Monday, 15 January 2007

Joe Lykken for Dummies

This week CERN hosts the Winter School on Strings, Supergravity and Gauge Theories. One of the lecturers is Joe Lykken from Fermilab. He gave a series of four lectures LHC Phenomenology for String Theorists. The rumour is that the original title was LHC for Dummies and was only changed last minute. I don' t know if for political correctness or just to clarify the level of the target audience ;-).

I certainly was the right kind of audience. For some reasons, whenever I hear someone talking about detectors and trackers my eyes start to feel heavy. It was different this time. It is well known that Joe is a fantastic lecturer, but I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition. He explained how hadron colliders work and this was interesting. He discussed top quarks detection at the LHC and this was illuminating.
He talked about next-to-next-to-leading order QCD corrections (could you imagine a more mesmerizing subject?) and even that was fun to listen.

In the last lecture he talked about discovering new physics at the LHC with the emphasis on supersymmetry. He was surprisingly positive about a possibility of identifying the pattern of soft supersymmetry breaking terms and understanding which string theory model is realized in nature. Well...que sera, sera.

The video recording is available here. Though it's less fun, you can also look at the typed notes.