I have about a half hour to give a talk on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) associated with UC Irvine. I am just going to list here an outline of topics that I could cover in that talk. I am planning a two hour class in the Spring semester, where I will just cover the newly discovered presumed Higgs particle by itself.
The LHC as a proton-proton collider.
Status of the LHC — operating energy increase and luminosity increase and the shutdown in 2013 to achieve higher energy.
Discovery of the Higgs at 125 GeV in ATLAS and CMS, showing small bumps that make it up.
Verifying that it is the Higgs by matching predicted cross sections.
Searches for new super-symmetric particles that protect the low mass of the Higgs by Fermion-Boson cancellations, and which are also required for string theory.
Such particles, with couplings the same as the normal quarks and leptons, are not found below about 1 TeV as expected. Some theorists say this is okay, others are more skeptical.
That leaves only about 5 minutes per point — good God particle!