public talks and appearances

Photo: Gerrick Robinson

Photo: Gerrick Robinson

Ex/Noise/CERN examines the similarities between musical exploration and scientific exploration.  To begin, we put peerless indie band Deerhoof inside SM18 to see what would happen.  More events are coming.  More information here.


I was at Technoport 2017, in Trondheim, Norway, in March of 2017, where I gave a presentation and appeared on a panel discussion titled, "Destination Dystopia?"

I gave a presentation at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, on 6 February 2017, called, "Gravitons, Exotic Higgs Bosons, or Nothing at All: The Large Hadron Collider’s First Year at 13 TeV", as part of their Frontiers Lectures series.

My TEDxBerlin talk, "How we explore unanswered questions in physics", was featured on on 22 December 2016.

I've been honored and humbled by the great public response to the work of my colleagues and I, and for such excellent enthusiasm for what big, boundary-pushing, open, multicultural, inclusive science can do on the global stage.  Stay curious.

I wrote an article for Scientific American blogs called, "The Higgs Boson versus Donald Trump", on 14 November 2016, about the fundamental incompatibility of bigotry and authoritarianism with the greatest achievements of international, multicultural, big science for humanity.

I spoke at the Institute of Physics, in London, on 2 November 2016, with a talk called, "Gravitons, Exotic Higgs Bosons, or Nothing at All: The Large Hadron Collider's First Year at 13 TeV".


I gave a talk titled, "The Large Hadron Collider and the beginning of physics", at TEDxBerlin on 4 September 2016 and at TEDxArendal, in Norway, on 10 September 2016.  It's about my personal experience with the X750 diphoton resonance search in 2015 and 2016 and how the huge attention paid toward it fits into the larger context of what we do as physicists at CERN and scientists in general.

I was invited to appear at Klangfestival 2016 at Klangfolger, Gallneukirchen, Austria, 19 August 2016, where I gave a talk called, "Exploring the Dark Side of the Universe with the Big Bang Machine", and where I may or may not have performed some of my private sonifications of ATLAS LHC collision data with the improv noise band The Spacefollowers, as well.

I was on NPR's Science Friday on 12 August 2016 discussing the results from the LHC's first year at 13 TeV (including the diphoton bump) and the IceCube sterile neutrino exclusion with neutrino hunter extraordinaire Janet Conrad.

On 15 December 2015, ATLAS and CMS held a big seminar here at CERN where we reported on our first-year-at-13-TeV results.  Both experiments saw a slight excess in the diphoton mass spectrum at approximately the same place, around 750 GeV.  This excess was not very statistically significant.  But hundreds of theory papers were written about it quite rapidly.

I chatted about it with some news outlets:

Mic News

Discovery News

Symmetry Magazine

I gave a talk about the maybe-new-particle cliffhanger, this X750 diphoton excess, at the Science Museum in London, as part of their Lates program, on 25 May 2016, called "A Revolutionary New Particle at the Big Bang Machine?".

I wrote an explainer:

And then, as modest, 2σ excesses have been known to do, the little diphoton bumplet turned into a smooth line after we took five times more data, as we reported at the ICHEP conference in Chicago in August, 2016.  It was an exciting time, and many people seemed to be disappointed in the result, but this was actually a stellar triumph for science itself.  Data speak for themselves.  And this is just the beginning of the LHC's quest for new particles at 13 TeV.  I wrote another explainer about it.

I discussed the diphoton search in the New York Times...

...and participated in a BBC Horizon special about the entire process called Inside CERN.

I chatted with DigitalCulture.LA's Brittney Gallagher about "What's After the Higgs Boson?" for her podcast, in June of 2016.

I participated in a Twitter chat with CNN Tech, about "The secret to making a scientific discovery", on 25 May 2016.

As part of Symmetry Magazine's "Ask Symmetry" series I answered the question "If atoms are mostly empty space, then why does anything feel solid?".

Can the Higgs boson possibly decay to dark matter? Well, can it?

WIRED's Joshua Batson wrote an article, published 23 January 2015, called, "How Three Guys With $10K and Decades-Old Data Almost Found the Higgs Boson First", about our 2009 project looking for ways the Higgs boson could have been hiding in LEP data.

In celebration of the LHC turning back on at 13 TeV, I participated in a video about what we're looking for in Run 2, titled, "Why you should care about the Large Hadron Collider", produced at CERN with US/LHC.

I was featured in a video about the physics of the 2014 film Interstellar from the perspective of an LHC experimentalist, again produced with US/LHC, which was picked up by Discovery, the Columbus Dispatch, and various other places.

I gave a talk about searching for low-mass hidden gauge bosons at fixed target facilities like Jefferson Lab, called "Dark Photons at Noon", at a TEDx event, TEDxFultonStreet, in lower Manhattan in June of 2014. The video is here, and here.