2006 Misel Family Public Lecture


“The Origin of Mass and Feebleness of Gravity"

Professor Frank Wilczek

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tate Lab of Physics

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

Abstract: Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 asserts that energy and mass are different aspects of the same reality. It is usually associated with the idea that the small amounts of mass can be converted into large amounts of energy, as in nuclear reactors and bombs.

For fundamental physics, however, the more important idea is just the opposite. We want to explain how mass itself arises, by explaining it in terms of more basic concepts.

An important part of my work has been to show that this goal can, to a remarkable extent, be achieved. I'll discuss how - it's quite beautiful! I'll also discuss some of the consequences - an explanation of why gravity is so feeble, and suggestions for new physical phenomena at the large hadron collider.