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2Physics Quote:
"About 200 femtoseconds after you started reading this line, the first step in actually seeing it took place. In the very first step of vision, the retinal chromophores in the rhodopsin proteins in your eyes were photo-excited and then driven through a conical intersection to form a trans isomer [1]. The conical intersection is the crucial part of the machinery that allows such ultrafast energy flow. Conical intersections (CIs) are the crossing points between two or more potential energy surfaces."
-- Adi Natan, Matthew R Ware, Vaibhav S. Prabhudesai, Uri Lev, Barry D. Bruner, Oded Heber, Philip H Bucksbaum
(Read Full Article: "Demonstration of Light Induced Conical Intersections in Diatomic Molecules" )

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

High Energy Physics: 5 Needed Breakthroughs
-- Pierre Ramond

Pierre Ramond [photo courtesy: University of Florida, Gainesville]

[ Prof. Pierre Ramond, Distinguished Professor of Physics at University of Florida in Gainesville, is today's guest in our ongoing feature '5-Breakthroughs'.

During his long career starting with the PhD work at Syracuse University in 1969, Prof. Ramond contributed in some significant developments in the study of elementary particles and fields. Notable among those is the crucial role he played in the early development of superstring theory.

Early string theory proposed by Yoichiro Nambu and others in 1970 was based on bosonic string. At that point, Pierre Ramond took the crucial step of generalizing the Virasoro algebra, the symmetry algebra of the bosonic string, to a superconformal algebra including anticommuting operators. The inclusion of a fermionic string to accompany the bosonic ones completed the theory of strings. In 1971, he generalized Dirac's equation for point-like particles to string-like ones, which laid a solid foundation for the superstring theory. A comprehensive list of the variety of work he did can be found in Google Scholar link.

Prof. Ramond is a Fellow of American Physical Society and American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In August 2004, he was awarded Oskar Klein Medal by Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences and Stockholm University.

Many of us grew up with his celebrated book "Field Theory: A Modern Primer" (Addison / Wesley, 1981) and also experienced the pleasure of "Journeys Beyond the Standard Model"(Perseus, 1999), his other book. It's thus our pleasure to present the 5 most important breakthroughs that Prof. Ramond would like to see in High Energy Physics.
-- 2Physics.com Team]

Here is my list of five:

Finding Supersymmetry with the Large Hadronic Collider, and if found, understanding Supersymmetry breaking.

Understanding why there are three chiral families of Elementary Particles (closely related to finding the organizing principle behind chiral symmetry breaking, e.g. Yukawa interactions).

Observation of Proton Decay in the Laboratory.

Determining the Character (Majorana or Dirac) of Neutrino masses.

Identifying Dark Matter.

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