ORANGE, Calif., Feb. 13, 2012 – Chapman University will host Nobel laureate David Gross, Ph.D. for a public talk on Tuesday, Feb 28, at 7 p.m. in the Sandhu Conference Center.  The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.  For more information, visit

 “We are thrilled that Dr. Gross can join us at Chapman,” said Jeff Tollaksen, Director, Center for Quantum Studies at Chapman University. “For several decades, he has been a world leader in high-energy physics, particle physics and string theory.  He has received numerous prestigious prizes, including the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer) for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of strong nuclear interactions.  This fundamental discovery is another surprising example as to how our intuition may mislead us when exploring the nature of physical laws.  In particular, the strong force becomes weaker at smaller distances.”

Dr. Gross’ talk, “The Frontiers of Fundamental Physics,” will explore the principles that might unify all the forces of nature as mankind seeks to understand the origin and history of the universe. In this lecture he will describe some of the questions that we ask and some of the proposed answers. He will also discuss what it might mean to have a final theory of fundamental physics and whether we are capable of discovering it.

Dr. Gross has been a central figure in the theoretical developments surrounding the emergence of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) as the accepted theory of the strong (nuclear) force. His discovery, with his student Frank Wilczek, of asymptotic freedom—the primary feature of non-Abelian gauge theories—led Gross and Wilczek to the formulation of QCD. Asymptotic freedom is a phenomenon where the nuclear force weakens at short distances, which explains why experiments at very high energy can be understood as if nuclear particles are made of non-interacting quarks. The flip side of asymptotic freedom is that the force between quarks grows stronger as one tries to separate them. This is the reason why the nucleus of an atom can never be broken into its quark constituents.

Dr. Gross is currently the director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in the physics department of the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. For more information visit

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