On 31 October 2023, CERN Science Gateway will host its first scientific event in the new Sergio Marchionne Auditorium. Celebrating 50 years since Gargamelle discovered neutral currents and 40 years since UA1 and UA2 discovered the W and Z bosons, the symposium offers a full-day programme of past and present milestones in the development of electroweak theory.
In 1973, the Gargamelle collaboration discovered neutral-current interactions, via which (elementary) particles can interact by means of the weak force. This first experimental evidence placed the unified electroweak theory – proposed by Glashow, Weinberg and Salam – on solid footing. It also pointed to the energy range to look for the mediators of the weak force. Just 10 years later, in 1983, the W and Z bosons were discovered by the UA1 and UA2 collaborations, operating at the SppS.
The following decades enabled increasingly precise measurements of W and Z boson properties and refinements in the electroweak theory, such as the confirmation of the existence of exactly three neutrino flavours at LEP. In the future, the proposed FCC-ee will continue to explore electroweak physics.
The evening before the event (30 October 2023), there will be a public event in French (with English slides), co-hosted by the French Physical Society, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. This event –“L’aventure de la première grande découverte au CERN/The adventure of CERN’s first major discovery” – is dedicated to the Gargamelle collaboration and focuses on the physics as well as the human aspect of working on giant discoveries.