In 2012, people across the globe were dazzled to learn that the Large Hadron Collider—a 17-mile ring buried underground on the border of Switzerland and France—had for the first time provided evidence of the elusive Higgs Boson.
The discovery was made after scientists accelerated two beams of protons in the underground tube to nearly the speed of light and then crashed them into each other. The violent collision produced an array of exotic subatomic particles, including the Higgs Boson, that live only briefly before decaying away.
By showing that tiny particles injected into a liquid crystal medium adhere to existing mathematical theorems, physicists at the University of Colorado Boulder have opened the door for the creation of a host of new materials with properties that do not exist in nature.
David J. Wineland, a lecturer in the University of Colorado Boulder physics department who today won the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics, was described as both “brilliant and humble” by one of his former graduate students.
One CU-Boulder professor’s idea of how to help students learn more grew into such a successful program that it is now a model for schools throughout the nation.
Through the Colorado Learning Assistant Program, more than 1,500 learning assistant positions have been filled at CU-Boulder, helping to improve introductory courses in 10 departments and to positively impact more than 10,000 CU students each year.