SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, September 20, 2013 7:30pm
The Cosmos and the Quark
Professor Mark Alford
We live in an expanding universe, where mysterious "dark matter" shapes the galaxies and even more enigmatic "dark energy" is driving the expansion rate faster. Meanwhile, particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider in Europe have probed the building blocks of matter at the smallest distances ever explored. One of its discoveries is the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is the sub-atomic particle thought to impart mass, somehow, to the matter – including humans - that makes up the universe. How does our knowledge of the smallest particles relate to our understanding the structure and history of our universe? That is the topic of this lecture.
Dr. Mark Alford is a Professor of Physics, Chairman of the Department of Physics, and a Fellow of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University. His teaching and research center on the study of quarks and their properties, Quarks are the building blocks of protons and neutrons, which, in turn, are the building blocks of all atoms. He is currently investigating the properties of quark matter – the extremely high density state of matter inside neutron stars.
Introduction of Officers
ASTRO 101: TBA