High energy physics

headshot image of Sarah DemersSarah Demers, a professor at Yale University, will give a public lecture and physics seminar April 27-28 at UWL.

Physics speaker presents ‘finding the building blocks of the universe’ April 27 at UWL

High energy physicists accelerate particle beams to near the speed of light, smash them into each other, and use the debris from the collisions to try to understand the basic building blocks of the universe and the forces through which they interact.

Sarah Demers, a professor at Yale University, will give two presentations at UW-La Crosse related to high energy physics. Both are free and open to the public.

Demers will describe current knowledge of the particles of the universe, including the newest find, the Higgs Boson, during the presentation “High Energy Physics: Finding the Building Blocks of the Universe” at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in Skogen Auditorium A, Room 1400, UWL Centennial Hall.

Demers will share information about the current highest energy machine, the Large Hadron Collider, located at the international laboratory, CERN. This machine accelerates protons around a 27 kilometer ring that is buried 100 meters underground and crosses the border between France and Switzerland. Thousands of physicists use the data from the proton collisions to test current models of physics and search for new particles and undiscovered forces.

Physics seminar “High Energy Physics: The Tools of the Trade” is April 28

Demers will also give a physics seminar “High Energy Physics: The Tools of the Trade” at 3:20 p.m. Friday, April 28, in Room 100 Cowley Hall, UWL. In this talk Demers will describe the tools of particle physics. How do accelerators work? What are the detectors that we use? What limitations do current devices put on the physics that we can explore? And how do our experiments of thousands of collaborators function? Starting from a history of the early experiments and using some electricity and magnetism, Demers will explore a current particle physics experiment from the inside. With a focus on the ATLAS Experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, Demers will introduce the public to the detector and present the latest results.

About Sarah Demers

Sarah Demers, the Horace D. Taft Associate Professor of Physics at Yale University, received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University in 1999 and a doctoral degree from the University of Rochester in 2005, where she worked on the CDF Experiment at Fermilab. After teaching for two years as an assistant professor at Roberts Wesleyan College, she returned to research with a postdoctoral research position for Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Center, based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. She joined the faculty at Yale in 2009. Her work has been recognized with an Early Career Award from the Department of Energy, as well as a US ATLAS Fellowship for work on the upgrade of her experiment. She has several teaching and service awards from Yale. She is currently a member of the ATLAS and Mu2e Collaborations.