Saturday, October 27, 2007

Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity

Only little more than one week to go to our workshop on 'Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity'. If you recall earlier mentioning of my planning for this event, this is the workshop that originally was titled something with 'phenomenology'. However, in times where people seriously talk about 'qualitative predictions', and 'phenomenology' is turning into a widely abused advertisement slogan, I felt like I had to make really clear what I meant. In addition, 'experimental' is easier to pronounce than 'phenomenological'.

Last week I had a temporary crisis, when two of the speakers eventually decided to turn 'to be confirmed' into 'cancelled', only two weeks before the workshop, couldn't they have made up their mind somewhat earlier? (Okay, in case of Brian Greene that was unsurprising, but annoying nevertheless). Then the next day, another one of the speakers who I was very interested in meeting found out he would not be able to get a visa in time. While I was stuck at JFK, arguing with the Delta personnel to rebook me onto the next flight to Toronto, I thought about just taking the first flight to somewhere and let the stupid workshop organize itself.

Instead I got the asshole seat on the Toronto flight, first row aisle, opposite to the restrooms, next to a guy who was barely able to squeeze himself into his seat, had probably be counting on occupying mine as well, and was therefore in a particularly good mood.

That's why I am proud to say that by today, I have managed to replace cancellations, rearrange the schedule, and was able to reduce the number of talks about the all-time favourite topic 'TBA' to four. After one of the initial organizers moved to Europe in September, our workshop is now entirely organized by Germans. Which is kind of funny, because the following weekend workshop on 'Effective Models of Quantum Gravity' is entirely organized by Italians (our schedule, their schedule).

Now that things are taking at least some shape, I am really looking forward to the workshop. We have a couple of very interesting talks, and the participants will make for a good mixture, the intention being to get people together who have been working on various aspects of the same problem. PI's public lecture will also fall into this week which is a nice coincidence. It will be held by John Ellis about "The Large Hadron Collider - World's Most Powerful Microscope" (sounds familiar?). I had some fun with the poster, mostly because I carefully made the layout for ISO paper size which then looked like a disaster on flyers in letter format.

Boah, we are SO organized, we even have a summary talk! After I mentioned it would be nice to have a summary the last day, somebody obviously suggested I'd do it. I then suggested somebody else, who suggested somebody else ... etc ... and eventually somebody suggested Lee. Who, to everybody's surprise (after ignoring the question twice) said yes. (Now every time I see him looking at the schedule he is surprised that he gives the summary talk.) Either way, I am not sure how much time I will have to actually report on the workshop, but the talks will all be recorded, and I will make sure they will appear on the websites as soon as possible.

A nice weekend to all of you!

16 comments:

Arun said...

Dear Bee,
All the best! As usual, when you bring so many bright people together, interesting things can happen. Looking forward to your (however delayed) account of the workshop!

:)
Best,
-Arun

Bee said...

Thanks :-) Is there a critical brain mass above which a workshop explodes in a chain reaction? I think cleaning staff would like to know in advance. Best,

B.

Anonymous said...

In heaven they say; the cooks are french, the police is british, the lovers are italian and it is all organized by germans.

In hell they say; the cooks are british, the police is french, the lovers are german and it is all organized by italians.

Hi Bee,

Do you see a way to explain the phenomena following from the SRT (time dil.., mass gain, shortening of objects..) purely by the ingredients; mass, momentum, gravity? Leaving out electromagnetism.

best

Klaus

Arun said...

Dear Bee,
I don't know about chain brain reaction explosions; but I have heard rumors of breadstick spallations.

Anonymous said...

Dear Klaus, according to the poster, the conference is indeed organized by Germans but the cooks are Italian, Canadian, Korean-American, American-Canadian, Czechoslovak, German, and a few other nations. Hopefully, the Canadian police and the cooks' Jamaican lovers will be ready.

Bee said...

I've learned the Canadians call that cooking style 'international fusion'.

