E.E. Just Symposium Keynote Address: SUSY and the Lords of the Ring


Uploaded by Dartmouth on 15.11.2012

Transcript:
[ Silence ]
>> Welcome to the opening of the E.E. Just Symposium
where we are making history at Dartmouth College.
And I guess, Joe Bloomberg [phonetic], thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
We'll leave it up to our science communication person at Dartmouth,
Joe Bloomberg to explain that to us in the near future.
So who am I?
My name is Stephon Alexander.
I am a professor in the Physics Department.
I'm the E.E. Just Professor, 1907 E.E. Just Professor.
[Applause] Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Please, please.
And I'm also the director of the E.E. Just Program here at Dartmouth.
So, I need to go back here and sort of read certain things, I have a very bad memory.
So first of all, this whole event would've been impossible without the help
of many people that-- and I want to just bring some attention
to them because-- to really express my gratitude.
First of all, I would like to thank our Dean of Sciences, Professor David Kotz,
the man sitting right there [applause] fourth.
And the Dean of Sciences, Michael Mastanduno who is currently in China.
You know, he sent me a private phone call to explain, you know, the-- I'm just kidding.
[Laughter] The Dean of Faculty, and David Spalding, the Senior Vice President
and Senior Advisor in the Office of the President for their support of my vision
for the E.E. Just Program and for this symposium.
You know, when I was considering the job, I went to Dave and Mike and said,
"Hey guys, would you do the impossible?"
And immediately, they were like, "That's a cool idea."
And then they went even beyond that.
So really, thank you deans.
Financial support from the symposium was provided by the Dean of the Faculty Office
and by the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program.
I particularly want to thank Don Pease, Chair of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program
and The Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in Humanities for his support
of this great opportunity for outstanding scholars to engage one another
and the Dartmouth communication in exploring the frontiers
of interdisciplinary science today, right here at Dartmouth.
The symposium wouldn't have been possible, and this is serious, with the incredible support
and collaboration of Kathy Weaver and the Office of Undergraduate Advising, in particularly,
the Director of UGAR, Margaret Funnell.
So, could you ladies please stand up and get our appreciation, Margaret and--
[ Applause ]
There's a few more.
There's a few more.
I want to bring attention to two gentlemen who have basically, as we say,
they held me doing the course of the planning.
The Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Student, Paul Buckley, and Tyler Melancon,
Presidential Fellow and recent Dartmouth graduate of class of 2012.
Could you gentlemen please stand up and get some love.
[ Applause ]
And I-- you know, last but not-- definitely not at least 'cause I have to live with these people
for the rest of my, you know, my life, [laughter] I definitely want to give thanks
to my Chairperson and my theoretical headband partner and fluters, Miles Blencowe,
professor and Department Chair of the Physics Department
and Judy Lowell, Department Administrator.
Thanks also to Conferences and Special Events, Classroom Technology Services and the Office
of Public Affair for their behind the scenes work to make this symposium happen.
Basically, I didn't really do anything, you know.
[Laughter] So, I just want to spend like a few more--
like literally, less than five minutes to just say-- to just contextualize this symposium
and what this whole thing is about, for me atleast.
It's about somebody that makes me very proud to be a faculty and a member
of the Dartmouth community which is E.E. Just, the person that this college supported in 1907
who graduated from this college Magna Cum laude.
And to be part of that legacy, you know, big part of what we do
in science is also the human aspect of doing science which are the relationships
that are developed and also the legacy and values that are passed on.
You know, what's-- many of the speakers, not only just collaborators or just, you know,
famous scientists, but these are people that have passed on values that have made me
who I am, have mentored me and passed on also scientific knowledge.
And I would like these speakers to all stand up and just please get our warm appreciation
for taking your busy time, time of your busy schedule to be with us, please speakers.
[ Applause ]
So what is-- what are these values?
What are these values because, you know, since 1907, this legacy lives on here at Dartmouth
and we have this E.E. Just Program that is now going to, I think, sky rocket.
And I'm going to say a few words about what this program, you know, its--
where it's going in my opinion and our opinion, I hope.
But I want to say a few things about E.E. Just.
There is actually an E.E. Just scholar, a molecular biologist who studies that impact
of E.E. Just Science at Howard University.
His name is Malcolm Byrnes.
And I'm just going to read from his research on E.E. Just.
"It is clear from Just's writings that he believed that life arose out of the complexity
and structural integrity of living systems."
In his book, The Biology of Cell Surface written in 1939.
So let's contextualize how we are thinking about complexity theory today, okay.
So this is in 1939, I quote, "He wrote that 'life is the harmonious communion of events,
the resultant of the communion of structures and reactions.'
Just rejected purely mechanistic explanations.
He posited that cells and organisms are 'more than the sum of their parts.'
According to this view, the properties of any level of organization such as molecule,
cell tissue, and the whole organism, depend on the properties of the parts of the level below
as well as on the properties of the whole into which they are integrated.
Moreover, properties are said to emerge
out of the organizational complexity of the living system.
What made Just different from his peers was his unflinching willingness to take
on giants of biology in his quest."
This is-- remember, this is the early part of last century.
This is an African-American man who could not get a job in the United States, get a--
you know, a fact-- a decent faculty job.
He did and worked at Howard but he soon took off to Europe.
So he, nonetheless, he was filled by his conviction, by this conviction, the scientific--
his scientific truth to challenge the most prompt of--
for example, "At the 1935 American Society of Zoologist meeting, in Princeton, New Jersey,"
David, " he publicly challenged Nobel laureate Thomas Hunt Morgan
for his gene-centered view of development."
Whoa, that's kind of-- I will never do that.
[Laughter] " Morgan had proposed that genes arranged in linear arrays
on chromosomes are both the units of inheritance and the controllers of the dev"--
whole developmental process, the whole phenotype.
" In opposition, Just presented his own cytoplasm-centered theory of genetic restriction
to explain how differentiation occurs during development.
Just's explanation nonetheless contained some elements of truth.
Indeed," and this is very important, " today we are learning that differential gene expression,"
you can go to Professor George Langford to explaining that or, you know,
some of the biologist here, "but multi-faceted process
with epigenetic, as well as genetic, components."
In other words, Just played a major role in epigenetics
as I was corrected by Joe Bloomberg weeks ago.
That's kind what led me into introduce this thing.
And please spare me for two more minutes.
I will get the keynote speaker, but this is kind of important to me.
"What made Just different from his peers was his unflinching willingness
to take on"-- I'm repeating myself.
[Laughter] Okay.
But perhaps one of Just's greatest contribution, this is my words, is a legacy of excellence,
courage and passion he displayed as a scientist, okay.
This gift is what inspired the E.E. Just Program.
So one of the best gifts, I think, is actually the fact that he lives on today through us.
This event to celebrate the E.E. Just legacy
of scientific courage kicks off the new E.E. Just Program.
