Brookhaven Physicist William Marciano to Discuss the 'Darkside of Particle Physics' March 15

March 12, 2012 — William Marciano, a prominent theoretical physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, will give the University of Virginia's 2012 annual Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics Lecture on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the Physics Building, room 203.

The title of his talk is "Tales from the Darkside of Particle Physics."

Marciano will discuss the implications of a possible discovery of the much-sought-after Higgs boson, a particle thought to give mass to every other particle in existence and that may be the underlying basis of matter. It is the object of intense experimental searches at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. Some of those investigations involve several physicists from U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences. Marciano will speculate on the Higgs' possible connection to "dark" matter physics, and he also will discuss ongoing and proposed experimental efforts to discover the Higgs.

Marciano is a winner of the American Physics Society's J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Physics and a recipient of the Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

A prominent example of his work is his calculation of theoretical expectations for Brookhaven's "muon g-2" experiment. This calculation indicated a possible deviation from predictions of the Standard Model of Physics, which is the current theory of fundamental particles and how they interact. Marciano is also known for his precision calculations of masses of particles known as "W" and "Z" bosons, which are essential to determining the mass of the Higgs boson.

Marciano received his Ph.D. in physics from New York University in 1974. After serving at Rockefeller University and Northwestern University, he first went to Brookhaven as a research collaborator in 1978, then joined its physics department in 1981. He led that department's High-Energy Theory Group from 1987 to 1998.

For the past 12 years, he has also been an adjunct professor at Yale University. He has served on the High-Energy Physics Advisory Panel to the U.S. Department of Energy; various panels on the future of high-energy physics; and physics and scientific advisory boards at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Fermi National Laboratory, the Superconducting Supercollider, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Marciano's lecture is sponsored by the U.Va. Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, an organization comprising faculty members, research associates and students involved in experimental and theoretical investigations in elementary particle and nuclear physics at U.Va. and laboratories around the world.