Australian Institute of Physics

South Australian Branch

Announcing a Free AIP-SA Public Lecture

The 1998 Claire Corani Memorial Lecture

Gluons and Gigaflops

Dr. Christine Davies
University of Glasgow

AIP 1998 International Women in Physics Lecturer

Tuesday 26th May at 7.30pm in the
Flentje Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide


The lecture will describe how the amazing power of supercomputing technology is being used by theoretical physicists to look deep inside the nucleus of atoms. They can simulate on the computer the constituents of the protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus, and thereby calculate the masses and properties of the protons and neutrons themselves. The agreement (or not) with experiment then tells us how well we understand the world at this very fundamental level.

The constituents of protons and neutrons are called quarks and gluons. In many ways the quark is like the familiar electron and the gluon like a light wave. We experience the behaviour of electrons and light waves every time we switch on the electricity to a light bulb. There are crucial differences in how quarks and gluons interact with each other, however, and these lead to radically different behaviour which is much harder to handle theoretically. It is this behaviour which is crucial to understanding not only protons and neutrons but a host of other particles that are flying around the universe and can be made on Earth in particle accelerators. The theoretical understanding that we have gained using supercomputers will guide the experimental search for new phenomena.

Biography: Dr Davies has worked at the University of Glasgow since 1986 having previously worked in Cambridge University, CERN, Cornell University, and Ohio State University. She is currently on study leave at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is collaborating with physicists at Cornell, Ohio State University, SCRI, Tallahassee and the Los Alamos National Laboratory as well as with other UK physicists within the `Grand Challenge' UKQCD collaboration.

Notes: Christine Davies is the AIP 1998 International Women in Physics Lecturer. The Claire Corani awards will be presented at this meeting.

Members are invited to have dinner prior to the lecture from 6pm onwards in the Equinox restaurant in the Union building at the University of Adelaide. Bookings, which are helpful but not essential, should be made by noon on Tue. 26th May with the AIP-SA Secretary or with Ms. Tanya Weir on (08) 8303 5996.

Page prepared by:
Dr. Derek B. Leinweber
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