The Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society has been having its annual meeting at UC Riverside during th past few days, and some of the plenary talks have been put on-line.
Particularly interesting is the talk by Jamie Rosenzweig about Advanced Accelerators: Near and Far Future Options. It reviews ongoing development of existing technologies for use in the next (post-LHC) generation of accelerators, including the superconducting RF cavity technology recently chosen for use in a possible electron-positron linear collider. But it also covers some of the more exotic acceleration technologies that people are thinking about, including optical lasers and plasma wake-fields. Some of these technologies, if they could be made to work, hold the promise of creating much higher accelerating gradients and might allow the construction of much higher energy linear accelerators. The future of particle physics may end up depending on the success of these efforts.
The review of New Models of Electroweak Symmetry Breaking is interesting, although mainly in that it shows that the ideas going around about this aren’t very compelling, and perhaps some dramatically new ones are needed. The reviews of heavy flavor and neutrino physics give a good idea of the current experimental situation. Still to be posted are talks by Clifford Johnson on “Current Trends in String Theory” and by Sean Carroll on cosmology. Carroll also has an interesting discussion of the current state of tests of general relativity on his weblog.