<b>Physics Colloquium</b><br><i>An M theorist in ATLAS -- Top Quarks, the LHC and Exceptional Extra Dimensions</i>
Speaker: Bobby Acharya (Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics & UM Physics)
This talk has two related themes reflecting the interests of Professor Acharya. In the first part, he will explain why the top quark -- the heaviest of all known elementary particles -- will play a crucial role at the LHC experiments, providing both a commissioning of the detectors and a natural bridge between Standard Model physics and what may lie beyond it. Professor Acharya will also survey ATLAS' strategy for measuring the rate of production of top quarks with the early 2010 LHC collision data, with particular emphasis on the measurement of backgrounds from data, as opposed to Monte Carlo simulations.
In the second part, Professor Acharya will describe some of the substantial progress made in recent years at the interface between M theory, particle physics and cosmology. These developments derive from the consideration of M theory ground states in which the seven extra dimensions form a manifold whose local symmetry is the exceptional Lie group G2. The ubiquitous top quarks play an important role in the experimental signatures for such models at the LHC. The level of exposition throughout will be non-technical, emphasising ideas and results.