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Multiverse: One Universe or Many?

Saturday, June 1, 2013
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

The inflationary theory of cosmology, an enduring theory about our universe and how it was formed, explains that just after the Big Bang, the universe went through a period of rapid expansion. This theory has been critical to understanding what’s going on in the cosmos today. But now, this long-held notion—which seems to suggest as-yet-unproven and perhaps unprovable features such as the multiverse—is under increasing attack. Through informed debate among architects of the inflationary theory and its prime competitors, this program will explore our best attempts to understand where we came from.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. 

Moderator

John HockenberryJournalist

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. Hockenberry is the anchor of the public radio show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI.

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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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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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