The Higgs Boson and Beyond

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great challenging course I have just bought the course, and It is fascinating me the way the course was performed. The information given was very challenging and enlighten. I highly recommended.
Date published: 2020-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dr Carroll is a great instructor I have followed Professor Carroll in books and on several Great Courses and I am never disappointed. He brings in new information that others leave out because they want to make complex science accessible to the layman. Dr Carroll can explain quantum field theory clearly without dumbing down. Very well done.
Date published: 2020-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Lecturer; Great Visuals I'm so pleased I ordered this course. I've read several books and dozens of articles trying to get an understanding of sub atomic particle physics. This course has been the best. As a non-physicist I'll never fully understand this subject material but Professor Carrol has really gotten me closer to being able to conceptualize the subatomic particle Universe. What is occurring beyond the matter that we perceive with our senses is really at the heart of life and getting more familiar with this amazing reality has been very rewarding.
Date published: 2020-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating look at particle physics This class is perfect for someone interested in particle physics but without a science background. The professor goes into the history of the discovery of the particles and we learn a little bit about the men and women who did this work. The content is dense but the Pace is good and things are well explained.
Date published: 2020-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from like listening to a great mystery novel The instructor explains what could be complicated matter (pun intended!) clearly and in a very interesting manner with useful analogies and can tell he is very excited about what he is discussing. Keeps your interest the whole time
Date published: 2020-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clarity is outstanding Explaining such a complex subject in such a clarity is really outstanding. I am over 80 years old and enjoyed this course and recommend it to everyone thinking about it.
Date published: 2019-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fed With a Firehose This course held promise and with extra and outside study will be good. The professor attempts to take what is a difficult (for me) subject and condense a lot of material into 12 lectures. I'm half way through the course. I've watched the first six lectures three times. Visuals are few. The study guide is very good and improves my understanding of the material. I consider the study guide essential, not supplemental. Not a course for casual interest. Would I recommend it to a friend? Depends on the friend. I'll render a second report when I finish the course.
Date published: 2019-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very informative i have purchased many physic courses and Professor Carroll consistently does an amazing job of explaining the very complicated concept in a way that a lay person can grasp. I hated physics in high school as well as college because none of the teachers/professors were able to help me visualize or grasp the bigger pictures behind all the tedious formulas. I've purchased other Great Courses where Dr Carroll has lectured also; physics finally become interesting to me and i am so glad to have a little more understanding of the world i live in.
Date published: 2019-11-01
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The Higgs Boson and Beyond
Course Trailer
The Importance of the Higgs Boson
1: The Importance of the Higgs Boson

Why was the discovery of the Higgs boson such a big deal? That's the key question that Professor Carroll tackles in his illuminating introduction. Take a fascinating dive into the world of modern particle physics and see how the Higgs is the missing piece of a scientific puzzle that helps us understand the "rules" for the universe.

33 min
Quantum Field Theory
2: Quantum Field Theory

Toss out the textbook image of electrons circling an atom's nucleus. This lecture explores the big twist of quantum field theory: The world isn't really made of particles. They're fascinating and necessary figments of quantum mechanics created by observing the fields that fill every inch of the universe, and grasping that eye-opening concept is essential to understanding the Higgs.

32 min
Atoms to Particles
3: Atoms to Particles

Now that you know what particles really are, it's time to walk through the "particle zoo" and explore the roles of photons, gluons, and quarks. Along the way, Professor Carroll looks back on the development of the Standard Model and how our changing understanding of the weak nuclear field suggested the existence of the Higgs years before we found it.

31 min
The Power of Symmetry
4: The Power of Symmetry

Symmetries don't only apply to geometrical objects. They apply to the laws of physics themselves. In this lecture, you may feel your mind twist in asymmetrical ways as you explore how symmetry governs the known forces of nature and how it helped form a wild theory that an as-yet-undiscovered particle-the Higgs-must exist.

31 min
The Higgs Field
5: The Higgs Field

With the basics of particle physics covered, Professor Carroll walks us through the decades-long hunt for the Higgs. You'll meet the many brilliant minds-Anderson, Englert, and Higgs among them-who determinedly set out to solve the mystery of the weak nuclear field. You'll also discover why Angelina Jolie is like a top quark.

33 min
Mass and Energy
6: Mass and Energy

In this lecture, "classical" physics, as explained by Newtonian and Einsteinian mechanics, provides insight into what makes the Higgs so special. Uncover the key to the Higgs's uniqueness in the particle zoo-that even at its minimum energy state (its "resting" state), the Higgs field has a large, constant value.

31 min
Colliding Particles
7: Colliding Particles

Once physicists established the need for the Higgs boson to exist, how did they set out to locate it? It was just a matter of bringing the particles and fields together under the right conditions. You'll see how physicists use Feynman diagrams to keep track of how virtual particles carry the various forces between quarks and leptons.

31 min
Particle Accelerators and Detectors
8: Particle Accelerators and Detectors

Want to build your own particle accelerator? You'll need a lot of money, a lot of room, and the information that Professor Carroll shares in this lecture. You'll learn that particle accelerators aren't simply "atom smashers." They bring into existence new particles that weren't there before.

32 min
The Large Hadron Collider
9: The Large Hadron Collider

If blacksmithing were like particle physics, the Large Hadron Collider would be the anvil. Seventeen miles around and representing the unprecedented cooperation of scientists worldwide over the course of years, the LHC is a remarkable achievement. Explore its construction, capabilities, and amazing promise for the future of physics.

32 min
Capturing the Higgs Boson
10: Capturing the Higgs Boson

Looking for a needle in a haystack? Try looking for a never-before-seen particle in the largest machine ever built. With the LHC complete, the search for the Higgs began in earnest, and particle physics combined with probability to find the missing piece in the Standard Model puzzle. Professor Carroll describes both the exciting hunt and the key players in the amazing discovery.

31 min
Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics
11: Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Now that the Higgs boson has been found, everything is answered, right? Not quite. Professor Carroll says the properties of the Higgs suggest that something else is at work out there. Moreover, the Higgs boson can be a stepping-stone to our exploration of dark matter, extra dimensions, the asymmetry of matter and antimatter, and a Grand Unified Theory of particle physics.

32 min
Frontiers-Higgs in Space
12: Frontiers-Higgs in Space

The Standard Model explains the forces and molecules that comprise us and everything with which we interact. But even with the Higgs, we can't explain the stuff that makes up 95% of the universe: dark matter and dark energy. In his conclusion, Professor Carroll shines a light on dark matter, its relationship with the Higgs, and the wonderful mysteries still ahead.

34 min
Sean Carroll

We need to push on our understanding of cosmology, particle physics, gravity, not to mention how complexity and entropy evolve through time, and eventually you'll be able to really understand what our theories predict.


Harvard University


California Institute of Technology

About Sean Carroll

Professor Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He earned his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Harvard in 1993. Before arriving at Caltech, Professor Carroll taught in the Physics Department and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, and did postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Professor Carroll is the author of Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, published in 2003. He has taught more than 200 scientific seminars and colloquia and given more than 50 educational and popular talks. In addition, he has written for numerous publications including Nature, New Scientist, The American Scientist, and Physics Today. Professor Carroll has received research grants from NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, as well as fellowships from the Sloan and Packard foundations. He has been the Malmstrom Lecturer at Hamline University, the Resnick Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecturer. While at MIT, Carroll won the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award for his course on general relativity. In 2006 he received the Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion from Villanova University.

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