Music has a mysterious power, and in this talk Stephon Alexander explores the parallel between jazz music and the functioning of our universe. Stephon’s journey to becoming a physicist started in high school where he encountered a teacher who believed in his potential, and introduced him to the magic of jazz, fostering a connection between John Coltrane and Albert Einstein. The narrative then takes us to the present day with the world of physics attempting to understand the origin of the universe, which may in fact have its own parallel to a jazz improvisation. In closing, Stephon challenges us to live a life of improvisation.
Stephon Alexander is the EE Just Professor at Dartmouth College of Natural Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, focusing on theoretical cosmology, quantum gravity and particle physics, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Stephon has studied at Brown University and conducted postodoctoral research at Imperial College, London and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory. He also plays jazz saxophone and sees improvisation as an extension of his scholarship.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx