Schedule Apr 30, 2003
Neutrinos Get Under Your Skin
Dr. Boris Kayser, Fermilab
The universe is made of tiny particles. Among the most abundant of these are the enigmatic neutrinos. They are a billion times more abundant than the particles of which the earth and we humans are made. Thus, to understand the universe, we must understand the neutrinos. Moving ghostlike, almost invisibly, through matter, these particles are very hard to pin down and study. However, dramatic progress has recently been made.

In this lecture, the neutrinos will be introduced. Their behavior, so different from that of everyday objects, will be explained, and the recent discoveries will be described. The open questions about neutrinos, the coming attempts to answer these questions, and the role of neutrinos in shaping the universe and making human life possible, will all be explained.

Kayser is an overtly enthusiastic particle physics theorist who has been particularly interested in the physics of neutrinos and the asymmetry between matter and anti-matter. An author of well over 100 scientific papers, he is also co-author of a popular slender book on neutrino physics and a frequent, enthusiastic speaker on particle physics. He earned a B.S. in physics from Princeton in 1960. He received a Ph.D. in particle physics from CalTech. For nearly three decades, Kayser served as Program Director for Theoretical Physics at the National Science Foundation, in which capacity he was instrumental in establishing the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. He joined the staff of Fermilab in October 2001, with the title of Fermilab distinguished scientist to spend full time on his first love -- physics research.

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