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Discovering the Higgs through Physics, Dance and Photography


Kike Calvo Ballet at Yale . World of Dances
¨World of Dances¨ . Location: Yale University . Dancer: Lea Winter . Photograph © KIKE CALVO


The Arts Council of Greater New Haven has chosen our project ¨Discovering the Higgs through Physics, Dance and Photography¨, as one of the seven chosen to receive funding as part of Reintegrate*: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts & Sciences.

The Project´s team is formed by Sarah Demers (Physics – Assistant professor, Physics Department at Yale University ), Emily Coates (Dance . Director of the dance studies curriculum at Yale University) and myself (Photography.)

The recent discovery of a particle that is consistent with the Higgs boson has resulted in considerable interest among the general public. The last of the predicted particles within the standard model of particle physics, the Higgs is the mechanism responsible for the mass of subatomic particles.

Our Reintegrate project will translate the details of the Higgs boson discovery into a series of precisely choreographed visual images. By translating potentially the greatest breakthrough in particle physics in the 21st century through the intersecting artistic mediums of photography and dance, we will investigate the problem and benefits of communication across three disciplines that weigh heavily toward the non-verbal articulation of ideas.

The Team:
Sarah Demers (Physics) is a particle physicist and an assistant professor in the Physics Department at Yale University. As a member of the International ATLAS Collaboration, she uses data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland in her research on elementary particles and the forces that govern their interactions. Professor Demers received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She is on the executive committee of the users organization that represents the 1000+ American physicists whose research is based at CERN. In 2011 she received an Early Career Award from the Department of Energy for her work at ATLAS.

Emily Coates (Dance) has directed the dance studies curriculum at Yale University since its inception in 2006. From 2006 to 2012, she also served as the artistic director of the World Performance Project at Yale, a performance research initiative established to draw artists and scholars into dialogue. A dancer, choreographer, writer, and researcher, her work assumes a variety of formats, often through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration. She has danced with New York City Ballet and in the companies of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Yvonne Rainer. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and holds an M.A. in American Studies from Yale.

Kike Calvo (Photography) . It is an honor to be a part of an exciting new exploration that is incorporating new aspects of expression into a topic unfamiliar to the arts; science. With the new discovery of the particle, “Higgs Boson”, and it’s great potential to our future in terms of development in technology, and our society this project is something I deem extremely important. I believe my team and I will deliver a unique yet tantalizng vision that will include all three subjects, Science, Dance, and Photography to a final product hopefully leaving observers in amazement. This privilege and rendering form of my professional art, photography is something I take with great esteem, as I look forward to the outcome I’d like to thank all in involved and congratulate all teams invited into this Reintegrate project.

To learn more about the Higgs:

¨God particle¨Found?  “Historic Milestone” From Higgs Boson Hunters

Discovery News: Particle ´consistent´with Higgs Boson Discovered


*Reintegrate: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts and Sciences is made possible through a Creative Placemaking Pilot Program grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.



  1. Barbara Matthews
    Rye NY
    March 16, 2013, 9:03 pm

    I am thrilled to find your post. I was a ballerina with ABT .i also choreoographed a ballet based on the spiral movement a as seen physically manifested in waves and many other natural forms at Columbia’s Miller Theater. I am fascinated by your idea. How can I see your work or get involved with what you are doing? I have attended Yale’s World Performance Project seminars in the past.

  2. Otto Krog
    January 24, 2013, 2:58 am

    I don’t think the qualities required for The Higgs particle to explain the standard model is there, and I don’t think they will be found.

    Neither do I think, that supersymmetry will be recognized in futuristic science.

    I know I am a pain in the butt, but I believe in a complete different approach to high energy physics in the future. My vision is that future science will engulf consciousness. The mind and the spirit will be explainable through physics.

    I have been a fan of Sir Roger Penrose for many years. He was the first scientist to say that consciousness should be found in the quantum field rather than in the brain. I am so much a fan, that I made my own theory out of the idea that consciousness might be explained through a better understanding of antimatter and multiverse dimensions.

    My idea is that antimatter is the mirror of this universe, and that antimatter might be where memory is located.

    I think that the subconscious mind and consciousness are located in multiverse dimensions in the form of antimatter.

    The original standard model predicted no mass at all. That made no sence to scientists, so Peter Higgs predicted The Higgs Boson, purely from mathematics. I think the original standard model was right, particles does not exist. The physical universe is a flow of energy from minus infinite energy to plus infinite energy.

    If you would like to know more, then you can watch a full videopresentation of my theory on my blog:


  3. Tabitha
    London, UK
    January 23, 2013, 6:37 am

    I love this idea – can’t wait to see the finished results!

  4. Ponky
    January 21, 2013, 12:21 pm

    Nice story and nice photo. However, the formulae at the blackboard have nothing to do with Higgs physics. Its pure thermodynamics!

      January 21, 2013, 2:59 pm

      Thanks much for leaving your thoughts. You are absolutely right. We have not started to produce any visuals for this project yet, so I decided to include an image from my ongoing ballet series ¨World of Dances¨. As this photograph tries to portray the combination of Art and Science, I decided to include it on this post.