Nobel prize-winning physicist Gerardus’t Hooft meets science enthusiasts in Vietnam
(VNF) - Dutch Professor Gerardus’t Hooft, who won the 1999 Nobel Prize in physics, attended a meeting with students and science enthusiasts in Vietnam’s central city of Quy Nhon, (Binh Dinh province), on July 25 as part of the annual Rencontres du Vietnam programme.
Professor Hooft welcomed by Deputy Chair of Binh Dinh People's Committee (source: Tuoitre News)
Under the theme “Basic laws of nature”, Professor Hooft explained classic laws of natural science in a simple and easily comprehensible way by associating them with experiences in our daily lives.
He said that a number of issues arose in the early 20th century and could not be explained by these classic laws, requiring more advanced theories to interpret such problems.
After being fine-tuned, the laws were able to interpret phenomena occurring in conditions very different from the observable world of humans, that is the world of minuscule objects such as atoms and sub-atomic particles which follows the laws of quantum mechanics.
Professor Hooft discussing with Vietnamese science enthusiasts (source: Tuoitre News)
Professor Hooft concluded that all these theories come from simple theories that the universe would be unable to function without.
At the talk, the Dutch physicist also answered many questions posed by young science lovers about the transformation of matter in black holes, the speed of a proton, and the workings of the gyroscope.
Gerard 't Hooft was born in 1946 in a family with immense tradition of excellence in science. His grand-uncle Frits Zernike, received the Nobel Prize in Physics, his grandfather PN van Kampen was a biology professor, while his uncle, Nicolaas van Kampen was professor of theoretical physics.
Hooft studied mathematics and physics in Utrecht and he was awarded his PhD on 1 March 1972, with a thesis that made him famous even then. In 1977 he became a professor and to this day he works at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University.He was also guest lecturer at Harvard and Stanford in the US.
In the 1980s, he studied superstring theories but found himself more in sympathy with Stephen Hawking’s notions about black holes.
In 1986, ‘t Hooft was awarded the Lorentz Medal. An asteroid (9491 Thooft) is named in his honour; and he has written a constitution for its future inhabitants.
Gerard 't Hooft’s and Martinus Veltman were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1999.
Their Nobel-winning project was on the weak force, one of the four basic forces of nature, the others being gravity, the electromagnetic force and the strong force.
Rencontres du Vietnam is a programme that fosters exchanges between Vietnamese or Asia-Pacific scientists and colleagues from other parts of the world, including many Nobel laureates./.
( VNF )