“The best aspects of the workshop were: it was highly interactive, had lots of informal discussion and many young people who are now leading these efforts. Sessions were held no more than 3 hours every other day, thus leaving lots of time for collaborative discussions and doing one's own work. And a big plus was a greatly diminished use of powerpoint talks.”

Current Public Service Announcements



SCROLL DOWN TO FIND EVENTS BY DATE

July 31, 2014 Shankar Dialogue

PSA date: July 24, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “The Tragic Tale of the Mathematical Genius Ramanujan,” given by Professor R. Shankar, Yale University, at 5:30 PM Thursday, July 31st at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

This will be a description of the extraordinary and brief career of Srinivasa Ramanujan [srin-i-va-sa raw-ma-new-gin], who came from an obscure village in South India and shook the world of European mathematics with his deep contributions that continue to intrigue the math and physics communities. With some slides and many anecdotes Professor Shankar will illuminate some aspects of his life.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

July 24, 2014 Silverstein Dialogue

PSA date: July 17, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “Cosmic Inflation and Quantum Gravity,” given by Professor Eva Silverstein, Stanford University, at 5:30 PM Thursday, July 24th at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

Professor Silverstein will discuss the groundbreaking measurements of the cosmic microwave background reported recently by the BICEP2 collaboration, and their implications if confirmed by other experiments. This is a lever to much higher energy physics than ever probed before, with important connections to quantum gravity (for which string theory is a strong candidate) within the paradigm of early universe inflation.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

July 17, 2014 Polchinski Lecture

PSA date: July 11, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be another FREE physics lecture, “Spacetime versus the Quantum,” given by Professor Joe Polchinski, University of California, Santa Barbara, at 5:30 PM Thursday, July 17th at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

It is about a paradox discovered by Stephen Hawking in 1975, which reveals a conflict between our theories of physics on microscopic and cosmic scales. The latest incarnation of this paradox is the black hole firewall, the claim that an astronaut falling into a black hole has an experience very different from what general relativity predicts.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925–2585.

July 10, 2014 Lykken Lecture

PSA date: July 3, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Neutrinos Are Everywhere,” given by Joseph Lykken, the newly-appointed Deputy Director of Fermilab, at 6:30 PM this Thursday, July 10th in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent.

Fermilab, in Batavia, IL, is the host laboratory of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment, a world-class program in neutrino physics that will explore physics beyond the highly successful Standard Model of Particle Physics. The exciting discovery that neutrinos are not massless, as previously thought, has opened a first crack in the Standard Model. The measurements LBNE makes will increase our understanding of neutrinos, which may play a key role in solving the mystery of how the universe came to consist only of matter rather than antimatter.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

July 3, 2014 Holz Dialogue

PSA date: June 26, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “Black Holes Whisper Sweet Nothings,” given by Professor Daniel Holz, University of Chicago, at 5:30 PM Thursday, July 3 at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

When you shake an object, be it a bowling ball or a black hole, it gives off gravitational waves. These waves, first predicted by Einstein almost a century ago, are extremely weak and have yet to be directly detected. Gravitational waves would tell us about the nature of black holes, teach us about how stars form and die, probe the densest states of matter, and potentially give us the earliest baby picture of our Universe. After many years of trial and tribulation these waves are expected to be directly detected in the coming few years. I will describe gravitational waves, explain how we hope to find them, and discuss why everyone should be excited about the coming age of gravitational-wave astronomy.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

June 26, 2014 Grosberg Dialogue

PSA date: June 18, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “How do you keep you DNA manageable?” given by Professor Alexander Grosberg, New York University, at 5:30 PM Thursday, June 26th at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

Try packing a hundred–mile long rope into a car. Chances are you won't be able to protect it from catastrophic tangling. How then do you manage your DNA, which is the same problem, except everything is millions of times smaller?

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925–2585.

June 19, 2014 Kirshner Lecture

PSA date: June 12, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be another FREE physics lecture, “The Accelerating Universe: Einstein's Blunder Undone,” given by Professor Robert Kirshner, Harvard University, at 6:30 PM Thursday, June 19th in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent.

Robert Kirshner is an energetic teacher for undergraduates who are not majoring in the sciences, and a frequent public speaker. He'll explain why it's no exaggeration to say that astronomers discovered 2/3 of the Universe in 1998. That's when mysterious “dark energy,” the missing 2/3, was credited with accelerating the expansion of the Universe. Unfortunately, we do not have many clues about the nature of the dark energy. It might be a modern version of the “cosmological constant,” an idea that Albert Einstein invented in 1916 and rejected in 1934. If Einstein had stuck to his guns, he might have become a famous physicist!

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925–2585.

