Virtual Event: Stephon Alexander
Fear of a Black Universe:
An Outsider's Guide to the Future of Physics
in conversation with C. BRANDON OGBUNU
October 20, 2021
6:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome cosmologist STEPHON ALEXANDER for a discussion of his latest book, Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider's Guide to the Future of Physics. He will be joined in conversation by C. BRANDON OGBUNU, Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Fear of a Black Universe on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Fear of a Black Universe
Years ago, cosmologist Stephon Alexander received life-changing advice: to discover real physics, he needed to stop memorizing and start taking risks. In Fear of a Black Universe, Alexander shows that great physics requires us to think outside the mainstream—to improvise and rely on intuition.
His approach leads him to three principles that shape all theories of the universe: the principle of invariance, the quantum principle, and the principle of emergence. Alexander uses them to explore some of physics' greatest mysteries, from what happened before the big bang to how the universe makes consciousness possible. Drawing on his experience as a Black physicist, he makes a powerful case for diversifying our scientific communities. Compelling and empowering, Fear of a Black Universe offers remarkable insight into the art of physics.
Praise for Fear of a Black Universe
"The rabbit hole gets wrestled here. An old school saying applies: the more you know, the more you don’t know. Dance along this read into the unknown and find out that this book may be the best ever answer to ‘What is soul?'" —Chuck D, rapper and co-founder of Public Enemy
“The book reminds me of Hawking’s A Brief History of Time—very brief and very ambitious. It covers an enormous amount of material and offers insights not only into physics but how we do physics and who we are as physicists.” —David Spergel, winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
“Einstein famously remarked that mystery is the source of all true art and science. This book explores some of the biggest mysteries of all: dark matter, dark energy, origin of the Universe, and origin of life—in ways that are unconventional and enthralling, yet down to Earth. We go on a journey with a brave adventurer for whom physics is a passionate pursuit of beauty and truth. And his passion shines through on every page.” —Edward Frenkel, author of Love and Math
The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here.
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