Strings: How is the Cosmos Held Together?
How does the cosmos—whether one or multiple—hold itself together? Here’s one theory, strings, the unifying of the universe via a sub-atomic grid that some scientists see as the binding force of the cosmos. A USC physicist will suggest how this might be happening and the multiple disciplines involved in establishing the process.
Clifford Johnson always wanted to be a physicist and astronomer. His research focuses on the development of theoretical tools for the description of the basic fabric of Nature. Johnson believes the tools and ideas often have applications in other areas of physics (and mathematics) too - unexpected connections are part of the fun of research and very polymathic! Ultimately, Professor Johnson is trying to understand and describe the origin, past, present, and future of the Universe. This involves trying to describe its fundamental constituents (and their interactions), as well as the Universe as a dynamical object in its own right. He mainly works on (super) string theory, gravity, gauge theory, and M-theory, which leads him to think about things like space-time, quantum mechanics, black holes, the big bang, extra dimensions, quarks, gluons, and so forth. As a true polymathic practitioner, he is also an accomplished musician.
What will our world look like in ten, twenty, or fifty years? How can we imagine, prepare for, and influence future trajectories of our planet in terms of governance, sustainability, and co-existence? The spring 2016 Polymathic Pizza series brings together faculty and students from diverse disciplines and interests to speculate on the future and to explore how we might have a hand in shaping it.