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Lecture to be Presented at the RBI by Professor Goran Senjanović, Ph.D.

Feb 18th 2011

Professor Goran Senjanović is the author of more than 100 published papers, which have cited over 10,000 times. Born in Split, he graduated from the University of Belgrade with a major in physics and earned a doctorate in the United States. His work at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb during the late 1980s and subsequently at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, had a significant influence on connecting Croatian high energy physicists with the world. In his prolific career, he worked on the major problems of modern theoretical physics and trained a number of top scientists. His most outstanding article, Neutrino Mass and Spontaneous Parity Violation, was published in Physical Review Letters 44:912, 1980, and cited 2,582 times.

In the late 1970s, together with Rabindra Mohaptra, Professor Senjanović proposed a revolutionary model, the seesaw mechanism, which explains why neutrinos, very difficult to detect electrically neutral elementary particles constantly created in the sun that bombard the earth, have an exceptionally small mass. After 20-odd years, this hypothesis was confirmed in a deep zinc mine located in the Japanese Alps. Professor Senjanović has made a great contribution to our understanding of nature, which explains why nature is blind to the difference between left and right. Previous experimental results have suggested that nature favors left particles, at least when it comes to weak interactions, and only because maximal parity violation in low-energy weak processes arises purely due to the spontaneous breakdown of the local gauge symmetry. However, according to this theory, nature is essentially completely symmetrical.

In his work Professor Senjanović is considering ideas beyond currently accepted theories about elementary particles and their interactions. One of these ideas is that three forces, strong and weak nuclear and electromagnetic forces, are merely manifestations of a unified force. Together with William Marciano, he wrote a now-famous paper in which the unification of forces was shown to be a natural effect of existence and postulated the existence of a heretofore undiscovered symmetry known as "supersymmetry". Today, the search for supersymmetric particles, which would demonstrate the existence of additional symmetries in nature, is one of the fundamental physical objectives of the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research – CERN, where both of his ideas will soon be tested.

During Professor Senjanović’s long career, he has mentored a large number of students. It is particularly important to emphasize his contribution to the discovery of young talents from third world countries, whom he has helped come to Western countries through the ICTP and develop successful scientific careers. In such a way, he has mentored students in more than a dozen developing countries, who are witnesses to his achievements at both the professional and human levels.

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