June 12, 2014 Huang Lecture

PSA date: June 6, 2014 for Immediate Release

There will be a FREE physics lecture, “A Bug's Life,” given by Professor KC Huang, Stanford University, at 6:30 PM this Thursday, June 12th at Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent.

Bacteria are the workhorses for researchers in biology. They are all over your body, in your yogurt, and even strategically placed in your medicine. They have fast generation times, small genomes that can be easily manipulated, and a wealth of biochemical and imaging probes to look inside cells. And yet, how much do we really know about how they live and grow? This lecture is inspired by a “cosmological” perspective of biology, in which we embrace the multiple length and time scales that matter to cells, from atoms to organisms and milliseconds to centuries.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925–2585.

May 29, 2014 Besla and Belokurov Dialogue

PSA date: May 22, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “Small Dwarfs, Tall Shadows,” given by Professors Gurtina Besla, University of Arizona, and Vasily Belokurov, University of Cambridge, at 5:30 PM Thursday, May 29 at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

Dwarf galaxies are the smallest galaxies in the universe, representing the extreme end of galaxy formation. Observations of these small galaxies have cast a surprisingly tall shadow over the standard theoretical models of galaxy and structure formation, i.e. what is called Lambda cold dark matter (LCDM) theory. While these galaxies have very few stars, they are expected by LCDM theory to be enshrouded within massive dark matter halos. However, the properties of these halos inferred from observations have left theorists scratching their heads. We will provide a lively dialogue about the puzzles and progress made by observers and theorists alike to understand these tiny troublemakers.

For more information about our summer events, please see the Current Lecture link on the For the Public tab on this website or call 925–2585.

March 18, 2014 (Tuesday) Subir Sachdev Lecture

PSA date: March 10, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Quantum Entanglement and Superconductivity” given by Subir Sachdev of Harvard University.

Newly discovered states of matter embody what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”: when one electron is measured, it instantaneously determines the state of another electron far away. Quantum entanglement also determines the macroscopic properties of electrons in certain crystals where the electrons become entangled en masse. Professor Sachdev will explain how entanglement is now helping physicists understand the properties of high temperature superconductors.

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

March 10, 2014 John Preskill Lecture

PSA Release date: January 28, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Quantum Computing and the Entanglement Frontier ” given by John Preskill of Caltech.

The quantum laws governing atoms and other tiny objects seem to defy common sense, and information encoded in quantum systems has weird properties that baffle our feeble human minds. John Preskill will explain why he loves quantum entanglement, the elusive feature making quantum information fundamentally different from information in the macroscopic world. By exploiting quantum entanglement, quantum computers should be able to solve otherwise intractable problems, with far-reaching applications to cryptology, materials science, and medicine. Preskill is less weird than a quantum computer, and easier to understand.

Free, fun, and for the general public.For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585.

February 5, 2014 Brian McNamara Lecture

PSA Release date: January 28, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Supermassive Black Holes, Workhorses of the Universe” given by Brian McNamara, University of Waterloo.

Black holes weighing several million to more than one billion times the Sun lurk at the centers of most galaxies, including our Milky Way. Evidence for their existence amassed over the past decade has radically changed our understanding of galaxy formation. Professor NcNamara will describe black holes in general terms, explain how nature makes them and how powerful radio jets launched from the vicinity of supermassive black holes are governing the growth of galaxies.

Free, fun, and for the general public. For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

January 29, 2014 Kenny Breuer Lecture

PSA Release date: January 20, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Swimming in Syrup: How do Bacteria Move?” given by Kenny Breuer of Brown University.

Bacteria are tiny organisms -- 50 times smaller than a speck of sand -- that thrive in every part of our world from the open ocean to the lining of our intestines. For bacteria, moving around to find food and avoid hazards is a critical part of life, but at such small scales, the physics of motion is unusual, non-intuitive and completely different from our experiences. Professor Breuer will highlight the unique and unusual ways that bacteria and humans have adapted not only for swimming in water, but also in the complex biological soup in which bacteria live.

Free, fun, and for the general public. For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

January 22, 2014 Kyle Cranmer Lecture

PSA Release date: January 13, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Higgs Boson: A Natural Disaster!” given by Kyle Cranmer of New York University.

The discovery of the Higgs boson was a triumph for humanity and was celebrated by physicists around the world. Its discovery settles a long-standing mystery about the origin of mass and completes a spectacularly successful theory called the Standard Model. However, we know that this theory is not the end of the story and great questions remain: What is dark matter? Why does matter dominate over anti-matter? The Higgs itself is at the heart of a profound question that may point to deep new principles and even has some scientists considering a radical change to our conception of the Universe.

