Frank Close is Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics, and Fellow Emeritus at Exeter College. He was formerly Head of Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, vice President of the British Science Association and Head of Communications and Public Understanding at CERN. He was awarded the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics for his 'outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics' in 1996, an OBE for 'services to research and the public understanding of science in 2000, and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for communicating science in 2013. He is the only professional physicist to have won a British Science Writers Prize on three occasions.
Author of 20 books about science, the latest "Elusive: How Peter Higgs Solved the Mystery of Mass", marks the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs Boson. On July 4, 2012, the announcement came that one of the longest-running mysteries in physics had been solved: the Higgs boson, the missing piece in understanding why particles have mass, had finally been discovered. On the rostrum, surrounded by jostling physicists and media, was the particle’s retiring namesake—the only person in history to have an existing single particle named for them. Why Peter Higgs? Drawing on years of conversations with Higgs and others, Close illuminates how an unprolific man became one of the world’s most famous scientists. Close finds that scientific competition between people, institutions, and states played as much of a role in making Higgs famous as Higgs’s work did.
Topics Discussed Include:
The mystique and character of Peter Higgs
A brief history of CERN and the LHC
The influence of Freeman Dyson.
What part did the Nobel Prize play in motivating Peter Higgs?
A brief history of particle physics and super-colliders.
The Large Electron Positron (LEP) Collider, precursor to the LHC.
The Nobel Prize for the Higgs Boson: Was it given fairly? Who deserves credit?
Frank's advice to his younger self for going into the impossible.
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