This program is for all Dartmouth students with a special focus on increasing the number
in excellence in science research opportunities and scholarship for underrepresented groups.
Important to this end are events like this one where students are enabled to engage
in real life science symposium, debates and collaboration with world class scientists,
Dartmouth faculty and their own peers.
At the end of the day, the E.E. Just model should just be science is a coolest
thing around.
So before I begin, I also speak, so stand up-- oh, I already did that, sorry.
[Laughter] Erase that from the video camera.
Now, I would like to introduce our first keynote address, 'cause there are going
to be three keynote address, and please come to these talks, they're going to be really cool.
I got a stop using that word all time.
[Laughter] People stops believing me.
In the spirit of Just legacy, Professor Jim Gates as a living example
of scientific innovation and courage as both an undergraduate student and PhD student at MIT
like Just, Jim was faced with challenges encountered
with senior colleagues doubting his desire to pursue theoretical physics.
I know this from my own personal interactions with Jim some 20 years ago.
Jim's answer to those doubts was to produce the first PhD dissertation on the new field
at the time called Supersymmetry.
There are fundamentally two forms of matter bosons which are the force carriers of nature,
and fermions, particles like electrons and quarks.
Supersymmetry radically relates bosons
to fermions thus uniting two thought to be distinct forms of matter.
Professor Gates received his BS and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of technology.
His doctoral thesis was the first at MIT of supersymmetry and he wrote the much feared book,
A Thousand and One Lessons in Supersymmetry with Rocek, Grisaru and Siegel, Warren Siegel.
Well, I can go on and on about Jim but let me say that, you know, aside from his role
as a physics professor and a physicist, he also serves on President Obama's PCAST
which Obama's Science and Technology Council.
And he's always-- you all see Jim on NOVA or somewhere on TV.
So without further ado, let's give around of applause for my mentor.
We call on Jim Gates.
[ Applause ]
>> Speaking of always being on TV [inaudible] a joke, but we'll get to that in a moment.
I'd, first of all, like thank all of the organizers of this meeting
for allowing me to be part of this celebration.
E.E. Just is someone who I can remember maybe 15 or so years ago-I'm sorry, longer than that.
I just saw a friend at the back and-- two friends actually.
I'll embarrass them.
They'll be speaking later in the program.
But I remember when I first came across reading about E.E. Just and at a time
when I just thought "wow, that's the coolest thing."
That guy got up there and did the game the way he wanted to do it
and didn't met whatever the organizational structure in science which is quite subtle.
He didn't let it stop him giving some very individual views at a time when most people felt
that people of the African Diaspora had absolutely nothing to say about the sciences.
And so, he was just, for me, just some inspirational figure to find out there
in the country and the legacy that he left.
So first of all, I'm very grateful to the organizers for the opportunity to be part
of this celebration of this incredible individual.
I also wanted to the extend a special thanks to Stephon and Kathy and other people in this room
because in the run up to this meeting, there's always last minutes stuff that has to be done.
And so, emails are flying back and forth and everyone was in good cheer, in good spirit
and we have brought the program to this point and I'm trying not
to drop the ball in this opening address.
My joke is now coming.
[Laughter] And always I have to-- always I have to warn you
so you'll know that it's actually coming.
So it turns out that for very strange reasons which I don't get, I keep having the same set
of circumstances occur to me and I'm going to tell you one of the times that's happened.
So I was getting on an airplane in Johannesburg to comeback to the United States.
And as I was walking towards my sit, there was a gentleman--
I had a window seat because I like windows because I can go to sleep and I don't to worry
about people waking me up and I love to sleep on airplanes, by the ways.
Turbines, to me, are like lullabies.
[Laughter] They literally sing me to sleep.
I can sleep on an airplane anytime.
Going to Australia is a bit of challenge, but a short of ten hours, I don't care.
I can sleep my way there and sleep my way back.
So I was trying to make my way to this window seat on this occasion
and this gentleman saw me approaching and looked up and he smiled this brilliant smile.
And he said, "Is this your sit?"
with slight African's accent.
And I said, "Yes, that's mine."
He said, "Here, let me move out the way so you could jump up and"--
I have some bags to put up on your overhead and he was helpful
with me getting the bags up and I thought, "God."
Now, this was not my firs visit in South Africa, but I thought this is one
of the most helpful friendly South Africans I've ever met.
And so, I get situated at my seat and I'm sitting there and I had a book
that I was starting to read and-- so I'm looking down at my book and out of the corner
of my eyes I can see him looking over at me.
And he's got this big smile on his face.
[Laughter] And I'm thinking, you know, there's something not quite right about this guy.
[Laughter] So it's better to confront him now and find out what the issue is [laughter]
than the stay on the plane for some eight hours wondering what's driving this behavior.
So I turned and speak to him and say, [foreign language].
I don't even know if any of you speak Africans, but that's basically good day.
I speak a little bit of a lot of languages.
It surprised them and he responded and then he said, "So going back to US?"
And I thought, yeah, I said, "Yeah."
I've been here in South Africa two weeks from this journey
and I've had a wonderful time in the Western Cape.
And by the way, if you haven't been to the Western Cape,
it is one of the most spectacular places in the world.
Go to the Western Cape, it's just an incredible place.
And so, he said, "Going back to the US?"
I said, "Yes," and he said, "Did you enjoy your stay here?"
And I said, "Well, yes.
This is not my first time.
This is probably the eighth or nineth time I've been to South Africa."
And then he said, "Well, I'm happy to hear that you had a good time here."
And I said, "Well, thank you," and then I went back to reading.
And again, [laughter] turned my head, he's still smiling broadly.
And so, finally, I said, "So is something going on?"
And he said, "Well you now, we've all seen you in the media."
And I thought, "Gee, I didn't know that NOVA [laughter] had a such large impact
with scientific documentaries around the world," 'cause as Stephon mentioned,
I've actually appeared on NOVA, I don't know how many times now.
And so, I said, "Oh, are you a fan of science?"
And he said, "No."
[Laughter] So at this point, I'm like, "Well, where did you actually see me?"
He said, "Oh come on.
All of us have seen Invictus."
[ Laughter ]
And then I had a hard time convincing him that I am not Morgan Freeman.
[ Laughter & Inaudible Remarks ]
Now, the strange thing about this story is, A, that it's true.
[Laughter] But, B, there are different-- there at least seven or eight different variations
of the story that have happened in places like Singapore, Vienna,
Australia and even here in the United States.
And I don't where people get this from?
I don't think I look like Morgan Freeman.
[Laughter] And yet, if some of you are fans of TV science documentaries, you may have heard
of this thing through the Wormhole.
Who's the host of that?
>> Morgan Freeman.
>> Morgan Freeman [laughter], right?
So I'm always-- I'm always telling people, "No, I'm not Morgan Freeman."
That's one of my standard lines, is I'm not Morgan Freeman.
That was the end of my joke.
