Montana State University

Physicist, best-selling author to lecture March 1 as part of MSU's Einstein celebration

February 22, 2013 -- MSU News Service


Lisa Randall, a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology, will speak March 1 in Bozeman.    High-Res Available

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BOZEMAN - A Harvard physicist, best-selling author and one of Time magazine's "100 most Influential People in the World" will discuss the latest ideas in physics and the role of science in our lives during a March 1 lecture in Bozeman.

Part of a series of spring events that will culminate with a celebration and international conference devoted to Einstein, Lisa Randall will speak from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Crawford Theatre in the Emerson Cultural Center, 111 S. Grand Ave. The talk is free and open to the public.

Randall is a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology, particularly the possible role played by extra dimensions of space. She is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University and best-selling author of "Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" and "Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World." She was the first tenured woman in Princeton University's physics department and the first tenured female theoretical physicist at both MIT and Harvard University.

Randall is also an avid rock climber and skier, interests that have brought her to the Bozeman area many times in the past. She wrote a libretto for an opera that premiered in the Pompidou Center in 2009 and co-curated "Measure for Measure," an art exhibit that opened in Los Angeles in 2010.

Randall is the first high profile speaker leading up to "Celebrating Einstein," a public event and scientific conference organized by Montana State University. To celebrate Einstein's discovery of General Relativity and share in the excitement of the first gravitational wave detections, MSU, Princeton University, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Montana Space Grant Consortium will hold a free public celebration and an international scientific workshop April 2 to 7 in Bozeman. Nicolas Yunes, 2010 recipient of NASA's Einstein Fellowship and assistant physics professor at MSU, is heading the planning committee.

The international scientific workshop is expected to draw 60 scientists from the United States, Europe and Japan who work on relativity and experimental tests of Einstein's theories.

The public celebration, titled "Celebrating Einstein," is designed to share with the general public the story of Einstein and his ideas, and the excitement of General Relativity, black holes and gravitational waves. The celebration brings together artists, musicians, composers, dancers, including one from Cirque du Soleil, filmmakers, architects, educators and physicists.

Physicists predict that they may be able to detect gravitational waves for the first time in the history of humankind by the end of this decade.  They say this feat will test the accuracy of Einstein's final theory and lead to revolutionary discoveries about regions of the universe that are currently inaccessible with traditional electromagnetic astronomy.

For more information on "Celebrating Einstein," visit http://www.einstein.montana.edu/

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu