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Who is most respected in particle physics?

  1. Nov 3, 2009 #1
    Dear Marcus,

    You know everybody in the particle and QG fields and their reputations.

    Could you name several names of senior, experienced theoretical particle physicists who are highly respected, please?

    Responses of other PF members are also welcome.


    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2009 #2
    Witten, Weinberg, Georgi.
  4. Nov 3, 2009 #3


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    Isaac Newton
  5. Nov 3, 2009 #4
    I did not mention it but I need the names of alive physicists. I would like to contact some of them to ask for recommendation letters.
  6. Nov 3, 2009 #5
    Hi there,

    You want to have recommendation letter from someone you never met???

    Good luck!!!
  7. Nov 3, 2009 #6


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    I guess you should not look for the best, but the best person, in a given context, that thinks and agrees with you.
  8. Nov 3, 2009 #7
    Yes, I do. I have a positive experience in the past. It works sometimes.
    No, I need the most respectable ones. You know why? Because their word is decisive in the selection process.
  9. Nov 3, 2009 #8


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    But they are immensely more likely to give a damn about you.
  10. Nov 3, 2009 #9
    I will pick up (leave) those who will be favourable about my project.
  11. Nov 3, 2009 #10


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    The most open minded among the top is t'Hooft. But it seems to me that the best is really something contextual.
  12. Nov 3, 2009 #11
    Thank you, MTd2, I keep him in mind too.
  13. Nov 3, 2009 #12


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    So, are you looking for what kind of place?
  14. Nov 3, 2009 #13
    Why care about recommendation letter ? If I had a theory to replace the renormalization process, I'd better spend half an hour to talk with them rather than get a recommendation letter. If any of them agree with you, you do not need a recommendation letter.
  15. Nov 3, 2009 #14


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    Maybe he doesn't have money to pay for a travel. Who knows?

    So, it is renormalization, right? I guess Weinberg is the best one on these matters, he's been hard thinking on these matters for 35 years. But Percacci is a nice guy to ask things though, since he pursuit Weiberg's asymptotic safety for 25 years, even though Weinberg himself gave up.

    Maybe Percacci would be more likely to have a more positive view. Look also for his collaborators and think about Smolin. He is a very nice guy.
  16. Nov 3, 2009 #15
    I work presently in France and the position opening is in the USA. It is a research position with one's own research program. Just what I need. I my life I solved a lot of problems for others (to make living) and could not spend enough time on my own subject.

    Yes, it is about formulation of, say, QED, in a different way - without self-action and thus without renormalizations. It is a promising direction for all QFTs.

    I need three RLs because it is an open competition and I have to respect its rules.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  17. Nov 3, 2009 #16


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    You should go to a conference on new approaches to renormalization and expose your ideas. Garrett Lisi got grants by doing something similar.
  18. Nov 3, 2009 #17
    Thanks for names and advice. I am rather busy at work, not that free to go where I like and do what I like, unfortunately. I've got to break free in order to get donw to my project entirely.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  19. Nov 3, 2009 #18


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    My nomination (adding to people already mentioned by others) would be Lance Dixon at SLAC-Stanford.

    http://www.slac.stanford.edu/slac/faculty/hepfaculty/dixon.html [Broken]


    I have several reservations about adding this name to your list. One is that I'm the wrong person to ask, since not being an insider myself, I can't claim to know who is highly respected in particle physics.
    Another problem is that, although we can tell you names of "senior, experienced theoretical particle physicists who are highly respected", these will not necessarily be suitable people for you to write to for the purpose you have in mind!

    You say you are trying for a position in the USA. I think maybe you should get a rec from at least one mainstream USA particle theorist. Also senior is good, but not too senior. A very old famous guy may have already in his life received too many dubious-appeal letters or have already helped too many near-desperate struggling colleagues. So very old might work but is risky.

    So I say Lance for 3 reasons.
    Lance is absolutely mainstream
    Lance is USA
    Lance is still fairly young (although already known and respected.)

