Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lisa Randall CAN'T SPELL "Supersymmetry"

CONFLICT A slide that Lisa Randall of Harvard used at a recent conference ( ) to refer whimsically to issues and challenges facing physics.

From Wiki:
Did you mean: supersymmetry ?You may create the page "Supesymmetry", but consider checking the search results below to see whether it is already covered.
  • Supertrace

    Martin, A Supesymmetry Primer, in Perspectives on supersymmetry, G. L. Kane, ed., p. 1-98 arXiv:hep-ph/9709356. S. Coleman and E. ... 5 KB (767 words) - 20:35, 10 October 2009

I'm just teasing Lisa, if you're reading this. I find your work fascinating, inspirational, and important. I'm sure it was a post-doc or grad student who made the error. ;-)

In more sobering news, I just found out that noted Cosmologist Andrew Lange of CalTech took his own life, at the far too young age of 53 (my age). Click on the following link for details of the sad news: Andrew Lange (1956-2010)

Rest in peace, Andrew.


Plato said...

Was thinking about this post when soupsymmetry came to mind.:)


Steven Colyer said...

Yeah, I know Plato, and thanks.

A little personal History. Although I adore Lisa's book, Warped Passages, I thought it was crackpot crap when I first read it.

But the funny thing is, the more I read around and got a good general knowledge of where Physics IS and more importantly to me, IS heading, it actually makes a lot of sense!

Unprovable given current technology (as far as we know unless some Experimental Physicists care to weigh in), sure, but in the not-so-distant future ... maybe?

I dunno, but we should all keep an eye on her work IMO. Interesting stuff.

Hers and Sundrum's original RS1 theory gave way to RS2 to whatEVer it has evolved into. There's a plan there somewhere, I think. Possibly Reality. We'll see, time will tell.

Keep an eye out for Steinhardt/Turok Ekpyrotic theory as well, in the sense of combining the two. Good stuff on the horizon, methinks.

We'll see.

Plato said...

Hi Steven,

The colliding branes have See:Turok been around a while. I pulled the following article from a 2004 post.

Bashing Branes by Gabriele Veneziano

String theory suggests that the big bang was not the origin of the universe but simply the outcome of a preexisting state

The pre–big bang and ekpyrotic scenarios share some common features. Both begin with a large, cold, nearly empty universe, and both share the difficult (and unresolved) problem of making the transition between the pre- and the post-bang phase. Mathematically, the main difference between the scenarios is the behavior of the dilaton field. In the pre–big bang, the dilaton begins with a low value--so that the forces of nature are weak--and steadily gains strength. The opposite is true for the ekpyrotic scenario, in which the collision occurs when forces are at their weakest.

The developers of the ekpyrotic theory initially hoped that the weakness of the forces would allow the bounce to be analyzed more easily, but they were still confronted with a difficult high-curvature situation, so the jury is out on whether the scenario truly avoids a singularity. Also, the ekpyrotic scenario must entail very special conditions to solve the usual cosmological puzzles. For instance, the about-to-collide branes must have been almost exactly parallel to one another, or else the collision could not have given rise to a sufficiently homogeneous bang. The cyclic version may be able to take care of this problem, because successive collisions would allow the branes to straighten themselves.


Steven Colyer said...

Yup, thanks again. Gabriele Veneziano (b. 1942) is considered the Father of String Theory for work he did in 1968. I wouldn't expect him to think highly of any competing theory. He is current working on string cosmology.

By "combining" RS and Ekpyrotic, I mean consider to Gravity not as a "conventional" force as we know it, but as an "influence" if that's the right word from a possible nearby ... "brane" for a lack of a better word. "Parallel universe"? "Outside influence"? Something like that, and of course this is all highly speculative, therefore possibly untrue. It really is the strangest force due to its weakness and extremely long range. I don't know what to think of it most days.