Particle Physics: The Boulevard of Broken Symmetries by Sijbrand de Jong

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Title Particle Physics: The Boulevard of Broken Symmetries
Lecturer Sijbrand de Jong
Type Lecture
Time and location 11:15 - 12:15 @ Gezellenzaal

About Particle Physics: The Boulevard of Broken Symmetries

The common wisdom, certainly in mathematics, is that symmetry equals beauty. However, in human psychology nearly symmetric appears to be most often more beautiful than perfect symmetry. Surprisingly, or not, the same holds in physics, where a slight imperfection in a symmetry leads to spectacularly more beautiful phenomena. This will be demonstrated in elementary particle physics, where the central concept is the symmetry group. The relation between mathematical symmetry groups and physical forces will be demonstrated. It will then be shown how the introduction of slight imperfections in the symmetry give a much richer palette of physics phenomena and indeed are essential for the universe as we know it.

About Sijbrand de Jong

Sijbrand de Jong is professor of experimental physics at Radboud University. He has done research with particle colliders at DESY in Hamburg, CERN near Geneva and Fermilab near Chicago, working with collisions of nearly all stable elementary particles, such as neutrinos, electrons, positrons, muons, protons and anti-protons. His research at particle colliders has focussed on advancing our knowledge of electroweak symmetry breaking.

At this moment De Jong is active at the Pierre Auger Observatorium in Argentina, researching cosmic rays at the highest energy. He has recently obtained a NWO large grant to install a layer of novel cosmic ray detectors using radio frequency radiation in this Observatory.
In addition to research and education, De Jong has held many manegerial positions, such as director of the School for Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics, and the Radboud Pre-University College of Science all at Radboud University and more recently he has been President of the CERN Council.