You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »
Paul Halpern tells the little-known story of how Einstein and Schrödinger searched, first as collaborators and then as competitors, for a theory of everything that transcended probabilistic quantum mechanics. Halpern will show how Schrödinger's premature announcement of success, in January 1947, led to a media fiasco. This story of their quest-which ultimately failed-provides new insights into the history of physics and the lives and work of two scientists whose obsessions drove its progress, as well as vital questions about how the media handle purported scientific discoveries.
Paul Halpern is Professor of Physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. A prolific author, he has written more than a dozen science books and numerous articles. His interests range from space, time and higher dimensions to cultural aspects of science. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship, and an Athenaeum Literary Award, he has appeared on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the PBS series ‘Future Quest, and The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special.
Halpern's books include Time Journeys, Cosmic Wormholes, The Cyclical Serpent, Faraway Worlds, The Great Beyond, Brave New Universe, What's Science Ever Done for Us?, Collider, What's the Matter with Pluto?, Edge of the Universe and Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics.