Place yer bets, folks!
Here at Aspen, there’s a one week overlap between the workshop with mostly string theorists:
“String Theory, Gauge Theory & Particle Physics”
The workshop will focus on insights into particle physics and gauge theory dynamics from string theory. The proposed activities will concentrate on aspects of string vacua, both from the perspective of flux compactifications and D-brane gauge dynamics, as well as new insights into strong gauge dynamics from string theory. Given the recent progress and continued central interest in these research directions, we expect to have an exciting program. We also plan to keep the door open for any other exciting developments in string theory which may arise in the coming year and which touch on the themes of the current planned program.
… and the workshop with mostly phenomenologists:
“Particle Theory in Anticipation of the LHC”
There has been remarkable progress in the past few years developing new models of particle physics beyond the Standard Model and in developing innovative ways for testing these models in experiment. Much of the theoretical progress has been stimulated by more formal developments, leading to an increased collaboration and synergy between more formal and more phenomenological theorists. The goal of this workshop is to bridge the gap between theory and phenomenology by bringing together physicists with diverse expertise. We intend to bring together experts on the Standard Model (particularily collider phenomenologists), beyond the Standard Model (supersymmetry, extra dimensions), and string theorists with an interest in phenomenology. We expect that the collaborations fostered at this workshop would lead to new directions in model building, to studies of experimental signatures of new models, and to the development of new techniques for studying strongly coupled physics relevant for particle experiments.
So what? Good, yes, lots of cross-pollination of ideas, sitting in on each others seminars, historic calculations over lunch, and so forth.
But, significantly, at the family picnic today, one phenomenologist organizer came over to one of the string theory organisers and said
“Phenomenology Vs String Theory. Basketball. Thursday. 5:00pm. Be There”.
So which side is your money on? And what are your reasons, physics or otherwise?
I will try to report on the game, if I can make it.