Chicago Hosts World’s Largest High-Energy Physics Conference

More than 1,300 physicists from around the world will converge in Chicago for the biennial International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in August to share new research results, announce new projects and talk about the most intriguing mysteries of the universe. The conference will meet August 3-10 at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel and will welcome scientists from 49 countries.

Physicists from the large experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider—the world’s most powerful particle accelerator—will present a wealth of new results, including an eagerly awaited update about a mysterious bump in the data that could be evidence for a new particle or just a statistical fluctuation.

The conference program covers 16 topics, from the Higgs boson to neutrinos to dark matter to cosmology, and will include new results from many experiments at institutions around the world.

“The International Conference on High Energy Physics will be the scientific event of the year in Chicago,” says Young-Kee Kim, chair of the ICHEP organizing committee and the Louis Block Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. “A great many scientists who specialize in particle physics, cosmology, accelerator science and related fields work in this region’s excellent research universities and our two outstanding national laboratories. We all look forward to showing this vibrant city to our colleagues and discussing the latest developments of our science.”

The conference includes two free events designed for the general public, the Windy City Physics Slam and a public lecture on the recent, worldwide-headline-making detection of gravitational waves.

The Windy City Physics Slam, hosted by WGN-TV Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling, will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel Chicago Ballroom. Inspired by poetry slams, the Physics Slam will pit researchers against each other in a contest to make their field of study sound as interesting, compelling and enjoyable as possible. Five scientists from around the world will compete, using music, dance, props and anything else they want, with the winner determined by audience applause.

A public lecture, “The Detection of Gravitational Waves from Binary Black Hole Mergers,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel Chicago Ballroom. The speaker will be Barry Barish, the Linde Professor of Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology. Barish has played multiple key roles for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) since 1994. LIGO has made international headlines twice this year with its discoveries of gravitational waves, the existence of which was predicted by Albert Einstein in his 1915 general theory of relativity.

Interested participants may register for ICHEP online . Members of the public do not need to register for ICHEP to attend these free events. Seating will be first-come, first-served.