Nobel Prize Winner Wilczek to Speak on 'Intersections of Art and Science' in Upcoming Lecture

By Terrence Wade

(April 26, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering are proud to have Nobel Prize Winner Frank Wilczek on campus this week as he delivers his lecture “Some Intersections of Art and Science.” The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Memorial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will cover topics of profound reasons rooted in the nature of human cognition and perception and why art and science have a lot to offer one another. Wilczek will display some important historical examples of their synergy and point out some emerging opportunities. Several striking images will be an integral part of the presentation.

Wilczek is one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists. He is known for his theory of the strong nuclear force, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics. As a 21-year-old graduate student at Princeton University, he and his advisor David Gross discovered and quantified many properties of the force that holds atomic nuclei, as well as the protons and neutrons that compose them, together. It is for this work that he and Gross received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics.

In addition to his work on the strong nuclear force, Wilczek has done groundbreaking work on an astonishing variety of questions in theoretical physics, building bridges between high-energy physics, condensed matter, nuclear physics, astrophysics and biophysics. The profound influence of his work in these diverse areas is indicated by over 40,000 scientific citations to his more than 500 publications. He is still extremely active in his research, which continues to explore new areas of physics and related fields.

Wilczek received his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and his doctoral degree from Princeton University. He taught at Princeton from 1974 to 1981. From 1981 to 1988, he was the Huttenback Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the first permanent member of UCSB's Institute for Theoretical Physics. In the fall of 2000, he moved from the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was the J.R. Oppenheimer Professor, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Wilczek has received practically every major honor that a   theoretical physicist can be given, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture Dirac Medal, and the American Physical Society's Sakurai and Lillienfeld Prizes. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Association, the Netherlands Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Montreal, Clark University and Ohio State University.

Wilczek's lecture at UK is made possible by generous donations from the Dr. J. C. Eaves Undergraduate Excellence Fund in Mathematics and Milton Huffaker, and by support from the Departments of Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Statistics; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Engineering; and the Office of the Vice President for Research.