"The Matter-antimatter Asymmetry of the Universe"

Presented by Roberto Peccei, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Recipient of the 2013 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics

Thursday, April 11, 2013
4:00 PM
Physics and Astronomy Building, Auditorium - Room 1425

Reception to follow

3rd Floor Patio

Please RSVP by April 4 to  (310) 206-5621 or lbeischel@support.ucla.edu.

The Matter-antimatter Asymmetry of the Universe which was first found in cosmic ray tracks, was predicted theoretically by combining relativity with quantum mechanics. Although antimatter is now routinely produced in accelerators and is the basis for PET scanning, it seems to play a minor role in the Universe. Indeed, a matter-antimatter symmetric Universe is at variance with observation, suggesting that there must have been an epoch in the Universe’s history when a primordial matter-antimatter asymmetry was created. This asymmetry is key to our own existence, but its origin is still hotly debated. In this talk, Peccei will explore some of the deep ideas put forth to explain the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe, and the new physics they require.

Roberto D. Peccei is former dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences and former vice chancellor for research. He first came to UCLA in 1989 as a professor of physics. As a physicist, his principal research interest is the interface between particle physics and cosmology. He is also serves on the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome, a prestigious global think tank. In this capacity, he is broadly interested in the kind of economics necessary to ensure a sustainable world.

A native of Italy, Peccei completed secondary school in Argentina, and came to the United States in 1958. He earned a B.S. from MIT in 1962, an M.S. from NYU in 1964 and a Ph.D. from MIT in 1969. In addition to UCLA, he has served on the faculty of Stanford University and the Max Planck Institute in Germany. He also led the Theoretical Group of the Deutsches Elektron Synchrotron (DESY) Laboratory in Hamburg, Germany. He has held a number of prestigious lectureships, including the Schroedinger Professor at the University of Vienna, the Boris Jacobsohn Lecturer at the University of Washington, the Phi Beta Kappa Lecturer at UCLA, and the Emilio Segre Professor at the University of Tel Aviv. He delivered the first Abdus Salam Memorial Lecture in Pakistan in 1997.

Peccei is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on numerous advisory boards both in Europe and the U.S. He is chair of the External Advisory Board of the Japan-based Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, and president of the Fondazione Aurelio Peccei.