Visiting Scholar Guest Discusses Significance of Higgs Boson

The Rev. Gabriele Gionti, S.J., will address the implications of the much discussed “Higgs boson,” popularly known as “the God particle” in the Alpha Sigma Nu-Rev. Vincent F. Daues, S.J., Lecture—“The Higgs Boson and Its Relevance”—at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in Mabee Theater.

Gionti, a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics for the Vatican Observatory, is the chief liaison between the Vatican Observatory and the theoretical division of CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. He brings with him both a talent for communication and an impressive résumé.

Gionti studied physics at the University of Naples Frederic II and earned a master’s degree in physics in 1993. In 1998, Gionti graduated from the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, with a doctorate in mathematical physics. From there, he moved to the physics and astronomy department at the University of California-Irvine, where he served as a post-doctoral fellow.

After joining the Jesuits in his native Italy in 2000, he began to study philosophy at the Aloisianum Philosophical Institute of the Society of Jesus in Padua, Italy, which he finished in September 2004, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Gregorian University. He then was assigned to the Vatican Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., for two years and worked as a research affiliate at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona.

In 2006, Fr. Gionti moved to Berkeley, Calif., where he earned an M.Div/S.T.B. and an S.T.L. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. In 2010, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. Since then, he has been on staff of the Vatican Observatory, studying quantum gravity and string theory. He is the author of many scholarly articles.

To register for this free, public lecture and reception, call 816-501-4828. Mabee Theater is located in Sedgwick Hall on the Rockhurst University campus, 54th Street and Troost Avenue.

About Rockhurst Rockhurst University is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit universities in the United States. It challenges students to become leaders while providing a supportive environment for intellectual and personal growth. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Rockhurst among the top Midwest Regional Universities. Rockhurst is the only institution in the Kansas City area to have earned the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Learn more at

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