Neutrinos and string theory at Trinity College Dublin

I gave a few more talks on the Gran Sasso neutrino experiments last week, in Waterford on Wednesday and in Trinity College Dublin on Saturday. I really enjoy giving these talks; it’s not often one gets an excuse to present the theory of relativity to the hapless public. Journalists talk about the ‘hook’ – well this is a hook from heaven. I even got a 20-minute interview on Ireland’s premier radio show Today with Pat Kenny . You can find the podcast and the slides I used for the lecture here.

There was a real buzz in the air at Saturday’s lecture, thanks to the latest results from OPERA. As you probably know, the team announced on Friday that the superluminal result has passed its first major test: a repeat experiment using a much shorter proton pulse. This time they used pulses only 3 nanoseconds long, separated by by gaps ten time larger. This is vastly shorter than before (10 microseconds) and obviates the statistical approach used for matching transmitted and received pulses used in the original experiment. Like most physicists, I am still pretty certain the result will eventually turn out to be an anomaly, but I certainly hope it survives for another few months! See here for the new OPERA paper.

The lecture was hosted by Astronomy Ireland,a very interested audience that always turn out in droves. The theatre was jammers, quite a few audience members had to stand throughout. As always, I particularly enjoyed the questions and answers afterwards. It’s also fun to be come home; as a postgraduate student, I spent many long years in the magnetic resonance lab next door!

David Moore of Astronomy Ireland presents me with something (?)

Afterwards, some of us all legged it over to another Trinity lecture theatre, to hear the annual statutory lecture of the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. This year, the speaker was well-known string theorist Cumrun Vafa from Harvard. Titled ‘Geometric Physics’, the lecture was an excellent introduction to string theory today.

String theorist Cumrun Vafa from Harvard

And after all that, there was a reception to celebrate the fact that Werner Nahm, the director of the DIAS School, was recently made a fellow of the Royal Society. What a weekend

Update

On Sunday, Werner gave a fascinating talk on ancient astronomy at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies. After the seminar, many of us remained in the fading light in that famous seminar room, discussing the neutrino result and other experiments at CERN. As so often, I was struck by the depth and detail of knowledge the theorists had of particle experiments. I also enjoyed the way the discussion wandered into German for a while, then seamlessly back to English – only at DIAS!

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11 Comments

Filed under Particle physics, Public lectures

11 responses to “Neutrinos and string theory at Trinity College Dublin

  1. ANTONIO CARLOS MOTTA

    appear me that that questions of neuteinos faster than the speed of light es closed,i think the incresament of energy with relation to the incresement of speed of the body is not linear,there are variations depending of the velocity,this is there are variations in the oscilations of the spins of the neutrinos to abtineutrinos and viceversa.then the violation of cp apear always with stronger,as charm meson,the changes of helicities occur when the overcome the speed of light,given the curvatures of space generated by the change of helicity of the body.thence measurubg the spacetime,as well as the time dilatation and contraction of space is derived
    of the inversoes of helicity,that determine the constancy and limit od “C” to ours inertial refential

  2. cormac

    spin? good point. I keep thinking that if a systematic measurement error does not eventually show up, it may be that there is some mysterious property of neutrinos that has not been taken into account…after all they have puzzled us before (the solar neutrino paradox) Cormac

  3. ANTONIO CARLOS MOTTA

    there are intrinsical relations of strinf theory and particles-antiparticlles.think that the str and gtr are substratum of the superstrings.and the extradimension of spacetime,permit neutrinos and others particles,that
    must to be descoveryed still.think that these particles traveling in that extradimensions-with other spacetime inertial referential -arenot affected by the causality and the displacement of the time

  4. Don

    I did a masters with werner nahm back a good few years ago. he is a really nice man and thoroughly deserving of a great accolade. his work on on conformal field theory and the ‘nahm equations’ is world leading, but my best memory of my time in dublin with him was his effort to learn Irish. Unfortunately his Irish was far better than my conformal field theory!

  5. ANTONIO CARLOS MOTTA

    i would like to know the conformal field theory and the nahm equations,please.

    what is the oppinion of cumrum vafa about of experiments of OPERA on the neutrinos travel faster than the
    speed of light?
    i think that in multidimensional universe as suggested by superstrings with 11 or 12 dimensions permit high
    freedom degrees to the spacetime continnum and the neutrinos if displacements between the dimensions of universe ” carrying informations” between theirs.then the speed of light would be segmented between the
    universe doing the speed of light appear as constant to the differents spacetime continuos with a determined
    velocity to the speed of light to each universe with a metrics to the curvatures of spacetime

    i think the the neutrinos faster than the speed of light and the asymmetry between the particles and antiparticles are substractum of the theories of superstrings.

