Should we be excited about the Higgs boson? Find out more about particle physics and understanding the universe.
Weekly study5 hours
The Discovery of the Higgs Boson
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The discovery of a new fundamental particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN is the latest step in a long quest seeking to answer one of physics’ most enduring questions: why do particles have mass? The experiments’ much anticipated success confirms predictions made decades earlier by Peter Higgs and others, and offers a glimpse into a universe of physics beyond the Standard Model.
As Professor Peter Higgs continues his inspiring role at Edinburgh University’s School of Physics & Astronomy, the experiments at the LHC continue.
This free online course introduces the theoretical tools needed to appreciate the discovery, and presents the elementary particles that have been discovered at the tiniest scales ever explored. Beginning with basic concepts in classical mechanics, the story unfolds through relativity and quantum mechanics, describing forces, matter and the unification of theories with an understanding driven by the tools of mathematics.
Narrating the journey through experimental results which led to the discovery in 2012, the course invites you to learn from a team of world-class physicists at Edinburgh University. Learners participate in discussion of the consequences of the Higgs boson, to physics and cosmology, and towards a stronger understanding and new description of the universe.
Photo of Professor Higgs © Peter Tuffy, The University of Edinburgh
What topics will you cover?
- Theoretical description of physical phenomena
- From Maxwell to Einstein: the world at the atomic scale
- A theory of matter and light
- From QED to QCD and the weak force
- The Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism and the Standard Model
- Experimental evidence for the Standard Model
- Beyond the Standard Model
When would you like to start?
Date to be announced
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Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Discuss fundamental building blocks of the Standard Model
- Explore Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
- Describe elementary Particle Physics
Who is the course for?
The course for its most part requires a basic level of mathematical skills, at the level of a final-year school pupil.
Some of the video lectures are significantly more advanced and include University-level math material. However, people encountering difficulties with the most advanced material should still be able to answer the quizzes and complete the course successfully. A basic knowledge of physics is helpful, but not required.
Who will you learn with?
Particle Physics: Electroweak Symmetry-Breaking mechanism, Exotica searches, hadron-collider triggers, future colliders.
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
- Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores
Join a global classroom
- Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
- Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
- Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others
Map your progress
- As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
- Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
- Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate
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