Nobel Prize's David Gross Speaks on String Theory at UC Davis Lecture





Davis--Nobel Prize winner David Gross discusses string theory and the revolution in ideas that may come about after the Large Hadron Collider in CERN goes online. In his lecture titled, "The Coming Revolutions in Fundamental Physics", the director of  University of California Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and Frederick W. Gluck Chair, presents a synopsis of where we are in understanding and making sense of string theory. As he reviews the present state of knowledge in elementary particle physics and the questions physicists are currently addressing, Gross also reveals some of the  experimental revolutions that might occur when the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, begins to operate in Switzerland.


The lecture is presented by High Energy Frontier Theory Initiative (HEFTI), an organization that seeks to  bring excitement to the study of particle physics and gravity through sponsored public lectures. Theorists and experimentalists at leading particle physics institutions throughout the world such as LBL in Berkeley,  SLAC at Stanford University, CERN in Geneva, and Fermilab, promotes collaboration and healthy discussion. 

In the Gross presentation the possibilities of big science at the LHC, state of string theory today, and necessity to go beyond the standard model of particle physics are all subjects he'll explore. Understanding of quantum gravity has led to an ambitious attempt to unify all the forces of nature and all forms of matter as different vibrations of a string-like object. But string theory is still in a pre-revolutionary stage, according to Gross.  Although remarkable progress has been achieved in the last decade in understanding the perturbative and non-perturbative structure of string theory, we still lack a fundamental understanding of the theory. Many string theorists suspect that a profound conceptual change in our concept of space and time will be required for the final formulation of string theory, he said.

Exploring the basic concepts of physics has been has been a full time occupation to the researcher and brilliant thinker, who in 1973, worked with Frank Wilczek at Princeton University.  Gross discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction (or color charge) between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. In 2004, Gross was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of asymptotic freedom, along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer.
Gross received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1962. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 then spent three years as Junior Fellow at Harvard University. In 1973, he was promoted to professor at Princeton University and named Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics in 1986. He assumed the title of director and holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1997. Gross also was awarded an honorary doctorates by the University of Montpellier, France, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Sao Paulo University, Brazil, Ohio State University, the University of the Philippines, Manila, De La Salle University, Manila, the University of Cambridge, England, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

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