Physicist Brian Greene, Host of "The Elegant Universe" on PBS, Presents Special UCSB Program at the Lobero Theater on Nov. 23
Brian Greene, the acclaimed physicist and author of The Elegant Universe, which has been made into a popular three-part NOVA series on PBS featuring Greene, will speak at the Lobero Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. He will be introduced by Chris Carter, the award-winning director, writer and creator of the X-Files. Tickets are $19 and can be reserved by calling 963-0761.
The public event is made possible by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with the support of Friends of KITP and Montecito Bank and Trust.
Greene is currently in residence at UCSB, participating in the five-month research program Superstring Cosmology at KITP. He is responsible for a number of ground-breaking discoveries in super string theory, and is renowned for his eloquent and creative public presentations for audiences with little or no physics background. He has been called the new Carl Sagan for his charismatic presentations in person and on television. Greene's book, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction and has been on the New York Times best seller list for many months.
In the book Greene attempts to reconcile two widely accepted but mutually exclusive theories regarding the physical universe: quantum mechanics and general relativity. In science's quest for "the theory of everything" he champions the exciting and controversial idea, "superstring theory," which asserts that the universe is made up of tiny vibrating strings.
The fundamental particles of the universe that physicists have identified -- electrons, neutrinos, quarks, and so on -- are the "letters" of all matter. Just like their linguistic counterparts, they appear to have no further internal substructure. String theory proclaims otherwise. According to string theory, if we could examine these particles with even greater precision -- a precision many orders of magnitude beyond our present technological capacity -- we would find that each is not point-like but instead consists of a tiny, one-dimensional loop. Like an infinitely thin rubber band, each particle contains a vibrating, oscillating, dancing filament that physicists have named a string.
Greene received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He joined the physics faculty of Cornell University in 1990 and in 1996 joined Columbia University were he is professor of physics and mathematics. He is currently co-director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP) at Columbia, a research center focusing on the interface between string theory and cosmology.