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From BCS to the LHC

  1. Jan 29, 2008 #1

    ZapperZ

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    This is the text of the speech given by Steven Weinberg at the recent celebration to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the BCS Theory of Superconductivity. Considering it came from him, it should smash once and for all, the silly notion that condensed matter physics does not produce fundamental knowledge that is as important as those that came out of high energy/elementary particle physics.

    People who still think that they should only go into elementary particles/field theory/string/etc. to study something the most fundamental aspect of our universe should read this article carefully.

    Zz.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2008 #2
    I agree with what you say,

    but I'm not sure about Weinberg himself, or whether he meant what he was saying when he was giving this talk. (I was there) He seemed to be extremely nervous while giving the talk, especially with Philip Anderson in the audience.

    It seemed to me that he was invited there because he was famous, and people were expecting some nice words from him in response to the celebration.
    I would look at him as more of a party clown in that event... I think he felt so too after he was done speaking. I can so remember the tension that went on in the room even now...
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  4. Jan 29, 2008 #3

    ZapperZ

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    Well, he is in the lion's den, so to speak. So it is understandable, considering the clash of philosophy between him and the rest of the condensed matter field, and especially Anderson and Laughlin, that he would be uncomfortable. I'm glad they invited him. And I'm glad he gave this speech, because many people in elementary particle physics (and I work in an high energy physics division) dismissed condensed matter as being irrelevant to what they do. Only someone ignorant of the history of the origin of many of the knowledge that we have today would do that.

    At the very least, he's trying to mend the fences that was destroyed by Gell-Mann.

    Zz.
     
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