Dr Heather Gray, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States

This five-lecture course will begin with an introduction to particle physics and introduce the Higgs boson and the special role it plays in different theories. The various ways to produce and decay the Higgs boson will be outlined. This will be followed by a discussion of the experimental tools, accelerators and detectors used to create and measure tiny particles. The next two lectures will examine two methods that have been, and are, used to detect the Higgs boson: either using light or heavy particles. These two methods played a critical role in the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN in 2012. The final lecture will review what is currently known about the Higgs boson and discuss what scientific possibilities the future may hold.



1.     What is the Higgs boson?

2.     Accelerators and detectors: creating and measuring tiny particles

3.     Seeing the Higgs with light

4.     Seeing the Higgs with heavy particles

5.     We’ve found the Higgs. What’s next?


Recommended reading

The particle adventure: the fundamentals of matter and force.

The Higgs Boson comic.

Any introductory particle physics textbook


Date: 22–26 January 
Time: 9.15 am
COURSE  FEES  Full: R510,00  Staff: R255,00  Reduced: R130,00