SLAC Colloquium Series

SLAC Colloquium Series


Colloquium Detail

Large Extra Dimensions and the New World at the Tev Scale

Date: 5/21/2001

Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, UC Berkeley/Harvard

Three hundred years after Newton, physics is still unable to answer the simple question: why is gravity so weak compared to the other forces in nature? For decades, it has been thought that gravity is weak because it originates from the miniscule Planck length of about 10^{-33} cm. But in the last few years, an orthogonal possibility has emerged: gravity is not intrinsically weaker than the other forces but unites with them in strength at the TeV scale. It only appears weak because it spreads out into large extra dimensions, perhaps as big as a millimeter, while the other forces are confined to a 3-dimensional wall in the extra dimensions. If this approach is correct, then current and future accelerators can probe the physics of strong quantum gravity, such as black hole production and string theory. It is also possible that table-top experiments can detect deviations from Newton's law at sub-millimeter distances. This picture forces us to abandon old ideas for doing physics at high energies. Instead, the large space in the new dimensions is the arena in which outstanding mysteries of particle physics and cosmology can be tackled. In this talk, the speaker will both review these ideas and describe some of the recent developments in the field. He will also describe some very recent work in which the physics of extra dimensions is "deconstructed" to its four-dimensional essence, leading to yet another qualitatively new set of possibilities for physics at the TeV scale.

Last update: October 03, 2013