Five Nobel laureates to participate in Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics Showcase conference


VANCOUVER -- From the vastness of the cosmos to the unimaginably small, five physics and chemistry Nobel laureates, two pre-eminent science authors and scores of the world's leading scientists will explore current developments in physics when the University of British Columbia's Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics (PITP) hosts a major international conference, the PITP Showcase, from May 11-16.

"The conference will highlight the most up-to-the minute developments in physics," said Prof. Philip Stamp, UBC theoretical physicist, conference organizer and Director of the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics, a UBC-based network of more than 100 researchers in 14 countries.

"When you have so many of the world's leading scientists together in one place and time, the potential for further discoveries in physics becomes very exciting," Stamp said.

Full PITP Showcase details can be found at: There are links to satellite conferences, public lectures and workshops, and information for the media and public.

Highlights will include presentations and public lectures from:

  • Prof. Brian Greene, well-known String Theory proponent from Columbia University, popular author (The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos), host of the PBS series The Elegant Universe, and a guest on programs such as David Letterman
  • Prof. Paul Davies, of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University, whose books on science now number 20 million copies
  • Prof. Gerard 't Hooft, of the University of Utrecht, received the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics for work on the quantum structure of electroweak interactions
  • Prof. Philip Anderson, of Princeton, received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics for investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems.
  • Prof. Douglas Osheroff, of Stanford, received the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of superfluidity in helium-3
  • Prof. Robert Laughlin, of Stanford, received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations
  • Prof. Walter Kohn, of the University of California, Santa Barber, received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his development of the density-functional theory

Stamp said the PITP Showcase will comprise four specialized satellite conferences on: Emergence; General Relativity and Relativistic Astrophysics; The Dark Side of Extra Dimensions, and Black Holes V).

The Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics, whose members include three Nobel laureates, uses its international network for collaborative research in four main fields:

  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • String Theory
  • Complex Systems
  • Gravity, Cosmology and Theoretical Astrophysics

PITP's international members are listed here:

The institute's board includes Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada, Dr. Martha Piper, President of the University of British Columbia, and Martin Glynn, President and CEO of HSBC Bank USA.

PITP Showcase will be the largest concentration of visiting Nobel laureates at UBC since HH The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Dr. Shirin Ebadi participated in a roundtable dialogue in April 2004.

Editors: Coverage information

  • Media sessions with key researchers will be available.
  • UBC has TV and radio facilities available for broadcasters. The TV studio can broadcast to international locations via fibre-optic link to the Vancouver Television Operations Centre. For more information, call Randy Schmidt at 604-822-1266.
  • PITP Showcase information, schedules, etc:


Prof. Philip Stamp
Pacific Institute of Theoretical

Prof. George Sawatzky
Director, AMPEL

Hilary Thomson
Sr. Communications Coordinator
UBC Public Affairs

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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