The 20th century was, arguably, the century of physics. While there was immense progress on so-called "fundamental physics" – the basic laws governing matter, space, and time – fundamental physics has slowed to a crawl since 1980, despite an immense amount of work. But, as John Baez will explain in this SFI Community Lecture, there is exciting progress in other branches of physics: for example, using the fundamental physics we have to design surprising new forms of matter.
But, like all other sciences in the 21st century, physics must also embrace the challenges of the Anthropocene: the era in which humanity is a dominant influence on the Earth's climate and biosphere.
John Baez is an American mathematical physicist and a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). He has worked on spin foams in loop quantum gravity, applications of highest categories to physics, and applied category theory.
Baez is also the author of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, an irregular column on the internet featuring mathematical exposition and criticism. He started This Week's Finds in 1993 for the Usenet community, and it now has a following in its new form, the blog "Azimuth." This Week's Finds anticipated the concept of a personal weblog. Additionally, Baez is known on the World Wide Web as the author of the "crackpot index."
Reserve your free tickets to this event via the Lensic Performing Arts Center's box office. Please abide by the Lensic's COVID safety policies.
This lecture will be streamed live via SFI's YouTube channel, and recorded for future viewing.
The 2023 Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture Series is free to attend thanks to generous sponsorship by the McKinnon Family Foundation, with additional support from the Santa Fe Reporter, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center.