lecture image Special Guest Lectures
From Reality to Metaphor, by Way of Imagination
Sean Carroll, California Institute of Technology
Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics
Shaw Center for the Arts TBA
December 05, 2007 - 06:00 pm
Modern science deals with concepts and techniques that reach far beyond the familiar realm of everyday experience. In attempting to account for the behavior of nature in these extreme situations, scientists are forced to propose dramatically counter-intuitive ideas, views of the universe that would be impossible to invent without the pressure of conforming to data from extreme regions of space and time. Precisely because these ideas seem startling and alien, they can provide unique metaphorical source material for artistic creators.
Speaker's Bio:
Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University, and has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as on the faculty at the University of Chicago. His research ranges over a number of topics in theoretical physics, focusing on cosmology, field theory, particle physics, and gravitation. He is currently studying the nature of dark matter and dark energy, connections between cosmology, quantum gravity, and string theory, and whether the early universe underwent a period of inflationary expansion. Carroll has written a graduate textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, published by Addison-Wesley, and recorded a set of introductory lectures on cosmology for the Teaching Company. He has been awarded fellowships from the Sloan and Packard foundations, as well as the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award and the Villanova University Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion. Carroll is a contributor to the blog Cosmic Variance.