Tara Shears, quarks & leptons in Helsinki

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POSTED: November 10, 2015

Tara Shears is a physicist who is interesting about the excitement and joy of doing physics. She is very good at explaining abstract and complex ideas very clearly and simply without dumbing them down. I have been watching her speak because Liisa and I have been charged with organising an event whose name keeps shifting, and may yet shift again. We used to think of it as The Big Weekend. Then we thought of it as The Future North. For the moment we are thinking of it as Nordic Narrative.

As a part of presenting our plans we want to describe to everyone in our staff team what an event that is almost but not quite a conference might look like. Liisa has had Science Slam in mind, and I have been thinking about Think Helsinki Think. We have been looking for a short video to show what we have in mind, which is (approximately) a serious discussion about aspects of what we do and make presented as live entertainment. I think I may have found one.

I have come across a presentation that Tara Shears gave at Think Helsinki Think on April 15th, 2015. I started to look at it as an example to show other people, and ended up watching it as an educative lecture.

Tara Shears is, in her own words,

a Professor of experimental particle physics and Liverpool LHCb group lead. My research concentrates on testing the Standard Model in the electroweak sector, with the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The data collected by LHCb allows us to probe predictions of electroweak boson production to high precision, in a new and unique kinematic region. I am a former convenor of the QCD, Electroweak and Exotica physics working group on the experiment (see our latest results here), and an LHCb representative on the LHC-wide electroweak working group.

I joined the Liverpool group in 2000 as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, to work on the CDF experiment. I studied heavy quark production in modes that can be used to test QCD, as well as providing a probe for New Physics production.

She is also very good at explaining complex ideas simply.