Frank Wilczek, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics and an MIT physicist, will speak about his new book, The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces (Basic Books), on Wed., Dec. 10, 2 p.m. at New York Universitys Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (Seventh Floor Commons, 20 Cooper Square [between 5th and 6th Streets]).
The lecture, sponsored by the institutes Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP), is free and open to the public. Call 212.998.7980 for more information. Reporters interested in attending must RSVP to James Devitt, NYUs Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808.
The lecture is part of SHERPs Inside-Out speaker series, moderated by Robert Lee Hotz, science columnist with the Wall Street Journal and a distinguished writer in residence at the institute.
Wilczeks book is the first for the general public that lays out the new ideas he pioneered as a physicist. He explores the implications for basic questions about space, mass, energy, and the possibility of a fully unified theory of nature. Among the new ideas he considers is the theory that matter is built from almost weightless units and that space is a dynamic grid-a modern ether. He contends that we are tantalizingly close to unifying the fundamental forces of nature. A central theme of this book is that the ancient contrast between celestial light and earthy matter has been transcended. In modern physics, everything is unified into a being more like the traditional idea of light than the traditional idea of matter.
For more on the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, go to http://journalism.nyu.edu/