News ID: 95732
Publish Date : 22 October 2021 - 22:25

TEHRAN (FNA) -- A 2021 Mustafa (pbuh) Prize laureate delivered a speech during the Mustafa(PBUH) Prize Science Café held on October 21.
The Mustafa(PBUH) Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) hosted Cumrun Vafa, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard University, String Theorist, and a 2021 Mustafa(PBUH) Prize laureate in All Areas of Science and Technology, during a Mustafa(PBUH) Prize Science Café on the theme of String Theory in physics.
Another lecturer of the event was Hessamedin Arfaei, physicist in the area of String Theory and Professor of Physics at Sharif University of Technology, who has translated Cumrun Vafa’s book Puzzles to Unravel the Universe into Persian.
The event was attended by many students and enthusiasts from different universities.
Vafa started his speech by saying “my interest in science dates back to the days I lived in Iran.”
He said in those days he found out that the basic mathematical puzzles are relevant to understanding the universe and physics in particular.
He mentioned the efforts of Muslim scientists centuries ago who have done fascinating work in the realm of mathematics and physics.
Vafa specifically named Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, and then drew attentions to the “fascinating” work of Ibn al-Haytham.
He then talked about the contributions of other scientists such as Newton, Gauss, Maxwell, and Einstein.
He stated that “the field of my research is String Theory, but I have not started it.”
“String Theory was discovered accidentally,” he continued, adding that “this theory seeks to define physics from the tiniest particles to the biggest scales— the scale of the universe.”
“Mathematics is very important in this field of research,” he added.
He then started to ask some puzzles from the audience. Through these puzzles, he led the discussion towards fundamental notions in mathematics and physics. “I want to show you the power of basic mathematical ideas in the area of physics,” he said.
He talked about ideas such as symmetry breaking, Higgs particle, the power of ‘continuity’, and ‘gravitational lens’.
At the end of his speech, a friendly Q & A session was held with the audience.

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