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Juan Maldacena will discuss "Gravity, Black Holes and Strings," Oct. 15

Juan Maldacena, who earned his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton in 1996, will speak on "Gravity, Black Holes and Strings" as part of the Graduate School Centennial lecture series. Maldacena, a professor of physics at Harvard, has played a major role in the recent resurgence of an area of physics called string theory.

Although it started in the 1970s as a solution to highly specific problems in physics, string theory has emerged as a possible tool for developing the much-sought "theory of everything." Physicists believe string theory could bridge inconsistencies between Einstein's theory of relativity and the laws of quantum mechanics. In the process, string theory may answer puzzles about black holes and the origin of the universe.

He will deliver the talk at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 15, in McCosh 50. A reception will follow in the First Campus Center Multipurpose Room.

Maldacena is currently spending a year's sabbatical at the Institute for Advanced Study.

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