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I wanted to name it "Beyond the Pentagon" like I did for my talk, but for some reason, every time I changed the title, Tom changed it back to "Embedding the Pentagon" in the next draft... so eventually I gave in and left it :) At least he kept my abstract...

Embedding the Pentagon

I can't seem to decide whether I'm a high energy theorist or a high energy phenomenologist. So far, it hasn't mattered, since we've cross-listed both papers to both areas, and have been working somewhere near the boundary between the two (I couldn't even decide which one to submit it to first this time). I suspect soon I will really be forced to choose one or the other. Until now, I'd been leaning towards wanting to get more into theory (string theory, holographic cosmology, AdS/CFT?), but after reading the latest reports about where all the jobs are going (analyzing stuff coming out of LHC), phenomenology is looking more attractive by the day. So now I'm thinking what I want to do is become better at more phenomenological stuff, but keep the more theoretical stuff in the back of my head. What it looks like I'm going to try and do next is work on some SUSY breaking phenomenology with either Dine or Haber (probably the former, as he has a project already in mind that he thinks might be up my alley, and somewhat related to previous stuff I've been working on). The other option would be to work with Tom again, on some intersecting D-branes and singular manifolds, trying to make a more stringy version of the GUT we constructed work. It's a somewhat tough call, because it does sound like fun, but I think I'm going to leave that to Sean. I've also been very intrigued by some of the stuff one of the postdocs has done here... an attempt to ameliorate the little heirarchy problem by coming up with a model that evades the usual quoted bounds on the Higgs (and predicts that it's light but we missed it because we were looking for the wrong signature!) So I might try and get involved in that. Too many options! Although it's better than having too few, I suppose.

(Sorry if none of this made sense to most of my readers... essentially, it just boils down to me being unsure about whether my work should be more or less theoretical in the future. Pressure from the job market is on less... on the other hand, I really like math and it's fun. You can skip the rest.)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
I took a look at your paper earlier -- no time to read any of it yet, just paging through it -- and my reaction was "wow, this looks like hard-core model building." I guess I don't really see model-building as either phenomenology or theory, but part of some limbo in between. In any case, it seems to me like both serious collider phenomenology people and model-building people are doing pretty well with jobs. The hep-ph/hep-th split is pretty weird, anyway, since to some extent it becomes fields/strings even when the field theory stuff can be more theoretical or the stringy stuff more model-building/phenomenological.
Aug. 2nd, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
yeah... they should have an hep-mb. :)

I guess it's actually better that they don't (for me) though, because it gives me an excuse to send it to more places so more people read it :)

I think I actually like model building a lot. This project was really fun, and I learned a lot of different stuff (although perhaps it took us longer than it should have to get everything right). It required a pretty wide combination of skills... at the beginning, lots of creativity to even come up with something that remotely did what we wanted. Being able to change our assumptions and throw new stuff into the model when we ran into roadblocks. Looking stuff up in the particle data book to make sure we weren't violating any experimental bounds. And once it was rigid enough but got way too complicated to hold in our heads, being able to write computer code to explore all the possibilities for us. Sometimes writing computer code gets boring, but this time it wasn't... it just automated the process of taking into account more constraints than we could deal with at once. As we went along and our questions became more well-defined, the computer did more and more of the thinking for us which was a neat feeling.
Aug. 2nd, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)

I guess I don't really see model-building as either phenomenology or theory

It just occurred to me that maybe that's why they recently changed how they do the numbers. It used to be arxiv:hep-XX/NNNNNNN where the N's are numbers. Now it's just arxiv:NNNN.NNNN Could be to deal with papers that are crosslisted to several areas when none of them really fits it the best.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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