E=mc2 Opening Windows on the World

Dr. Young-Kee Kim
Affiliation:  Professor at the Department of Physics, Deputy Director at the Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago

The profound discovery of Einstein a century ago, that particles can both be made from energy and disappear back into energy, inspires the experiments that provide our knowledge of the smallest building blocks of matter. The experiments, done at enormous accelerators, have led to a consistent theory of the origins of our world up to a certain point. However, at an energy scale not far above what we can attain at existing accelerators, this picture is predicted to break down. Moreover, the theory of the very small is intimately connected to cosmology -- the ultimate cause and structure of our universe. Cosmological observations again point to the need for a new theory in this energy range. In this colloquium, I will trace out the path from where we are at the Tevatron and what we need to do to take the next step towards understanding the nature of space and time. The discovery of new particles will open up windows on this world.