Free, fun, and for the general public. For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

January 15, 2014 Leon Balents Lecture

PSA Release date: January 8, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Particles, Quasi-particles and Beyond” given on January 15 by Leon Balents of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of California.

Physicists talk about particles all the time and you heard about the last-discovered “elementary particle,” the Higgs boson. In this talk, Professor Balents will explain what a physicist means by an elementary particle, and how more often, physicists deal with particles that are not elementary. These “quasi-particles” are the crucial objects used to describe the quantum behavior of matter, not just in giant particle accelerators but in ordinary materials you can hold in your hand. There are simple and exotic quasi-particles and sometimes, no quasi-particles at all. Learn how these ideas intersect frontiers of research in physics.

Free, fun, and for the general public. For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

January 8, 2014 Louis Taillefer Lecture

PSA Release date: January 6, 2014 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Superconductivity: Magic and Mystery” given on January 8 by Louis Taillefer of Sherbrooke University and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Superconductivity is a magical property of matter whereby electrons dance so that electricity flows perfectly. Were this state sustainable at room temperature, our technological world would be transformed. Professor Taillefer will show the magic: how superconductors image brains in hospitals, whiz subatomic particles around at CERN, and levitate trains in Japan. Research on the mystery features very low temperatures, huge magnetic fields, pristine crystals, powerful microscopes, and the quantum world.

Free, fun, and for the general public. For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585.

2013

August 22 Marc Kamionkowski Lecture

PSA Release date: August 15, 2013 for Immediate Release
The last FREE physics lecture this summer is Thursday, August 22nd at 6:30 PM in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent. The title is “Beauty and Blemishes in the Universe,” and will be given by Professor Marc Kamionkowski, from Johns Hopkins University.

On March 21st 2013 an international team of scientists announced results from the Planck satellite, a collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA that measured, with unprecedented precision, the relic light from the Big Bang. To the naked eye, the maps of this light look pretty boring and featureless, but encoded within them is an extraordinary wealth of information about the contents of the Universe and its origins. Professor Kamionkowski will describe how scientists have cracked this code and what the maps are telling us. He will also describe a surprise in the data that may be providing a glimpse into what happened before the Big Bang.

Please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925–2585 for news about winter events.

August 15 Wolfgang Ketterle Lecture

PSA Release date: August 8, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE physics lecture, “From the Hot Big Bang to the Lowest Temperatures Ever Achieved,” given by 2001 Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Ketterle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at 6:30 PM Thursday, August 15 in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent.

Join Professor Ketterle on a journey from the big bang to the lowest temperatures ever achieved. After an introduction into the concept of temperature, we will travel from the earth to the sun and to temperatures of a trillion Kelvin, which are generated in heavy ion collisions and simulate conditions ten millionths of a second after the big bang. We will then travel to a surprising location where the lowest temperatures are a trillion times colder than room temperature and provide new insight into superfluidity and other forms of ice–cold matter.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 970-925-2585.

August 8 Carlos Wagner Dialogue

PSA Release date: August 1, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “What We Know about the Higgs Boson, One Year Later,” given by Professor Carlos Wagner, University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab, at 5:30 PM Thursday, August 8 at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

Would you like to know how physicists “see” the Higgs boson at colliders like the LHC and how the Higgs field is responsbile for the generation of mass? Is there a connection between gravity and the Higgs? Is it related to Dark Matter? These are a few of the questions Professor Wagner will discuss but he hopes you will bring your own.

For more information about our summer events, please see the Public tab above on this website or call 970-925-2585.

August 1 Kathryn Johnston Dialogue

PSA Release date: July 25, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “The Milky Way as a Cannibal,” given by Professor Kathryn Johnston, Columbia University, at 5:30 PM Thursday, Aug 1 at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

Images of galaxies are often awe-inspiring - spirals of billions of stars spinning slowly in the sky. Yet these magical objects are thought to have formed quite violently through the agglomeration of smaller objects. Even our own home - the Milky Way galaxy - seems to be in the process of devouring several smaller galaxies! This talk examines why we think galaxies are cannibals from both observational and theoretical perspectives.

For more information about our summer events, please tour this website under the For-the-Public tab or call 925-2585.

July 25 Edward Farhi Lecture

PSA Release date: July 18, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be another FREE physics lecture, “Quantum Computing,” given by Professor Edward Farhi, MIT, at 6:30 PM Thursday, July 25th in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent.

