Theoretical physicist to speak about Higgs Boson particle at public event


Christina Tam / Observer

Gabrielle Buffington, Staff Reporter

Glenn D. Starkman, a man who has substantial experience under his belt for theorizing about the stars, will shine some light on what is sometimes referred to as the “God particle”. The Jewish Alumni Network and the Case Western Reserve University Alumni Association will be sponsoring “An Evening of Learning with Glenn Starkman” on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Siegal Lifelong Learning Facility where he will discuss the Higgs Boson particle.

Higgs Boson was the last remaining undiscovered particle—its existence was required by the Standard Model of particle physics, which is Starkman’s field of specialty. Starkman graduated from the University of Toronto in 1984 with an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Physics. He furthered his education at Stanford University and received his Ph.D. in 1988.
Once he was certified, he built up an illustrious research career, serving at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. He became a faculty member here at CWRU in 1995.

Since then, he has focused on using his research of the evidence remaining from past particles to predict future life. He has studied the interaction of planets and how they’ve shaped the universe. He has analyzed miniature black holes in particle accelerators to figure out how other systems and galaxies function. He is even extending and testing Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

All of his hard work, along with his commitment to teaching graduate students how to think of stimulating ideas for themselves, has led to Starkman being bestowed with numerous accolades. He was deemed a Guggenheim Fellow in 2003, and a founding board member of the Reinvention Center that focuses on undergraduate education at research universities. In 2012, he received the John S. Diekhoff Award in Graduate Mentoring—an honor which recognizes full-time faculty members for excellence in graduate student teaching and mentoring.

“He appears unafraid to push forward and do what is necessary to achieve success. He is undeterred by hurdles or mistakes and appears to see every challenge as an opportunity,” wrote one of his nominators.

Glenn Starkman currently serves as professor of physics and astronomy, director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics, and director of the Institute for the Sciences of Origins at CWRU. “An Evening” with him will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at 26500 Shaker Boulevard in Beachwood, Ohio.