"I found the general atmosphere [at the Aspen Center for Physics] very stimulating. All practical matters were taken care of in a pragmatic and effective way, all time was available for discussions and self-study. The beautiful surroundings did not distract, but stimulated creative thinking. It is too bad that life cannot always be so simple and pleasant."

    Aspen Center for Physics

    Heinz R. Pagels Free Physics Lectures

    Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm

    Aspen Center for Physics

    Corner of 6th & Gillespie Streets

    View a 13-minute Video about the Aspen Center for Physics


  • June 9, 2016
    The Higgs Boson and the Mystery of Mass
    Speaker: Roni Harnik, Fermilab
    Watch the lecture.

  • June 23, 2016
    The Dark Side of the Universe
    Speaker: Catherine Heymans, University of Edinburgh
    Watch the lecture.

  • July 7, 2016
    Singing Binaries: Listening to the Chirps of Black Holes
    Speaker: Ilya Mandel, University of Birmingham
    Watch the lecture.

  • July 21, 2016
    String Theory Meets Quantum Field Theory
    Speaker: Jacques Distler, University of Texas Austins
    Watch the lecture.

  • August 4, 2016
    Does Copper have Extra Dimensions?
    Speaker: Philip Phillips, University of Illinois
    Watch the lecture.

  • August 18, 2016
    Human Genome, Now in 3D!
    Speaker: Leonid Mirny, MIT
    Human cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes that package the whole human genome. When cells divide, they must first condense these chromosomes — each of which when fully extended is a thousand times longer than the cell’s nucleus and physically indistinguishable from the others — into compact structures that can be easily separated and packaged into their offspring. I will describe recent advances in understanding how the human genome is organized in 3D, and how this organization changes when a cell divides.
    Watch the lecture.

  • August 25, 2016
    The Evolution Within Us: Statistics of Immunity
    Speaker: Aleksandra Walczak, Ecole Normale Superieure
    Our adaptive immune system protects us against a wide variety of different pathogens — many of which were not around when we were born. How can our immune system be prepared for the many unknown pathogens that we will encounter throughout our lives? To make the job harder, the pathogens keep changing and evolving, forcing the immune system to change, too. In this talk, Professor Walczak will explore how nature uses statistics to generate diversity and withstand this life-long struggle.
    Watch the lecture.

  • September 1, 2016
    The Search for Earth 2.0
    Speaker: Justin Crepp, Notre Dame
    Astronomers have discovered thousands of worlds orbiting other stars. Many of these so-­called extrasolar planets are comparable in size to the Earth, and in a number of cases their orbits are nestled comfortably inside the habitable zone -­-­ the region surrounding a star in which water may exist in a liquid phase. In this talk, I will describe how extrasolar planets are detected using telescopes (both large and small), and outline a path for finding "Earth 2.0" and other worlds that may hold the potential for life. Watch the lecture.