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KITP Public Lecture

April 18 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT


The quest to understand the quantum physics underlying all phenomena continues, and the origin and nature of gravity and spacetime itself is an exciting frontier. We must come to grips with their quantum description if we are to understand black holes, and the Big Bang that gave rise to the universe and ultimately to us. Recent progress has established the remarkable fact that models of quantum gravity needed to understand certain key aspects of black holes are captured by “random matrix” descriptions, in which spacetime emerges from more fundamental “matrix” building blocks. This talk will unpack some of these ideas and address the question of whether these results could one day lead us to say we’re living in The Matrix.


About the speaker:

Clifford V. Johnson’s work in science ranges from research and teaching to public engagement where he strives to put science back into the general culture. He helps artists, writers, and filmmakers incorporate science into their work, and contributes to many TV documentaries such as Nova and The Universe. He has been science advisor for many shows and movies, including Nat Geo’s Genius (featuring Einstein), Marvel’s Agent Carter (S2), Paper Girls, Palm Springs, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and more. He was science advisor for Blake Crouch’s bestselling Sci-Fi/Thriller novel Dark Matter, coming to Apple TV in the Spring. Johnson is also the author/illustrator of a non-fiction graphic novel featuring science called The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe (MIT Press).


Parking will be provided in Lot 10.

In-Person RSVP: https://www.kitp.ucsb.edu/public-lecture-rsvp

Zoom Webinar RSVP (if unable to attend in-person): https://ucsb.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MeUYVhckQm2nqyBGCZUuyQ#/registration

Please contact friends@kitp.ucsb.edu for more information.


April 18
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
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Kohn Hall, UC Santa Barbara
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