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Shuster Colloquia: 'Particle Physics circa 2010'

11 Jun 2007

Professor Savas Dimopoulos (Stanford University) speaks on 22 June

2.30pm in Zochonis Building, Lecture Theatre A (B.5)


We will survey some of the ideas for physics beyond the Standard Model that have been developed in the last quarter century.  These are now undergoing significant re-evaluation in view of the cosmological constant problem, and the apparent presence of an enormous number of ground states in string theory. We will also discuss experimental tests of these ideas in the Large Hadron  Collider, which will begin in 2008.

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Professor Savas Dimopoulos, from Stanford University, has a worldwide reputation for his ideas on New Physics that have captured the imagination of both the Theoretical and Experimental communities.

In 1981, with Howard Georgi, he proposed the supersymmetric standard model.This theory made a precise quantitative prediction that the 3 running couplings would converge at a high energy point.This helped establish it as the leading theory for physics beyond the standard model. Its main prediction, the existence of supersymmetric particles, will be tested at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN beginning in 2007.

In 1998, with Nima Arkani-Hamed and Gia Dvali, he proposed the possible existence of large new dimensions. This links the weakness of gravity to the presence of sub-millimeter size dimensions. These are now being searched for in experiments looking for deviations from Newton's law at short distances. In this framework quantum gravity, string theory, and black holes may be experimentally investigated at the LHC.

Most recently, with Nima Arkani-Hanmed, he put forward the theory of split supersymmetry. This theory is motivated by the possible existence of an enormous number of ground states in the fundamental theory, as is suggested by the cosmological constant problem and by recent developments in string theory and cosmology. This theory can also be tested at the LHC and, if confirmed, it will lend support to the idea that our universe and its laws are not unique and that there is an enormous variety of universes each with its own distinct physical laws.

In 2006 Savas Dimopoulos was awarded the J.J. Sakurai Prize for "his creative ideas on dynamical symmetry breaking, supersymmetry, and extra spatial dimensions, which have shaped theoretical research on TeV-scale physics, thereby inspiring a wide range of experiments".