31 May

Inaugural lecture Prof. dr. ir. C.J.G. (Gerco) Onderwater

Appointed as Professor of "Experimental Particle Physics" in the Faculty of Science and Engineering

"A taste of the universe: charged lepton flavour"

“How does the material world around us work?” The answer to this age-old question is that we can understand it in terms of increasingly smaller building blocks, their interactions, and the rules they are subject to. Our understanding of this has been refined over time, through a combination of theoretical breakthroughs and experimental discoveries. The currently most elementary building blocks and their interactions are described in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. This model describes, among other things, the existence of three “particle flavors”, a phenomenon that is essential to understand the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang. Although accurately described and consistent with observations, the “why” of flavors remains an enigma. Charged leptons and their unambiguous flavor are particularly suitable for pushing the boundaries of our current understanding, gaining new insights, and thus providing direction in the search for a New Standard Model. My talk will explain how we do this in large- and small-scale experiments.

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