Quantum computers work in a fundamentally different way from classical computers; their logic is based on quantum law. When a large quantum computer is built, it will be able to solve certain problems faster than any conventionally designed computer. Professor Farhi will describe the challenges to building a quantum computer, the approaches that his group and others are taking to designing quantum algorithms, and how quantum computers will someday impact our lives.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

July 18 Hirosi Ooguri Dialogue

PSA Release date: July 11, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE informal dialogue, “What is Gravity?” given by Professor Hirosi Ooguri, Caltech, at 5:30 PM Thursday, July 18 at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

Gravity is the most familiar force in Nature. It bounds us on the surface of the Earth, and it is a key to our understanding of the Universe. It is also the most mysterious of all the forces. In the past couple of decades, there have been remarkable discoveries, both in theory and observations that have changed our view on gravity, space, and time. In this dialogue, we will review some of these discoveries and discuss their implications.

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

July 11 Paul Ginsparg Lecture

PSA Release date: July 5, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be another FREE physics lecture, “Public Science in the Digital Age,” given by Professor Paul Ginsparg, Cornell University, at 6:30 PM Thursday, July 11th in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the music tent.

Professor Ginsparg, who designed arXiv [archive], the open-access science archive while here at the Aspen Center for Physics in the 1990s, will recall highlights of the open access debate. With nearly a million open-access articles in the repository, and hundreds of millions of full-text downloads each year, arXiv serves as the primary daily information feed for global communities of researchers in physics, mathematics, computer science, and related fields. It also serves as the prototype for modern open access systems that disseminate medical and scientific research results. In June, Ginsparg was named a “White House Champion of Change.”

For more information about our summer events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

June 27 Tony Tyson Dialogue

PSA Release date: June 20, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE dialogue, “Exploring the Dark Universe: Discovery & Invention,” given by Professor Tony Tyson, University of California, Davis, at 5:30 PM Thursday, June 27th at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th and Gillespie.

The evolution of our Universe is being driven by Dark Matter and Dark Energy, which are invisible to the eye and to most instrumentation. Physicists are excited because this “dark sector” of nature is beyond our current understanding, implying new physics. This dialogue will review historic research and describe the new technology and instrumentation that astronomers and particle physicists are using to design the next facility to probe Dark Energy and Dark Matter.

For more information about our summer events, please click “For The Public” above or call 970-925-2585.

June 20 Jennifer Ross Public Lecture

PSA Release date: June 14, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Heinz Pagels Physics Lecture on Thursday, June 20 at Paepcke Auditorium, 1000 North Third Street at 6:30 pm. The title is What Physics Teaches Us about Cells.

Jenny Ross is a professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst working on how cells organize and instantly reorganize themselves in the mysterious and highly complex ways that we simple–minded humans are trying to understand. Professor Ross will take us on a journey inside cells through dance and role–playing in which audience participation is encouraged! No reservations are needed.

For more information see www.aspenphys.org or call (970) 925-2585.

June 6 David Weitz Public Lecture

PSA Release date: May 30, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Heinz Pagels Physics Lecture on Thursday, June 6 at Paepcke Auditorium, 1000 North Third Street at 6:30 pm. The title is The Physics of Cooking.

David Weitz is a professor of physics and applied physics at Harvard University and is the creator of the fabulously popular course, Science and Cooking. Professor Weitz will demonstrate and explain soft condensed matter: phases of matter and elasticity in eggs, spherification of yogurt and juices, emulsions, foams and entropy. To get a taste of his savory lecture, google: david weitz You Tube. This lecture and all our events are free. No reservations are needed - but come early for a front row seat!

For more information see www.aspenphys.org or call (970) 925-2585.

March 13 Matthew Strassler Public Lecture

PSA Release date: March 4, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Wednesday, March 13 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “The Quest for the Higgs Boson," a lecture presented by Matthew Strassler of Rutgers University.

All indications are that the new type of particle discovered at the Large Hadron Collider last summer is a Higgs boson. The quest for this famous particle goes back nearly 50 years. Professor Strassler will illuminate why the mysterious Higgs field is so crucial for our world and how understanding its true nature advances our knowledge of the Universe. Lastly, he will describe other great, unsolved puzzles that still trouble particle physicists and how ongoing research at the Large Hadron Collider will help to resolve them.

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585.

February 13 Natalie Batalha Public Lecture

PSA Release date: February 5, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Wednesday, February 13 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “Catching Shadows: Kepler's Search for Exo-earths," a lecture presented by Natalie Batalha of NASA Ames.

Speculation about the existence of other worlds like our own turned into a veritable quest with the launch of NASA's Kepler spacecraft in March, 2009. A census of planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way now numbers over 2,700, hundreds of which are earth-size, hinting that each point of light seen in the sky harbors at least one companion planet. Dr. Batalha will describe the techniques used by Kepler scientists to identify planets orbiting other stars and share some of the milestone discoveries that have made headlines. Are there planets amenable to life as we know it in our galaxy?

