Symmetries in geometrical shapes and objects have fascinated us since the beginning of the intellectual explorations, including poet William Blake talking about the ‘fearful symmetry’ of a tiger burning bright! Apart from this fascination, symmetries of laws of nature have played an indispensable role in us being able to discover these laws themselves. After giving a description of symmetries that we come across in all walks of life, I would like to present a deep connection between conservation laws such as conservation of energy that we are familiar with and symmetries of equations of motion (such as Newton’s laws). I want to end my talk with telling you how this connection, unraveled by the great Mathematician Emmy Noether, is the corner stone of many developments in modern day particle physics and how it has helped physicists in puzzling out fundamental laws of nature, including the ideas that led to the postulate of Higgs boson, which was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider about a decade ago!
About the Speaker:-
Prof. Rohini M. Godbole, currently at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, is a theoretical particle physicist who has authored over 300 research papers during the last four decades, having worked at various Universities in India, Europe and the USA including CERN, Geneva. Her pioneering work on probing hadronic interactions of photons at colliders, provided important insights for the designs of electron-positron colliders. For four decades she has been working in various areas of particle physics, mainly concentrating on theoretical aspects of studies at high energy particle colliders. Elected to the fellowship of all the three science academies of India and of The World Academy of Science (TWAS), she is also a recipient of many science awards, and of Padmashree, the fourth highest civilian honour of the Government of India. A founder chairperson of the women in science (WiS) panel of the Indian Academy of science, she has worked on many national/ international committees to facilitate effective participation of women in science. She coedited the widely acclaimed 2008 book ‘Lilavati’s Daughter: Women Scientists of India’ (like the ‘She Speaks’ of the Royal Society). Pioneering surveys conducted under her leadership to determine the cause of the drop out of science after a Ph.D. have provided some interesting insights on the issue of women in science.