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Coming to Grips with Gravity

Saturday, June 4, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The mysteries of dark matter and dark energy may be evidence that we don’t fully understand the force of gravity. But when it comes to a force that has been studied mathematically and probed observationally for hundreds of years, what do we still need to learn? What questions are being asked? What research is pursued at the cutting edge? Would a new theory of gravity lead to a grand revolution in science, or do our present theories just need to be tweaked?

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


Richard PanekAuthor

A Guggenheim Fellow in Science Writing, Richard Panek received the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award in 2012. He teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and in the MFA Writing program at Goddard College.

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Pedro FerreiraPhysicist

Pedro G. Ferreira is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. Originally from Portugal, he has studied and worked in London, Berkeley and at CERN in Geneva. His area of expertise is cosmology, focusing on the physics of the early universe and with a special interest in Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

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David GrossPhysicist, UC Santa Barbara
Nobel Laureate

David Gross is the Chancellor’s Chair professor of theoretical physics and the former director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received …

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Szabolcs MarkaPhysicist

Szabolcs Marka is leader of the Columbia Experimental Gravity Group in LIGO and a professor of physics at Columbia. He has received an NSF Career Award and a Grand Challenges Explorations Award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Rachel A RosenPhysicist

Rachel A Rosen is an assistant professor of theoretical physics at Columbia University. Her research focuses on gravity, quantum field theory and the intersection of the two. She is best known for her contributions to massive gravity, a theory in which the graviton — the particle that transmits the gravitational force — has a mass.

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Maria SpiropuluPhysicist, Caltech

Maria Spiropulu is the Shang-Yi Ch’en Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. Born and educated in Macedonia/Greece, she moved to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. at …

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