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Nobelist Wilczek is ASU's 1st Origins Distinguished Research Professor

January 26, 2011

Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek’s particle astrophysics seminar on gauge structures and topology in elementary quantum mechanics was one of the opportunities for Arizona State University students and faculty to swap questions and theories with the noted MIT professor.

Wilczek is at ASU this semester as the Origins Distinguished Research Professor, an appointment announced by professor Lawrence M. Krauss, director of the ASU Origins Project.

“We could not have aimed higher for our first Origins Distinguished Research Professor appointment than Frank Wilczek,” Krauss said. “Frank is one of the world’s most accomplished and respected theoretical physicists. Beyond his Nobel Prize winning work, done when he was a graduate student at age 21, Frank has continued to push forward the frontiers of physics in fields ranging from particle physics to cosmology and condensed matter physics.”

In addition to the quantum mechanics seminar, Wilczek presented another on time crystals. He also taught a class on the topic of the scientific frontier.

Caught having lunch at Engrained, Wilczek talked about a colloquium with Flinn scholars from Barrett, the Honors College, and an upcoming lunch with the physics faculty.

“Frank has been involved with our Origins efforts since our inception, and it is a tremendous honor for us to have him join us at ASU. It is a great opportunity for our students and faculty,” Krauss said.

Wilczek was a visiting professor for the ASU Origins Project last year and also delivered the annual BEYOND Lecture, hosted by the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Sciences in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  In April 2009, he was one of eight Nobel laureates at ASU to discuss and debate the origins of everything during a four-day Origins Symposium.

Wilczek is the Herman Feshbach professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He won the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction, a prize shared with David J. Gross, a professor he met as a graduate student at Princeton, and H. David Politzer.


Carol Hughes,
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences