Talks From Strings 2004

Transparencies from the talks at Strings 2004 in Paris are starting to appear on-line. You can see a listing of what is available so far here. None of the ones I’d be most interested in seeing (Dijkgraaf, Nekrasov, Moore, Witten) have appeared yet.

On the hot topic of whether or not the landscape picture of string theory can predict whether supersymmetry will be seen at LHC energies, Douglas first gives an argument that there will be low-energy supersymmetry, then another that there won’t. Recall that he kept adding and subtracting from his arXiv paper a sentence saying he thought there would be a solid argument by the time the LHC was operating in 2008. In Paris, he puts it this way:

“I start to think that fairly convincing predictions could come out of this approach in the next few years.”

which contains enough qualifiers to cover any eventuality.

Of the talks for the public, Veneziano’s was pretty much historical, with a couple comments about cosmology, Maldacena’s was mostly about black holes, and John Schwarz’s was remarkable mainly in that it completely ignored any developments of the last ten years. None of these three breathed a word about the landscape.

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One Response to Talks From Strings 2004

  1. serenus zeitblom says:

    I thought that Maldacena’s public talk was excellent. He even drew the black hole singularity correctly, that is, as being spacelike, not a common thing in popularizations. Indeed, it is something beyond the comprehension of a lot of professional physicists, who *still* persist in drawing diagrams of black hole interiors which reveal the embarrassing fact that they think that the singularity is a point in space which has a timelike “worldline”. With a heroic effort I resist the temptation to name names….the other nice thing about Maldacena’s talk was that it was about something of genuine interest, which alas cannot be said about most of the talks in the conference proper. It is sad for example that there were almost no talks about cosmology, where all the action is nowadays….

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