[Laughter] So let's try to get on to some more serious business.
The title of my talk is SUSY and The Lords of the Ring.
And someone was asking me, "Gee, what does the Lords of the Ring after do with physics?"
And that's what I'm going to try to tell you about in this story.
So in 1975, I was a graduate student as Stephon mentioned, and I was trying to figure
out how I could realize my dream of becoming a theoretical physicist.
And in this quest, I stumble upon this fantastic idea.
And I read this-- about this called supersymmetry and it suggested
that were more forms of matter and energy that anyone had ever thought about before.
And I was just done because who gets to be alive at such a time
when such an idea is actually bubbling up out to the field.
I mean how incredibly lucky can one be to have come
in to a field just as this idea comes into blossom.
And so, I started running around the department like someone with their head on fire trying
to get the people interested in this idea.
And very quickly, I discovered there was no one else in the physics department in MIT
who had any interest in this idea called supersymmetry.
Now, up into that point, I had been working with a thesis advisor
and he had been letting me do more conventional physics.
But he have kind of gotten the idea that I was okay.
You know, I wasn't going to get my self into too much trouble.
And so, one day I went to him, he's a gentleman by the name of Professor James Young and I went
to him and said, "Jim, I-- you know, I've done this research problems that you've given me,
but I don't like to strike out in a different direction."
And he said, "Well, what's wrong with these problems?"
I said, "Well, the problems that I'm working on with you are problems that are"--
yes, they're in the center of the filed, there are large numbers
of people working on this problems.
But for me, as young person trying to work on these problems that I knew
that faculty members 20 years older then I have are working on,
that didn't look like a fair completion to me.
And so I said, "You know, if I'm going to build a career,
then one thing I've got do is distinguish myself."
And one way to do that is to strike out in a direction that is not--
that does not have this herd of people following that direction.
And in fact, my choice of supersymmetry was no accident.
I had actually spent about six weeks making huge list of subjects and looking at all
of the strands of thought that a student could look at that were going on in my discipline.
And the reason I found this one particular subject was because it had come up on my canvass
of what was going on in theoretical physics.
And so, I said, "I want to do this."
He said, "Well, I don't know anything about it," then he stop and he said, "Wait a minute,
nobody in this department knows anything about this.
How are you going to do with thesis?"
And I said, "Well, you know, I can read the literature and I can understand the calculations
that people are doing and I think I know how to get to where the questions are in the field."
And so, he said, "Okay, I'll let you do this under one circumstance.
Every week on Friday, you have to come to my office
and give me a seminar on what you've done that week."
And so, that's how I actually produced my thesis.
I had a weekly session with my advisor where I had to present to him where I was
in my progress in understanding the field.
And so, he let me do this thesis.
Now, there was-- result of this thesis is very interesting.
So I presented this thesis and there were three faculty members on my defense committee
with him being the head of the committee which is a norm as many of us faculty members know,
three to five people in a committee.
So I gave my thesis defense and, boy, it just went swimmingly.
It was just so beautiful.
No problems at all.
Questions came up and I just batted them away, you know.
[Laughter] And the truth of the matter was that I [inaudible] that anybody in that room
about what I was doing because it was a new subject.
And so, I passed my thesis offense and one of the people
on my defense committee was a physicist by the name
of Ernie Moniz who's still at MIT to this day.
And he said, "The best PhD thesis defense I've ever seen."
And as I was walking out the room, I was thinking, "Ha-ha-ha,
you don't know what I just did," because seem I'm a Star Trek fan and I don't know
if I say the expression Kobayashi Maru.
[Laughter] I see, I got sufficient number of laughs that people understand the joke.
[Laughter] For those of you who are not Star Trek fans, let me explain it.
[Laughter] So the first starship captain that Star Trek quests is
about is a guy named James Tiberius Kirk.
And Kirk is a graduate of Starfleet Academy.
And in order to graduate from Starfleet Academy, there is a computer simulation that is given
to all potential captains and the computer simulations basically you're
in your starship defending it against some attacking forces and you have to figure
out the best strategy to save your starship.
Now, what they don't tell of the students is that no one passes this test
because the code is written in such a way that you can't.
No matter what decision you make, you're wrong.
So in the entire history of Starfleet Academy, there's only one person who passed the test.
His name is James Tiberius Kirk and the way
that he did it is the night before the test, he rewrote some code.
[Laughter] That's what I did to my thesis defense 'cause I rewrote the code
of what we will be-- I changed the terrain, the intellectual terrain
in which we would be having the discussion and, like I said, it was just trivial.
So that's how I get my PhD and wound up going to Harvard and CalTech and this-- so any how.
I got excited about this idea almost 40 years ago now.
And pretty soon, we're going to find out whether nature herself is excited about this idea
and that's what this talk is about.
So let me try to get you there.
So we're going to be trying-- because of time constraints, I'm going to rushing a little bit.
So if people want to ask questions afterwards, I'll try to save time for that.
You know, if you walk in to almost any high school classroom
or science, you'll see this thing.
It's the table of elements.
I like to think of this as the Mona Lisa of science, because it's a little bit mysterious
but very familiar to even people who are not scientist,
they've seen this thing just like the Mona Lisa painting.
And this, of course, given to us by Mendeleev.
And one interesting things about Mendeleev presentation of this is I will--
well, probably many of you have heard of Sergey Brin.
Sergey's father is a mathematician who's had a career.
He's retired now, but he spent his career at University of Maryland.
So I was actually with the elder Brin one day and we were talking and he said, "Jim,
you know the Czar gave Mendeleev a medal for his work."
And I thought, "Oh my God, a Czar that is so forward looking
that he would give a scientist a medal for the creation of the table of elements?"
And he said, "No, no, no, no, no, no.
The medal was for the improvement in the distillation of vodka."
[ Laughter ]
For my generation, this is the equivalent of the Mendeleev of table.
It's something you'll find in many physics departments
and it tell us what are the basic parts that you need to put together our universe and it comes
to us-- or about a course of a century.
The oldest part of this is the electron.
And the electron is, in fact, the first elementary particle.
It was proposed by an electrochemist named G.J. Stoney back in the into the 1800's.
And he just-- he was the first peson who had the idea that there could be something
in nature that was smaller than an atom.
He actually named this thing.
And then about a decade after naming it, it was actually discovered
in the laboratory by J.J. Thompson.
But that electron is the first elementary particle.
So ever since the work of Stoney, we've been discovering more and more of these objects.
So there's an object in nature that it always looks like an electron except
that it's 200 times heavy, we call it the muon particle.
There's another object in nature that has all the properties of the electron except
that it is 1700 times heavy, we call it the tau particle.
And then there are set of objects that have many of the properties
of the electron, but they have no charge.
We called them neutrinos.
So this is part of how you put together our universe from a hundred years worth of science.
Our country spends about 3/4 of a billion dollars a year to get this kind of science.
