Thursday, September 10, 2015

Misel Family Lecture

The 2015 Edythe and Irving Misel Family Lecture Series

Joseph Polchinski, The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara will present "Spacetime Versus the Quantum" at the 10th Annual Misel Family Lecture. The William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute is proud to host the annual lecture. This lecture is free and open to the public.

We look forward to seeing you there! Refreshments will be served afterward in the McNamara Atrium.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall
FFI: ftpi@physics.umn.edu

Polchinski 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.