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

February 6 Deborah Harris Public Lecture

PSA Release date: January 29, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Wednesday, February 6 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “Neutrino Monologues," a play and lecture presented by Deborah Harris of Fermilab and the University of Rochester.

Dr. Harris’ one-woman play traces the fascinating history of the discovery of neutrinos. She will also describe the research now being discussed at this week’s winter conference at the Aspen Center for Physics, “New Direction in Neutrino Physics.” Neutrinos are electrically neutral, tiny subatomic particles that pass through you and the earth almost unimpeded. Their discovery took the courage of conviction!

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

January 30 P. James E. Peebles Public Lecture

PSA Release date: January 21, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Wednesday, January 30 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “Seeking Dark Matter" presented by P. James E. Peebles of Princeton University.

What is the universe made of? The evidence is that one sixth of the matter is the stuff of which we and planets and stars are made – the “trace elements.” The existence of the other five sixths, Dark Matter, is an inference, but it is based on so many separate lines of evidence that the case is about as close to compelling as you can get in science. Professor Peebles will share the cutting-edge discussions being held this week at the Aspen Center for Physics about theories of the nature of Dark Matter, experiments in progress aimed at testing the theories, and whether the experiments have already detected Dark Matter.

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585.

January 22 (Tuesday) Matthew Bailes Public Lecture

PSA Release date: January 14, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Tuesday, January 22 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “Discovery of a Diamond Planet" presented by Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology.

Professor Bailes will describe the discovery of the famous "diamond planet.” Spinning at an astonishing 700 rotations per second, this millisecond pulsar orbits its host star every two hours. It is the collapsed core of a once-massive star that ended its normal stellar life in a supernova explosion before being spun-up to astonishing speeds by its companion, becoming a rare jewel in the cosmic ocean.

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

January 16 Leo Kouwenhoven Public Lecture

PSA Release date: January 8, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Wednesday, January 16 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “Particle Physics On a Chip: The Search for Majorana Fermions" presented by Leo Kouwenhoven of the Delft University of Technology.

Will majorana fermions be the key to developing a quantum computer? These particles have the mysterious property that they are equal to their anti-particles which implies that they have zero charge and zero energy. Professor Kouwenhoven will explain how nanofabrication is used to define nanoscale electronic and photonic devices with new quantum functionality, including the search for majorana fermions. They hope that in the long term, their fundamental studies will turn quantum mechanics into a new resource for technology.

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585.

January 9 Taekjip Ha Public Lecture

PSA Release date: January 3, 2013 for Immediate Release
There will be a FREE Nick and Maggie DeWolf Physics Lecture on Wednesday, January 9 at the Wheeler Opera House at 4:30 to 5:30 pm for the Physics Café co-hosted with Aspen Science Center and at 5:30 to 6:30 for the lecture. The title is “Probing Nature’s Nanomachines Using Light” by Taekjip (TJ) Ha, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Did you know that proteins are nano-scale machines that help us think, dance and keep the threat of cancer at bay? Did you know that biology is a new research frontier for physicists? In this talk, Professor Ha will discuss how biophysicists are using light-based tools to poke and examine Nature’s nanomachines, one molecule at a time, uncovering the amazing acrobatic abilities that are essential for all forms of life.

For more information: patty@aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585

September 6 Maslov and Sneppen Dialogue

PSA Release date: August 23 for Release August 29
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, "Randomness and Selection in Biological and Technological Evolution" given by Sergei Maslov, rookhaven National Laboratory & Kim Sneppen, Niels Bohr Institute, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, September 6, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

Genomes, gene networks, species, ecosystems evolve—and technological systems evolve too! Evolution is a process fueled by randomness but also exposed to selection that eliminates or modifies parts that do not work. By focusing on the interplay between function and randomness, we will discuss a few examples of evolution in biological and technological systems. Both bacterial genomes and Linux open source software demonstrate how mutual dependency between components affects their function, evolution, and even popularity.

August 30 Schwarz Public Lecture

PSA Release date: August 23 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics lecture at 6:00 pm, Thursday, August 30, in Paepcke Auditorium: “String Theory in Aspen” with John Schwarz, California Institute of Technology. No tickets necessary.

“String theory” is the name of the main approach being pursued by theoretical physicists who are striving to construct a theory unifying elementary particles and fundamental forces. The goal is to explain and predict phenomena at all distances, ranging from sub-nuclear to the entire universe. During the 40 years of its development, string theory has been a major theme at the Aspen Center for Physics. This lecture will survey the theory and the role that the Physics Center has played.

August 23 Hogan Public Lecture

PSA Release date: August 20 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics lecture at 6:00 pm, Thursday, August 23, in Paepcke Auditorium: “Is Space Real?” with Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and Fermilab. No tickets necessary.

