Nobel Laureate delivers distinguished lecture

Michael Woloschuk


The scientist who coined the term "quarks" to describe the fundamental building blocks of nature delivered a lecture on the simple and the complex in the universe at the Faculty of Science and Engineering's Distinguished Lecture Series.

, the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology and winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles, spoke about how complexity arises in a universe which is supposedly governed by simple laws.

"Why, in so many domains of experience, do we see more and more complex entities appearing as time goes on," asked Professor Gell-

Mann in his lecture, "From the Simple to the Complex" at Lecture Theatre 4 in the Academic Building. "And does this phenomenon conflict in any way the famous second law of thermodynamics, which states that in a closed system the average disorder tends to increase with time?"

In November, Professor Leon Chua, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, delivered a talk, "From Brain-like Computers to Artificial Life", as part of the FSE's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Besides the Nobel honour, Professor Gell-Mann has received the Ernest O Lawrence Memorial Award of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Research Corporation Award, and the John J Carty medal of the US National Academy of Sciences.




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