Title: "Flavor and Mass in the LHC Era"

Jim Olsen

One of the continuing mysteries of the universe is why the fundamental constituents of matter, the quarks and leptons, come in different “flavors” arranged in three separate generations of matter. In the standard model of particle physics, this flavor structure is connected to another fundamental question, the origin of mass, through the Yukawa couplings of the fermions to the Higgs field. (Underlying both questions is the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking, which is the subject of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.) In recent years, the success of the standard model in describing a wide variety of flavor-changing processes has led to stringent constraints on the structure of possible extensions of the standard model, and possible explanations for the masses of the fundamental particles. These constraints will play an important role in elucidating the nature of the discoveries anticipated when the Large Hadron Collider begins operating at the energy frontier next year.

UT Arlington Physics