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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Intelligent extraterrestrial life: Does it exist? and, if so, what are the prospects for discovery and communication?
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Ed Churchwell, UW Department of Astronomy
Abstract: I will explain what I mean by intelligent life, review the high points about what is known about the evolution of "intelligent" life on Earth and apply some of what are thought to be global principles that are likely to govern the origin and evolution of life in the universe. In particular, I will spend some time on limitations to our prospects for discovery and communication. This is a very broad subject, and I certainly will not have time to cover all the issues associated with this subject, nor am I qualified to speak about many of them.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Weak gravity conjecture, Multiple point principle and standard model landscape
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Yuta Hamada, University of Wisconsin-Madison & KEK Theory Center
Abstract: The requirement for an ultraviolet completable theory to be well-behaved upon compacti cation has been suggested as a guiding principle for distinguishing the landscape from the swampland. Motivated by the weak gravity conjecture and the multiple point principle, we investigate the vacuum structure of the standard model compacti ed on S^1 and T^2. The measured value of the Higgs mass implies, in addition to the electroweak vacuum, the existence of a new vacuum where the Higgs eld value is around the Planck scale. We explore two- and three-dimensional critical points of the moduli potential arising from compacti cations of the electroweak vacuum as well as this high scale vacuum, in the presence of Majorana/Dirac neutrinos and/or axions. We point out potential sources of instability for these lower dimensional critical points in the standard model landscape. We also point out that a high scale AdS_4 vacuum of the Standard Model, if exists, would be at odd with the conjecture that all non-supersymmetric AdS vacua are unstable. We argue that, if we require a degeneracy between three- and four-dimensional vacua as suggested by the multiple point principle, the neutrinos are predicted to be Dirac, with the mass of the lightest neutrino  O(1-10) meV, which may be tested by future CMB, large scale structure and 21cm line observations.
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