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Introduction: Kyle Cormier

edited April 15 in Chat

I'm a graduate student in experimental particle physics. I first came to physics by way of philosophy and logic, and have a great love of generalizing concepts, as well as many areas of science and math. So exploring a little bit of category theory seems like a very natural thing to do. Modern particle physics is a fairly large collaborative process with many sets, networks, circuits, databases, etc of many types so I'll be very interested to see if I can apply some of what I learn here directly to my work. But my primary goal isn't to apply this to particle physics, just to understand, and maybe get involved in some related projects if there's something interesting.

Comments

  • 1.
    edited April 15

    Hi, Kyle. It's especially nice to have an experimental particle physicist here, since category theory has so far been the preserve of extremely theoretical particle physicists, like the string theorists who eat Calabi-Yau categories and derived categories of coherent sheaves for breakfast. I used to hover in that vicinity, but recently I've been getting excited about how categories show up in more down-to-earth topics like electrical engineering, designing networks of drones, databases and the like. Category theory is a very generally applicable new way of thinking... but it takes time and work to get it to help!

    What sort of particle physics do you do, exactly? Are you affiliated with a big experiment? At U. C. Riverside we have a lot of people working at CERN and also one at RHIC.

    Comment Source:Hi, Kyle. It's especially nice to have an _experimental_ particle physicist here, since category theory has so far been the preserve of extremely theoretical particle physicists, like the string theorists who eat Calabi-Yau categories and derived categories of coherent sheaves for breakfast. I used to hover in that vicinity, but recently I've been getting excited about how categories show up in more down-to-earth topics like electrical engineering, designing networks of drones, databases and the like. Category theory is a very generally applicable new way of thinking... but it takes time and work to get it to help! What sort of particle physics do you do, exactly? Are you affiliated with a big experiment? At U. C. Riverside we have a lot of people working at CERN and also one at RHIC.
  • 2.

    Thanks for the kind welcome John. I certainly can't keep up with all the most cutting edge theory advances going on to the degree I'd like to, but hopefully this will be one more way for me to understand. The fact that categories seem to be both so broadly applicable, and theoretically interesting is one of the reasons I've really enjoyed this so far. I've been a blog follower for a few years now I think, but this is a nice extension to the format and it will be nice to dive in depth on something.

    With my still very limited introduction there seem to be many possible applications within the world of experimental particle physics. Just a moment ago I was writing an e-mail about trying to condense and prune as much as possible the information from Monte Carlo simulated event records (stored as graphs) while leaving in tact the physics and structures the software relies on. Which seems like exactly the kind of thing category theory will have some interesting stuff to say about once I build up the tools a bit more.

    I'm based at CERN at the moment as a member of the ATLAS collaboration, working on a mixture of detector hardware and operations side and top quark physics. I don't think I know anyone from Riverside personally, but there are many people around and I tend to lose track of everyone's affiliations so its quite possible. I guess you've been out here for work or a visit at some point?

    Comment Source:Thanks for the kind welcome John. I certainly can't keep up with all the most cutting edge theory advances going on to the degree I'd like to, but hopefully this will be one more way for me to understand. The fact that categories seem to be both so broadly applicable, and theoretically interesting is one of the reasons I've really enjoyed this so far. I've been a blog follower for a few years now I think, but this is a nice extension to the format and it will be nice to dive in depth on something. With my still very limited introduction there seem to be many possible applications within the world of experimental particle physics. Just a moment ago I was writing an e-mail about trying to condense and prune as much as possible the information from Monte Carlo simulated event records (stored as graphs) while leaving in tact the physics and structures the software relies on. Which seems like exactly the kind of thing category theory will have some interesting stuff to say about once I build up the tools a bit more. I'm based at CERN at the moment as a member of the ATLAS collaboration, working on a mixture of detector hardware and operations side and top quark physics. I don't think I know anyone from Riverside personally, but there are many people around and I tend to lose track of everyone's affiliations so its quite possible. I guess you've been out here for work or a visit at some point?
  • 3.

    I visited CERN for the oral exam of two students, shortly before they discovered the Z boson. I think they were working on a collaboration called Aleph, but it was a long time ago!

    Comment Source:I visited CERN for the oral exam of two students, shortly before they discovered the Z boson. I think they were working on a collaboration called Aleph, but it was a long time ago!
  • 4.

    Cool! Aleph was the 'generation' after the discovery of the Z but I wonder if it was already in planning at the time. If you're interested in visiting again I'd wager we could arrange for a colloquium talk on applied category theory or whatever else piques your interest!

    Comment Source:Cool! Aleph was the 'generation' after the discovery of the Z but I wonder if it was already in planning at the time. If you're interested in visiting again I'd wager we could arrange for a colloquium talk on applied category theory or whatever else piques your interest!
  • 5.
    edited April 20

    Maybe I'm mixed up about my ancient history, but I think UCR was heavily involved in Aleph.

    Thanks for your invitation. I have no plans to be near Switzerland, but I'll keep it in mind.

    Comment Source:Maybe I'm mixed up about my ancient history, but I think UCR was heavily involved in Aleph. Thanks for your invitation. I have no plans to be near Switzerland, but I'll keep it in mind.
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