Space--- the familiar space we live in, right here and now--- is the first concept of physics we all learn as little kids, yet it is entangled with some of the deepest mysteries confronting physics. Space is based on the idea of locality, but experiments show that in reality, nothing happens at definite time or place, which suggests that space is not as real as it seems. It has been suggested that all the space of the universe began, and may end, dominated by the energy of the vacuum, expanding and devoid of particles; that when examined over very short time intervals, space as we know it does not even exist, but dissolves into a cloud of quantum indeterminacy, and constantly seethes in microscopic ambiguity; that space has either more than three dimensions or fewer, depending on how you look at it; that reality carries only a finite amount of information, and unfolds at the Planck frequency, about 10^44 bits per second. It may even be that all of these exotic possibilities actually apply in the real world.

At Fermilab, we are working on experiments including the Dark Energy Survey, the Fermilab Holometer, and the CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, that probe these ideas in very different ways. The talk will survey what we hope to learn from them.

August 16 Davis Public Lecture

PSA Release date: August 9 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE public lecture,“ Visualizing the Quantum World,” given by J.C. Séamus Davis, of Cornell University, at 6:00 pm, Thursday, August 16, in Paepcke Auditorium. No ticket necessary.

Everything around us, everything each of us has ever experienced, and virtually everything underpinning our technological society and economy is governed by quantum mechanics. Yet this most fundamental physical theory of nature seems eerie and counterintuitive with no direct relevance to our lives. Why is this? One reason is that we cannot perceive the strangeness (and astonishing beauty) of the quantum mechanical phenomena by using our own senses. I will describe the development of techniques that allow us to visualize electronic quantum matter directly at the atomic scale.

August 12 Science Fair - Aspen Science Center

PSA Release date: August 2
Contact: Stephen Pinsky, Aspen Science Center, 970-920-6605
Event: A free, all-day Science Festival and Street Fair from 9am to 4pm in Paepcke Park. The Festival will feature a non-stop program of stage presentations, interactive exhibits, experiments, and games for kids of all ages, designed to inform, entertain, and inspire.

Presenters include University of Arizona, Aspen CORE, University of Bonn, CalTech, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Solar Energy International, and more. The Festival is presented by the Aspen Science Center in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Aspen Center for Physics.

For more information, please see www.aspensciencecenter.org.

August 9 Randall Public Lecture

PSA Release date: August 2 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics lecture, “Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World," given by Lisa Randall, Harvard University, at 6:00 pm, Thursday, August 9, in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the Music Tent.

Professor Randall’s first book, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions was included in the New York Times' 100 notable books of 2005. This lecture explores ideas from her current release by the lecture title. The goals and achievements in elementary particle physics, as well as the recent Higgs boson discovery, will be “illuminated.”

August 2 de Granda Public Lecture

PSA Release date: July 25 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics lecture, "Alchemy, Violins, and the Harmony of Physics," given by Boris Odio de Granda, The Boris Violins Studio, at 6:00 pm, Thursday, August 2, in Paepcke Auditorium, behind the Music Tent.

The violin is a masterpiece of Renaissance engineering. It is an intricately balanced system of indivisible complexity, unimproved upon by modern technology. Exploring harmonic correlations between the violin and the nature of physics is magnificent and compelling.

July 25 Cicerone Public Lecture

PSA Release date: July 17 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics lecture, "Contemporary climate change as seen through data," given by Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the National Research Council, at 6:00 pm, WEDNESDAY, July 25, at Paepcke Auditorium, behind the Music Tent.

The planetary energy budget of Earth underlies the state of Earth’s climate and of changes to it. Today, climatic change is being driven by global changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect of these observed composition changes. Professor Cicerone will present data demonstrating this increased greenhouse effect. Because the observed increases of greenhouse gas concentrations are due to human activities, concern over human-caused climate change has a firm physical basis.

July 19 Stevens Public Lecture

PSA Release date: July 11 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics lecture, " Maps of – and in – the Brain," given by Charles F. Stevens, 
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, at 6:00 pm, Thursday, July 19, at Paepcke Auditorium, behind the Music Tent.

The human brain is the most complex object known. Despite this complexity, many features of brain design can be easily grasped. I plan to describe some of these features, from ones discovered 100 years ago to new principles based on recent advances in physics, mathematics, and computer science.

For more information about all of our 50th Anniversary events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.

July 12 Drell Public Lecture

PSA Release date: July 3 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE lecture,“A Billion Times Brighter – The Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC,” given by Persis Drell, Director of Research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, at 6:00 pm in Paepcke Auditorium.

