NIU physicist featured in video contest

Dhiman Chakraborty
Dhiman Chakraborty

NIU Presidential Research Professor Dhiman Chakraborty is one of more than two dozen physicists featured in a video contest sponsored by symmetry.

Symmetry is a a magazine about particle physics for the general public published by Fermilab and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Editors asked 29 scientists to explain why particle physics matters – in about a minute each, in their own words and in front of a video camera. Why do they do it? Why is it important for the rest of us?

After reviewing the videos, they chose five to put forth for reader voting.

The online contest began this morning. Voting will close Tuesday, Sept. 3.

More good news: All 29 of the “Why Particle Physics Matters” videos will remain online for teachers, students and science buffs to use, learn from and share via social media.

Over the past two decades, Chakraborty has helped shed light on the building blocks of our universe.

He has made contributions to scientific understanding of the subatomic world, the discovery of the top quark and the pursuit of the Higgs boson – a predicted particle considered the holy grail of particle physics. Its detection would confirm the existence of the Higgs field, which is thought to permeate the universe and give particles mass.

Chakraborty first established his reputation while working as a research scientist at Fermilab’s Tevatron collider.

His doctoral research made important contributions to the 1995 discovery of the top quark, the heaviest known fundamental particle. He later served as co-leader of the top-quark physics group for Fermilab’s DZero Collaboration and was an early trailblazer in use of the top quark as a search tool for other new physics, including the charged Higgs boson.

In 2001, Chakraborty brought his talents to the NIU Department of Physics. Now he is helping to define the university’s future role in particle physics research.

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