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STEM Café to explain mysterious Higgs boson

Famously dubbed the “God particle,” the Higgs boson took thousands of scientists nearly five decades to discover, at a cost that one journalist estimated at $13.25 billion.

Over the past 18 months, there has been plenty of hype about “the Higgs,” beginning with the boson’s discovery in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Just last month, the Nobel Prize in physics went to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, two of the scientists who developed theories in the 1960s that predicted the elementary particle.

As part of its STEM Café series, NIU STEM Outreach invites the public to a discussion on the importance of the Higgs discovery.

The free event will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Claddagh Irish Pub, in the Geneva Commons. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Northern Illinois University physics professor Dhiman Chakraborty will provide a layman’s perspective on the profound nature of the theory predicting the Higgs and talk about how scientists confirmed the theory experimentally. He leads a group of NIU scientists and students who are members of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN, one of the two experiments that jointly discovered the Higgs boson last year.

Geared for the general public, NIU’s monthly STEM Cafés present cutting-edge research in science, technology, engineering and math, followed by question-and-answer sessions led by NIU’s STEM experts.

For more information, contact Judith Dymond at 815-753-4751 or jdymond@niu.edu.

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