Quantum Physics and Universal Beauty – Q&A with Frank Wilczek
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Quantum Physics and Universal Beauty – Q&A with Frank Wilczek

Thanks very much for the talk, its a fantastic subject. If everything were symmetrical or is symmetrical You’ve got the particles and the forces and you’re saying they’re part of the same thing. You would expect, or at least I think you would expect, that everything will come to equilibrium pretty soon. As it seems, we’re 14 billion years down the line, We’ve still got interactions and it doesn’t seem to settle down. Is there a chance that there are more things? Because I know that it’s a human thing to want beauty. It’s a very objective, sorry a subjective, wish. It might be beautiful but it won’t seem that way. You started out with the question of does the world embody beautiful ideas and you told us of the four yogas or the four forces. It popped into my mind the question – Could there be a fifth yoga? The yoga of everything? that says something like – the world tells ideas what to say and ideas tell the world how to be. I read an article in the New York Times recently… Empirical evidence in modern physics is becoming less relevant. The example he gave was supersymmetry where the LHC doesn’t actually find the supersymmetry particle. It is possible now because of the complexities of physics to say that there are heavier particles So I guess the question is – is there a bias towards beauty? And at what stage does one decide to abandon the theory? Because it’s too hard to actually prove… Is symmetry co-ordinate free? You seem to start off with Galilean relativity which has Euclidean dimensions. And then there’s non-Eucledian geometry, space time… Can it operate in both systems or is it limited upon that perception of what coordinate geometry you operate? So in a sense it’s conceptually dependant on geometry. We couldn’t understand it at all without a Euclidean or non-Euclidean perception. I have two questions. First of all – is beauty intrinsic? You said earlier that at some point in the far far future there will be symmetry throughout the universe. Does that not contradict the law of thermodynamics that entropy will increase in time? You talk about how force and substance can be co-moderated by each other. Does that have anything to do with particle duality? When you come across a problem that you can’t find a solution to what are your methods for moving forward with that problem?


  • Julian Walker

    The upper class english woman with the fabulous hair standing by behind him in black adds a slightly surreal tone to the proceedings.

  • phme

    As we've read further in the book… “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve” in the words of Eugene Wigner.
    Thanks for a wonderful talk. Looking forward to reading the book.

  • Anthony Flores

    I liked her hair far better than this lecture. I'm glad I was able to stay awake to witness it. Her moleskine notebook was merely icing on the cake.

  • Erik Žiak

    Thank you for this talk, very inspiring and I have to humbly take a few steps back and let those people work in peace and just admire the beauty of thoughts they manage to bring to the rest of us. And I feel lucky and happy that I (hopefully) understand at least in a very oversimplified way what this talk and Q&A section were about. Thank you for sharing this for free with the world. A few things make more sense now, but at the same time, I feel even more puzzled as I start to see new patterns and ask myself the typical "why?". I guess that is why I am no physicist, they simply tell us "how", but it is not their job to tell us "why". At the same time I am very critical and do not believe in some explanations of "why" simply because somebody expects me to do so.

  • kyzercube _

    @ 8:20 I don't think the audience realized that was a joke embedded in a practical example. I found myself, creeping out myself laughing while the audience in the vid didn't LOL

  • Marc Marc

    I love watching the Q&A first, and deciding to watch the lecture after. I can tell this is going to be a good one, the way he speaks and by the look in his eye.

  • Fund Maecenas

    Planck's constant E = hf
    6 or 4
    Kepler's third law in the microcosm
    hundred years, no one was able to understand and find


  • Eric Taylor

    3:10 The really amazing thing is, that this girl has a fairly good chance of still being alive in 100 years.
    How cool would it be for her, at the age of 112, to bring that paper up and see how close he was to what actually came to pass.
    Something to think about The oldest people alive in the year 2150 may have already been born.

  • Mickey 74

    Wow, this video just popped up, it’s 2019 now…. I am so happy to have found this, though I wish I could’ve seen it sooner, better late than never. Great content and concepts, it’s just perfect for my level of understanding of physics. Thank you 😊

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