Searching for the Heaviest and Lightest Particles with Nicholas Rodd Physics Public Lecture

Public Lecture

Searching for the Heaviest and Lightest Particles in the Universe

Nicholas Rodd

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Wed, Jun 26, 5:30–6:30pm

Flug Forum, Aspen Center for Physics

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What is the heaviest particle in the Universe? What is the lightest? The answer to these questions could be dark matter. For decades, we have thought that dark matter would be a particle with a mass similar to the particles we already know about, like the proton or the recently discovered Higgs boson. But in the last decade a revolution has taken place in the field, which has led to a dramatic expansion in the range of masses where we believe dark matter could live. In this talk I will review this revolution, and explain how the discovery of dark matter could amount to detecting dark waves at the location of the Earth, or massive explosions happening throughout the Universe.

Nicholas Rodd Headshot

About Nicholas Rodd

Nick Rodd is a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory working at the interface of particle physics and astrophysics, who spends his days trying to figure out what dark matter is made of. Nick grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and after receiving his undergraduate degree in law, decided he wanted to do the exact opposite and moved into physics. He moved to MIT in the US for his PhD, which he completed under the supervision of Tracy Slatyer in 2018. His thesis, "Listening to the Universe through Indirect Detection," was recognized with two awards, one as the top thesis in particle physics, and separately as the top in astrophysics. Before moving to LBL, Nick was a faculty member in the CERN theory group in Geneva, where he moved after spending three years at UC Berkeley as a Miller Fellow.

Heinz R. Pagels Public Lecture Series

Heinz R Pagels was a professor of physics at Rockefeller University, president of the New York Academy of Science, a trustee of the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Center for Physics for twenty years, serving as a participant, officer, and trustee. He was also President of the International League for Human Rights. His work on chaos theory inspired the character of Ian Malcolm in the Jurassic Park book and movies. A part-time local resident, Professor Pagels died here in a mountaineering accident in 1988. His family and friends instituted the lecture series in his honor because he devoted a substantial part of his life to effective public dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Heinz Pagels

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