Capitol Hill Event to Celebrate Banner Year for U.S. Particle Physics

The U.S. particle physics community will host a reception on Nov. 20 in the Rayburn Building Foyer to celebrate the anniversary of the Higgs boson discovery and the announcement of this year's Nobel Prize in physics to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs whose theoretical work inspired the decades-long search for the Higgs particle.

Joseph Incandela, a physicist at the University of California–Santa Barbara and leader of CMS — one of two experiments that made the Higgs discovery — will address the attendees at 6 p.m. He will highlight the leading role U.S. particle physicists played in the successful search for the elusive particle.

Refreshments will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Members of Congress and their staff will be apprised of the leading role of the U.S. particle physics community in the discovery of the Higgs boson, as well as recent particle physics advances. The APS Division of Particles and Fields and the Universities Research Association, Inc. are co-sponsoring the event.

The discovery of the Higgs boson, announced on July 4, 2012 and celebrated around the world, elevated public interest in scientific research in an unexpected and astonishing way. On Oct. 8, 2013, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded jointly to Englert and Higgs for their theoretical work that contributed to scientists' understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles. Their research underpinned the Higgs discovery, which scientists confirmed through experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

The discovery was made possible by global scientific collaborations, including more than 1,500 U.S. scientists from national laboratories and more than 80 universities. They provided key ideas, talent, technology and leadership, building on 25 years of experience at Fermilab's Tevatron. Pushpa Bhat, a Fermilab scientist who worked on the CMS experiment, called the discovery "a great moment."

Incandela will also take note of other activities of the particle physics community this past year, including an intense planning study, "Snowmass on the Mississippi," that has set the stage for future work in the field.

Inquires about the reception can be sent to event co-chairs Pushpa Bhat, of Fermilab, or Ian Shipsey, of Purdue University, at

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