We do it through the support of the--
principally, to the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation.
But that's how we know these things about nature.
Inside of nuclear matter, there are things, the quarks.
We're going to come to those shortly.
And then all of these particles have to be held together in rich-- in fix patterns.
Otherwise, when I look out at you, you would just be a super particle test opposed
of this very beautiful image that you present to me as you sit there.
So these fixed patterns have forces that cause them to be held in place.
And it forces themselves to have particles which carry them.
The particle of light, the photon has to carry the electromagnetic force.
In nature, there ware two forms of nuclear energy.
There's strong nuclear force and a weak nuclear force.
The weak nuclear force has three carriers.
They're called the W and Z bosons.
The W, Z bosons come in positive, negative varieties, the Z is neutral.
And then finally, there are eight objects which are the glue for nuclear matter.
Let's talk about that for a moment.
This is what a proton looks like, sort of.
Now, normally when you say proton, you think little balls because that's what most
of us learn in science, but you really should think about them
as bubbles with something inside of them.
These things inside of them are the quarks.
The proton itself is-- or actually the bubble structure that I represented in here
in allegorical way in this image.
And it's a static place.
In fact, it's very dynamic.
The quarks inside move around and if I ignore quantum mechanics,
I don't worry about particle creation, but it turns out that if you try
to pull a quark outside of a piece of nuclear matter, you never get it out.
If you look at the image, it just happen.
What you see is, I pulled on quark out and this piece of bubble split into two,
but a second quark was actually created to the-- accompanying the first.
And the reason is because as you pull the bubble,
the bubble is like pulling on a rubber band.
When you pull a rubber band, you put energy into the rubber band.
I [inaudible] energy and mass are the same thing.
And so, this energy that you pull and stretching them, the nuclear matter turns itself
into more matter and then splits off, and you don't have a free quark
but you have a quark bound inside of another piece of nuclear matter.
Quarks are numerous.
So the proton and neutron quarks are what make up protons and neutrons,
but there are lots of other quarks.
Quarks have a property that we call color.
Now, this is one reason you could tell that theoretical physicists are-- so we say tilted.
[Laughter] Because if theoretical physicist were as rational as chemists,
instead of calling this color, we would something like electronegativity
because that's what chemist call a, roughly speaking, analogous property
that governs the behavior of molecules.
The proton has a mass of 338 MEV in certain set of scales.
It actually spins like a little basketball and it spins at a rate of 1/2 hbar.
Similarly, the neutron is slightly heavier.
The electron is actually the light weight in the atom.
It's about the 1800 times less than mass than the proton and it-- but all of them spin.
So what is spin?
Well, we're going to come to that.
These things act like little basketballs.
You know how the Harlem Globetrotters used to go out and take a basketball and set it spinning?
Well, these objects have the same behavior with the exception
that you cannot speed them up nor slow them down.
So it's like having a basketball on your finger that just spins at the same rate
and you can't do anything to stop it.
Electrons have that behavior.
This was discovered in the 1930's in a famous lab experiments called the
Stern-Gerlach experiments.
Now, not everything spins at the same rate, however.
All the electrons spin at the same rate.
All quarks spin at the same rate.
But the force carriers spin at twice the rate of the electron.
Antimatter is real folks.
Again, for all of you Star Trek fans out there, you know that the engines
of the Starship Enterprise derive their ability to transcend the speed
of light by matter-antimatter reactions.
So you might think antimatter came from a science fiction writer.
But the truth of the matter is that the idea of antimatter started with a scientist.
In particular, with Dirac who wrote an equation.
He wrote the equation trying to describe the electron consistent
with Einstein's Law of Special Relativity.
He was the first person to try it.
He succeeded in finding such an equation.
He looked at the solutions.
One solutions describe electron exactly like he set out to do,
but he found there was a second solution.
The second solution had all the properties of the electron except it had the opposite charge.
More interestingly, if you brought these two solutions to the same place,
they would disappear and in their place would be a puff of energy
that satisfies precisely the famous equation E equals MC squared.
So that's what antimatter.
It's a real thing.
It was discovered by a scientist quite by simply looking at some mathematics.
And this brings us to the power of mathematics.
Many people don't understand what mathematics does for science.
It turns out that for the scientist, mathematics is an extra sensory perception organ.
It is [laughter]-- I don't understand why that's a joke.
[Laughter] Oh, the mathematicians are over there.
[Laughter] It turns out that mathematics in addition to being what I like to think
of as the incomparable human language because there's no other human language
like mathematics that we have ever created.
But in addition to these special properties, it is the only way of organizing human thoughts
that we have ever encountered that allow people to model the universe.
That is, to think about the way things on universe.
It's such an accurate way that it allows us to see things
that we cannot see with our instrumentation.
That we cannot feel with our fingers or any of our senses.
And yet, mathematics allows us to do the seeing.
It's an incredible thing.
In fact, I'm not the first person to notice this.
There's a very famous quote by Charles Darwin who said "with mathematics,
it is as if an individual is endowed with a new sense."
And that's the sense in which I used the word extra sensory reception organ.
I have my five normal senses to perceive the universe, but because I could use mathematics
in its very peculiar way, I'm also able to perceive universe with that as a sensory organ.
One final story about the power of math to sense the universe.
Let me-- I'm a professor, so I'm going to give a pop quiz.
How big is an atom?
Well, there are a lot of scientists in this room, so you know the answer.
So you guys are excluded from this question.
[Laughter] For those of you who are not scientists,
let me give you a story to remember answer.
If I take a yard stick and cut into ten equal pieces and throw away nine and keep one,
I go from something this big to about something that big.
Let me take that piece cut into ten equal pieces, throw away nine, keep one,
I get down to something about the width of my fingernail.
So that's in just doing this process twice.
How many times do I have to do this process to get from our world to the size of the atom?
Now, when you ask people, and I'm not go put you through nonscientist on the spot,
we're not taking tally and we're not going to collect your test results,
but when you ask people in our society this question,
almost no one who is not a scientist knows the answer to this question
which is quite remarkable because everybody has heard of atoms,
but almost no one knows how big an atom is.
To me, this is a stunning situation.
And so, the story that I just told you is a way to remember how big an atom is.
You do that process which you called power of 10.
You do it ten times, you get to the size of the atom.
Who was the first person to know how big an atom was or is?
Again, not many people know.
But it turns out, it's a guy who named Albert Einstein.
Now, you've heard of him because he's done lots of stuff and David is involved to some
of the stuff that he's done and there are other people like Stephon.
But you don't know that he was the first person to figure out how big an atom was.
And he did it in the same year that he worked in his theory of space and time and relativity.
That same year, he wrote a paper on Brownian motion.
And in that paper, you have to know the size of an atom.
And in fact, he was able to figure out how big an atom was from that work.
So Einstein is the first person to know how big an atom is.
And that's why he's the first person to see an atom.
