David Gross, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, will be the featured speaker at a public presentation on "The Ceremony and the Science" behind the Nobel Prize at the Lobero Theatre on Wednesday, February 9, at 8 p.m. Admission is $19 and tickets can be reserved by calling 963-0761.
Gross is director of UC Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), where he holds the Frederick W. Gluck Chair. The event is being presented by the Kavli Institute with the support of the Friends of the KITP and Raytheon.
Stephen Hawking, internationally renowned physicist and participant in many scientific events at the KITP, will introduce Gross. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor at the University of Cambridge and best-selling author of "A Brief History of Time," "The Universe in a Nutshell," and other books.
Gross won the Nobel Prize for solving what was considered to be the last great remaining problem of the "Standard Model" of the quantum mechanical picture of reality. He and his co-recipients---Frank Wilczek of M.I.T. and H. David Politzer of Caltech---discovered how the nucleus of an atom works. Their discovery of "asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction," said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, was expressed in an elegant mathematical framework that led to a completely new theory, called Quantum ChromoDynamics. "Gross, Politzer, and Wilczek have brought physics one step closer to fulfilling a grand dream, to formulate a unified theory comprising gravity as well---a unified theory for everything."
Gross came to UCSB in January 1997. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. For 31 years he was on the faculty at Princeton University, where he was Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and Thomas Jones Professor of Mathematical Physics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His many honors and awards include the J. J. Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Prize, and France's highest scientific honor, the Grande Médaille D'Or (the Grand Gold Medal).