The Elon Musk Public Lecture 2011

Friday, November 4 2011, 6:00pm
The Arch Building (Crest Room)
Free and Open to the Public (seating limited to 150 people - Registration is needed to attend the lecture due to limited seating)

Quantum Beauty: Real And Ideal

Prof. Frank Wilczek
Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, MIT
2004 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics

Does the world embody beautiful ideas?  Pythagoras and Plato intuited that it should; Newton and Maxwell demonstrated how it could. But modern physics, and especially the quantum physics at its foundation, answers with a much more resounding and definitive “Yes!”   I’ll bring in history and art, as well as science, to make the case.



Paul Steinhardt

Professor Frank Wilczek is considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists. He received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. He is also known, among other things, for the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons).

Professor Wilczek received his B.S. degree from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He taught at Princeton from 1974-81. During the period 1981-88, he was the Chancellor Robert Huttenback Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the first permanent member of the National Science Foundation's Institute for Theoretical Physics. In the fall of 2000, he moved from the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was the J.R. Oppenheimer Professor, to the MIT Department of Physics, where he is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics.

Professor Wilczek has been a Sloan Foundation Fellow (1975-77) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (1982-87). He has received UNESCO's Dirac Medal, the American Physical Society's Sakurai Prize, the Michelson Prize from Case Western University, and the Lorentz Medal of the Netherlands Academy for his contributions to the development of theoretical physics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Trustee of the University of Chicago.