Hans Bethe conference to shed light on the black hole paradox


Black holes are paradoxically both the simplest and the most complex objects in the universe, as evidenced by the still mysterious set of laws that Stephen Hawking discovered half a century ago. Solving this paradox is a central goal of modern physics.

At the Hans Bethe conference in autumn 2021, physicist Andrew Strominger will describe the considerable progress made towards this goal as well as the future perspectives of our understanding of black holes from string theory and the recent image of the Event Horizon telescope.

The conference, “Probe the Edges of the Universe: Black Holes, Horizons and Ropes”, will take place on Wednesday, October 27 at 7:30 pm in the David Call Alumni Auditorium, Kennedy Hall. The conference is only open to the Cornell community; the public is invited to participate via the CornellCast Live Stream.

“Black holes are formed when a collapsing star creates a region of space-time so strongly curved that not even light can escape,” said Thomas Hartman, faculty organizer and associate professor of Physics at the College of Arts and Sciences. “They provide an incredible window into astrophysics and the fundamental properties of the universe. Professor Strominger invented much of modern black hole theory, and in this talk he will describe some of the excitement that surrounds them. “

Strominger is Gwill E. York Professor of Physics at Harvard University and a founding member of the Black Hole Initiative. A renowned theoretical physicist, he made important contributions to classical and quantum gravity, quantum field theory and string theory. In his most recent work, Strominger discovered an exact equivalence unifying three disparate phenomena that have been studied separately over the past half-century: the soft theorems of quantum field theory, asymptotic symmetries, and the memory effect. This equivalence has profound implications for infrared phenomena ranging from quantum electrodynamics to the black hole information paradox.

Among his many prizes, Strominger received the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics 2017, the Dannie Heineman Prize 2016 from the American Physical Society, the 2014 Oskar Klein Medal from the Swedish Royal Academy, the 2014 Dirac Medal from the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical . Physics, the Physics Frontiers Breakthrough Prize 2014 from the Milner Foundation and the Leonard Eisenbud Prize 2008 from the American Mathematical Society. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Science, and a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.

As part of the Hans Bethe lecture series, Strominger will give a physics colloquium, “Memory, Soft Theorems and Symmetries of Nature”, on October 25 at 4:00 p.m. at the Schwartz Auditorium, and a theoretical seminar, “The Holographic Principle in the Flat Space ”on October 26 at 4:00 pm at 401 Physical Sciences Building These lectures are open only to the Cornell community.

The Hans Bethe lecture series, established by the Department of Physics and the College of Arts and Sciences, honors Bethe, Cornell professor of physics from 1936 until his death in 2005. Bethe won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1967 for his description of nuclear processes. that feed the sun.

Linda B. Glaser is Information and Media Relations Officer for the College of Arts and Sciences.


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