Losoncy Lecture Series to feature 'Laws of Physics Applied to Everyday Life'

February 17, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In the fourth annual George J. Losoncy Lecture in Physics and Astronomy, Kunal K. Das, professor of physics at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, will give a lecture titled “The Quantum Rules:  The Laws Of Physics Applied To Everyday Life” at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public, and it will be preceded by a reception in first floor Perkins Student Center lobby at 4:30 p.m., where light refreshments will be served.

The talk is the fourth in the annual lecture series named in honor of George Losoncy, who was a dedicated Penn State Berks employee for 17 years, serving the campus with perfect attendance and donating 182 unused sick days when he retired in 2009. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Science Division Colloquia and was particularly interested in physics and astronomy. Upon his retirement, he donated $50,000 to set up a research endowment in physics and astronomy at Penn State Berks.

Atypically for a physicist, Das has a lifelong interest in the humanities and pop culture, and a passion for classic literature, giving him a unique view of physical laws from the perspective of broader human experiences. He explains that it is commonly assumed that the laws of the physical universe operate differently from those that govern our lives at an interpersonal and socio-economic level. It is also widely believed that ideas of quantum physics are too complex for the nonspecialist. This lecture aims to prove both of these beliefs wrong.

Based on the internationally available, popular science book written by the speaker, "The Quantum Guide to Life," the lecture will illustrate that the fundamental laws of physics can be used to explain much about our lives, spanning almost every aspect of the human experience. Relating the rules of life to the unchanging natural laws offers, on one hand, a new and intrinsically objective perspective on our lives; and on the other hand, it makes the abstract concepts of quantum physics easy to understand and appreciate because they are now framed in terms of familiar life issues that we can all relate to. 

Das is an active researcher in the fields of nanotechnology and ultracold atoms with ongoing funding from the National Science Foundation. He has authored dozens of refereed journal publications, and has held teaching and research appointments at several institutions including the State University of New York, Penn State, Fordham, Optical Sciences Center and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is currently a full professor at Kutztown and a Scholar of the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • The Quantum Rules book cover
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated February 17, 2015