Frank Wilczek on physics, the Nobel Prize, beauty and knowledge

Frank Wilczek was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction", together with David J. Gross and H. David Politzer. Since 2018, Professor Wilczek has held a position at Stockholm University, while maintaining his base at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA.

In his book "A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design", Professor Wilczek argues that beauty is at the heart of the logic of the universe, a principle that had guided his pioneering work in quantum physics. 

The book was described by the journal Nature as, “both a brilliant exploration of largely uncharted territories and a refreshingly idiosyncratic guide to developments in particle physics.”

More about the discovery behind the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics

The atomic nucleus is held together by a powerful, strong interaction that binds together the protons and neutrons that comprise the nucleus. The strong interaction also holds together the quarks that make up protons and neutrons. This interaction is so strong that no free quarks have ever been observed. However, in 1973 Frank Wilczek, David Gross, and David Politzer came up with a theory postulating that when quarks come really close to one another, the attraction abates and they behave like free particles. This is called asymptotic freedom.

Read more about Frank Wilczek:

On being awarded the Nobel Prize
Frank Wilczek's Nobel Prize Lecture 2004
Frank Wilczek on Stockholm's "vibrant scientific environment"

About the host Johanna Koljonen

Johanna Koljonen is a Finnish-Swedish writer, critic, broadcaster, cultural journalist and translator living in Malmö.

Read more about Johanna Koljonen

About Nobel Calling

This event is part of Nobel Calling Stockholm, a series of events related to the Nobel Prize. Nobel Calling at Stockholm University

Premiere for new collaboration

This autumn the University embarks upon a new collaboration with Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, in the form of a series of open lectures. Our public lectures are always free and open to all.