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Chapman’s Aharonov attends world’s most famous conference in physics

December 12, 2011

The world's leading physicists, including Professor Yakir Aharonov, third row center, gather for the traditional group photo at the Solvay Conference.

Chapman University quantum physicist Yakir Aharonov, Ph.D., attended the 25th Solvay Conference called “The Quantum World” Oct. 19-22 in Brussels, Belgium.  This was the 100th anniversary of the most famous conference in physics, whose members have gathered in Solvay approximately every four years since the first conference.

The International Institutes for Physics and Chemistry founded by Ernest Solvay, or International Solvay Institutes for short,  run research programs on “curiosity-driven” themes in physics, chemistry and related disciplines. The central activity of the institutes is the periodic organization of the celebrated Solvay Conferences in physics and chemistry.

The conference combines a formal agenda of speakers with think-tank-type discussions. It was the central conference spearheading the development of quantum mechanics, which governs the micro-world of atoms and particles.  Quantum mechanics is the most successful scientific theory in history and has led to developments that comprise more than half of the U.S. gross domestic product, such as computers and lasers.

The Solvay Institutes also support research carried out by scientists affiliated with them. The main lines of investigation pursued at the Institutes address some of the deepest and most fascinating questions at the frontiers of physics: quantum gravity and string theory, black holes, cosmology,  dark matter and dark energy. More information can be found at http://www.solvayinstitutes.be/

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