Friday, February 17, 2012

March 20, 2012: 2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light

From American Museum of Natural History: 2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light
March 20, 2012
Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity has been tested with ever-increasing precision since its publication in 1905. One of its key predictions is that only light itself can travel at the speed of light. While the theory does not forbid particles from moving faster, such particles must be traveling backward in time.

Two recent papers by a large consortium of physicists using the world's most powerful accelerator are claiming the discovery of neutrinos moving at speeds slightly in excess of the speed of light. If confirmed, this would be one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of physics. Our understanding of space, time, mass, and energy all hang in the balance until we know who is right.

This year's Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate will pit some of the experimentalists who claim to have discovered faster-than-light neutrinos against their strongest critics, as well as other teams that are racing to replicate or disprove the extraordinary claims.

Join Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson as he hosts and moderates six of the world’s leading voices in this great scientific debate.

Dr. David Cline, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA
Dr. Gian Giudice, Theoretical Physics Division, CERN
Dr. Sheldon Glashow, Department of Physics, Boston University
Dr. Chris Hegarty, MITRE’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development
Dr. Laura Patrizii, Department of Physics, University of Bologna
Dr. Mike Shara, Curator of the Department of Astrophysics, AMNH

Café on One will offer refreshments for purchase before the event from 6 to 7:15 pm.

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History. In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate-generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work-bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery. Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.

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