Cumrun Vafa, Ph.D.Hollis Professor of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy; Professor of Physics, Harvard University
Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
Over the last few decades, string theory has emerged as a consistent, unified quantum theory of all the particles and forces. This development has led to a sharper understanding of the geometry of space and time as well as the basic physical laws that govern that geometry. String theory has also resulted in surprising predictions about our universe.
Solutions to string theory involve spaces with special mathematical properties. The study of these spaces has led to a ‘landscape’ of potentially consistent universes. The work has also led to the unexpected result that some consistent-looking universes cannot possibly exist and belong to the ’swampland.’ In this talk, Cumrun Vafa reviews some of the predictions to which this picture leads, both for the fundamental constituents of our universe as well as the ultimate fate of the cosmos.