For centuries, scientists were absolutely convinced they had a complete understanding of all possible atomic arrangements. For our next event, Paul Steinhardt will explain how that view was shattered in the 1980s, inspiring an extraordinary adventure 30 years later, and what has happened since. Our next event will be in person. If you would like to attend:
1. Cold Deli Luncheon:
2. Mixed Green Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette
3. Condiments: House Herbed Chipotle Spread (V)(E)(S), Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (ve), Mayo, Yellow Mustard, Pickles
4. Chef’s Assortment of Desserts
5. Drinks are provided by the Moore Foundation
We look forward to seeing you.
The Second Kind of Impossible By Paul J. Steinhardt
Quasicrystals are exotic materials with symmetries once thought to be impossible for matter. The first known examples were synthesized by accident 40 years ago under specially controlled laboratory conditions. But could Nature have beaten us to the punch? Many thought this could not be. This talk will describe the decades-long search to prove them wrong, resulting in an improbable expedition across the tundra of far-eastern Russia, one of the strangest scientific stories you are ever likely to hear, and what has happened since.
Paul J. Steinhardt Biography
Paul is the Albert Einstein Professor in Science at Princeton University, where he is on the faculty of both the departments of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences. Steinhardt's research spans problems in particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology, condensed matter physics and geoscience. He is one of the original architects of the big bang inflationary model of the universe as well as one of its chief critics. More recently, he has developed a cyclic theory of the universe that has emerged as a leading competitor. He is also the originator of the “quintessence” theory of dark energy and the notion of self-interacting dark matter (SIDM).
In 1983, Steinhardt invented the theoretical concept of quasicrystals with his student Dov Levine, and he has subsequently worked to illuminate many of their unique physical and mathematical properties. In 2009, he led a team that discovered the first natural quasicrystal in a museum sample in Florence, and then established its origin by organizing and leading an expedition across the Chukotka tundra north of the Kamchatka Peninsula in 2011. He is also a co-inventor of the first three-dimensional icosahedral photonic quasicrystal, along with a new class of photonic materials called hyperuniform disordered solids (HUDS).
Steinhardt is a Fellow in the American Physical Society and the National Academy of Sciences and received the P.A.M. Dirac Medal from the ICPT in 2002. He is also the recipient of the 2010 Oliver E. Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society; the 2012 John Scott Award; and was named Caltech Distinguished Alumnus in 2014. He has a B.S. in Physics from Caltech, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University.
Our Alumni Volunteers
The following alumni work together to serve you:
Avni Gandhi, Dave Adler, Jane Frommer, Mike Klein, Xinh Huynh, and Peter Tong.