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October 22, 2012

Nobel Prize winner to speak at Physics' Hubert M. James Lecture

The Department of Physics' 19th annual Hubert M. James Lecture will feature professor Frank Wilczek, the 2004 Nobel laureate in physics.

Wilczek, the Herman Fesbach Professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present "Quantum Beauty" at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 24) in the Physics Building, Room 114. The presentation will look at the physics and quantum theory behind "beautiful concepts" and the history of science and beauty correlations.

Wilczek is considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists. He is known for the discovery of asymptotic freedom, the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons). As a graduate student at Princeton University, he defined the properties of color gluonsin while working with particle physicist and string theorist David Gross. Color gluonsin hold atomic nuclei together.

In 2004, Wilczek received the Nobel Prize in physics and in 2005 the King Faisal Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a trustee of the University of Chicago. He contributes regularly to Physics Today and to Nature, explaining topics at the frontiers of physics to wider scientific audiences.

Wilczek has published numerous books, including "Longing for the Harmonies," a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

The Hubert M. James Lecture Series is named in honor of Hubert James, who worked on the development of radar in World War II and made landmark contributions to electronic states and semiconductor physics, James was the head of the physics department from 1958 to 1966.