ICTP Scientist Honoured
Particle physics festival celebrates Goran Senjanovic
A four-day conference titled "A look from the past into the future of particle physics: GoranFest" was held in June in Split, Croatia, to celebrate ICTP high energy physicist Goran Senjanovic's 60th birthday. Under the motto "The Joy of Making Physics", the conference aimed at highlighting Senjanovic's outstanding contributions to physics, taking the occasion for a wider view on the status of particle physics and looking to its future.
Some of the most eminent names in high energy physics, such as G. Dvali, R.N. Mohapatra, K.S. Babu, S. Barr, T. Han, A. Romanino, F. Vissani participated in the meeting, along with well known physicists from around the world, such as C.S. Aulakh from India, I. Picek from Croatia, B. Bajc and S. Fajfer from Slovenia, T.C. Yuan from Taiwan, T. Schwetz from Germany, C.S. Lim from Japan, and S. Gninenko from Russia. Together with a number of international young scientists, they created a healthy atmosphere of lively discussions and heated debates. Topics included Left-Right symmetry, neutrino mass, Grand Unification, Supersymmetry, the origin of CP violation, and Lepton number and flavor violation.Their contributions are available on the conference website.
In the 35 years of his career, Goran Senjanovic has been a leading figure in theoretical ideas that go beyond the currently accepted theory of elementary particles and their forces. Senjanovic is a co-inventor of the "seesaw" mechanism, which explains why neutrinos should have masses, and why they are so tiny. He is also well known for his pioneering work on Left-Right symmetric models, which provide an explanation for the maximal parity violation of the Standard Model. His papers with Rabi Mohapatra on this subject are considered a milestone, having achieved thousands of citations, and in recent years one of them became the most cited paper by the Hep-ph arXiv.
Senjanovic is also a prominent figure in the field of Grand Unified Theories, and has served as its spokesperson over the years. In 1981, together with William Marciano, he wrote a now-famous paper in which unification was shown to be a natural effect of the existence of supersymmetry and predicted that for unification to take place, the top quark mass had to be near to its now known value, contrary to the conventional wisdom of that era. His other notable achievements include his work with W.Y. Keung that suggested a possibility for observing lepton number violation at colliders, today a paradigm for such processes at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Over his lifetime of service, he has mentored a large number of students. Especially noteworthy is his contribution in identifying and mentoring young talents from the developing world through his work at ICTP, developing them towards successful scientific careers.
The GoranFest was hosted by the University of Split and held at the Palazzo Milesi, a Renaissance palace in the historical center of Split, home to the Croatian Academy for Arts and Sciences. The city of Split, where Senjanovic spent most of his childhood, lent the spaces of the historical Diocletian Palace Substructure Museum for the conference's reception feast. In his opening remarks, the Rector of the University of Split welcomed the GoranFest and emphasized that he looked forward to the development of Split as a second center for Theoretical High Energy physics in Croatia with the assistance and impetus of Goran Senjanovic.