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Gerard 't Hooft
Gerard t Hooft


Nobel Laureate Gerard ’t Hooft to give
April 22 lecture on quantum physics

April 14, 2008

by Tom Parisi

Nobel Laureate Gerard ’t Hooft, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, will visit NIU this month to deliver a lecture on quantum physics.

His lecture, titled “Black Holes in Particle Physics,” will be presented at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Altgeld Hall. The room location will be forthcoming.

The 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to ’t Hooft and Martinus Veltman for having placed particle physics theory on a firmer mathematical foundation. They showed how the theory can be used for precise calculations of physical quantities. Experiments at accelerator laboratories in Europe and the United States subsequently confirmed many of the calculated results.

’t Hooft continues to be a highly active researcher in many branches related to particle physics, studying such topics as gauge theories, quantum gravity, black holes and determinism in quantum mechanics. 

His NIU presentation will be geared for students and faculty in physics and the hard sciences. He will discuss how the very nature of black holes causes unforeseen difficulties when scientists try to formulate theories consistent with quantum mechanics.

“Having the opportunity to meet and discuss some of the most contemporary issues in physics with such an expert in the field should be a truly exciting experience for all of our students and faculty,” said Timothy Maxwell, a graduate student in physics.

Maxwell and fellow graduate student Jim Younkin arranged for ’t Hooft’s visit. The Physics Graduate Student Committee had pursued the internationally sought-after speaker for more than a year before landing him for this month’s lecture.

The event is sponsored by the Graduate Colloquium Committee.