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María José Herrero Christopher Llewellyn-Smith Lyn Evans

The Higgs Boson turns 10 years old (Part I)

Life and Matter Sciences Seminar Thrusday, 5 May 2022, 18:00 hours Madrid

General information:

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces - salón de actos. Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity. Simultaneous interpretation.

It belongs to the cycle: The Higgs Boson turns 10 years old.

In cooperation with:

Real Academia de Ciencias, CIEMAT and CERN

  • Description
  • Programme
  • Speaker/s

On July 4 2022, 10 years will have gone since the announcement made at the CERN Main Auditorium of the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the CERN accelerator LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The discovery of this elementary particle, theoretically predicted in 1964, completes de Standard Model of Elementary Particle Physics, formulated in the sixties, which is, undoubted, one the greatest creations in physics developed in the second half of the XX century, as shown by the nearly thirty Nobel Prizes given to its most prestigious protagonists by the Royal Swedish Science Academy, among them François Englert and Peter Higgs in 2013, for inventing the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism of the spontaneous electroweak symmetry breaking, establishing the need of the Higgs Boson. The Swedish Academy explicitly recognized the decisive role played by CERN in its decision.

Fundación Ramón Areces wants to pay tribute to this formidable achievement with the organization of two scientific sessions in which the fundamental theoretical developments and the high precision measurements establish the basis for the search will be discussed. The very large scientific diplomacy and technological process leading to the construction of an exceptional infrastructure at CERN, the large hadron collider, will also be discussed, as well as its experimental areas, the systems for the detection of interactions, the storage and processing of large amounts of data, and the development of new highly complex algorithms, allowing the discovery of the Higgs Boson.This discovery is a wonderful milestone in the process of gathering deep knowledge on the microscopic world and a paradigmatic example of talent, stubbornness, determination and ability to overcome a variety of enormous challenges by the community of high energy elementary particle physicists, confirming the undisputed world leadership of CERN this field of fundamental research.  

In this Symposium, the relevant contributions of the Spanish scientific industrial communities to the development of this unique and ambitious adventure of knowledge will also be emphasized.

María José Herrero. Relevance and search for the Higgs Boson: crossing frontiers of knowledge
The Discovery of the Higgs Boson at the CERN European laboratory 10 years ago was a major landmark in the history of fundamental physics. Since the proposal of its existence in the papers of Higgs, Englert and Brout in 1964 until its discovery in 2012, a tremendous amount of resources have been devoted to research in the field of elementary particle physics and the fundamental interactions, leading to an enlargement of the frontiers of knowledge. This World Wide major investment has led to relevant advances in both theoretical and experimental physics, overcoming, thanks to new technological developments, extremely difficult challenges.  In this seminar, several pillars and basic notions for the existence of the Higgs will be reminded. In addition, we will mention other milestones and relevant developments that took place during the large and intense search period, highlighting the relevance of its discovery. Looking into the future, we will comment how a better understanding of its properties may reveal less well known aspects of this mysterious particle, contributing to cross present frontiers of knowledge.

Christopher Llewellyn-Smith. Genesis of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider)
I will describe the history of the LHC, from first thoughts, through studies of the scientific potential and the evolution of the experimental programme, to the approval and start of construction. As well as the scientific issues, I will describe the difficulty of obtaining the unanimous approval of the CERN Members, not all of whom were enthusiastic, and the negotiations that brought non-European countries into construction of the LHC. I will end by identifying lessons of potential relevance for future projects at CERN.

Lyn Evans.  The LHC (Large Hadron Collider), a marvel of technology
The Large Hadron collider was designed to address some of the most profound questions facing us today, including the origin of mass and the subtle asymmetry between matter and antimatter that is responsible for our very existence. The LHC pushes the boundaries of superconductivity and superfluidity to the limit in order to reach the highest possible energy. Ten years ago, the LHC made its first major discovery, the Higgs boson.  Some of the unique features of the design of this machine are discussed.

Thursday, 5 May

17:30 h.

Attendees check-in

18:00 h.


The Higgs Boson turns 10 years old (Part I)


Manuel Aguilar  
Consejo Científico de la Fundación Ramón Areces.



Relevance and search for the Higgs Boson: crossing frontiers of knowledge

María José Herrero     
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and IFT/UAM-CSIC.


Genesis of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider)

Christopher Llewellyn-Smith    
Universidad de Oxford, Royal Society.


The LHC (Large Hadron Collider), a marvel of technology

Lyn Evans     
CERN, Imperial College London.



  María José Herrero

Maria José Herrero got her PhD in 1984 at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), with the report 'Experimental Consequences in Supersymmetric Theories'. She had postdoctoral positions at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1985-1987) and at CERN (1988-1991), with Fulbright and CERN fellowships. She has made numerous research stays of shorter duration at several foreign institutions, in particular at SLAC, in 1993-1994 and in 2004-2005.

She has had different positions at the Department of Theoretical Physics at the UAM and, since 2009, she is Full Professor.  She is also staff member of the IFT (CSIC-UAM) since its creation. Her field of research is Particle Physics Phenomenology and she has made important contributions in several areas, producing 145 publications (124 in inspire), with a total of 6402 citations and h index of 39. The publications with larger scientific impact are related with the study of the Higgs Boson, in the Standard Model framework and its possible extensions. She has participated in 30 research funded projects, in 3 of them being the PI. She has given more than 70 seminars in national and international congresses, has been the director of 11 PhDs and has been member of numerous scientific committees. She has frequently participated in outreach activities.


   Christopher Llewellyn-Smith

Chris Llewellyn Smith was involved in discussions of scientific potential of the Large Hadron Collider since shortly after its conception. He presented the case for building the LHC to the CERN Council, and was Director General of CERN (1994-98) when construction started. Chris has written and spoken widely on science funding, international scientific collaboration and energy issues, and served on many advisory bodies nationally and internationally, including the UK Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology (1989-92).

He is currently leading a major study of energy storage. As President of the Council of Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (2008-17), a project modelled on CERN which brings together scientists from across the Middle East (including Israel, Iran, and Palestine), he oversaw construction and the start of operation.


  Lyn Evans

I started building particle accelerators in 1969, the year that the first ground-breaking results on deep inelastic scattering were coming out of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the start of the long road to the completion of the Standard Model of particle physics with the discovery of the Higgs boson ten years ago. I have worked on all the great machines that were needed to crack the Standard Model, including the CERN PS, the SPS Proton-Antiproton collider, the Tevatron at Fermilab, the Large Electron Positron collider at CERN and of course the Large Hadron Collider of which I led the design and construction.

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