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Cosmic Conjecture: Can the Multiverse Predict Anything?

Sunday, June 2, 2013
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

The possibility that our universe is not the only universe is one of the most polarizing theories in physics today. Speculative and controversial, this so-called multiverse proposal is suggested by the latest developments in cosmology and string theory, and is supported by some of the most regarded physicists. But are these theories rightly considered scientific? Is it possible to gather evidence that would support or refute the possibility that we inhabit a multiverse?

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

Moderator

Mario LivioAstrophysicist, Author

Dr. Mario Livio is an astrophysicist, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 400 scientific papers on topics ranging from Dark Energy and cosmology to black holes and extrasolar planets.

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Participants

Andreas AlbrechtTheoretical Cosmologist

Andreas Albrecht is a leading theoretical cosmologist. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 where, with Paul Steinhardt, he wrote one of the original papers on “new” or “slow roll” inflation.

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Raphael BoussoPhysicist

Raphael Bousso is recognized for discovering the general relation between the curved geometry of space-time and its information content, known as the “covariant entropy bound.” This allowed for a precise and general formulation of the holographic principle, which is believed to underlie the unification of quantum theory and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

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Alan GuthCosmologist

Alan Guth is a professor of physics at MIT, and world-renowned for his discovery of inflationary cosmology, the dominant cosmological paradigm for over two decades. His current research focuses on developing mathematical tools for quantitatively analyzing inflation’s suggestion that there are an infinite number of universes.

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Andrei LindeCosmologist

Andrei Linde is a professor of physics at Stanford University, one of the authors of the inflationary theory and the theory of inflationary multiverse. He invented the theory of chaotic inflation, which is the most general version of inflationary cosmology. Linde also helped to develop the theory of eternal chaotic inflation, and the mechanism of vacuum stabilization in string theory.

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Neil TurokPhysicist

Neil Turok is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists. Formerly Professor of Physics at Princeton and Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, he is Director and Niels Bohr Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.

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Location

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