Feature: Dialogs with Nobel Laureates

PIA, January 20, 2008

Cebu, Philippines (20 January) -- The International Peace Foundation continuously hosts a series of dialogs with 21 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in the Philippines ad Thailand from November 2007 to April 2008.

According to the foundation's founder Dr. Uwe Morawetz, the event series is called "Bridges—Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace" involving Nobel Laureates for Peace, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Economics.

Moorawetz added, the "Bridges" program aims to facilitate and strengthen dialogs and communication of people and organizations all over the world to stimulate the inter-regional intellectual, scientific and cultural exchanges.

The Philippines-Thailand "Bridges" event series comprise up to 50 events with Nobel Laureates from all fields that will visit the region to conduct public lectures, seminars, workshops and dialogs to be hosted by local institutions during a continued period of six (6) months.

On January 11 and February 8, 2008, University of San Carlos in Cebu hosts the "Bridges" dialogs with Professor David Jonathan Gross, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics and Prof. Finn Erling Kydland, a 2004 Nobel Laureate for Economics respectively.

Professor Gross in his lectures at the USC-College of Architecture and fine Arts shared his works on the theory on Quantum Chromo-dynamics (QCD).

Gross said that the QCD theory explains the discoveries regarding the strong force—the nuclear force that binds together the smallest building blocks of matter called "quarks" and holds together the nucleus of the atom.

He further explained that the physical QCD theory arose from the physics experiments with particle accelerators conducted in the early 1970s to study quarks and the force that acts on them.

Gross said that during their research with Frank Milczek, his first graduate student and a scientist H. David Politzer, who was working independently on the theory, they have observed that quarks were so tightly bound together that they could not be separated as individual particles but that the closer quarks approached one another, the weaker the strong force became.

He further shared that when quarks are brought very close together, the force was so weak that the quarks acted almost as if they were free particles—but when the distance between them increased, the force became greater.

"An effect analogous to the stretching of a rubber band, with the aid of the QCD theory, physicists can now explain why quarks behave as free particles at extremely high energies," Gross said.

The QCD theory has now been widely accepted to be the best understanding of how universe works. "It has brought physics one step closer to fulfilling a grand dream: to formulate a unified theory comprising gravity as well as a theory for everything," the Nobel Laureate said excitedly.

He also shared with the participants that he is currently working on a research in "super-string theory."

It is a grand attempt to unify all forces of nature and all forms of matter, and explained the possibility of having the string theory unify all the existing theories, Gross concluded.

Present during the dialog at the USC-Talamban campus were key officials of USC that include Fr. Roderick Salazar, its president; Fr.Teodoro Gapuz,; Dr. Uwe Morawetz, founder of the International Peace Foundation and Dr. Christopher Bernido, director, Research Center for Theoretical Physics at the Central Visayas Institute Foundation.

The "Bridges" events in the Philippines are held at Angeles University, Asian Institute of Management, Ateneo de Manila and de Davao Universities; Dela Salle University, Department of Science & Technology (DOST), Mapua Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines, University of Sto Tomas and University of San Carlos-Cebu. (PIA-Cebu) [top]

By Minerva BC Newman