Frank Wilczek on a Beautiful Universe

Date: 9th July 2015
Venue: Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place

The School of Life are providing a special ‘bring a friend for free’ offer to Knowledge Quarter Partners.

Are the laws of nature beautiful? Throughout human history, artists as well as scientists have often taken inspiration from this question. Now, Nobel Prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek joins The School of Life to show how our ideas about beauty and art are deeply intertwined with our scientific understanding of the cosmos. Hear the culmination of Wilczek’s life work, as he combines the age-old quest for beauty with the age-old quest for truth.

Wilczek will demonstrate that beauty is at the heart of the laws of physics, a principle that had guided his pioneering work. Wilczek illustrates how the discovery of celestial forces, such as gravity and the earth’s orbit, gave birth to new dynamism in visual art; that the aesthetic satisfaction we get from understanding the symmetry of mathematics and matter is the same as the satisfaction we get from understanding art. Indeed, the way we understand works of art is the same as the way we understand science – by breaking it up into small pieces.

Using examples from from Pythagoras and Plato, Galileo and Newton, Maxwell and Einstein, he will demonstrate how this quest has guided the work of all scientific pursuit in the western world and shows that beauty is both quantifiable and subjective.

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