Special Lecture Program

An event of the
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai, India)
and the
Clay Mathematical Institute (Cambridge, USA)

David Gross
Institute for Theoretical Physics,
University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.

Towards a Theory of Everything

I shall review the current state of String Theory, an ambitious attempt to construct a unified theory of matter and gravity. I shall discuss the reasons why we have been led to this theory, the marvelous structures that it has revealed and speculate on its future prospects.

About the speaker: Professor David Gross is one of the chief architects of the fundamental theory of the strong force. This theory provides the basis for understanding the properties of strongly interacting particles and all of nuclear physics. He is also one of the discoverers of the "heterotic string theory", which has the potential to incorporate all observed elementary particles and their interactions in a unified framework. He is the Director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara, and a recipient of the Oscar Klein Medal and the Dirac Medal.
Edward Witten
California Institute of Technology,
Pasadena, USA
Institute for Advanced Study,
Princeton, USA

Quest For Unification

The problem of quark confinement is the question of explaining why we never see an isolated quark, given that protons and neutrons are made of quarks. In recent years, this problem has been linked in unexpected ways with the quantum mechanics of black holes.

About the speaker: Professor Edward Witten is the torch-bearer of string theory. He has made pioneering contributions to almost all the dominant themes in the subject over the past two decades, including supersymmetry, string compactifications and duality. In his quest to discover the principles of string theory, he developed deep and beautiful connections between quantum field theory, string theory and pure mathematics. He is a recipient of the Fields Medal for mathematics and the Dirac Medal.
Stephen Hawking
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics,
Cambridge University, UK

The Universe in a Nutshell(lecture unavailable)

Hamlet said, "I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself King of infinite space". But is the universe actually infinite? In this lecture Professor Hawking explains the developments in cosmology that have contributed to the way we view the universe today. From Hubble to Einstein and Penrose to Feynman, Professor Hawking describes these scientists' ideas and makes some predictions of his own about the fate of the universe and how near we are to understanding it.

About the speaker: Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the pre-eminent physicists working on quantum gravity and cosmology. His work bears upon fundamental questions about the structure of spacetime and the origin and the fate of our universe. His discovery of quantum radiation from black holes established a profound connection between the geometry of spacetime, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. He is currently Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a chair that was previously held by Newton and Dirac.