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Breakthroughs in Science

The Heart of Mass

July 30th, 2012

Terra Magazine at Oregon State University talks with Ken Krane, nuclear scientist and emeritus professor of physics, Oregon State University, to discuss the momentous discovery of the “God Particle” and it’s impact on the field of physics.

The term “God particle” tends to rankle physicists. The flippant reference to the recently discovered particle believed to be the Higgs boson was coined by Leon Lederman, the former director of the Department of Energy’s Fermilab and Nobel Prize winning physicist. But, says Ken Krane, nuclear scientist and emeritus professor of physics at Oregon State University, had it not been for the name, the discovery might not have generated such headlines in July. It was good, he adds, to see physics in the news.

It’s no exaggeration to call the discovery momentous. In July, two teams working at the world’s largest atom smasher (the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland) announced independently that they had strong experimental evidence for the existence of the Higgs. In an interview shortly after the announcement, Krane explained what scientists found, what it means for their science and why it matters to the rest of us.

Krane chaired the Oregon State Department of Physics from 1984 to 1998 and has written or edited nearly 20 books and monographs, as well as dozens of research articles. The American Association of Physics Teachers recognized his exceptional teaching by awarding him its Millikan Medal in 2004.

Read the full interview here.

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