Chautauqua: "How Beauty Leads Physics Astray"

Published on September 28, 2018

An Eastern Kentucky University Chautauqua lecture will explore “How Beauty Leads Physics Astray.”

Theoretical physicist, science writer and Frankfurt Institute Research Fellow Sabine Hossenfelder will speak at EKU on Thursday, Oct. 4, in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Hossenfelder’s published works include 60 research articles, the popular science blog Backreaction, and the 2018 book “Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray.” She earned her doctoral degree in theoretical physics in 2003 from the J.W. Goethe Institüt in Frankfurt, Germany, completing her dissertation on “Black Holes in Extra Large Dimensions.” Since then, she has pursued post-doctoral work with fellowships at several universities in the United States, Canada and Germany before starting a professional position at Nordita in Stockholm, Sweden.

Hossenfelder’s research examines the foundations of physics, as well as the philosophy and sociology of science. Specifically, she has explored the question of where best to search for experimental evidence of quantum gravity. Her articles often explain her research to a popular audience; they have appeared in publications such as Scientific American, Spektum der Wissenschaft, New Scientist, Quanta Magazine, Nautilus, Edge and Aeon. She is a member of the German Physical Society, the American Physical Society and the Foundational Questions Institute.

With support from the Foundational Questions Institute, Hossenfelder has also produced several music videos in collaboration with Timo Alho and Apostolos Vasilidis. Her recent videos include “Catching Light” on the ideas of Einstein and “Schrödinger’s Cat,” which explores the famous thought experiment of the same name.

Her lecture is sponsored by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Office of Graduate Education and Research, and the Honors Program.

For more information about the Chautauqua lecture series, visit, or contact Chautauqua Lecture Coordinator Erik Liddell at