69th Series of the Compton Lectures

Sponsored by the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago


Title:
From Quantum Mechanics to the String

Abstract:





What does the world look like at the smallest distance scales?  We know that if you take an ordinary object and cut it into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually you will be left with individual atoms.  We also know that you can break this atom apart into electrons, protons and neutrons, and that the protons and neutrons themselves can be broken apart into quarks.  Does this process ever end?  Are quarks really fundamental or is there some internal structure to them?  Over the past century our view of the physics of fundamental objects has changed dramatically, from the development of relativity and quantum mechanics, to the discovery of quarks and the forces that act on them, to the efforts to unify quantum mechanics and gravity into one grand theory of everything. 

In these lectures Dr. Mann will present a discussion of particle physics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, starting with relativity and quantum mechanics, and proceeding through the development  of  the standard model of particle physics and on to modern theoretical ideas such as string theory.  No scientific background is required.   Just bring your curiosity.


Details: The lectures are free and are held on Saturday mornings at 11:00 AM in Room 106 of the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 South Ellis Avenue. Enter through the door at the southeast corner. The series will run each Saturday from April 11 through June 13, 2008. The Compton Lecture Luncheon will be held on June 13th. There will be no lecture on May 23 (Memorial Day Weekend.)

Lectures and Lecture Notes

Lecture 1: Special Relativity (why it makes sense)
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 2: Quantum Mechanics: measurement and uncertainty
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 3: Smashing Things Together: from Rutherford to the LHC
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 4: Particle Interactions
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 5: Quarks and the Strong Force
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 6: Symmetry and Unification
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 7: String Theory: a different kind of unification
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 8: Extra Dimensions
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Lecture 9: Strings and the Strong Force
Slides MovieSlides pdf  and  Notes
Luncheon Handout / Reservation Sheet Handout

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