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In memory of Bruno Zumino: an arcitect of supersymmetry

by Luis Alvarez-Gaume

April 28th would have marked the 92nd birthday of Bruno Zumino, who died last year. The Theory Group organized a meeting around this date to honour his memory and to discuss his legacy.

The presentations with slides and videos can be found here

The speakers were all Bruno’s collaborators, of whom we were fortunate to bring together a good sample. Some of his life long collaborators were present:

Mary K. Gaillard, John Ellis, and Sergio Ferrara, as well as Bill Bardeen, Curtis Callan, Murat Gunaydin, Paolo Di Vecchia, John Ilioupoulos and Carlos Savoy, just to mention a few.

Bruno was one of the major actors in the understanding of symmetries in quantum field theory.  He was instrumental in the proof of the CPT theorem, as well as its consequences.  He provided a systematic study of spontaneously broken symmetries,  in what today is called the theory of effective Lagrangians.  He was one of the fathers of supersymmetry, and one of the first and major contributors to our understanding of supergravity and its phenomenological consequences.   He also made profound contributions to the generalisation of the duality symmetry in vacuum Maxwell theory in more general theories that include fermionic symmetries. 

In the last part of his scientific career, he worked on the theory of non-commutative space-times, a novel and interesting way of dealing with how our basic notions of space and time arise.  There are plenty of intricate and remarkable structures in these spaces and the symmetries associated with them(quantum groups).  Bruno had a deep physical insight together with an unequalled capacity for elegant mathematical analysis.

It is remarkable that when we look at the bread and butter theoretical tools used nowadays by modern high energy theorists and mathematical physicists, a good number of them originated with Bruno and his friends, or received important contributions from him that are still actively used by the community.

It was an honour and a privilege to count Bruno as one of our colleagues. Zumino will always be with us, but we will miss our dear friend Bruno.