TED & Talks

A mind-blowing explanation of symmetry | Frank Wilczek for Big Think

This interview is an episode from The Well, our new publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the John Templeton Foundation.

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Dr. Frank Wilczek is the newly announced recipient of the 2022 Templeton Prize, which, valued at over $1.4 million, is one of the world’s largest annual individual awards.

Dr. Wilczek is celebrated for his investigations into the fundamental laws of nature that have transformed our understanding of the forces that govern our universe. In this video, Dr. Wilczek explores the question, ‘does the world embody beautiful ideas?’ through science and humankind’s relationship to (and love for) symmetry.

“We can look at the record of what people have found beautiful, what they were hoping for in their understanding of the world with what the remarkable understanding of the world we’ve achieved in recent years looks like. And we can therefore frame a meaningful discussion and a meaningful question, a meaningful meditation, on the issue.”

The Templeton Prize was established by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. It is given to honor those who harness the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.

► Read more details of Dr. Wilczek’s achievement here: https://www.templetonprize.org/laureate-sub/dr-frank-wilczek-receives-2022-templeton-prize/
► And here: https://www.templetonprize.org/laureate-sub/uncovering-the-inherent-beauty-of-the-universe-dr-frank-wilczek-winner-of-the-2022-templeton-prize/
► Continue learning about Dr. Wilczek: https://www.templetonprize.org/laureate/frank-wilczek/
► Learn more about the Templeton Prize: https://www.templetonprize.org/
► Read the full video transcript: https://bigthink.com/the-well/law-of-symmetry/

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About Frank Wilczek:
Frank Wilczek is an American theoretical physicist, mathematician and a Nobel laureate. He is currently the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Wilczek, along with David Gross and H. David Politzer, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004 for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Future of Life Institute. His new book is titled A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design.

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Read more from The Well:
I put a camera on a monkey. Here’s how it shook my understanding of humanity
► https://bigthink.com/the-well/awe-ani…
Atheism is not as rare or as rational as you think
► https://bigthink.com/the-well/atheism…
System 1 vs. System 2 thinking: Why it isn’t strategic to always be rational
► https://bigthink.com/the-well/system-…

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About The Well
Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? What is love? Is evolution directional? There are no simple answers to life’s biggest questions, and that’s why they’re the questions occupying the world’s brightest minds.

So what do they think?

How is the power of science advancing understanding? How are philosophers and theologians tackling these fascinating questions?

Let’s dive into The Well.

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