The Extraordinary Search for Natural Quasicrystals at Perimeter’s Public Lecture on March 6


A quasicrystal is an exotic state of matter with symmetries once thought to be impossible for matter. The concept was first introduced and the first examples were synthesized in the laboratory thirty years ago, but could Nature have beaten us to the punch?

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, February 15, 2013 – A quasicrystal is an exotic state of matter with symmetries once thought to be impossible for matter. The concept was first introduced and the first examples were synthesized in the laboratory thirty years ago, but could Nature have beaten us to the punch?

On Wednesday, March 6, as part of Perimeter Institute’s Public Lecture Series presented by Sun Life Financial, physicist Dr. Paul Steinhardt will describe the search for the first natural quasicrystal, an adventure to the ends of the Earth and beyond and one of the wildest scientific stories you are ever likely to hear.

Paul J. Steinhardt is the Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University, as well as a faculty member of the Departments of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences. His research interests include cosmology, condensed matter physics, photonics and geophysics.  He is one of the architects of the inflationary theory of the universe and, more recently, with Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok, an alternative known as the cyclic universe.  He is one of the co-inventors of a novel material for controlling the flow of light in photonic devices.  In 1984, he and his student introduced the concept of quasicrystals and, beginning in 1998, launched a search for the first natural quasicrystal that culminated in his organizing a geological expedition to the Koryak Mountains in far eastern Russia.

Steinhardt’s lecture, entitled “Once Upon a Time in Kamchatka:  The Extraordinary Search for Natural Quasicrystals”, will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 PM ET in Waterloo, Ontario. Tickets will be available starting Tuesday February 19, 2013.

Further details can be found at www.perimeterinstitute.ca.

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research organization working to advance our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter, and information. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Perimeter also provides a wide array of research training and educational outreach activities to nurture scientific talent and share the importance of discovery and innovation among students, teachers, and the general public. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, Perimeter is a successful example of public-private collaboration in scientific research, training, and outreach. http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/

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