March 30, 2006
Vol. 25 No. 13

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    Compton lectures to explore other dimensions

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    Learn about an outlandish conjecture that has led a large group of theoretical physicists to propose the existence of a 10-dimensional universe, of which only four dimensions are visible to humans, in a series of free, public lectures at the University, beginning Saturday, April 8.

    The series of eight lectures, titled “String Theory: With a View Toward Reality,” will be held from 11 a.m. to noon, on Saturdays in Room 106 of the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 S. Ellis Ave.

    Delivering the lectures will be Nicholas Halmagyi, McCormick Fellow in the Enrico Fermi Institute. Halmagyi will describe the humble beginnings of string theory and how its verification in experiments may require energy scales that far exceed current technology.

    Halmagyi received his B.S. in physics and mathematics from the University of Sydney in Australia in 1997, and then completed a year of honors study at the University of Adelaide in mathematical physics in 1998. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Southern California in 2005.

    The talks are the 63rd series of the Arthur Holly Compton Lectures, sponsored each fall and spring by the University’s Enrico Fermi Institute. A physicist at the University, Compton is best known for demonstrating that light has the characteristics of both a wave and a particle. He organized the effort to produce plutonium for the atomic bomb and directed the Metallurgical Laboratory at Chicago, where Fermi and his colleagues produced the first controlled nuclear chain reaction in 1942.

    The lectures are intended to make science accessible to a general audience and to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the physical sciences. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 702-7823.