Skip to main content
Event: Public event

Switzerland to South Dakota: parallels in front-line physics

445 Mt Rushmore Road, Rapid City, SD 57701

In 2012,  physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland announced that maybe, just maybe, they had detected a particle called the Higgs boson?the so-called ?God particle? thought to impart mass to other particles. This year, the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter detector in Lead will begin its search for a mysterious substance called dark matter nearly a mile underground in the Sanford Lab. Nearby, the Majorana Demonstrator experiment will search for one of rarest forms of radioactive decay. Physicist Jose Alonso, who has worked at both laboratories, will explain how experiments at these two very different facilities hope to solve some of the same mysteries.

Dr. Alonso has participated in front-line physics research for more than 40 years. After he retired after a 30-year career in physics research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he worked on the ATLAS detector at the LHC in Switzerland. In 2007, he accepted a position as director of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (the Sanford Lab). Dr. Alonso helped supervise the reopening of the former Homestake gold mine, and he directed the start-up of the Sanford Lab science program. He ?retired? again in 2009, but continues to consult with and participate in major physics experiments throughout the world.

As director emeritus of the Sanford Lab, Dr. Alonso remains active in public outreach in South Dakota, and he returns here often for visits to his log cabin in the Black Hills. Dr. Alonso is speaking Thursday at the Adoba Eco Hotel in Rapid City, during the Rapid City Rotary Club?s regular noon meeting. The Rotary has generously agreed to open the talk to the public. The presentation is free. Lunch is $11. Please RSVP to Rick Gray at RicK Gray