The University of Chicago News Office
Sept. 16, 2004 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366

Lecture Series to highlight ‘The Origin of Mass in Particle Physics’

The University of Chicago’s Ambreesh Gupta will explore the mystery surrounding the origin of mass in a series of free, public lectures at the University of Chicago beginning Saturday, Oct. 2.

The series of 10 lectures, titled “The Origin of Mass in Particle Physics,” will be held Saturdays until Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to noon in room 106 of the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 S. Ellis Ave. There will be no lecture on Nov. 27.

Gupta, a Research Scientist in the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, will discuss how mass, a familiar perception in daily life, has played a pivotal role in physics since Newton discovered the laws of motion more than three centuries ago.

Scientists today use a description of the fundamental building blocks of nature called the standard model of particle physics to guide their research. Missing from this description is the experimental confirmation of its prediction related to the origin of mass. One of the largest experimental endeavors ever undertaken is now in progress to understand this mystery, Gupta said.

Gupta received his bachelor’s degree in 1992 from Gorakhpur University in India, his master’s degree in 1994 from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, and his Ph.D. from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research while working on the D experiment at Fermilab. He is a member of the ATLAS and OPAL collaborations, two major research groups conducting research at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory.

The talks are the 60th series of Arthur Holly Compton Lectures, sponsored each fall and spring by the University’s Enrico Fermi Institute. Compton was a University of Chicago physicist and a Nobel laureate, best known for demonstrating that light has the characteristics of both a wave and a particle. He also organized the effort to produce plutonium for the atomic bomb and directed the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, where Fermi and his colleagues produced the first controlled nuclear chain reaction in 1942.

The lectures are intended to make science accessible to a general audience and to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the physical sciences. Previous topics have ranged from the smallest fundamental particles to the history of the universe. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 702-7823.
Last modified at 09:04 AM CST on Friday, September 17, 2004.

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