And that's what I mean by mathematics as an extra sensory perception organ.
So antimatter is real.
Let's keep trying to go ahead.
There are forces in our world.
Now, Stephon, how good are you at catching things?
>> I just [laughter]--
>> We're going to try this experiment time folks.
>> All right.
>> Okay, so he [applause]-- so he caught my phone.
Now, imagine that I did that-- no.
But, actually yes, because it's so old.
No, [inaudible].
Now, so imagine that I did that a hundred thousand times.
That same things that you just saw over and over and over again.
And I did it not just a hundred thousand times but I did it in exactly the same way
where I release the ball at the same point with the same angle, with the same speed
as it leaves my head a hundred thousand times,
and you had a video camera and you were filming that.
What would you see if you did that?
And let's imagine that on the last time that I did it, your battery died.
So you could only catch me tossing it.
You put a new battery in and then you catch the image of Stephon catching it.
And then I ask you, what happened what your camera wasn't working?
Well, if you look back and reviewed all the 999, 999 times,
you would see, it was exactly the same picture.
And so, you would be confident that even though your camera wasn't working
on that one last time.
You would say, "Well gee, it had to do the same thing."
And you would be right.
Let's change the story.
Suppose I did this with an electron, you know, thought experiment.
So I do it with an electron, same number of times, same circumstance
and the last time, your battery dies.
And so, I ask you what happened to the electron while your camera wasn't working?
Now, it turns out that if you reviewed all the previous films, it might be the case
that every single one of them looked alike.
It might be the case.
And so, you would probably on the base of let's say, well, same thing happened,
whatever happened to baseball or my phone.
And if you said that you would be wrong, because it turns out that for an electron,
if we could manage this thought experiment, I might release electron, it might leave my hand,
circle around George's head 137 times come and circle
around Kathy's head 137 times and then go to Stephon's hand.
Now, that sounds like something out of Wile E. Coyote in Road Runner, right?
You've never seen objects behave that way.
But it turns out, electrons behave like that.
That's what quantum mechanics is about.
The world of very small is not like the world that we see around us.
And in fact, we need very different mathematics to describe the motion of these tiny things
and that's what quantum theory is all about.
So the classical path can be thought about straight lines.
Oh my goodness.
Is the tech is here because I'm having an issue with power.
I just got a warning that I'm running out of power.
Now, this is not the first time this has happened to me folks.
Once many years ago, I-- I have a battery here.
Once many years ago-- you got light, yeah, the power.
Let's try this.
Once many years ago, I was giving a talk at a conference in front
of about 1700 people and the same thing happened.
I had a presentation where the situation-- the system just died.
And it turned that although I was plugged into the power strip on the floor,
no one had plugged that power strip into the wall.
[Laughter] So you learn all kinds of things when you speak to people.
And we're not sure what's going on here, but we have a solution.
So the quantum path can be thought of just a regular thing that happens when electrons move.
And we can compare the two.
They're very different.
The mathematics that you need for them is very different.
And in fact, the mathematics is so strange and we do this.
Classically, if you watch a ball roll down is-- again, like the tossing.
This time, I put a little ball at the edge of a bowl.
I put in the same place the same time-- same way every time.
It always does the same thing.
But in a quantum mechanical universe, this can happen.
A ball may suddenly be replaced by more than one ball.
The ball may wonder around the sides of the bowl.
This is what we mean by quantum weirdness.
And the equations that we write
in quantum mechanics actually tell us that electrons do this stuff.
That's why quantum mechanics is so very weird.
Okay, thank, thank you.
So it affects the forces.
It turns out that in our universe, forces are actually transmitted by force carriers.
So two electrons are repelled from each other.
Let me get my technology to work with me.
There we go.
By exchanging a force carrier which says one should move away from the other.
That force carrier is the electron.
And that's a little bit like our classical ball just rolling down one by one.
But, if we go to a quantum mechanical universe, weirdness intrudes.
So let's get to some of the weirdness.
In the quantum mechanical universe, extra things
that were not part of the story before can occur.
This is one such thing.
This is what we call vertex normalization in quantum theory.
And what it basically says is that the charge that an electron couples to a photon
with actually depends on things such as the speed and the spin, the location,
much more complicated than the equation we taught our students in high school.
You see, we constantly lie when we teach science.
But we lie in the service of truth.
We tell people the part of the truth that is appropriate for what they have as a background.
It would make no sense for me to walk in to a high school classroom
and try to teach my students relative as the quantum field theory.
And so, instead, I say, "Ah , Coulomb's law is the end of the story."
Even though I know that is not the complete accurate story,
but it's good enough for that audience.
So when you talk to a scientist, you need to be very careful if you're not a scientist
because you need to know what the scientist is assuming about what you know
because that influences what we will tell you.
[ Laughter & Pause ]
Here's another process.
This is called the vacuum polarization.
And this one, a photon is emitted.
It splits into a particle, antiparticle pair which-- and later annihilate.
And then the second photon is the force carrier.
And it leads to something other than what Coulomb's law tells you.
And there are hundreds of these diagrams that you can write.
They're called Feynman diagrams.
That's why Richard Feynman was, A, a genius 'cause he's the first person to figure this
out and, B, won a Nobel Prize because he did it.
Notice that even though you're not trained
as relativistic field theorist, it's pretty simple story.
There are these pictures, you use them to calculate the forces,
and then you draw a fancy and fancier pictures.
That's the [inaudible].
Won a Nobel Prize for one guy.
Now, how real is this stuff?
Well, I could tell people, I don't phone on me, but I'll tell people that this a--
this is the most accurate part of science in terms with theory compared
to the experiment of any science that there is.
It tells how by these pictures we could figure out that the electron is like a little magnet.
You can ask how strong is this magnet.
These pictures are the answers to the story.
And if you just draw one picture, the simple picture, the simplest possible picture,
you'll get the answer too is how strong it is as a magnet.
But when you start adding these extra pictures in, you find out that the strength
of the electron actually changes.
So it gets a little bit bigger and bigger and bigger.
And so, this number here is the calculate the measurement
of how an electron behaves like a magnet.
The number at the bottom here is the picture making mathematical machinery
that predicts how strong it is as a magnet.
And if you look at these two numbers, what you see is that they agree
until you get to the last two digits.
This is the most accurate thing we know in science.
So when people start to question quantum mechanics,
the questions that you are raising are not consistent with what we see in the laboratory.
So quantum mechanics is very well-founded in terms
of the physical observations that it relies on.
Let me, because of my-- I don't want to bore you folks.
Let met just jump ahead here.
So I'm going to go now to the ring part of my story.
So that first part, you didn't see Frodo in there anywhere.
So now, we're going to try to get to Frodo and his friends.
The ring, so what ring am I talking about?
Well, the ring I'm talking about is the Large Hadron Collider.
It is a ring shaped device that we're going to see in a moment.
It is in Geneva, Switzerland.
