Symmetry and Fundamental Physics: Tom Kibble at 80
The foreword and the three main contributions –briefly summarized below– are supplemented by a short biography and a complete list of publications and are interleaved with a few personal recollections in a pleasant way. The last contribution titled “Tom Kibble: Breaking Ground and Breaking Symmetries” by Steven Weinberg is a keynote presentation to a general audience of what can be looked at as the main achievement in Kibble’s long scientific career. In Weinberg’s words: “(in the first sixties) I was preoccupied with the spontaneous breakdown of symmetry principles (…)”; Tom and his colleagues’ solution –namely the idea of connecting such kind of breaking to mass generation– “played an essential part in the eventual unification of the weak and electromagnetic forces, and the formulation of what is now called the Standard Model of elementary particles, including the new particles discovered recently at CERN”. The underlying Englert-Brout-Higgs-Guralnik- Hagen-Kibble mechanism and the history of its discovery are nicely described by Kibble himself in a couple of freely available review papers, see Scholarpedia 4 (1): 6441 and 4 (1): 8741 (2009).
The inspiring cross-disciplinary character of Kibble’s research is well illustrated in the three main chapters of the volume. Neil Turok gives a modern overview of cosmological theories with a focus on Kibble’s pioneering work on how topological defects might have formed in the early universe during symmetrybreaking phase transitions. Adolfo del Campo and Wojciech Zurek survey analogous processes within the context of condensed matter systems (cfr. the Kibble-Zurek scaling phenomenon). Finally, Jim Virdee summarizes the epic and successful quest of finding the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Università di Pavia
- J. Gauntlett (Editor)
- Symmetry and Fundamental Physics: Tom Kibble at 80
- World Scientific, Singapore, 2014
- pp. XI + 151; GBP 38.00
- ISBN 978-981-4583-01-5 (hardcover)
- softcover: GBP 18.00
- ISBN 978-981-4583-85-5
- e-book: GBP 14.00
- ISBN 978-981-4583-07-7