2015 Spring Physics Colloquium Series: Jim Halvorsen, Ph.D.

DateJanuary 23, 2015Time4:00 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125
Jim Halverson, Ph.D.
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

Setting Sail in the String Landscape

Since at least the work of Einstein, finding a unified theory has been a goal of physicists. String theory, though today applied in many other contexts, is an ambitious attempt at a unified theory, and in this colloquium I will study it from the vantage point of elementary particle physics. In both quantum field theory and string theory there are a large "landscape" of possibilities for physics beyond the standard model, and I will set a course through the string landscape by asking questions that address the nuances of the problem. Answering one, I will demonstrate that string theories and quantum field theories play by different sets of rules, and that the additional rules of string theory can lead to the existence of new particles that interact via the weak nuclear force. These could be discovered in the coming years at particle colliders. In answering another, I will demonstrate that when certain strings interact strongly, the symmetry groups SU(3) and SU(2) are distinguished relative to all other SU(N) groups. This mechanism, which relies also on the special role of SU(3) and SU(2) in Kodaira's classification of singularities, may explain why particle interactions are governed specifically by the groups SU(3) and SU(2).

For more information, please contact: Dr. Lorin Matthews 254-710-2279

PublisherDepartment of Physics
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