The Nobel Laureate, who in 2004 received the famous call from the Nobel Prize Committee for the Physics Prize, "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction", together with David J. Gross and H. David Politzer, joined host Johanna Koljonen for a conversation on science and his book "A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design".

The aesthetic sense in science is fundamental

Since 2016, Professor Wilczek has held a position at Stockholm University, while maintaining his base at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA.

"Paying attention to reality is a good idea," Frank Wilczek said talking about quantum mechanics in relation to daily life. “In everyday life you don't need to think about quantum physics, science can be pursued as a vocation, but you can enjoy science without being a scientist”, he continued.
The aesthetic sense in science is fundamental, Frank Wilczek explained. “There is beauty in the world and it is not an accident, you come back to beautiful things, we are evolved to enjoy learning and when we learn something it becomes beautiful”, he continued.

Personal and community satisfaction winning the Nobel Prize

Commenting on winning the Nobel Prize in 2004 he said that it is a personal satisfaction as well as a community satisfaction. Describing the research process, he said, “we were not sure we had it, but the first moment of relief was when we got the results to become more consistent,”, explaining that computations were complex at the time.

The mind-expanding properties of quantum mechanics  were also mentioned during the conversation. “How do you get from the abstract laws to the human mind? Mind emerging from matter enhances it, it does not diminishes it,” adding humorously, “If there is no mind, who cares, then it is only matter”.

Frank Wilczek ended the conversation by correctly guessing the 2019 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics. “A recognition of the discovery of exoplanets would be fun”, he said. Today, we know that he was right.

Nobel Calling Stockholm

The conversation was organised in collaboration with the Nobel Prize Museum, the City of Stockholm and Kulturhuset/Stadsteatern. 

Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek and host Johanna Koljonen
Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek and host Johanna Koljonen