Materiality of a Vacuum

Theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek is Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Origins Project Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University. He received the Nobel Prize in 2004 for his work on asymptotic freedom in the theory of strong interaction. From the Origins Web Site.

The lecture was actually rather enjoyable. I was afraid it would be over my head but Professor Wilczek has a way of putting things that are not only comprehensible but funny in a geeky sort of way.

He posed the plausibility of parallel 2 dimensional worlds that left one thinking.

The dialogue following the lecture was the typical physicist banter and subtle competition fueled a little disagreement here and there. It was a good evening.

And I got my 10th and final book signed. Professor Krauss was gracious as always.

My Brief Interview With Professor Krauss

Professor Lawrence M Krauss graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me on his thoughts about some things Robert Oppenheimer wrote. Here are the first few. I hope to get a couple more out of him but we shall see. I am very grateful he took time out of his busy schedule to indulge me.

Einstein’s Legacy; Celebrating 100 Years of the Theory of Relativity.

I most definitely have to admit I was in a little over my head on this one. However, Krauss as usual explains things so that any layman can understand physics, at least the basic principles of it. He had a panel of scientists for this one, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, at California Institute of Technology, Kip Thorne, Theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek, Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Adam RiessDiana Kormos-Buchwald, Professor of History at California Institute of Technology and director of the Einstein’s Papers Project.

The discussion was very interesting, I learned several things about Einstein’s career that I didn’t know before. They also discussed the discovery of gravitational waves! The last guest to speak on the panel was Kip Thorne, he was the science adviser on the movie Interstellar. I hadn’t watched the movie but did so a couple of days later. It was fun to have heard the inside scoop on some of the scenes.

As usual Krauss was very personable with his fans and at the book signing. He signed my copy of Atom.

Here are the links:

Einstein’s Legacy Part One

Einstein’s Legacy Part Two

Lawrence Krauss and Noam Chomsky

March 22, 2015 I attended my first Origins Project Dialogue with Lawrence Krauss.

I have never been a big fan of Chomsky. I have been a huge fan of Krauss since I first watched a debate with Michael Shermer against D’Souza and another Christian Apologist. He has been my ‘patron saint’ of science and non-belief ever since. I admittedly was somewhat surprised to learn that Krauss had such reverence for Chomsky, for starters Krauss makes no secret about his opinion of philosophy; it is anything but favorable and sometimes he finds it intolerable even as much so as religion at times. Not because Chomsky is unworthy or respect or even reverence but because he is in my opinion a pacifist more than an activist; I would even go so far as to call him an apathetic complainer, even anti-American. His disdain for the U.S. government and it’s institutions borders on Right Wing Conservatism even Tea Party politics, if he wasn’t an atheist who condemns religious scripture. What he doesn’t condemn is the Church or it’s institutions. In fact he often praises them for the good they do in the world with the poor, the sick and the hungry. Support of the Catholic Church let alone religion in general is not something Krauss has ever shown. Ever.

Outside of that, the impact on politics and government; the difference he has made in communities, society and academia is volumes. He is the most cited living scholar in history and has authored over 100 books. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 at the age of 16, and went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. as a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1951-1955, earning a degree in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Mathematics.

His activism over the course of history has landed him in jail several times. He even landed on Nixon’s enemy of the state’s list. His protests of the Viet Nam war to his condemnation of religion he has never held his tongue.

Krauss in his truly reverent and heart felt introduction he even said that where most people might ask ‘What would Jesus do?’ I ask ‘What would Noam do?’. That in my mind was one of the most sincerely reverent statement I have ever heard. He went so far as to call Chomsky his Mentor; he was one of Krauss’ instructors at MIT.

I won’t say I was disappointed by the dialogue but I most definitely was not impressed by Chomsky, I was however more that awestruck by Krauss. He was everything I expected and more. Not only in his ability to have such an inspiring and informative conversation with Chomsky but by how approachable he was afterwards when they were signing books. I unfortunately didn’t get a book signed, the line was at least 500 people long. What I did manage to do was go up to the side of the table he was on; it seemed everyone was waiting for Chomsky, and I loudly said ‘Professor Krauss’ and when he turned around I told him I had a gift for him, then I gave him a copy of ‘Los Alamos Place Names’. It is not only my home town but my family legacy is there in the ‘X Lovato Field’ which is a softball field named after my dad in 1975. He was very receptive.

A couple of weeks later I tweeted him; ‘I hope you enjoy the Los Alamos Place Names book I gave you’. To my absolute surprise he tweeted me back the same day’ Thank you very much. I was pleasantly surprised. From that moment on I have attended every local event here in the Phoenix area but one. I have even gone to the smaller talks on campus at ASU in the Marston Theatre inside the Tech 4 Building where Krauss office is.

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