This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events on Friday, March 1st, 2013

Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Indirect Probes of the MSSM after the Higgs Discovery
Time: 2:15 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Felix Yu, Fermilab
Abstract: I will present results from a study of the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM) with minimal flavor violation (MFV), imposing constraints from flavor physics observables and MSSM Higgs searches, in light of the recent discovery of a 125 GeV Higgs boson by ATLAS and CMS. We analyzed the electroweak vacuum stability conditions to further restrict the MSSM parameter space. In addition, we showed a connection to ultraviolet physics via an implementation of renormalization group running, which determines the TeV-scale spectrum from a small set of minimal supergravity parameters. Finally, we investigated the impact from dark matter direct detection searches. Our work highlights the complementarity of collider, flavor and dark matter probes in exploring the MSSM, and shows that even in a MFV framework, flavor observables constrain the MSSM parameter space well beyond the current reach of direct SUSY particle searches.
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Physics Department Colloquium
Life after Lorentz: Quantum Mechanics, Gravity, and the Crisis of Falsifiability
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Niayesh Afshordi, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics & the University of Waterloo
Abstract: In the last decade of 19th century, Hendrik Lorentz discovered a group of transformations of space and "local time" that left Maxwell equations of electromagnetism unchanged. In the ensuing decades, this revelation led to the development of special and general theories of relativity by Einstein, and has been the cornerstone of much of theoretical physics and astrophysics ever since. In spite of its tremendous success over the past century, in this talk I entertain the possibility that Lorentz invariance might have been a "glorious historical accident", rather than a fundamental symmetry of nature! (My favorite) motivations for this line of argument come from a need for falsifiable theories of quantum gravity, early universe, dark energy, and black hole physics.
Host: Chung
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