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), built on the legacy of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, is the world’s brightest source of hard X-ray laser light. Like an ultra-fast, ultra-bright strobe, the LCLS opens new doors on atomic and molecular structure and dynamics, illuminates the formation and breaking of chemical bonds at the atomic level, shows how materials work on the quantum level, and reveals the structures of key biological molecules and viruses.

July 5 Grunsfeld Public Lecture and Kid's Event

PSA Release date: June 25 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE event ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS from 5:15 to 6:00 pm, Thursday, July 5 in the Lobby of Paepcke Auditorium just before the physics lecture there, “Big Science Questions,” given by John Grunsfeld, Astronaut, “Hubble Repairman” and now, NASA Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate, at 6:00 pm.

A veteran of five space flights, including three missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 1999, 2002, and 2009, John Grunsfeld has logged over 835 hours in space, including nearly 60 hours of Extravehicular Activity during eight space walks. Grunsfeld is now the Associate Administrator for Science at NASA which plays a part in understanding Earth and space science. The Directorate works in four areas, Planetary Science, Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Astrophysics, all of which are enhanced by views from space.

June 28 Elvis Dialogue

PSA Release date: June 19 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, "Love, Fear and Greed: Why We Should Go to the Asteroids," given by Martin Elvis, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, June 28, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

Most people fear asteroids as a threat to life on Earth. Scientists' love of knowledge drives them to check out the material our planet grew from.And a few visionaries have argued that the mineral wealth in the asteroids is huge. A single asteroid could contain $35 billion in platinum. The time has now come where advanced space engineering and new astronomical knowledge can be combined to make exploring the asteroids possible, and potentially profitable. Martin Elvis will discuss how this can be done, making use of the International Space Station and the new NASA push to send humans to an asteroid.

June 25 Bernstein Dialogue

PSA Release date: June 18 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, " A Guided Tour Through Nuclear Iran,” by Jeremy Bernstein, at 5:30 PM, Monday, June 25, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

Jeremy Bernstein is going to present an illustrated guided tour of the principal nuclear facilities in Iran. Some are devoted to uranium enrichment. Some appear to be for potential use in the manufacture of plutonium. Some appear to have no civil application. The physics of these various applications will be discussed as well as their general significance.

June 21 Soderberg Dialogue

PSA Release date: June 12 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, "Supernova Forensics" given by Alicia Soderberg, Harvard University, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, June 21, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

For several decades, observational studies of supernova (SN) explosions have focused almost exclusively on the optical emission that dominates their bolometric luminosity. Yet many of the leading breakthroughs in our understanding of supernovae have been enabled by observations at other wavelengths. I will present new results on the nature of the progenitors, evolutionary histories, and explosion properties based on untraditional supernova studies. The combination of sensitive radio/mm-band arrays, wide-field optical surveys, and gravitational wave facilities mark this decade as an opportune time for an in depth study of supernovae.

June 20 Sky Stories & Ice Cream Social

PSA Release date: June 14 for Immediate Release
Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
FREE Informal Physics Events in June
Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie

June 20, Wed, 8:00 to 9:30 pm
Sky Stories & Ice Cream Social
SPECIAL EVENT with the Aspen Science Center & Spellbinders
Bring binoculars, blankets, flashlight!

Dialogues, 5:30 to 6:30 pm
June 21, Thurs Supernova Forensics
Alicia Soderberg, Harvard University

June 25, Mon NEW SPECIAL DIALOGUE!
A Guided Tour Through Nuclear Iran
Jeremy Bernstein

June 28, Thurs Love, Fear & Greed: Why we should go to the Asteroids
Martin Elvis, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Look for FREE Public Lectures in July & August
Please join the many events celebrating our 50th Anniversary this summer. There will be special Heinz R. Pagels Memorial Lectures every Thursday in July and August and two public symposia. On July 7, a panel will address “Public Engagement of Science” and on August 11, Nobel Laureates will explore “The Future of Theoretical Physics.” Both symposia will be followed by a reception on our campus. Visit us at http://aspenphys.org/50th/index.html and join our email list at patty@aspenphys.org for updates and announcements. The Aspen Center for Physics is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant #1066293.

June 14 Shaevitz Dialogue

PSA Release date: June 5 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, “It's a small world after all: a day in the life of molecules and cells,” given by Joshua Shaevitz, Princeton University, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, June 14, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

The human body is made up of a hundred trillion tiny cells but single-celled organisms can also be found in nearly every niche on air, land, and sea from the deepest ocean trenches to the nastiest chemical plumes. Cells possess remarkable abilities to eat and digest a huge variety of substances, to smell chemicals and see light, to move in complex surroundings, and to reproduce identical copies of themselves. I will introduce some intriguing elements of physics at the cellular and molecular scales and highlight a number of ways in which biological organisms have solved complex engineering problems with remarkable success.


