ESP Biography

ERIC NEWMAN, Harvard Fellow in Theoretical Physics

Major: Physics and Mathematics

College/Employer: Harvard

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Eric Newman

Brief Biographical Sketch:

At MIT, I majored in courses 8 and 18 (physics and mathematics, respectively) and also worked at the Center for Theoretical Physics. I'm now a research fellow at Harvard's Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature. I work in string theory and am currently researching black hole decay and gauge/gravity duality.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S8809: Wormholes, Really? in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
What if I said some of the most vexing paradoxes and aporias in theoretical physics could be resolved by wormholes? Yes, wormholes. It turns out that they're not just the stuff of science fiction. In fact, they currently play an important role in a number of attempts to elucidate some of the behavior of black holes, universes, and even quarks. (Note: This class will more generally be about gauge/gravity duality, but it will certainly include a good bit about wormholes.)

S7551: What the F**k is Up with Black Holes? in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
As the course title indicates, our supposed understanding of black holes has tumbled greatly in the past year. Just when we thought we'd made some progress in resolving the paradoxes associated with gravitational collapse, we hit a wall, specifically a FIREWALL. Yep, we can't get passed this fiery terminus of reality that supposedly hovers just outside old black holes (and perhaps younger ones, too). Do they really exist, though? Who knows? In this class, you'll hear a few reasons why they might and a few why they might not.

S6238: A Theory of Everything (or just Something?) in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
With the advent of string theory came the feeling that the end may be near. A theory of everything might be in the stages of construction. Could string theory answer all our questions? In this class, we will explore the question of what is a theory of everything (TOE). After exploring this question, we will learn of potential restrictions to such a theory and possible forms it can come in. We will also discuss whether or not theories now (such as string theory) have the ultimate breadth and depth to truly be considered a possible TOE.

S6257: The Holographic Principle in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
You're so shallow that you're just a hologram. Everyone can agree that the above statement is a lame put-down, but is it also a true statement about the universe? In this class, we will learn the about the physics underlying the holographic principle and about the various extensions to it.

S5705: The Greatest Physics Crisis of All-Time in Spark! 2012 (Mar. 10, 2012)
Do you currently have a life crisis that you would like to talk about? If so, you need therapy, not this class. Instead, as the course title indicates, this class will be dedicated to what many physicists call the greatest crisis in the field. This crisis goes by the name of gravitational collapse and spacetime singularities. In this lecture, we will study black-hole formation and the prediction of singularities. After learning more about the different types/manifestations of singularities, we will discuss its implications on the study of physics. The last part of class will be dedicated to possible ways to escape the inevitability of gravitational collapse.

S5722: String Theory 101 in Spark! 2012 (Mar. 10, 2012)
The course title says it all. This lecture will be an explication of string theory in all its glory. The first half of class will be dedicated to learning about the primordial foundations of string theory. The latter half will then be devoted to recent development and current research being done in what is surely one of the most exciting fields in modern science.

S5173: The Black Hole Information Paradox in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Have you ever thought about what happens to information that passes an event horizon? Does it inevitably perish when it reaches the singularity lying ahead, or can it possibly survive in that all-so-mysterious region of spacetime that can never be seen? In this class, we will encounter Einstein's brilliant general theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and the product of the former two's tango, which is Hawking radiation. After all this, we will meet the paradox and why it makes so many of us physicists sweat. The last part of class will be completely devoted to possible resolutions to this paradox.

S5175: Multiversal Architecture in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Do you feel one universe is just too restricting? Would you be happier if there was more out there? If so, this class could be right for you. In this class, I will present arguments as to not just why a multiverse is possible, but as to why it is probable. After hopefully convincing you that the idea of a multiverse isn't crazy, I will present the different possible levels of the multiverse that could exist.