Date and Time
Dec 4, 2023 6:00 pm
Years ago, cosmologist Stephon Alexander received life-changing advice: to discover real physics, he needed to stop memorizing and start taking risks. In Fear of a Black Universe, Alexander shows that great physics requires us to think outside the mainstream -- to improvise and rely on intuition. His approach leads him to three principles that shape all theories of the universe: the principle of invariance, the quantum principle, and the principle of emergence. Alexander uses them to explore some of physics' greatest mysteries, from what happened before the big bang to how the universe makes consciousness possible. Drawing on his experience as a Black physicist, he makes a powerful case for diversifying our scientific communities. Compelling and empowering, Fear of a Black Universe offers remarkable insight into the art of physics.
Stephon Alexander is joining us on the virtual Busboys stage for a celebration event, to share remarkable insight into the art of physics. Copies of the book will be available for purchase before and during the event, so make sure to order your copy before we’re out of stock! Your purchase of the book includes shipping anywhere in the United States via USPS.
This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of FEAR OF A BLACK UNIVERSE will be available for purchase before and after the event. Please note that this event is VIRTUAL and will ONLY be livestreamed.
We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books
Stephon Alexander is a theoretical physicist, musician, and author whose work is at the interface between cosmology, particle physics, and quantum gravity. He works on the connection between the smallest and largest entities in the universe pushing Einstein’s theory of curved space-time to extremes, beyond the big bang with subatomic phenomena. Alexander is a Professor of Physics at Brown University, with previous appointments at Stanford University, Imperial College, Penn State, Dartmouth College and Haverford College. Alexander is a specialist in the field of string cosmology, where the physics of superstrings are applied to address longstanding questions in cosmology. In 2001, he co- invented the model of inflation based on higher dimensional hypersurfaces in string theory called D-Branes. In such models the early universe emerged from the destruction of a higher dimensional D-brane which ignites a period of rapid expansion of space is often referred to as cosmic inflation.
In his critically acclaimed book, The Jazz of Physics, Alexander revisits the ancient interconnection between music and the evolution of astrophysics and the laws of motion. He explores new ways music, in particular jazz music, mirrors modern physics, such as quantum mechanics, general relativity, and the physics of the early universe. He also discusses ways that innovations in physics have been and can be inspired from "improvisational logic" exemplified in Jazz performance and practice. Alexander is also a professional touring jazz musician, and previously served as President of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSPB).