Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
At a cafe near Princeton University
A bald old man was sitting at a corner while he drank his coffee. At the same time, he was reading the thesis in his hand.
Sitting opposite him was Edward Witten.
When Edward Witten aw the thesis in his old friends hand, he asked, What are you reading?
An interesting thesis submission, said Professor Deligne as he turned the page. He continued, Its about the Polignacs conjecture.
He could not help but add, An interesting proof.
Edward Witten asked, Lu Zhou?
Yes, answered Professor Deligne as he held a pen and wrote a few question marks on the paper. In a casual manner, he said, Missing that conference was your biggest mistake of the year.
Edward Witten smiled and said, Haha, I agree. Especially since I met him in person, my regrets have gotten stronger.
Deligne looked at him and said, Oh? When did you fly across the Pacific Ocean?
Edward Witten, Other side of Atlantic. Did you forget that I just got back from there?
Professor Deligne raised his eyebrows and asked, You met that kid at CERN?
With a smile, Edward Witten said, Did you not look at the news recently?
Professor Deligne shook his head and said, I didnt, why? Is there anything new?
Edward Witten, The LHCb International Cooperation Group published news on the pentaquark. They also found a characteristic peak at the 750 GeV energy zone. They think it could be supersymmetric particles.
Oh, congratulations. Youre one step closer to the Nobel Prize, said Professor Deligne casually.
In a nutshell, supersymmetry discussed a symmetrical connection between a fermion and a boson, which could be seen to some extent as a low-energy deduction of superstring theory.
If the superstring theory was correct, then supersymmetric particles must exist.
So the reverse was that if supersymmetric particles were found, they could provide powerful experimental evidence for superstring theory, but it wouldnt be a rigorous proof.
If they did not find it, the superstring theory would be disproved.
However, Professor Deligne was not particularly concerned about the physics world. His focus was on pure mathematical physics.
Especially number theory and algebraic geometry.
Its too early for congratulations, said Edward Witten with a smile. He then joked, I think my Nobel Prize would be behind Stephen Hawking I wont have a chance.
Only an experimentally proven theory could win a Nobel Prize. Finding the string that made up the universe was much more difficult than proving the black hole evaporation theory.
The latter was theoretically achievable. It only required creating a black hole on a tiny scale. Then, one could use equipment to observe this blackhole evaporate at the speed of light.
However, the former could not be solved by the Hadron Collider. It would take generations to create a collider that could observe in the one dimension.
It was impossible to prove the superstring theory with the current existing technologies.
When Professor Deligne heard his friend speaking in a self-deprecating tone, he smiled and said, He was also listening to the report?
Edward Witten smiled and said, He wasnt listening. He was reporting. Can you believe it? The 750 GeV clue was presented by an intern. He used a probabilistic method to calculate the probability of a characteristic peak appearing in the 750 GeV energy region, and then guess what happened? CERN researchers did a month of experiments and found this characteristic peak on the Hadron Collider.
Professor Deligne stared at the thesis for a long time before he suddenly said, I didnt realize he was so talented in physics as well.
Yeah, said Edward Witten as he nodded his head with approval. He then said, I heard hes coming to Princeton next year. I want to accept him as my student.
Deligne said, That would depend on his own choices. I think that hes more talented in number theory.
Edward Witten smiled and did not respond.
He hoped that Lu Zhou would choose him but Lu Zhou might not choose either of them.
When Professor Deligne turned to the last page of the thesis, his eyebrows twitched.
Edward Witten asked, What?
Deligne shook his head as he replied, Nothing.
He was just praising the cleverness of the Group Structure Method, but when he read the last line, he was shocked.
If Lu Zhous thesis was bad, he would have written him an angry email.
A major conjecture took a lot of time to test its correctness.
Lu Zhou did not know how long this would take, but he hoped that the review process was faster. Hopefully, it could be done before the end of the year.
After the Polignacs conjecture came to an end, Lu Zhou spent all his time on Mr. Franks project.
Frank would communicate through email about the supersymmetric supplement theory. Although Lu Zhou had doubts about the theory, he still tried to seek common ground while reserving his opinions.
Lu Zhou had no choice. He could only pick out mathematical problems from the theory, and he was unable to build his own theory.
The main part of this supersymmetric complement theory was mainly done by Mr. Frank. Lu Zhou was responsible for processing the data and repairing the mathematical loopholes of the theory from a mathematical point of view, thus making it look more mathematically aesthetic.
Lu Zhous work was actually very important.
The reason why string theory was accepted by others was that it was mathematically beautiful.
It was soon October when Professor Lu called Lu Zhou into his office.
Were going to Beijing on the 20th. Ive already booked the ticket for you, so start preparing.
Out of curiosity, Lu Zhou asked, Okay Professor, can you tell me why were going?
Professor Lu smiled and replied, Nothing, its just the Twelfth National Chinese Mathematical Society Conference. Its also the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party. Several old guys proposed to have the conferences together. Also, that Old Qiu guy will come, so Ill bring you along.
Why do you sound so calm?
This is a big deal!
Lu Zhou wondered, Isnt the conference in November? Why is it in October? Also, why are you going to a mathematics conference? Arent you a physicist?
However, that was not the main point since Lu Zhou remembered that this conference was by invitation only.
Finally, Lu Zhou asked, Can you go without an invitation?
I have the invitation, dont worry about it. Just come with me. This is a good thing for you, said Profesor Lu as he waved his hand. He then said, Oh yeah, isnt your research topic the Polignacs conjecture? Is there any new research results? If there is, I suggest you apply for a report at this conference. This is a good opportunity.
Reporting at such a high-level conference was a great honor. Even though Professor Lu was engaged in theoretical physics, he was no stranger to the mathematics world.
At this moment, however, he did not know that the Polignacs conjecture thesis was already submitted to Annual Mathematics by Lu Zhou. It was already in the peer review process.
Theses that were submitted could not be reported at conferences as it would be counted as a double submission.
Lu Zhou began to think over it carefully. Other than the Polignacs conjecture, he did not have any other interesting research results to present.
However, he did have his Group Structure Method which could be considered a research result.
Maybe Ill just type up a Group Structure Method thesis and report it at the conference!
Lu Zhou smiled at Professor Lu and said, Ill prepare something.
Professor Lu smiled and said, Okay then, go prepare. Oh yeah, the deadline for submission is next Friday. Hurry up.
Lu Zhou, ?!
Youre only telling me now!