Klaus, reg. your question

"Do you see a way to explain the phenomena following from the SRT (time dil.., mass gain, shortening of objects..) purely by the ingredients; mass, momentum, gravity? Leaving out electromagnetism."

I am afraid I don't really understand what you mean. SRT has a priori nothing to do with gravity. In SRT space-time is flat, global Poincare invariance. SRT has by itself nothing to do with electromagnetism. The approach via Maxwell's equations is just often used because it's historically interesting: The Maxwell Equations *are* Lorentz invariant and were known before SRT, it 'just' took an Einstein to understand the relevance (Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper). The shortest way to write down SRT is to postulate space-time is Minkowski space, ask for the transformations that leave angles and lengths invariant, take the part of that group with the identity element, gives you SO(3,1) with one free parameter, identify it as a maximum speed that only massless particles can have. It is not necessary at this point to know anything about the photon, just that in realitas it's the speed of light which we are talking about there. Does that help?

Best,

B.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bee,

Yes it helped!

you said:SRT has by itself nothing to do with electromagnetism.

this is answer to the key point of my question.

the speed of photons is the same as the speed of gravity because they are massless (keine Ruhemasse).. Do you agree that when we talk about light in relation to SRT then "light" is merely a convenient tool used in order to explain the phenomena..?

best

Klaus

Uncle Al said...

U/Victoria Commons cafeteria once served "Cajun stir-fry tofu." Perhaps it was an attempt at drug smuggling. U/Manitoba servery fare was uniformy excellent, generously let, and fairly priced. Oh that potato salad! Russians know how to eat.

All gravitation theories must begin with the Equivalence Principle (perturbative string theory through BRST invariance). Interesting theories prescribe EP violations. Interesting experimentalists fill those presciptions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein-Cartan_theory
http://www.oakland.edu/physics/mog29/mog29.pdf
spin-orbit coupling in PSR J0737-3039A/B, 20 years

http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/lajos.htm#a2
Enough benzil is grown for the Christmas run, 2 days.

We're now aiming for ~hourly runs 0600-1800 hrs rather than a midnight point. The tech has a family.

Bee said...

Hi Klaus:

In many textbooks on SRT, light is used as a synonym for information exchange with maximal velocity. I don't think it is in any way relevant in this case that he photon happens to be the massless gauge boson of the electroweak interaction, if this is what you are asking. There is no gravity in SRT, therefore also no 'speed of gravity'.
Best,

B.

RB said...

Pardon me for eavesdropping so to speak,

I am a merely a layman, stumbling around the web.

"The Maxwell Equations *are* Lorentz invariant and were known before SRT"

A non-scientific wild a** guess; this the historical 4 equation version you refer to ?
Not the original 20 equation, 20 variable non-historical version ??

I post this first, in the hope that maybe more physicists in the trenches will shed their blinders to look and think outside the box, ... and secondly as venting behavior at man's self-imposed limitations.

G'day.
RB

Bee said...

oohm, not sure. according to my counting it's either 8 or 2 equations, i.e. dF = 0 and d*F= J if you count the components it should be 4+4 =8.

Bee said...

Meanwhile, the program is complete, and there is only one abstract missing (Lämmerzahl). Since somebody asked about it, Ellis sent his abstract today, so check the updated schedule. Best, B.

RB said...

I apologize for my lack of specificity. This was what I was asking about:

http://www.zpenergy.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1949

RB said...

Edit link:

http://www.zpenergy.com/
modules.php?name=News&file
=article&sid=1949

Bee said...

Hi RB:

Thanks. Looks interesting, but I currently unfortunately don't have the time to read it. I hope I made clear what equations I was talking about, does that answer your question? Best,

B.

stefan said...

BTW,

for all of you who, like me, cannot be in Waterloo right now, the lectures are available online as video stream and PDF files:

"View Experimental Lectures"

Check them out!
Best,

Stefan