Physicist discusses particle research, theorizes about more dimensions

By Michael Rothberg

Theoretical physicist Eric D’Hoker discussed unanswered questions surrounding quantum and string theory in his presentation “Open Problems in Particle Physics.”

Although students could also attend the Women’s History Speaker, D’Hoker’s presentation drew a full crowd into Ahmanson Theater on Monday after fourth period.

A professor at UCLA, D’Hoker has won the “Best Teacher of the Year” award 15 times and held regular positions at Columbia University, Michigan Institute of Technology and Princeton University.

Science teacher Antonio Nassar, who arranged D’Hoker’s lecture as a part of a speaker series, gave a brief introduction. D’Hoker began by directing his laser pointer at the periodic table and saying, “When I was a kid, I loved this table.”

D’Hoker explained the particles that exist within protons and neutrons such as quarks and gluons in an answer to the existential question, “What is the world made of?”

Giving basic background on major scientists who contributed to modern quantum theory, such as Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg, D’Hoker explained the more abstract topics he was investigating such as string theory, supersymmetry and the existence of more than three dimensions.

After his lecture, D’Hoker fielded questions from the audience regarding his work and the field of particle physics.