04/28/2009 - 4:15pm

04/30/2009 - 5:15pm

Speaker:

Professor Vincent Bouchard of Harvard University

Abstract:

String theory is proposed as a candidate for unifying all four observed forces of Nature. In the last year new limits of string theory have been studied, in which gravity decouples from other forces and particle physics becomes "geometrized". In these lectures I will first review the Standard Model of particle physics, and observations that point towards physics beyond the Standard Model, such as neutrino masses. Then I will introduce the very basics of string theory and F-theory, focusing on some aspects relevant for particle physics. I will explain how in some limits of string theory properties of particle physics translate into topological and geometrical properties of an internal complex manifold. This reformulation of particle physics into complex geometry leads to new theoretical models with signatures that could potentially be observed experimentally.

These lectures will be quite a bit of a challenge, since the topic is at the forefront of current research in string theory, and lies at the

intersection of mathematics and physics. Therefore, instead of delving into the technical details of the theories, I rather hope to provide

an accessible overview which conveys the excitement surrounding these new approaches.

Where:

Beckman Auditorium

Misc. Information:

Please note that this special talk is on Tuesday April 28, 2009 4:15 - 5:15 and resumes Thursday April 30, 4:15 - 5:15. The regular Colloquium on Wednesday evenings at Beckman will remain scheduled.

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