Dr. Christopher Kolda to present 28th Rimes Lecture

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 10:45am

MOBILE, Ala. – Dr. Christopher Kolda, professor and associate chair of physics at the University of Notre Dame, will present the 28th annual Rimes Lecture at Spring Hill College. His talk, titled "The Higgs Boson and the Search for Nothingness,” is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7 in the LeBlanc Ballroom of the student center.

Over the past 50 years, physicists have constructed an understanding of the fundamental particles and forces of nature upon a set of ideas that are highly unintuitive yet also extremely accurate at predicting the outcomes of constantly improving measurements. Among the strangest of these ideas is how we have come to regard the vacuum (i.e., nothingness) itself. One key element of our understanding has been a predicted but elusive particle, the Higgs boson. In his talk, Kolda will explain our modern view of the vacuum, how the Higgs boson fits into that picture, why we think we have found the Higgs, and how nature may be overturning our theories even at this moment of scientific triumph.

Kolda received a B.S. in physics and astronomy from Johns Hopkins University (1990) and his M.S. and Ph.D. in theoretical high energy physics from the University of Michigan (1995). He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) from 1995-1998 and a research fellow at the University of California Berkeley from 1998-2000. He has been a member of the faculty at Notre Dame since 2000.

The Rimes lecture, established in 1986 to honor William J. Rimes, S.J., a distinguished chemistry professor and a former president of the College, explores the influence of science upon society. For more information, contact the Division of Sciences at (251) 380-3070.