Episode 29: Brian Keating Interviews Jim Gates about Proving Einstein Right, supersymmetry and other mysteries


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Jim Gates is the Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, and the Director of The Brown University Theoretical Physics Center. He is a 2013 recipient of the National Medal of Science He was a Distinguished University Professor, University System of Maryland Regents Professor, John S. Toll Professor of Physics, and Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory. Gates is well known for his pioneering work in supersymmetry and supergravity, and his 1977 doctoral dissertation on supersymmetry earned him a prominent place in the early development of the field, as did the 1984 book he co-authored, Superspace, or One thousand and one lessons in supersymmetry, which is widely considered the first comprehensive book on the subject. His study of string theory and supersymmetry has recently led Gates to develop an interest in what are called adinkras. Adinkra symbols are graphical representations of supersymmetric algebras named after symbols created by the Asante people. Adinkras may help us understand the structure of the universe, although Gates cautions, “most of the time when we make up ideas, they’re wrong. However, when we get it right, it’s amazing.” Gates is also a pioneer in another respect, having been the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university. He comes to Brown with a mission to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in the sciences. Gates is a former scientific advisor to President Barack Obama, Gates is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the board of trustees of Society for Science & the Public, and one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's “Nifty Fifty.” More information on Professor Jim Gates 

https://sites.brown.edu/sjgates/

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