No word on whether Sheldon, Leonard or Penny will be there, but the International Workshop on Future Linear Colliders will draw plenty of star power to the University of Texas at Arlington in late October. Particle physicists from around the world will attend, and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg will deliver a public lecture Oct. 24.
Weinberg, the Jack S. Josey-Welch Foundation Chair in Science Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has published his ideas in books for general audiences including The First Three Minutes, Dreams of a Final Theory and Lake Views. He will speak on "The Standard Model, Higgs Boson, Who cares?" at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24.
The semiannual conference, being held in Texas for the first time, has added significance because of the July 4 announcement from researchers at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, that they've almost certainly found the elusive Higgs boson. As the next step in discovery, the proposed International Linear Collider would be a 19.3-mile-long collider to complement and expand the work of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, said Jaehoon Yu, UT Arlington physics professor and co-organizer of the event.
"This summer's announcement of a Higgs-like particle allows us to take the linear collider idea to the next level," Yu said. "... The linear collider could give us a host of new information about this new particle and help address other mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy."
Scientists at the October gathering will discuss concepts for the ILC, which consists of two linear accelerators that face each other, and the Compact Linear Collider, another potential project being studied at CERN. Both colliders would ultimately reach energies of 1 TeV (trillion electron volts) or more.
Yu and other scientists from UT Arlington's Center of Excellence for High Energy Physics have worked on the LHC for more than a decade. He and professor Andrew White are also heavily involved in plans for the International Linear Collider, an estimated $10 billion project that would take a decade to build.