Despina Hatzifotiadou was born in Thessaloniki and studied physics at the Department of Physics of AUTh. She got her PhD from the same department in 1985, in an experiment at the CERN Leader Anti-Prurone (LEAR). She served as a scientific associate and then as a lecturer in the Department of Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics of the Department of Physics of AUTh. In 1987-1989 she was a fellow at CERN, in the field of experimental physics, and has since remained at CERN. She participated in the experiments OPAL and L3 at LEP as well as in detector development. Since 2000 she has participated in the ALICE experiment, the LHC heavy ion experiment, where her team was responsible for the design, construction and operation of the Time Of Flight detector. She is also an outreach coordinator of the ALICE experiment. She is a researcher at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Bologna, Italy. At the same time she is connected to Centro Fermi (Rome). Its central research program is the Extreme Energy Events (EEE) project for the study of cosmic radiation with a system of muon detectors installed in more than 50 schools across Italy, which has both educational and scientific goals. She coordinates the activities of the EEE project at CERN.
The subject of her speech...
Researching the microcosmos with the big hadron accelerator at CERN
What is the world that surrounds us made of? What are the elemental components of matter and what are the fundamental laws governing the operation of the Universe? Answers to these questions are sought with the Large Hadron Accelerator (LHC) at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. We will discuss our basic knowledge of elemental particles and forces (the standard model) and some of the unanswered questions. Τhe tools, accelerators and probes used and the methodology followed will be presented. Finally, the technological and social benefits we gain from research in this area will be discussed.