Symposium I: The Golden Age of Fundamental Physics

Time: Afternoon, August 6, 2016
Place: The Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

We are living in a Golden Age of fundamental physics with several groundbreaking discoveries in the last few years. For instance, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced the long-awaited discovery of the Higgs particle and has dropped hints of a new surprise. Likewise, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration detected gravitational waves providing the first direct evidence of black holes a century after Einstein’s theory of relativity. Completely new states of matter are also explored across the world with unfathomed applications. So what are the outstanding challenges of physics moving forward? How do the recent findings shape future research efforts? What are the new instrumentations, from particle accelerators to space observatories, needed to explore these new frontier, and what are the technological challenges that have to be overcome? As China continues to play a bigger role on the world stage, how can she lead the international community to construct such cutting-edge laboratories and make it a truly global effort? Finally, we are in a unique point in time where cosmology, astrophysics, particle physics, and condensed matter physics are coming together. What are the consequences for fundamental physics research in the future? How can we engage the new generation of students to work on the deepest problems? This panel will discuss these issues and explore the feasible approaches to addressing them.


David J. Gross Chancellor’s Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Andrew Strominger Gwill E. York Professor of Physics at Harvard University
Qi-Kun Xue Professor of Physics at Tsinghua University


Robbert Dijkgraaf Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study