Beyond Beauty: The Predictive Power of Symmetry

From a bee’s hexagonal honeycomb to the elliptical paths of planets, symmetry has long been recognized as a vital quality of nature. Einstein saw symmetry hidden in the fabric of space and time. The brilliant Emmy Noether proved that symmetry is the mathematical flower of deeply rooted physical law. And today’s theorists are pursuing an even more exotic symmetry that, mathematically speaking, could be nature’s final fundamental symmetry: supersymmetry. Join some of the world’s preeminent scientists to explore the core role symmetry plays in our unraveling of nature’s deepest secrets—and catch a glimpse of profoundly important symmetries that may be awaiting us just over the horizon.

MODERATOR: John Hockenberry
PARTICIPANTS: Robbert Dijkgraaf, David Gross, Alan Lightman, Maria Spiropulu
Original Program Date: June 4, 2016

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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The Predictive Power Of Symmetry 00:00

John Hockenberry’s Introduction 3:10

Participant Introductions 7:18

What are the different types of symmetry? 8:48

The symmetry of the laws of nature 12:30

How has the discussion of symmetry evolve? 17:27

Why is nature so good with symmetry? 19:54

Math and symmetry go hand and hand 25:30

How your face needs to be non symmetrical 33:20

What kind of symmetry are fractals 40:05

Gage symmetry is influencing the Higgs 46:45

Scale symmetry and the vacuum 48:50

Einstein proposed symmetry of motion 55:07

How does the multiverse theory play in to symmetry? 1:01:20

Looking at breaking symmetry 1:06:40

Gravity may not come together with the other forces 1:11:23

Theorist and Experimentalist can get along 1:18:58

Super symmetry is an enlargement of space 1:20:47

What are experimental data can we expect in the next few years? 1:23:00

Visualizing the higgs and adding more energy 1:27:20
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