Posted: 3/29/07

Scientist Explores ‘Dark Matter’ in TAMIU Lecture April 16



A special lecture at Texas A&M International University will look at the basic forces and building blocks of all matter and energy on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, room 102.

Guest lecturer will be Dr. Roy F. Schwitters, who will present “Dark Matter and the Higgs Particle.” Dr. Schwitters will look at the historic quest to understand these basic forces and how new tools will take the quest forward.

The lecture, sponsored by Guillermo Benavides Z., is free of charge and open to the public. A question and answer period will follow the lecture at 8:30 p.m.

Extraordinary progress has been made over the past decade in understanding masses of “elementary” particles, the building blocks that make up all matter in the known universe. That progress has been hallmarked by unexpected surprises: supposedly mass-less neutrinos have been shown to have mass and most of the universe's mass seems to be in the form of “dark matter,” particles not yet detected in the laboratory.

In addition to exploring progress in the understanding of matter, Schwitters will also examine the “Standard Model” of particle physics:  that mass derives from interactions of quarks and leptons - the constituents of all known matter - with a new kind of particle or field, the so-called “Higgs Particle.”

Of particular interest to Schwitters is the approach of new scientific tools, including the Large Hadron Collider, schedule to come online next year, which may be able to shed light on the nature of dark matter and the Higgs Particle.

Schwitters is Chair of the University of Texas' Department of Physics and S.W. Richardson Regents Professor of Physics. He is the former director of the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. He holds his S.B. and Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Since 1996, he has been a member of JASON, a group of academic scientists and engineers who advise agencies of the US Government on technical matters related to issues of national security.

For additional information, contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at 326.2460.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu