Roger Penrose and Frank Wilczek lectures now available online

December 19, 2008

Roger Penrose on "Before the Big Bang" and Frank Wilczek on "Anticipating A New Golden Age" Are Now Available to View Online

Sir Roger Penrose and Prof. Frank Wilczek share their scientific views in two new presentations, now viewable online.

"Before the Big Bang: Is There Evidence For Something And If So, What?" features Sir Roger Penrose, Oxford, examining a great deal of evidence confirming the existence of a very hot and dense early stage of the universe. Much of this data comes from a detailed study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - radiation from the early universe that was most recently measured by NASA's WMAP satellite. But the information presents new puzzles for scientists. One of the most blatant examples is an apparent paradox related to the second law of thermodynamics. Although some have argued that the hypothesis of inflationary cosmology solves some of the puzzles, profound issues remain. In this multi-media presentation, Professor Penrose shows a very different proposal, one that suggests a succession of universes prior to our own. He also presents recent analysis of the CMB data that could have profound bearing on these issues.

"Anticipating A New Golden Age" with Nobel Laureate Prof. Frank Wilczek, MIT, begins with a Core Theory of matter (aka "standard model"), born in the 1970s, a Golden Age for fundamental physics. To date it has passed every experimental test, extending - by many orders of magnitude - to higher energies, shorter distances, and greater precision than were available in the 1970s. Yet we are not satisfied, because the Core Theory postulates four separate interactions and several different kinds of matter, and its equations are lopsided. In this online PI Public Lecture, Prof. Wilczek shows powerful and extremely beautiful ideas for restoring unity and symmetry to the fundamental laws. These ideas are firmly rooted in empirical reality, but at present the evidence for them is circumstantial. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will provide critical tests. If Nature has been teaching, not teasing, discoveries at the LHC will inaugurate a new Golden Age, bringing our fundamental understanding of the physical world to a new level.
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To view these and other presentations, visit http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/Outreach/Public_Lectures/View_Past_Public_Lectures/

About Perimeter Institute

Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research and educational outreach organization where international scientists cluster to push the limits of our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter and information. The award-winning research centre provides a multi-disciplinary environment to foster research in areas of Cosmology, Particle Physics, Quantum Foundations, Quantum Gravity, Quantum Information, Superstring Theory, and related areas. The Institute, located in Waterloo, Ontario, also provides a wide array of educational outreach activities for students, teachers and members of the general public in order to share the joy of scientific research, discovery and innovation. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, Perimeter Institute continues to be a successful example of private and public collaboration in science research and education.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

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