Cliff Burgess

(McMaster University/Perimeter Institute)

(organisée en collaboration avec le Dép. de physique de l'Université de Montréal)

Cliff Burgess

Le vendredi 12 novembre 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
11h30 / 11:30 a.m.
Université de Montréal
Pavillon Roger-Gaudry
2900, boul. Édouard-Montpetit, salle/room G-415


Last Chance to be Wrong about What will be Found at the LHC

The Large Hadron Collider was recently switched on, then broke, and was switched on again. It is now producing collisions that probe Nature on the smallest distances yet reached, and is hoped to provide decisive evidence for new physics of some sort. This talk briefly recalls why it was built, how it broke and the extent to which it is fixed. Also described are the three main categories of new physics that have been identified as the main contenders for the new physics to be found, what we learn if all three are wrong, and whether (in either case) it will destroy the world.

Cliff Burgess donnera une seconde conférence dans le cadre du Séminaire de physique mathématique du Centre de recherches mathématiques le mardi, 16 novembre 2010.

Le mardi 16 novembre 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
15h30 / 3:30 p.m.
Université de Montréal
Pavillon André-Aisenstadt
2920, ch. de la Tour, salle/room 4336

The potential impact of the AdS/CFT correspondence, or WARNING: you may already be a string theorist

Evidence has been building since the mid-1990s that the set of field theories is much smaller than had been thought, with the strongly coupled limit of one theory turning out to be identical to the weakly coupled limit of another. In particular, specific extra-dimensional string theories appear to be precisely equivalent to more garden-variety four-dimensional theories not involving gravity or strings at all. Since field theories provide the mathematics used to describe nature in many areas of physics, this observation may ultimately have enormous consequences for physics, if for no other reason than providing unusual new tools for extracting the predictions of strongly coupled systems. This colloquium aims to describe, for nonspecialists, the nature of this equivalence, why extra dimensional anti de Sitter space (AdS) appears to be related to conformally invariant field theories (CFTs) in lower dimensions, some of the present evidence on which belief in their correspondence is based, and some recent attempts at applications.