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The public lecture titled “Discovery of Higgs bosons” held for commemorating the Nobel Prize in physics, with an audience of about 300 people

The public lecture “Discovery of Higgs bosons” was held in the International Conference Center Masaru Ibuka Auditorium, on 28th, for commemorating the Nobel Prize in physics awarded to Dr. François Englert and Dr. Peter Higgs for discovering Higgs bosons, which are considered as the origin of mass. About 300 people, including elementary school students and elderly people, attended this lecture.

A Higgs boson was the only elementary particle that had not been discovered in “Standard Model,” which is the base of particle physics. Although this particle is indispensable for embodying the current state of universe, it took about 50 years to observe it since its existence was proposed. In 2012, researchers got together from around the world, repeated experiments with the cutting-edge research apparatus Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe, and succeeded in glimpsing the particle.

Professor Kobayashi of the University of Tokyo

Associate Professor Yorita of Waseda University

Professor Kitano of KEK

At the lecture, Professor Tomio Kobayashi (co-leader of ATLAS Japan, the University of Tokyo) and Associate Professor Kohei Yorita (Waseda University), who contributed significantly to the discovery of Higgs bosons as well as members of a group for LHC ATLAS experiment, and Professor Ryuichiro Kitano (High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)), who is a researcher of the theory of elementary particles et al. talked about their dramatic experiences regarding Higgs bosons and the future outlook for the research into elementary particles.

Professor Kobayashi of the University of Tokyo explained the history of the development of Standard Model for “elementary particles,” which are the smallest unit for constituting materials, the outline of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which manages the colossal LHC with a circumference of 27 km, the fact that Japanese technologies and finance contributed significantly to the construction of LHC, and the contribution of Japanese researchers in the ATLAS experiment.

Associate Professor Yorita of Waseda University not only talked about physics, but also mentioned behind-the-scenes episodes, including the fact that this discovery in the experiment led to the Nobel Prize in physics and the reason why only Dr. Englert and Dr. Higgs received the Nobel Prize, while another paper regarding Higgs bosons was also published in the same year.

In addition, the mass produced by Higgs bosons was described understandably by using an attraction of Disneyland, which utilizes the illusion of human beings, as an example, and a lecturer talked about the toil of young researchers who searched Higgs bosons 24 hours a day for a long period of time. The lecturers mentioned that the discovery of Higgs bosons ushered in a new phase of research and it is possible to receive the Nobel Prize by changing your way of thinking. The lecture conveyed the passion of research to audience, exciting them. Yorita’s laboratory contributes to the research by dispatching the students of the master’s and doctoral courses to CERN, developing devices for analyzing the data of Higgs bosons, and analyzing them.

At the end of the lecture, Professor Ryuichiro Kitano of KEK introduced the hypothesis of “supersymmetry theory,” which exceeds the theory of relativity and is beyond the discovery of Higgs bosons. He talked about the future of physics filled with dreams, mentioning that every part of universe is connected to the hidden space called superspace and LHC is aimed at observing the supersymmetric particles breaking through the barrier of superspace.


Yorita’s laboratory