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The God Damn Particle

higgs_boson2.jpg
(CERN)
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Artist's impression of a proton-proton collision producing a pair of gamma rays (yellow) in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. An excess of such gamma pairs is among the evidence for the Higgs candidate particle.

For scientists, the discovery of the Higgs boson -- dubbed “the God damn particle” by one scientist because it's so elusive -- was one of the most momentous events of the decade. It was also a monumentally difficult task. To find the Higgs, scientists built a 17-mile-long tunnel at a cost of $10 billion in order to smash protons into each other over 300 trillion times. But why? What's the Higgs all about? And why are scientists so excited by its discovery? If there's one scientist who can break this all down so lay people understand, it's the rock star physicist Brian Greene. He joins us on Wednesday to do just that.

GUEST

Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, the co-founder of the World Science Festival -- which runs this year from May 29 to June 2 -- and the author of four books including The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos.

Here's a quick video primer on the Higgs boson to gear you up for the discussion. There will be a quiz at the end of today's RadioWest.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.