Dan Hooper, Ph.D. (Theoretical Physicist, FermiLab)
5.5 – The Einstein Factor (1.18.13)
“I am a Senior Scientist and the Head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. I am also an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Previously, I was the David Schramm Fellow at Fermilab, and a postdoc at the University of Oxford. In 2003, I completed my Ph.D in physics at the University of Wisconsin.
My research focuses on the interface between particle physics and cosmology. I’m especially interested in questions about dark matter, supersymmetry, neutrinos, extra dimensions and cosmic rays. For a complete list of my scientific publications, see the INSPIRE archive.
I’ve written two books on cosmology and particle physics for non-scientists.
Everyone knows that there are things no one can see, for example, the air you’re breathing or a black hole, to be more exotic. But not everyone knows that what we can see makes up only 5 percent of the Universe. The rest is totally invisible to us.
The invisible stuff comes in two varieties—dark matter and dark energy. One holds the Universe together while the other tears it apart. What these forces really are has been a mystery for as long as anyone has suspected they were there, but the latest discoveries of experimental physics have brought us closer to that knowledge. Particle physicist Dan Hooper takes his readers, with wit, grace, and a keen knack for explaining the toughest ideas science has to offer, on a quest few would ever have expected: to discover what makes up our dark cosmos.
The first accessible book on a theory of physics that explains the relationship between the particles and forces that make up our universe.
For decades, physicists have been fascinated with the possibility that two seemingly independent aspects of our world—matter and force—may in fact be intimately connected and inseparable facets of nature. This idea, known as supersymmetry, is considered by many physicists to be one of the most beautiful and elegant theories ever conceived. According to this theory, however, there is much more to our universe than we have witnessed thus far. In particular, supersymmetry predicts that for each type of particle there must also exist others, called superpartners. To the frustration of many particle physicists, no such superpartner particles have ever been observed. As the world’s most powerful particle accelerator—the Large Hadron Collider—begins operating in 2008, this may be about to change. By discovering the forms of matter predicted by supersymmetry, this incredible machine is set to transform our current understanding of the universe’s laws and structure, and overturn the way that we think about matter, force, space, and time.
Nature’s Blueprint explores the reasons why supersymmetry is so integral to how we understand our world and describes the incredible machines used in the search for it. In an engaging and accessible style, it gives readers a glimpse into the symmetries, patterns, and very structure behind the universe and its laws.