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  • Physics

  • Events 

    Monday, May 9, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Complexity: A Science of the Future?

    Featuring: Bernard Chazelle (The Discrepancy Method: Randomness and Complexity), Marcelo Gleiser (A Tear at the Edge of Creation), and Geoffrey West (Santa Fe Institute).
    Moderator: George Musser (Spooky Action at a Distance)

    The advent of sophisticated computer technology has allowed studies of complex systems such as cell colonies, neurons in the brain, the immune system, economic markets, and social groups. In complex systems, simple, nonlinear interactions are iterated over time and give rise to self-organization, evolution, learning, and adaptation—phenomena that eluded explanation until now. This panel, including selected physicists, will explore whether studies of complexity complement traditional physics or may upend science as we know it.

    Monday, May 23, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    The Rise of Human Consciousness

    Featuring: David Chalmers (Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness, New York University), Michael Graziano (Princeton University), Hod Lipson (Columbia University) and Max Tegmark (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
    Moderator: George Musser (Spooky Action at a Distance)

    Advances in physical and information sciences, biology, and neuroscience have dramatically enhanced our knowledge of the human species. But can physical sciences solve the biggest mystery—the emergence of human consciousness? Join our panel to explore this question and its implications.

    Monday, June 13, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Are We Alone in the Universe?

    Featuring: Adam Frank (University of Rochester) and Louisa Preston (astrobiologist and author); other speakers to be announced.
    Moderator: Ira Flatow (Talk of The Nation: Science Friday®)

    The Fermi Paradox—the apparent contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of contact with such civilizations—continues to captivate our minds. Join astrophysicist Adam Frank and science writer Louisa Preston and selected physicists and philosophers as they explore the question: "Where is everybody?" as well as other questions: How does scientific knowledge direct our future scientific and technological pursuits on Earth and in space? How does science inform human ethics? Does science make us better citizens of the universe?

    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Did Einstein Kill Schrödinger's Cat? A Quantum State of Mind

    Featuring: Daniel Harlow (Harvard University Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature) and Scott Aaronson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); other speakers to be announced.
    Moderator: George Musser (Spooky Action at a Distance)

    Recent research suggests that quantum information and entanglement of quantum states—a term coined by Schrödinger to describe "spooky action at a distance" between quantum particles in his letters to Einstein in which he also proposed his famous thought experiment, Schrödinger's cat, to illustrate quantum superposition—may be key to understanding quantum gravity, one of the greatest unsolved problems of modern physics. Physicists are now wrestling with another paradox thought experiment that describes the fate of quantum states at the event horizon of a black hole and may upend some of the time-tested fundamental theories. This panel, including quantum physicist Daniel Harlow, will discuss the fascinating interplay between two great theories of the 20th century—quantum theory and general relativity—and how these phenomena may be exploited, from black holes to quantum computing.

  • Past Events

    Monday, April 25, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Where Do Physics and Philosophy Intersect?

    Featuring: David Z. Albert (Columbia University), Hans Halvorson (Princeton University), and Jim Holt (Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story)
    Moderator: Kate Becker (The Visible Universe)

    At its core, physics addresses the fundamental problems that shape our philosophical outlook. Join our distinguished panel including writer Jim Holt, philosopher David Z. Albert, and science writer Kate Becker in a dialogue that explores the philosophical meaning of the theories of modern physics—including quantum field theory, cosmology, and quantum gravity—and considers the ability of physics as a scientific discipline to answer the question: how can it be like that?

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    What Does the Future Hold for Physics: Is There a Limit to Human Knowledge?

    Featuring: Neal Weiner (Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, New York University), Eva Silverstein (Stanford University), and Vijay Balasubramanian (University of Pennsylvania)
    Moderator: Jill North (Rutgers University)

    Modern physics has been remarkably successful in describing the dynamical history of our universe and producing new data that extends our knowledge of the world. Nevertheless, our understanding of some key concepts that seek to explain our universe remains unresolved. Cosmologist Neil Weiner, physicist Vijay Balasubramanian and selected other speakers will explore the limits on our ability to learn about the universe and their significance for our worldview and the notion of divine intervention.

    Friday, March 4, 2016 | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    10th Annual Machine Learning Symposium

    Keynote Speakers: Sébastien Bubeck (Microsoft Research), Alex Graves (Google Research), Alexander Rakhlin (University of Pennsylvania), Ambuj Tewari (University of Michigan)

    This symposium features keynote speakers in applied and theoretical machine learning as well as "spotlight" talks selected from poster abstract submissions.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 | 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

    Perspectives in STEM: An evening with Dr. Cherry Murray

    Speaker: Cherry A. Murray (Harvard University)

    Join us for the second event in the Series "Perspectives in STEM" as Dr. Cherry Murray, Harvard University, discusses her illustrious career trajectory in Physics and Engineering, and shares insights on innovation. Dr. Murray's seminar will be followed by Q&A session and a networking reception.

  • Publications 

    Annals

    Beyond the Big Bang: Searching for Meaning in Contemporary Physics

    Edited by Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences editorial staff

    This Annals volume presents papers from a three-part series, in collaboration with the Nour Foundation, on the relevance of modern-day physics to perennial questions confronting human existence.

    Volume 1361

    Annals

    Annals Reports

    Edited by Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences editorial staff

    This Annals volume presents discussions ofnutrition and the science of disease prevention; designing optogenetically controlled RNA for regulating biological systems; and how ion channels sense mechanical force

    Volume 1352

    Annals

    Flow of Time

    Edited by Dean Rickles and Maria Kon (University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

    This Annals volume explores the nature of time's passage from a variety of perspectives, including from mathematics and physics to linguistics and cognitive science.

    Volume 1326

    eBriefing

    Black Holes and Astrobiology

    Speaker: Caleb Scharf (Columbia University)

    This eBriefing documents a presentation by Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology at Columbia University, who described the latest science on black holes and gave an update on the search for life on other planets.