Speaker: Professor Peter Jenni

Venue: Inkanyezi Building Auditorium
Date: 8 Dec
Time: 17:45 – 18:45
Since 2010 the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) investigate particle physics at the highest collision energies ever achieved in a laboratory. Following initial new results for Standard Model physics came in summer 2012 the spectacular discovery by the ATLAS and CMS experiments observing a new, heavy particle which is the long-awaited Higgs boson, fundamental to the understanding of Nature in its smallest components. Ten years on, much has been learned about the boson, which could be also a key to new physics beyond the Standard Model. Building up the experimental programme with this unique high-energy collider and developing the very sophisticated detectors built and operated by world-wide collaborations, including ATLAS teams from South Africa, meant an incredible scientific, technological and human adventure spanning more than three decades. The talk will focus in part on the history of the overall project leading to the Higgs boson discovery.


Peter Jenni, Swiss, borne in 1948, obtained his Diploma for Physics at the University of Bern in 1973 and his Doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Z├╝rich (ETHZ) in 1976. He is an experimental particle physicist. Peter participated in various CERN experiments since 1972, during 1978/9 he was a Research Associate at the SLAC, USA. He became a CERN staff in 1980 with the UA2 experiment at the SPS proton-antiproton collider. His strong interest and activities are with the LHC since the beginning in 1984. From 1991 onwards his main activities concentrated on the informal spokespersonship of an LHC proto-Collaboration. In 1995, after formal approval ATLAS, he was elected ATLAS Spokesperson. He was re-elected several times and retired from this duty in February 2009. But he continues to enjoy particle physics at the high-energy frontier up to today, as an active ATLAS member and CERN user. Since his formal retirement as a CERN Senior Research Staff (April 2013), he is a Guest Scientist and Honorary Professor with the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany and with USTC, Hefei, China. Peter has served on, and still is member of, numerous international science advisory committees and strategy fora in different regions of the globe. Throughout his career Peter was always highly motivated to make cutting edge science projects, in particular ATLAS, accessible to everybody over the globe. He enthusiastically shares his experience in lectures and public talks. He is aware of the great privilege he has had being part of major discoveries at hadron colliders (jets, W, Z, and Higgs boson).

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