June 7 Austin Dialogue

PSA Release date: May 31 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, “The Physics of Cancer” given by Robert Austin, Princeton University, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, June 7, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

Last winter, Professor Austin lectured on “Darwin, Evolution and Cancer” to a riveted audience in the Wheeler Opera House. This informal dialogue offers an opportunity to ask questions and probe deeper into Austin’s theory that evolution and cancer may be inevitably linked together and that our current approach to the disease needs to be rethought.

For more information about all of our 50th Anniversary events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.


May 31 Huterer Dialogue

PSA Release date: May 22 For Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, “The Universe Caught Speeding: the Mystery of Dark Energy,” given by Dragan Huterer, University of Michigan, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, May 31, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

In the late 1990s cosmologists discovered that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, not slowing down as expected. This discovery, honored with the Nobel Prize in 2011, has generated waves in the field of cosmology and presents us with a grand mystery: what is the origin and nature of Dark Energy, the stuff that causes the accelerated expansion?

For more information about all of our 50th Anniversary events, please see www.aspenphys.org or call 925-2585.


May 24 Holder Dialogue

PSA Release date: May 14 for Immediate Release
Event: There will be a FREE physics dialogue, "The Dynamic and Evolving Universe”, given by Gil Holder, McGill University, at 5:30 pm, Thursday, May 24, at the Aspen Center for Physics, 6th & Gillespie.

As the universe expands, it is constantly evolving, from the dense and hot earliest times of the big bang when the universe was very smooth to the relatively cold and empty universe of today that is full of the rich structures we see around us. The details of this process are active areas of research in cosmology and astrophysics, both observationally and theoretically, and a remarkably clear picture of how the universe has evolved is emerging.


February 13

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, February 13 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 pm Lecture

“Hunting the Dark Universe ”
A lecture by Neal Weiner – New York University

Modern particle physics is confronted by a major challenge - we are increasingly aware of an important component of the universe that cannot be "seen" in the classic sense, as it has no interactions with light. This dark universe plays an important role in everything we see, from the dynamics of the early universe, to the properties of galaxies, to the dynamics that powers the sun. How, then, can we hope to find it?
For more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585



February 8

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, February 8 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 pm Lecture

“Quantum Matters ”
A lecture by Chetan Nayak – UC Santa Barbara & KITP

Physicists have discovered states of matter where there are particles with properties not possessed by any other particles. Their exotic properties are a consequence of quantum mechanics and have no analog in the familiar, classical world. Remarkably, hese particles might be harnessed for a quantum computer, a hypothetical computer that could solve problems far beyond the reach of today’s computers. For more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585



February 1

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, February 1 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 pm Lecture

“The Small (and Large) Scale Structure of Space-Time ”
A lecture by Shamit Kachru – Stanford University & SLAC

tbaFor more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585


January 25

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, January 25 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 pm Lecture

“Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe ”
A lecture by Alex Filippenko, UC, Berkeley

tba.For more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585


January 18

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, January 18 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 pm Lecture

“Science Fiction Atmospheres”
A lecture by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert – University of Chicago

How did early science fiction writers imagine planetary climate? These writers have provided windows into what the newly discovered extrasolar planets (1500 and counting!) might be like and provide fertile ground for imaginative play leading to new, scientific stories. Dr. Pierrehumbert will discuss this interplay between the imagination and the science in the context of several of his favorite stories and present some unexploited storylines based on new thinking about exoplanet climates.For more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585


January 11

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, January 11 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 Lecture

“New Forms of Matter near Absolute Zero”
A lecture by 2001 Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Ketterle [ket–er–lee]
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Why do physicists freeze matter to extremely low temperatures, temperatures which are a billion times lower than that of interstellar space? In this talk, Professor Ketterle will discuss new forms of matter, which only exist at extremely low temperatures and which open a new door to the quantum world where particles behave as waves and “march in lockstep.” For more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585


January 4

Celebrating 50 years of Physics in Aspen!
2012 Maggie & Nick DeWolf
FREE Physics Lectures

Wednesday, January 4 * Wheeler Opera House
4:30 to 5:30 pm Physics Café co–hosted with Aspen Science Center
5:30 to 6:30 Lecture

“Darwin, Evolution and Cancer”
A lecture by Robert Austin,
Princeton University

Robert H. Austin is a researcher in the Department of Physics at Princeton University, which probes the biological limits of evolving organisms under stress. He is currently researching the idea that we have to entirely rethink cancer as being not adisease but rather the inevitable result of the rapid evolution of the homo sapiens species. Austin will examine the roots of evolution as viewed from a modern form of Darwinian natural selection and present some experiments that indicate that evolution and cancer are inevitably linked together. For more information: patty at aspenphys.org or (970) 925-2585