University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Thursday, September 10th 2015
7:00 pm:
The 2015 Edythe and Irving Misel Family Lecture Series in McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall 
Speaker: Joseph Polchinski, The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Subject: Spacetime versus the Quantum
The lecture will be streamed live

10th annual Misel family lecture
Sonia Fernandez, UCSB
I will talk about the search for a unified theory of the laws of physics including quantum mechanics, which governs the very small, and general relativity, which governs the very large. Stephen Hawking showed 40 years ago that these theories make conflicting predictions near black holes. This ignited a battle that continues to this day: either quantum mechanics must break down, or our understanding of spacetime must be wrong. The latest wrinkle is the `firewall’ paradox: if quantum mechanics is to be saved, then an astronaut falling into a black hole will have an experience very different from what Einstein’s theory predicts. This has led to many new ideas that may lead to the unification of these two great theories.

Faculty Host: Keith Olive

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