LUIS ANDRES HENAO, Associated Press
Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist theorist and author known for his research into the fundamental laws of nature, was honored this year with the prestigious Templeton Prize this year for individuals whose life’s work embodies a synthesis of science and spirituality.
In a statement, the John Templeton Foundation praised Wilczek, 70, for changing “our understanding of the forces that govern our universe,” and for applying “insights in his field to the great questions of meaning and purpose that generations are considering. religious thinkers. “
1972 The prize, established by the late philanthropist Sir John Templeton, is one of the most lucrative individual awards in the world, currently reaching more than 1.3 million. Previous winners include Jane Goodall, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“I am very excited to join this company,” Wilczek said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“It’s an encouragement in a direction I’ve only really taken an interest in very recently, even though I’ve been creating it for many years,” he said, “thinking not only of what the world is and how it happened, but what we should do with it. that ”.
Over the course of his long career, Wilczek has achieved many great achievements. This includes the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David J. Gross and David Politzer for their 1973 a breakthrough that explains the unusual properties of a strong force that connects the main particles called quarks to protons and neutrons.
Wilczek continued to “develop new concepts in physics by naming and developing theories of concrete, time crystals, and axions, each of which now defines major areas of research,” Templeton said in a statement.
He has also written several books which are based on science but delve into the spiritual and philosophical. Among them is the “Beautiful Question,” in which he asks, “Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? “Ease of being” is the study of what people are made of; and “Basics,” a study of radical life extension, longing for immortality, the limits of science, and other topics.
“As we study how the world works, we study how God works to find out who God is,” he writes in the Basics this year. “In this spirit, the search for knowledge can be interpreted as a form of worship, and discoveries as revelations.
Wilczek “is one of those rare and wonderful individuals who unites energetic, creative intelligence and values transcendent beauty,” said Heather Dill, president of the Templeton Foundation, in a statement to the group.
“Like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein,” she added, “he is a natural philosopher who unites curiosity about the behavior of nature with a playful and deep philosophical mind.
1951 Born in New York, Wilczek earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in mathematics, and a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago.
Growing up a Catholic, he embraced the idea that there was a huge plan behind existence. However, when he learned more about science, he eventually lost faith in the common religion and, in his words, “rejected the detailed dogmas.”
However, he took over from Catholicism the long-standing ideas he cherished all his life, including, as he told the AP, “that things have a hidden meaning that we can try to figure out. And that you can think well about what it all means and how it came about.
Wilczek is currently a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arizona State University, and Stockholm University. He is also the founder of the TD Lee Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a senior researcher at the Wilczek School’s Quantum Center.
In the video, he praised the Templeton Prize for pointing out possible new approaches to problems traditionally achieved through religion.
“The main miracle of physics for me is that by playing with equations, drawing diagrams, doing calculations, and working in a world of mental concepts and manipulations, you are actually describing the real world,” Wilczek said. “If you’re looking for a way to understand who God is, understanding God’s work, that’s all.
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