Who is Frank Wilczek and why is he important?

Frank Wilczek is a theoretical physicist, author, and intellectual adventurer. He has received many prizes for his work, including a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Wilczek has made seminal contributions to fundamental particle physics, cosmology and the physics of materials. His current research focus includes Axions, Anyons, and Time Crystals. These are concepts in physics which he named and pioneered. Each has become a major focus of world-wide research.

In recent years Frank has become fascinated with prospects for expanding perception through technology.  He is developing hardware and software tools for this.

He has authored several well-known books, and writes a monthly “Wilczek’s Universe” feature for the Wall Street Journal.   His latest book, Fundamentals, was published by Penguin and released in January 2021.

Wilczek received a B.S. at the University of Chicago in 1970, and a PhD in physics at Princeton University in 1974. Currently he is the Herman Feshbach professor of physics at the MIT; Founding Director of the T. D. Lee Institute and Chief Scientist at Wilczek Quantum Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University; and Professor at Stockholm University.

He has been married to Betsy Devine since 1973. They have two daughters, Amity and Mira.

In her review of Fundamentals forThe New York Times, Nell Freudenberger observes, “Wilczek writes with breathtaking economy and clarity, and his pleasure in his subject is palpable. He lays out the elementary particles of matter — electrons, photons, gluons and quarks — and their strikingly short list of properties: mass, charge and spin. He then defines four principles that characterize the four basic forces in nature: electromagnetism, gravity, the strong force and the weak force. Most people vaguely remember electromagnetic fields from high school physics, but Wilczek makes very clear the way that those “space-filling” fields are contiguous with the smallest building blocks of matter: ‘We now understand particles as manifestations of a deeper, fuller reality. Particles are avatars of fields.’ It’s a beautiful description that would be especially evocative for today’s game-fluent high school students.

To learn more about Frank Wilczek and his brilliant work, please click here.

His MIT link.

His Amazon link.


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