Last Friday City College held a symposium here in Manhattan celebrating physics at City College. I was able to attend just the morning session, which began with a quick rescheduling of Anton Zeilinger for David Gross, who had overslept. Gross finally did make it and gave a talk on “The Frontiers of Particle Physics”. He says he’s taking bets in favor of supersymmetry being seen at the LHC, with 50/50 odds, and expects first evidence for supersymmetry within a year or two. By the time he got to the part of his slides about string theory he was over time, so he bypassed them, flipping ahead several slides at once.
Unfortunately I seem to have missed the real fireworks, which were at a panel discussion that afternoon. There’s a report at Scientific American, entitled Star physicists trade barbs over cosmological model. Alan Guth was there, promoting the multiverse and the anthropic explanation of the CC. Gross was having none of it:
“In reaction to that last talk—oy vey,”…
Gross called Guth’s concept of eternal inflation somewhat speculative, noting that if other universes do exist, they are causally disconnected from ours—”every goddamn one of them.” As such, Gross added, talk of other universes “does bear some resemblance to talking about angels.”