Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Apples and oranges.

How things so different like apples and oranges could be interchanged? Frank Wilczek thinks that he has a trick to do the job if we substitute apples with electrons, oranges with photons and LHC will witness that fundamentally they have something in common.

After reviewing the first part of his PI lecture, Frank Wilczek presented his vision of what will setup the new golden age in physics.

He started with the fancy picture of a 2009 paper calendar shaped as a dodecahedron (a highly symmetric three dimensional geometric object).

He made the analogy of dodecahedron assembly with the state of theoretical physics today that has only few of the pieces required (given by the Standard Model or Core Theory as Frank likes to name it). For example, it is known that electrons are related with quarks and photons relate with gluons. Electrons and photons are quite different since electrons reject each other (causing matter's hardness) while photons attract themselves (lasers work this way).

The idea that electrons and photons might have something in common would have outraged the theoretical physics community 40 years ago. Now it is a not such a crazy idea anymore as electrons and photons could be part of the same structure in another quantum state. This is what the supersymmetry (SUSY) theory predicts.

Frank Wilczek hopes that LHC will reveal (by creation) the other missing pieces of the dodecahedron puzzle.

Why Frank Wilczek thinks that SUSY will open the gate of a new golden age? Read my next post!

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