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Modern Cosmology and Superstring theory

Can they co-exist?

Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Jr.

ABSTRACT: Modern cosmology portrays a previously unexpected picture - a universe dominated by dark matter and dark energy. The last two decades have also seen the emergence of Superstring Theory (also known as String/Mtheory), a powerful paradigm for describing fundamental physics on quantum length scales. Are these two conceptual schemes in agreement or conflict? This lecture, utilizing computer graphics, provides an exciting and accessible introduction to this debate at the frontiers of present day scientific research, from the viewpoint of one of the world's most famous string theorists. This lecture is aimed at the layperson or student with an interest in science and physics.

THE SPEAKER: He is a professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Maryland. Described as the 'Tiger Woods of Physics', Professor Gates was the first African-American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major US research university and is famous for his ability to make complex topics accessible. He was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (B.S. math. 1973, B.S. physics 1973, Ph.D. physics 1977) having written MITs first thesis on "supersymmetry", a topic in modern fundamental theoretical physics. Dr. Gates has an impressive portfolio of achievements which include: MIT's 1997 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, Washington Academy of Science's 1999 College Science Teacher of the Year Award, the American Association of Physics Teacher's 2003 Klopsteg Awards and the National Technical Association's 1993 Physicist of the Year Award. He has appeared on four PBS television scientific documentaries. In 2005, working with 'The Teaching Company', Professor Gates created a DVD lecture series on modern Physics for the general public entitled "Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality?" He is a Fellow of a number of scientific societies (American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, National Society of Black Physicists).

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