Colloquium Bert Schellekens

02/26/2014

16:00

Q112, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam

Particle Physics in the Multiverse

Dr. Bert Schellekens, Nikhef, Amsterdam

LaserLaB

Sciences

Lecture

Abstract:

Is our universe a single entity or part of a multiverse? Can the Standard Model of Particle Physics be derived uniquely from a fundamental theory, or is it just one of many possibilities?

Insights from inflation and string theory in the past three decades suggests that it is not unique,and that the number of alternatives may be enormous. This would have important implications for our attempts at understanding the Standard Model and the expectations for "new physics". It also implies that we cannot ignore an important bias in observations: the existence of observers. This leads inevitably to a controversial issue: the "anthropic principle".