  6. cormac

    Antonio: I asked Prof Vafa during the Q&A session if he thought there was a smidgen of a chance that the neutrino result might somehow be a manifestation of an extra dimension, even though the energy range is orders of mag lower than one might expect..
    He said no chance, doesn’t believe the result will stand. Almost all string theorists say this, it’s the science journalists who are talking about higher dimensions

    • I REALLY BELIEVE NOT THAT THE SUPERSTRING THEORISTS THINKS THAT UNIVERSE OBEY A SPEED-LIMIT TO ALL THE THE EXTRADIMENSIONS,ALREADY THAT I UNDERSTAND THAT THE SUPERSTRINGS
      BRANES AND OTHERS OVERCOME THE STR AND GTR.
      COULDN’T MORE THINK THAT THE FUNDAMENTAL ENTITIES ARE “POINTS” AND “INSTANTS OR TICKS ”
      OF CLOCKS,BUT ARE STRCUTURES VERY MUCH COMPLEXES THAT PERMITS THE NONCOMMUTATIVE GEOMETRY WITH LEFT-RIGHT HANDED ASYMMETRY TO THE TRANSFORMATIONS OF PT IN THE
      4-DIMENSIONAL WORLD.

      THERE ARE VERY FEAR OF A NEW PHYSICS.

      WHAT IS MORE HARD TO BELIEVE? IN 10 OR 11 DIMENSIONS OR IN SUPERLUMINAL SINALS?

  7. David Brown

    Is there overwhelming evidence in favor of Milgrom’s MOND?
    http://www.astro.umd.edu/~ssm/mond The MOND pages
    http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pavel/kroupa_cosmology.html Pavel Kroupa: Dark Matter, Cosmology and Progress
    I call the Rañada-Milgrom apparent-or-real effect the apparent or real necessity of replacing the -1/2 in Einstein’s field equations by -1/2 + sqrt((60±10)/4) * 10**-5 based upon Prof. Fernandez-Rañada’s ideas on the Pioneer anomaly. Is the OPERA neutrino anomaly fully explained as a consequence of the Rañada-Milgrom effect?

  8. i that the work of ranada-milgrom is interesting,but explain not the anomaly of the neutrino of concrete.i think that scalar and vector field would explain in parts in the accelatation of the expansion of the universe,as modifications in the spacertime topological structure,where the speed of light will apear with INFINITY VELOCITY.doing apear the time slow down.then the temporal reversibility cannot to be observed to all the universe.then will ocur alterations in the speed of light during the cosmic expansion.then the antisymetric metric tensor place that incomplete future and past .and couldn’t to obtain a arrow of time,because there are loopholes in the past and ion the call of future.
    the speed of light is not tottally constant,but ocur deformations in the spacetime generated by breakdown of cp( strongest rotation fields) that modifu the speed of light,and many particles travel with speed faster than the apeed of light.the breakdown of cpt must apear in the strongest spacetime curvatures producing new curvatures of spacetime by two poles(backward in time and forward in time).

    the theoty of superstring with multiples dimensions 10,11 or 12 cab to permit alterations in the speed of light and of others particles,as in the osccilattions of neutrinos,nodifyung the space,and back to neutrinos with speed pof light without violate causality

  9. THE STR AND GTR ARE SUBSTRATUM OF SUPERSTRINGS.I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE EXTRADIMENSION OF SPACETIME THAT PERMIT DISPLACEMENTS OF BOIES WITH VELOCITIES FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT MEASURED IN THE REFERENTIAL SYSTEMS.IT IS IN THE CURVATURES OF SPACETIME IN 4-DIMENSIONAL MANIFOLDS WITH RIEMANNIAN VARIETY,WITH QUATERNIONICS METRICS
    THE SUPERSTRINGS WOULD HAVE 12-DIMENSIONS,BEING THE TIME GIVEN BY” 2-DIMENSIONS” THAT
    ENCURVE THE SPACETIME THROUGH OF THE RIGHT ´LEFT HANDED ROTATIONAL ASYMMETRY.

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