Speaker

PROFESSOR HANS PETER BECK

CERN

Senior Scientist and a Research Team Leader at CERN

President of the Swiss Physical Society

Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics, University of Bern

Professor Beck is a senior and long-time member at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider where he played and plays major roles in the LHC’s largest experiments - ATLAS.

In 2012 he was a lead scientist in finding the long sought Higgs particle – one of the programme’s most important breakthroughs. The discovery resulted in François Englert and Peter Higgs, the originators of the theory dating back to 1964, being awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics, the year after the discovery was made. On the day of their Nobel presentation in Stockholm, Professor Beck gave the speech detailing the discovery’s background and significance to a worldwide audience at the Noble Symposium, University of Oslo.

Having developed his expertise in physics, mathematics, and astronomy at the University of Zurich, he studied for his PhD at the Deutsche Elektronen Synchrotron’s HERA accelerator in Hamburg, Germany. From there he joined the University of Bern where he later was appointed reader, a position he holds today.

Professor Beck also lectures at the University of Fribourg on particle physics, and is the founder of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG), as an international collaboration incorporating 28 countries, six major experiments world wide, and CERN. 

In September 2017, he was elected president of the Swiss Physical Society, uniting physicists from university, schools, research, development and industry, promoting the scientific exchange of ideas in Switzerland and with its international environment.

Hans Peter Beck’s boundless enthusiasm and desire to inspire the world about his subject and the importance of the work undertaken at CERN led to the Agora project ‘Interactions’ (http://particlephysics.ch) that he initiated and got founded via the Swiss National Foundation, the States Secretary of Research and Innovation, and the Swiss Academy for Natural Sciences. Under his leadership this project engages with high-school students, industry, and the general public as a whole. Its mission mirrors that of Professor Beck himself: ‘to make their fascinating research understandable to the interested public and to debate its meaning for our society together with representatives of other fields.