    Michael Peskin, also at SLAC-Stanford, is of course well-known too, and of about the right generation. I have the impression that he has an odd (maybe even congenial to you) sense of humor.
    Here is his homepage:
    It has this beautiful quote from a Classical Chinese story:
    `Whereever you go', said the Patriarch, `I'm convinced you'll come to no good. So remember, when you get into trouble, I absolutely forbid you to say that you are my disciple. If you give a hint of any such thing I shall flay you alive, break all your bones, and banish your soul to the Place of Ninefold Darkness, where it will remain for ten thousand aeons.' `I certainly won't venture to say a word about you,' promised Monkey. `I'll say I found it all out for myself.'
    --from A Journey to the West, by Cheng-En Wu, tr. by Arthur Waley
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. Nov 3, 2009 #19
    Thanks, Marcus.

    I have already been explained how the selection process is carried out. Nobody cares what the research program one presents - because there is no sufficiently competent people amongst those who make decision. The only things they take into account are RLs. They rely upon them. It is not wise to present RLs from unknown people. It makes my task much harder.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  21. Nov 3, 2009 #20


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    You have to make it with the few competent people amongst those who make decision then.
  22. Nov 3, 2009 #21
    As I said, I am too far away from the laboratory with that post. I will follow the general rules displayed for candidates. Thank you all for your kind participation in this thread!
  23. Nov 4, 2009 #22
    Considering your ideas of a Lagrangian for replacing QED don't even reduce to Maxwell's equations, I think you better work on your idea a lot more before approaching people so high up in the field. Before even getting into details, the broad strokes of your approach don't seem motivated well at all. Heck even as a physics student I sometimes receive unsolicited emails about some crackpot theory. I'm sure it gets much worse for people higher in academia. If you aren't careful, your ideas will be lost and lumped into such emails.

    Your writing style also, unfortunately, comes off as crackpottish due to the ratio of complaints against mainstream theory to actual content, and also the absolutism of the phrasing. All in all, cleaning up your paper so that someone can skim it and understand what you are claiming would be great.

    All you seem to really be doing is proposing a different Lagrangian ... put that front and center. Many physicists can read the majority of the physical content off of a Lagrangian themselves. If your trial lagrangian has the correct classical limits and interesting features, they will be much more inclined to read the intro and conclusion (and maybe even skim or read the whole paper).

    Since all you are really doing is just proposing a different Lagrangian and claiming it is _exact_ instead of approximate and therefore doesn't need regulating, I can't help but ask: Do you really think something as fundemental as electrodynamics has been using the wrong lagrangian all these years and you were the one that came up with the correct one?

    The first thing people will ask for is, at the very least, experimental post-diction.
    If your theory is better than QED, can you derive the anomolous magnetic moment of the electron with your theory?
    Considering your theory doesn't even reduce to Maxwell's equations, I think that would be very very unlikely.
  24. Nov 4, 2009 #23
    Dear JustinLevy,

    I gave my answers to your post in the "Independent Research" section.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  25. Nov 4, 2009 #24
    I find it highly uncommon (almost impossible) to get recommendation letters from someone you have never interacted with before, no matter if you send them your theory/project, and how good it may sound.

    Recommendation letters are usually written to former students, postdocs, etc, with whom the advisor had full contact, who know the candidate very well and his/her capabilities. The recommendation letter must show for how long the candidate worked with the advisor/teacher/employer, so it must show not only his/her competency and potential in his/her field, prior experience, etc, but many other skills like communication, interaction with others, reliability, etc, that is, qualities that can only be judged for a long previous personal interaction.

    Some people may find very inconvenient to be asked to write such a letter without knowing the person on those grounds, so it may well pose a negative weight on you. Also, some recommendation letters are requested to send closed and directly to the employer, without you having the chance to see it.

    Having said that, I'm curious if you can get those letters, so please let us know if you are successful.
  26. Nov 4, 2009 #25
    BTW, if it was all that simple (to get recommendation letters from "important people" that you never personally knew), I can only wonder about the so many opportunities lost in my life.:uhh:
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