Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jan 14 - Lawrence Krauss - A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

Saturday, January 14, 2012, 1:30pm
National Science Foundation
Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA [map]

Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And why is there something rather than nothing?

Lawrence Krauss’s provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted almost a million viewers. The last of these questions in particular has been at the center of religious and philosophical debates about the existence of God, and it’s the supposed counterargument to anyone who questions the need for God. As Krauss argues, scientists have, however, historically focused on other, more pressing issues—such as figuring out how the universe actually functions, which can ultimately help us to improve the quality of our lives. In his new book, a cosmological story that rivets as it enlightens, pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains the groundbreaking new scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their heads.

Lawrence M. Krauss, a renowned cosmologist and popularizer of modern science, is director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University.  Hailed by Scientific American as a rare public intellectual, he is the author of more than three hundred scientific publications and 8 books, including the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek, and the recipient of numerous international awards for his research and writing.  He is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1982 and then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows. In 1985 he joined the faculty of Physics at Yale University, departing in 1993 to become Chairman of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University until 2005.  In 2008, he joined the faculty at Arizona State University. Krauss is also one of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, for example, performing solo with the Cleveland Orchestra, narrating Gustav Holst’s The Planets at the Blossom Music Center in the most highly attended concert at that venue, and receiving a Grammy nomination for his liner notes for a Telarc CD of music from Star Trek.

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members.
Refreshments and socializing after the talk.