It crosses the border with France.
It is a proton, proton synchrotron which is a fancy way of saying we take protons
and bang them together with lots and lots of energy.
In fact, the energy is described by this 70 EV per beam.
The size of this ring is 27 kilometers which is about half the size of the Beltway
around Washington, DC for those of you who know about the Beltway, you know, inside the Beltway,
outside the-- and it is a real device that has been in operation.
If you flew over Geneva, you'd see this.
Well, actually I told you I was going to lie, so I just told a lie.
You would not see the red ring.
[Laughter] You would see everything else.
The red ring is a super position of what is under the ground where the ring sits
because the ring is actually underground.
And this image, you can see Lake Geneva over here to the side and the Alps
up in the background and the city of Geneva of course sitting here.
So 16.8 miles around, as I said, it crosses the border between France and Switzerland.
It is underground.
It is-- some place, it's 75 feet underground.
And other places, it's about 150 feet underground.
And you might say, "Well, that means the ring is tilted."
Well, no, no.
The ring is even.
The ground is tilted 'cause it's tilting up towards the Alps.
In the ring, we put large devices.
So this is actually-- if you went to Geneva and the--
you went down to the experimental ring, this is what you see.
It looks like a big petroleum pipe.
So the world's most advance science is being done with petroleum science, right?
But inside of this pipe, we evacuate the air.
We pump the air out and then that's where we let the protons move and we want the air
out of there 'cause we don't want them bumping into air molecules.
So you got to pump the air out.
Another view.
There are two detectors that we in the United States have been responsible for building.
We spent about 700 million dollars doing this.
One of them is called the Compact Muon Solenoid or CMS detector.
The other is called the ATLAS detector and this was a real stretch.
It stands for A Toroidal LHC Apparatus.
[Laughter] So you can see whoever was trying to name this thing really went for a stretch
because they wanted a nice name and they strung together words
and they picked the letters out to get the nice word.
This is a cartoon drawing of the CMS detector.
In this, there is a cartoon person and this is the scale.
Here's another view of the cartoon person with the fully assembled CMS.
And here is the CMS while it's being constructed.
There's a technician here with a white lab coat and black pants in the middle of this.
If you know you saw that move Angels and Demons?
Remember that big scientific device?
That was a modeled on this.
But the real device is actually more impressive than what they had in the movie in many ways.
The ATLAS detector, similar, we can see a nice couple here,
a cartoon couples standing to scale the device.
Another image and the actual device with our technician who has changed clothes.
He has a nice pair of brown pants, a black vest and hard hat on.
That's the ATLAS detector.
So what these things do is like I said speed up protons.
So we have a preinjection device where we start the protons moving and then we use magnets
to bend them into a circular path.
And while they're in this preinjection phase,
we speed them up to their 0.9999999 the speed of light.
The fastest humans have ever made anything move.
Now, as we watch the operation, after they lead this preinjection phase,
they go into the evacuated petroleum pipe that I showed you and we let them go around
and around using magnets to bend them.
And so, they pass in bunches.
Now, I only five or six on this cartoon, but there are like 10 to the 17th or 10 to the 18th
of these things rushing fast at the same time.
And then, we allow them, the two beams going different directions to collide
and here's a picture of the CMS detector, a cartoon,
and a collision where we let the protons bang into each other.
And when they do, spectacular things happen.
If you noticed at the end of that, there was some kind of funny glowing thing.
This is an allegory that I've told you.
You know, it's not the way it actually looks.
I'll show you some computer simulations later of what it actually looks like.
But it catches the spirit of what is going on at the LHC.
That's what physicists are doing at the ring.
This is what a computer simulation of actual collision looks like.
It's a spray of things coming out.
A different simulation here.
And this particular simulation is associated with something that happened quite recently.
We'll come back to that shortly.
Another picture, another pic-- so that's what the actual data looks like.
It's not these flashing lights and lighting and all these stuff.
It just looks like this.
A lot more boring.
But the spirit is what I showed you before.
So something happened this past of fourth of July at the LHC
which was stunning for people like me.
And I like to call it "born on the fourth of July."
Not the Tom Cruise movie by the way.
We talked about earlier the particles.
Because of what happened on the fourth of July, we now know that we have
to add something new that was not there before.
We think it's the Higgs boson which is a particle we're going to describe.
What is the Higgs boson?
Why is it important?
What does it do?
But we think we have found a new one of these objects for the first time in over a decade.
So it was born on the fourth of July.
What happened is the two devices I showed you,
CMS and ATLAS both run independently of each other.
And the part of the reason we do that is because of we know that we like to lie.
And so, it's hard to get two people to correlate their lies.
[Laughter] So if you have two independent groups doing the same thing,
you decrease drastically the chance that both will be convinced
of something that's not true accurate description.
That's why we have the two detectors.
The technologies of them are actually different.
So we use coincidence and a lots of other things in order to make sure
that we're not being influenced by what we think we're going to find.
Both of them report, however, that they see something at 125 GeV over C squared.
GeV is a measure of energy.
Now, the Higgs boson, what is it?
Well, the Higgs boson we believe is a kind of a--
one way to think of it, it's a kind of a molasses that is everywhere in the universe
and what it does is cause other things to become massive.
So without the Higgs boson, we think the electron would have no mass.
We think the quarks would have no mass.
We would think nothing has any mass.
And for this reason, this particle has been called the God particle.
Except that those of us who know the person who named this understand the real story.
If you read the popular press, all this talk about the God particle.
But the person who gave it that name was really a guy named Leon Lederman.
And if you knew Leon Lederman, you know he's a rather salty tongue.
And so, what he really said was, "Why can't we find the God blank particle?"
[Laughter] Which was shortened for family-friendly phrasing into the God particle.
[Laughter] So if you read in a popular press
about the God particle, that's the story behind it.
So, as I said, it's a kind of molasses.
We'll see that in this cartoon.
He's an ordinary particle moving through the Higgs which I'm referring by the sheets.
And as you can see, it's sort of accumulating mass that moves along.
This is the allegory that goes on with the mathematics.
But it turns out, the Higgs boson is also responsible for those--
some of the force carriers getting mass.
Because I showed you that there were force carriers.
It turned out, the photon has no mass.
But the W,Z bosons do have mass.
And so, it turns out that the way that they get the mass is not quite by the Higgs boson
but by something called a Goldstone particle, a Goldstone boson.
It turned out when you write the mathematics for the Higgs particle,
you'll get these other thing for free.
You can't stop it from occurring.
Or say it in other way.
If you write the mathematics of the Goldstone boson, you get the Higgs particle for free.
You can't avoid it in mathematics.
It's kind of like direct, looking for a solution for the electron
and then finding this other thing, the antielectron.
Same kind of thing going on.
With the power of mathematics, it's guiding us to see something
in the universe we had no idea was there.
And what the Higgs boson does, the Goldstone boson does is roll down an energy surface
and it causes the force carriers to gain mass.
