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The edges of the universe: black holes, horizons and strings



18:30 - 19:30


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG



Professor Andrew Strominger

Public lecture by Professor Andrew Strominger

Event details

Andrew Strominger is Gwill E. York Professor of Physics at Harvard University.

Held in conjunction with the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences to coincide with the exhibition Intersections: Henry Moore and Stringed Surfaces.

The visible universe has edges, known as event horizons, which surround a black hole or a region of space speeding away faster than light. Event horizons are governed by a strikingly simple set of quantum laws which imply that black holes are at once the simplest and most complex objects in the physical universe. As discovered four decades ago by Bekenstein and Hawking this dichotomy underlies a deep paradox, the resolution of which has become a focal point of modern physics. Unexpectedly, insight into this paradox has recently been gained from string theory. This lecture will give an elementary account of these developments.

 Professor Andrew Strominger is a renowned theoretical physicist with seminal and path-breaking contributions to quantum gravity and string theory. He is a co-discoverer of the Calabi-Yau compactification of string theory, which provides a unified framework for quantum gravity, and the theory of elementary particles. With Cumrun Vafa, he provided the first constituent model for supersymmetric black holes in terms of D-branes and established the equality of the entropy formulas of Boltzmann and Hawking-Bekenstein. Both contributions are historic signposts in the quest to discover the fundamental laws of nature. He was born in Cambridge, England and is presently Gwill E. York Professor of Physics, Director of the Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature and a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.


The edges of the universe: black holes, horizons and strings The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK