David J. Gross: "The Frontiers of Fundamental Physics"
Presented By: Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
At the frontiers of physics, we search for the principles that might unify all the forces of nature and we strive to understand the origin and history of the universe. In this lecture, Gross will describe some of the questions that we ask and some of the proposed answers. He will also discuss what it might mean tohave a final theory of fundamental physics and whether we are capable of discovering it.
David Gross has been a central figure in particle physics and string theory. His discovery, with his student Frank wilczek, of asymptotic freedom - the primary feature of non-Abelian gauge theories - led Gross and Wilczek to the formulation of Quantum Chromodynamics, the theory of the strong nuclear force. This completed the Standard Model, which details the three basic forces of particle physics: the electromagnetic force, the weak force and the strong force. Gross was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, with Wilczek and Caltech's David Politzer, for this discovery. He has also made seminal contributions to the theory of Superstrings, a burgeoning enterprise that brings gravity into the quantum framework.