And that's why I've showed you as a cartoon at the bottom of this image.
So the Higgs boson is detected by what we called the K-modes [phonetic].
Remember those-- the actual computer simulations where I showed you all these lines shoot--
flying out and shooting out in all directions?
So what we do is actually detect these lines and we look back to see if the mathematics,
the flying, flashing lines agrees with the mathematical predictions of these things.
I have five minutes, so let me begin to wrap up.
I told you about SUSY.
So let met get to SUSY.
If you look at that table of particles
that I showed you several times, you can group it like this.
It turns out everything to the left of this spins at the same rate of a half hbar.
The things to the right actually spin at-- some spin at twice as rate of the electron.
So the W, the Z spin at twice the rate of the electron.
The graviton which is something we haven't seen spins at four times the rate of the electron.
And the Higgs particle, the thing that we think we just saw doesn't spin at all.
But the point is that these things are all even integers of a half.
So it's either 0, 2, or 4.
These things are just precisely 1/2.
It turns out, in nature, these objects behave very differently from those.
But if you look at this table with an artist eye, you say, "That's not very balanced."
What would a balanced table look like?
[ Pause ]
It looks like that.
It looks like that.
That's balanced.
That's what we humans respond to when we say symmetry, something looks like that.
Now, it turns out that these things that you see to the right,
we've never seen in the laboratory.
They are the things that excited me when I was a graduate student.
Those are the things that the mathematic said new forms of matter and energy existed,
that the things that add to a symmetry in this picture and we call this supersymmetry.
And so, I was excited about the possibility that these things existed.
Let me tell you about my favorite one of these objects.
So this is a quark, that's squark.
That's an electron, that's just electron [phonetic].
I think the-- this is the gluon, that's a gluino.
That's a photon, that's a photino.
This is a Z particle, this is a zino.
This is the W particle and this is my favorite super partner.
It's name is spelled W-I-N-O.
[Laughter] So one day, I am hopeful before I pass off this mortal coil,
that there'll be a headline in the paper saying W-I-N-O seen in Geneva.
[Laughter] Now, if that should occur, I want you to know
that it will not be an alcoholic specialist that they have found.
But instead, this particular elementary particle.
[Laughter] So let me begin to wrap up.
So this is what supersymmetry is about, looking for these things
that we've never seen before that we think are there.
And if nature is kind to us, our mathematics will have predicted these objects that people
like me in terms of the mathematics have been seeing for roughly 40 years.
So I've been waiting in my life to have my bucket list actually fulfilled.
And the first item on my bucket list,
the Higgs boson may have actually been fulfilled this past July.
I want to see waves of gravity and that's something
that I think David would like to see also and Stephon.
We have other things that before we stop being scientist, and Marcelo [phonetic] also,
and lots of people in this room who would love to see the evidence that the wavelike behavior
of gravity predicted by Einstein's equation is something we can see in the laboratory.
That's another item on my bucket list of theories.
The other item, one of the item, superpartners.
So those things that I showed you, I want the-- I do sincerely want this certain laboratory
to find evidence of superpartners.
Now, it may not be easy.
And in fact, about five years ago, I wrote an article about how hard it might be.
It might be a decade or more before we can find these things.
But I sure hope that they're there.
There's one more item on this list that I didn't put there
and that's a complete theory of strings.
But that one is so far beyond anything imaginable.
I didn't put it there.
I didn't have the courage.
[Laughter] So that's where we find ourselves this day.
We're perhaps on the verge of actually seeing parts
of the universe that we have not seen before.
And for me, as I said, this is part of a personal adventure.
Let me end by talking about my title, because we still haven't seen Frodo and his friends.
So who are the Lords of the Ring?
The Lords of the Rings are the scientists who can save the ring, who operate the ring,
the engineers who built the ring and operate the ring.
They're the people who actually make the ring bring us scientist.
And some of them, by the way, are female.
So the Lords of the Ring are the people who have enabled this device to shine a spotlight
on what is yet and resides in my heart of hearts as a dream but may indeed be a story
of science I hope to see fulfilled in my lifetime.
Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> [Inaudible].
I know that some people of particular relate to their missions have to leave this room.
But for those of you who don't have to go, let's not hold you back,
feel free and let's get some questions for our gentlemen.
>> And while you were talking, I was running some acknowledgments because this work
that I've done in my career is not work that I've done by myself.
I have a list of collaborators a mile long and I want to acknowledge them.
Their names were given.
I'd be happy to give them out.
And the graphics, many of the graphics that I used in this talk can be found
in a commercial product called Superstring Theory: The DNA which I created
for a company called the Teaching Company.
They allowed me to use this to make these kinds of presentations but in return for that,
I have to acknowledge that they're actually their stuff.
>> Questions?
Yes, [inaudible].
Hi there.
>> Hi.
>> Hey Lee [phonetic].
>> [Inaudible] bad guy.
>> Always.
>> [Inaudible] operating for a while
but it helps superpartner [inaudible] parameters space program.
Are you nervous?
>> No, I'm not.
So Lee's question is--
>> Why not?
>> Lee's question is-- so the Super Collider has been operating for a fairly--
for at least two years now and a large part of the parameter space.
So let's talk about the parameter space.
When you use mathematics to talk about nature, often, you have to put in numbers
that we call parameters in order to fit the experiment--
make the mathematics fit to the experimental results.
The mass of the electron is one of these parameters.
There are other things like the amount of charge on electron.
And it turns out that in supersymmetrical models,
the numbers of parameters are actually in a range of a hundred.
So, if you're going to try to use this mathematics to make predictions,
the first thing that you-- if you're going to try to make real predictions,
the first thing you're going to do is make assumptions about what the parameters are.
What are the-- by what are your-- whatever your aesthetics are,
you're going to say, "It's probably close to this.
Let me take that as a guess and then generate the physics that comes from that."
The regions of the parameter space that Lee has talked about are those that are--
that have been [inaudible] traditionally to be the most likely.
But it's only a matter of aesthetics that has picked that.
There is no particular other reason.
And so, that's why people like me are not nervous because we--
some of us never agree with the aesthetics that were driving those choices.
>> Okay, you have a question.
Marcelo? But let's wait-- since this is being recorded, we'll wait 'till the mic gets you
so that your question is recorded.
>> Okay.
[ Pause ]
>> And again, for those of you to have to go, feel free to them to leave.
>> So Jim, so the followup question is, let's say, in a very pessimistic way,
the LHC does not find supersymmetry?
>> Yes.
>> Would you be willing to rethink your dream?
>> Will I be really-- absolutely.
Because in science, no matter how dearly one holds a dream, you don't deny the data.
>> So you're not be willing to like tweak the parameters so the supersymmetry--
>> Not me, no.
>> -- would be hidden?
>> Not me.
>> Okay.
>> I know lots of people who would, but the way-- I'm a very conservative scientist.
