Meeting Information

If You Knew SUSY

January 24, 2007
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Prof. S. James Gates, Jr., University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Around the early 1970's, scientists began to suggest new forms of matter called `super-partners' which are one of the signatures that Superstring/ M- theory is more than mere speculation. This lecture provides an accessible introduction to the concept of `supersymmetry' or SUSY.


S. James Gates, Jr., is the John S. Toll Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland at College Park.

During 1969 - 1977, he was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (B.S. math. 1973, B.S. physics 1973, Ph.D. physics 1977) having written MIT's first thesis on ``supersymmetry,'' a topic in modern fundamental theoretical physics.

His postgraduate studies started as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows (1977-1980) and ended with an appointment at Caltech (1980-1982). Faculty appointments began at MIT (1982-1984) and later continued at the University of Maryland at College Park (1984-present). From 1991-1993, he was on leave of absence and served as Physics Professor and Departmental Chair at Howard University. In July, 1998 he was named the first John S. Toll Professor of Physics and thus the first African-American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major research university in the U.S..

Dr. Gates was chosen as the first recipient of the APS Bouchet Award and is a Fellow of the APS and NSBP.

Prof. Gates has authored or co-authored over 120 research papers published in scientific journals, co-authored one book and contributed numerous articles in others. His research, in the areas of the mathematical and theoretical physics of supersymmetric particles, fields and strings, covers topics such as the physics of quarks, leptons, gravity, super and heterotic strings and unified field theories of the type first envisioned by A. Einstein.

Related Information with Web Sites

Check the on-line encyclopedia at for entries and further links for Supersymmetry (SUSY) and String Theory. Also note the PBS NOVA series on the Elegant Universe as well as the Teaching Course Lecture Series on DVD by Professor Gates.