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posted: 7/11/2017 11:28 AM

Exploring how 'Neutrinos are Everywhere' at Friday lecture

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  • Dr. Joe Lykken, Chief Research Officer at Fermilab, will present "Neutrinos are Everywhere" as part of the Fermilab Arts & Lecture series on Friday, July 14.

    Dr. Joe Lykken, Chief Research Officer at Fermilab, will present "Neutrinos are Everywhere" as part of the Fermilab Arts & Lecture series on Friday, July 14.
    Courtesy of Fermilab

 
Submitted by Fermilab

The Fermilab Arts and Lectures Series continues with "Neutrinos are Everywhere," a lecture by Dr. Joe Lykken, chief research officer at Fermilab, at 8 p.m. Friday, July 14, in Ramsey Auditorium in Wilson Hall, off Pine Street in Batavia. Tickets, $7, are available now. For information or telephone reservations, call (630) 840-ARTS (2787) weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Neutrinos are the oddballs of elementary particles, and their peculiar properties suggest connections to many of the big mysteries of particle physics. Enrico Fermi was the first to propose a way to detect them and to officially bestow their name. The story of Fermi's "little neutral ones" has already many surprises and inspiring examples of daring experimental initiative.

Today, a host of new experiments are trying to unlock the secrets of these elusive particles. Most ambitious is the proposed Long Baseline Neutrino Facility at Fermilab, which will send neutrinos 800 miles through the Earth to 70,000 tons of liquid argon detectors located a mile underground in South Dakota. The detectors will be built and operated by a newly formed scientific collaboration called DUNE (for Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment), a global effort of 150 universities and labs from 30 countries. This lecture will help the audience understand why so many physicists are betting their own futures on neutrinos, and how discoveries from DUNE could change our understanding of how the universe works.

Lykken has worked at Fermilab as a theoretical physicist since 1989, and has acted as Fermilab's deputy director for research and chief research officer since 2014. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is known for theoretical research in a variety of areas including supersymmetry, superstrings, and extra dimensions. He is a member of the CMS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where he worked on searches for supersymmetry and on the characterization of the properties of the newly discovered Higgs boson.

At 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, the lecture, From King Kong to Crouching Tiger: A Physicist Goes to the Movies, by Dr. Andrew Cohen, Boston University. Tickets are $7.

Hollywood is well known for exercising poetic license in its depiction of many aspects of the natural world. Surprisingly such films provide a remarkably fertile environment for the exploration of many aspects of science and scientific reasoning. By examining selected scenes from a few such films we can experience the kind of quantitative analysis employed by scientists in their approach to understanding the world around us. Join Dr. Cohen for an analytical look at the movies on August 11.

Cohen is professor of physics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Boston University. He is currently the director of the HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study and the Lam Woo Foundation Chair Professor of Physics at HKUST. He holds degrees in music and physics from Stanford University and received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Harvard University. A former Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and chairman of the board of the Aspen Center for Physics, Cohen conducts research on the physics of elementary particles. At Boston University he created the course "Cinema Physica" that introduces nonscience concentrators to the principles of quantitative scientific reasoning through the analysis of popular films.

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