Colloquium: The Materiality of Vacuum

Date: 
04/29/2016 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Location: 
CP155
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Dr. Frank Wilczek (MIT)
Type of Event (for grouping events):
The old idea of a luminiferous ether got a bad reputation, but in modern physics we've discovered that it is very fruitful to regard empty space, or vacuum, as a material. Vacuum can be polarized, or act as a catalyst, for example, and it is a superconductor. Conversely, materials can be viewed "from the inside" as the vacua of alternative worlds, which often have exotic, mind-expanding properties. These ideas suggest new possibilities for cosmology, and bring to life a profound question: What is a Universe? 
 
Refreshments will be served in Chemistry-Physics Building Room 179 at 3:15 PM
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