From the Electron to the Higgs- The Long Twentieth Century of Particle Physics – :Dr Ravi Sinha

Guest Post by Dr Ravi Sinha










The 9th lecture (in Hindi) in the Umang Library popular science series will happen this Sunday, December 13, at 5 PM IST. The series is aimed at creating awareness about science in the Hindi belt of India.

Abstract : From the Electron to the Higgs: The Long Twentieth Century of Particle Physics

In 1897 J J Thomson discovered the electron with a Cathode Ray Tube that could fit on a small table in his Cavendish Laboratory. In 2012 the Higgs particle was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider which is the largest scientific instrument ever built (it is a particle accelerator that sits in a tunnel 27 kilometres in circumference and required billions of dollars to build). If the 1897 discovery inaugurated particle physics, the 2012 one was the culmination of the chain of stunning discoveries of new particles spread across these 115 years. In this lecture we will tell the story of the major landmarks of this long century of particle physics which include discoveries of the proton, of anti-particles and of quarks. This is the epic story of the eternal quest of humankind for the most fundamental laws of Nature and the most fundamental constituents of matter. Like all the lectures in this series this lecture too will be accessible to high school students and to curious lay persons.

इलेक्ट्रॉन से हिग्स पार्टिकल तकपार्टिकल फ़िज़िक्स की दीर्घ शताब्दी 

  • रविसिन्हा 

सन 1897 में जे जे थॉमसन ने कैवेंडिश लेबोरेटरी में इलेक्ट्रॉन की खोज जिस कैथोड रे ट्यूब नाम के उपकरण से की वह एक छोटे से टेबल पर रक्खा जा सकता था. सन 2012 में जिस लार्ज हेड्रॉन कोलाइडर में हिग्स पार्टिकल की खोज हुई वह संसार का विशालतम वैज्ञानिक उपकरण है. यह पार्टिकल एक्सेलरेटर 27 किलोमीटर के घेरे वाली भूगर्भीय टनल में स्थित है और इसके निर्माण और संचालन का बजट अरबों डॉलर का है.  इलेक्ट्रॉन की खोज से यदि पार्टिकल फ़िज़िक्स का उद्घाटन हुआ तो हिग्स पार्टिकल की खोज एक तरह से पार्टिकल फ़िज़िक्स के 115 सालों के इतिहास का चरम बिन्दु है.  इस व्याख्यान में हम पार्टिकल फ़िज़िक्स की इस लम्बी सदी पर नज़र डालेंगे और उन स्तब्धकारी उपलब्धियों की कथा कहेंगे जिसमें प्रोटॉन की, एन्टी-पार्टिकल की और क्वार्क्स (quarks) की खोज की कहानियाँ शामिल हैं.  यह प्रकृति के मूलभूत नियमों और पदार्थ के मूलभूत कणों के सन्धान की वह महागाथा है जिसे इस मुकाम तक पहुँचने में ढाई हज़ार साल लगे हैं लेकिन जिसे पिछली सदी में ही अंजाम दिया जा सका है. इस शृंखला के अन्य व्याख्यानों की ही तरह यह व्याख्यान भी हाइ स्कूल के विद्यार्थियों और जिज्ञासु आम लोगों के लिए बोधगम्य रहेगा.

About Dr. Ravi Sinha:

Dr Ravi Sinha is a physicist, author, scholar and activist. Trained as a theoretical physicist, he obtained his doctoral degree in theoretical nuclear physics from MIT, Cambridge, USA in 1982. He worked as a physicist at University of Maryland, College Park, USA, at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, and at Gujarat University, Ahmedabad.  Midway through his professional career he resigned from his job as a physicist and University faculty to devote full time to organizing and theorizing.

He is also a science communicator writing and giving popular lectures on science, history and philosophy of science and on the present frontiers of theoretical physics. His Hindi booklet, “Quantum ke Sau Saal” (“One Hundred Years of the Quantum”) written around the turn of the millennium became quite popular with the Hindi audiences.

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