Public Lecture: Quantum Beauty
Does the world embody beautiful ideas? Pythagoras and Plato intuited that it should, Newton and Maxwell showed, in impressive examples, how it could. Modern physics demonstrates, in depth and detail, that it does. I will narrate, through notable examples, how the concept of beauty in physical law has evolved – and how it continues to guide our quest for ultimate understanding.
Frank Wilczek (MIT) is one of the leading theoretical physicists of our time. He worked on a wide range of topics, ranging across particle physics, astrophysics and condensed matter physics. He is known, among other things, for the discovery of asymptotic freedom, the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons). For the discovery of asymptotic freedom he received the Nobel Prize in 2004 together with his Ph.D. supervisor David Gross and David Politzer.
Wilczek received his Ph.D. in 1974 from Princeton University. Afterwards he became a professor at Princeton University, where he stayed until 1981. He then moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara (1981-1989), where he was also the first permanent member of the Institute for Theoretical Physics. After another period as professor in Princeton (1989-2000) he moved to the MIT, where he is now the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics. Wilczek obtained several awards and honors. Among them are
- Sakurai Prize, 1986
- Dirac Medal, 1994
- Lorentz Medal, 2002
- Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, 2003
- High Energy and Particle Physics Prize of the European Physical Society, 2003
- Nobel Prize, 2004
- King Faisal Prize, 2005
Room B052 - Faculty of Physics - LMU - Theresienstr. 39 - 80333 München