And I don't believe that you should go running from the data.
If the data says something, that's where you ought to be looking.
So if we don't see supersymmetry in about a decade because, as I said, I actually would pay
about how hard it might actually be to find supersymmetry?
I know how hard it might be.
If we don't find it in about decade, then I'm going to get nervous.
But not right now.
>> Okay.
>> Not right now.
>> No more questions?
Yes sir. He'll come.
[Inaudible Remark]
>> I'm sorry.
I apologize to this young lady who has to run the microphone up and down the hall like this.
[ Pause ]
>> That's Ryan [inaudible], one of the colleagues in our physics department.
>> Hi, I'm just curious.
So let's say, we do find the supersymmetric particle in the next decade,
which one do you think is the most likely to be found?
>> Ah, this brings me back to-- I was hoping someone ask that question.
Because this brings me back to something that Stephon alluded to in his introduction,
or at least talking to the students earlier today.
It turns out that among that list of objects-- let me pull it up first.
So let's get out of this and come back.
[ Pause ]
Come back here.
That's exactly where I wanted to come back to.
So it turns out that although I explained in my cartoon explanation of supersymmetry, it was--
I could draw all the standard particles in a table and that table was asymmetrical.
And so, in order to balance that table,
I drew things that we've never seen before in the laboratory.
It's a little bit more complicated than that.
And in particular, in the Higgs sector of the theory,
it turns out that the Higgs particle doesn't just have a single superpartner.
It actually has more.
It actually has the list of Higgs particles that I've listed here 'cause I kind
of figured someone would come back to this point.
And so, my favorite of the super particles is something that is called the LSP
which is the lightest super symmetric particle.
And it is believed that it will be something as kind of Higgs-like in some sense.
And then a great thing about supersymmetry which is one
of the reasons why people like me tend to believe it.
You see, when people-- when supersymmetry was first written, no one was serious--
well, at least, no particle physicist were serously concerned
about the dark matter problem.
Dark matter, the issue had been raised as far back in the '30s which Fritz Zwicky at CalTech
as one of the earliest people who pointed out that if you look at the way stars move
in our galaxy, they behave as if there's a lot more matter
than you can see by counting the stars.
And that's how the dark matter issue first came to light in science.
Back when I was a graduate student in the early '70s,
that problem was essentially not very well addressed except by some people
like Margaret Geller, but very few scientists worried about the dark matter problem.
As someone mentioned today, I guess it was Robert in his intro--
in talking with the students, he mentioned that if you look at our universe and account
for all the energy, we and stuff like us account
for roughly five percent of what we are able to measure.
Dark matter roughly accounts for about another 20 percent.
And then the remaining 75 percent of the universe is something that is so bizarre
and so mysterious that we have essentially no idea what it is and we call it dark energy.
We're like-- in this-- I must admit that in this way, physicist act like medical doctors.
[Laughter] My wife is a medical doctor.
And when she was at med-- so we were married when she was going to med school.
And so, I remember helping her study for exams and all that kind of stuff.
And while I was doing that, I learned what an idiopathic diagnosis means.
Now, some people here agree with me 'cause they'd know what the joke is.
When a doctor is-- [Inaudible Remark] Ah!
So for those of you who don't know, if you go to a doctor and tried
to get the doctors diagnose some condition and the doctor says, "Well, it's idiopathic."
Now, you might think that the doctor that the doctor has identified a cause,
but what that actually means is I don't know.
[Laughter] They don't know the cause.
And in this sense, when we say dark matter, we're acting like medical doctors.
We don't know what that stuff is but we got to give it a name anyway.
So my point however was supersymmetry, when it was first proposed, no one was worried
about dark matter, at least to the first degree.
And so, the fact that you write the consistent mathematics and it automatically starts
to provide candidates for dark matter, this is like--
seems like it might be one of those serendipitous occurrences that we see occurring
over and over in theoretical physics.
So, the question of my-- so my favorite, the LSP, because it will,
we think, solve the dark matter problem.
>> We have time for one more question.
I see a student.
Okay. Actually no, okay.
As long as it's a quick question and three-- the three-- we'll do three quick questions.
[Inaudible Remark]
Okay. Well, [inaudible]-- okay.
We'll see how it goes.
>> So this might reveal a hole in my understanding of the standard model.
But is there a reason why there shouldn't be more than three generations of the particles?
That seems like a nice--
>> It's a natural question.
It's actually a very good question.
And it's a question that particle theorists have thought about.
What we can tell you is the following.
That if you look at the Z particle which is one of the things that I showed on my list
and you study it very carefully, what you find is that the patterns of decays that we see
in the laboratory tell us that there are no more than three generations
that are like the ones that we see.
So there are no more than three generations of electron and its neutrino,
muon and its neutrino, tau particle and its neutrino.
The decay particles rule out more than three.
Now, that's an experimental observation.
That's not a mathematical reason.
So we don't have a mathematical reason for why there can't be more generations.
And the other thing that it doesn't rule out is forms of matter that are not like the doublets
of neutrinos and their associated charged particles.
Maybe-- in fact, people will look for other more exotic things, [inaudible] particle,
sterile neutrinos, all kinds of things that David knows more about than I do.
And so, yeah, there is lots of room for asking that question and people ask it all the time.
>> Okay, one more question from Phil Phillips, one of our speakers.
>> Okay, so this is-- since I finally got the microphone, I'll ask three questions.
>> Did you say three?
[Laughter]
>> Oh no. I'm sorry.
One last question.
>> You know, on an aircraft carrier, when the landing chief does this, so you get one.
>> Okay, so I'll ask one question.
>> What was actually found on July 4?
>> What was actually found is-- that's a very good question
because [laughter] it's not completely clear--
>> That's why I asked the question.
>> I know.
[Laughter] It is not completely clear what was found on July 4th.
And if you read very carefully the releases from CERN at that time,
for those of you who are really good readers, you can detect a kind of ambiguity
in the language that was very unusual
for when particle physicists make an announcement of a discovery.
So, was one particle or two particles discovered?
We're not really sure.
If you read very carefully, we don't know
that this is actually the Higgs particle that we found.
Was it one or two particles?
And in fact, if two Higgses are found, people like me are going to just be hitting the roof
because supersymmetry says you ought to expect more than one Higgs.
Do we know that the spin is zero?
Not completely.
I have friends who, you know, work at the laboratory, I talked to over this over them.
We're not sure.
We know something was found.
We're not sure if it's even the Higgs that our mathematics has predicted.
That's part of the reason why the experiments are continuing past July 4th
and will continue until the shutdown.
The LHC is going to be shutdown for most of next year for an upgrade
where data still being continued.
There is expected to be another announcement by the two groups in December where, hopefully,
the kind of ambiguous language that I talked to you
about will be removed and we'll be able to say, "Aha!
Peter Higgs deserves his noble price."
Thank you.
[ Applause ]