Hey, John Ellis, that was my idea…
Some of you might remember my post on the RS1 model where I made a nice graphic featuring Gauguin’s 1897 masterpiece “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” The work, I thought, best captured our inquisitive nature as scientists. (Also, the lecturer reading my Part III essay is a bit of an artist himself, so I figured the image would be appreciated.)
But now it seems that someone else has picked up on the idea! John Ellis, one of CERN’s best-known theorists, gave a talk at EPS-HEP2007 this past July using that very same painting as a theme for the status of the particle physics community. A proceedings paper (arXiv:0710.5590) was just posted on the arXiv today.
The paper is an excellent light read from someone with a bird’s eye view of the field. One could perhaps even use it as a model for motivating the LHC to non-scientists. I especially like that he mentions the Planck satellite as the “LHC of Cosmology,” probing the `other’ (cosmological) Standard Model. Modern `particle theory’ is intimately linked to early-universe cosmology; major examples being the relic abundance of dark matter and the electroweak phase transition.
In his prologue, Professor Ellis shares that he used to have a copy of Gauguin’s painting on his wall as a graduate student, “just to remind me why he was there.” I’m not that high-brow, and instead have this poster, which I think is ultimately the same thing. 🙂
Filed under: Just for Fun, Physics | 5 Comments