The last few days I attended the conference in honor of Tom Banks and Willy Fischler on the occasion of their 60th Birthday. Here are the details of the conference.
It was a great conference, hosted in UC Santa Cruz, where Tom Banks is a faculty member. Willy Fischler was my graduate advisor in Texas, so I really felt I had to go and I was very glad that I did. Incidentally, Willy was also Moshe’s advisor in graduate school.
The talks in the conference were really phenomenal on average. For me, personally, the talks of Nima Arkani Hamed and Nathan Seiberg, both from the IAS, stood out from the list of excellent talks. They talked about some very new results that should be soon in paper form. Nima talked about helicity amplitudes and various new understandings that they have found by working in twistor space. Nati talked about non-linear realizations of supersymmetry (in particular about how to couple matter to goldstinos) and a new formalism based on constrained superfields that makes everything very similar to how we understand the theory of goldstone bosons and really easy to set up systematically.
Of course, the most fun of Nati’s talk was when he tried to describe how big the contributions of Tom and Willy were to physics and he pulled this photo of Tom to describe them. He said they were that big.
No birthday party is over without a proper roasting. This was done by Leonard Susskind and it involved some tales about cats and dogs and bicycles. You had to be there and know the characters to be able to laugh. The same tales suffer if they are repeated in this type of forum.
Tom and Willy have inspired a lot of us, young’ns to go explore the really difficult and important issues of understanding quantum gravity and holography and a host of other issues. They have also contributed a lot to our understanding of axions and the theory of renormalization group fixed points, supersymmetric phenomenology, string theory, holography, dualities. They are two giants in the field. Happy Birthday!