Prof. David Jonathan Gross is a 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics, the current Chancellor's Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics, the former Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Member of the Advisory Board of the International Peace Foundation.
Born in Washington, D.C., David J. Gross received his undergraduate degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1962 and then returned to the United States to continue his education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. in 1966. He left Berkeley later that year to serve as a Junior Fellow at Harvard University.
David J. Gross began his professional teaching career at Princeton University in 1969 and was appointed Professor of Physics in 1972. David J. Gross remained at Princeton until 1997, where he served as Princeton's Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics (1986-1995) and Thomas Jones Professor of Mathematical Physics (1995-1997). In 1997 he was appointed Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Professor Gross is President-Elect of the American Physical Society, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and a foreign member of the Indian, Chinese and Russian Academies of Science. He is the recipient of the J. J. Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Dirac Medal, the Oscar Klein Medal and the Harvey Prize of the Technion. He has received many honorary degrees and received France's highest scientific honor, the Grande Médaille d'Or, for his contributions to the understanding of fundamental physical reality.
Professor Gross has been a central figure in the emergence of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) as the accepted theory of the strong (nuclear) force. QCD is a pillar of the Standard Model of elementary particle physics, the theory that describes the physics connected with the electromagnetic force (which acts between charged particles), the weak nuclear force (which is important for the sun's energy production) and the strong nuclear force (which acts between quarks). 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 wherein 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. Gross was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, with Politzer and Wilczek, for this discovery.
Professor Gross has also made seminal contributions to the theory of Superstrings, a burgeoning enterprise that brings gravity into the quantum framework. With collaborators he originated the "Heterotic String Theory", the prime candidate for a unified theory of all the forces of nature. He continues to do research in this field at the KITP, a world center of physics.
Professor Gross has been involved in many countries around the world in promoting, advising and aiding science. He has helped to establish centers for theoretical physics in China, Europe, India, South America and Vietnam. He chairs the Physics Committee of the Solvay Institutes and has organized the Solvay Conferences for the last 14 years. He has directed the Jerusalem Winter School in Physics for the last 17 years.
Monday, November 19, 2018:
14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at Thammasat University in Bangkok (Thailand)
Wednesday, November 21, 2018:
14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at the National University of Laos in Vientiane
Friday, November 23, 2018:
14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at Souphanouvong University in Luang Prabang (Lao PDR)