The Particle Physics Christmas Lecture

Date: 
3 Dec 2016 - 11:00am to 4:00pm
Venue: 
Denys Wilkinson Building, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH

The Department of Physics is pleased to present the inaugural Particle Physics Christmas Lecture

"The Future of Particle Physics"

by Professor John Womersley (STFC)*

Hosted by John Wheater (Head Department of Physics) & Ian Shipsey (Head Sub-department of Particle Physics)

Professor John Womersley (STFC)

Abstract:
In the past five years particle physicists have made major advances in understanding the nature of our universe – discovering the Higgs boson, and more recently detecting gravitational waves from a distant galaxy. Paradoxically we have also learned a lot more about what we don’t know: that the particles and forces we understand in ever greater detail make up only a small fraction of what’s in the cosmos, and that our theoretical prejudices about what remains to be discovered may have been very wrong. A new generation of ambitious experiments at accelerator laboratories, underground, and studying at the large scale structure of the universe will answer these questions – and surely open up others. I will also outline why it is essential that the country remains at the forefront of frontier research of this kind and how it contributes more broadly to society.

Programme for the day

11:00 - 11:30 Welcome and refreshments
11:30 – 12:15 Lecture
12:15 – 13:45 Buffet lunch and drinks
13:45 – 14:30 Panel discussion
14:30 – 16:00 Buffet dessert, tea and coffee
16:00 End of event

*Speaker's biography: Professor John Womersley is Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the United Kingdom's funding agency for particle physics, nuclear physics and astronomy, for large scale science facilities and national laboratories.
A graduate of Cambridge and Oxford (D. Phil. Experimental Physics), he has played a leading role in particle physics both in Europe and the United States. John worked at Fermilab before becoming a scientific advisor to the Department of Energy in the US. He returned to the UK in 2005 to become Director of the Particle Physics Department at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at a time when it was building and delivering vital components to CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In time John took on a broader role as Director of the Science Programmes Office and was then appointed Chief Executive in 2011.
He represents the UK in a number of international forums, most notably CERN Council, the Fermilab (FRA) Board and the board of the SKA telescope. John has chaired the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the European Commission's Expert Group on Cost Control and Management in Large Research Infrastructures. John has also served on numerous review panels and boards as an expert including the Helmholtz Association and the Human Brain Project.

The event is free and open to all physics alumni, their guests, staff and students. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Booking is now closed, but if you would like to attend, please email alumni@physics.ox.ac.uk to check availability.