The Freethought Society joins with the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia to host acclaimed science writer and physicist Paul H. Halpern as a speaker onSunday, May 31, 2015 at 4:00 PM. Halpren’s presentation is entitled Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics. The presentation will take place at the EHSP building, located at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.
Halpren’s presentation, based on his book of the same name, investigates how physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger battled together against the incompleteness and indeterminacy of quantum mechanics. Their conversations resulted in many interesting quips, including Einstein famously and amusingly saying that God does not play dice with the universe and Schrödinger creating his famous fable and thought-experiment of a cat in a box that is in a mixed state between life and death until it is observed, that was neither alive nor dead not to explain quantum mechanics but to highlight the apparent absurdity of a theory gone wrong. But these two giants did more than just criticize: they fought back, seeking a unified Theory of Everything that would make the universe seem sensible again, a theory that would unite the forces of nature and supersede quantum weirdness.
Einstein dedicated the final decades of his life in the search for unification. Even on his deathbed he asked for pencil and paper in a vain attempt to complete his calculations. Less familiar, but similarly intriguing, are the efforts of Austrian physicist Schrödinger to solve the same riddle and beat Einstein, with whom he had collaborated, to the answer. The relationship between the two extraordinary physicists offers a riveting tale about a deep friendship challenged by the temptations of scientific glory.
Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics has received positive reviews from a diverse readership, both professional and everyday reader. A seemingly inscrutable subject to cover, Halpern’s writing and speaking is down to earth as he easily engages the reader and listener on what is a complicated problem involving two of the greatest minds who ever lived. Among the many reviews, the Library Journal said of Halpern’s work that it is “A highly approachable book that will appeal to readers…who are interested in physics, the history of science, and the human and political aspects of scientists and their work.” The Wall Street Journal stated that it is “A fascinating and thought-provoking story, one that sheds light on the origins of some aspects of the current challenging situation in physics…. Mr. Halpern’s engaging account is a great human story and should be of interest as well to anyone fascinated by the still-unsolved questions that they pursued together.” And in the reveiw by Nature, “Physicist Paul Halpern tells the entangled tale of Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and their search for a Grand Unified Theory with humour and concision.”
Halpern is Professor of Physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and an acclaimed author of 14 popular science books, exploring the subjects of space, time, higher dimensions, dark energy, dark matter, exoplanets, particle physics, and cosmology. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an Athenaeum Literary Award. A regular contributor to NOVA’s The Nature of Reality physics blog, he has appeared on numerous radio and television shows including Future Quest and The Simpsons 20thAnniversary Special.
Halpern’s presentation is free and open to the public, and begins at 4:00 PM, Sunday, May 31, at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia building, 1906 Rittenhouse Square. Books will be available for purchase.
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The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff
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The Freethought Society (FS) is very pleased to host Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) on Monday, May 18, 2015.
In his presentation Separation Anxiety: The First Amendment at Risk Lynn will provide updates about the newest events in church-state separation. Some of the topics he will discuss are same-gender marriage license refusals, upcoming Supreme Court cases, memorials on public grounds, and his interactions with the Religious Right.
Please plan to attend this informative presentation on Monday, May 18, 2015 at the Ludington Library, 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. The event begins promptly at 7:00 pm. A SEPTA stop is located across the street from the library.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHILADELPHIA — The Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to present Legislative Associate Sarah Levin with the Secular Coalition for America (SCA), the first national lobbying group advocating for nontheists, at its next gathering on Thursday, April 9, 7:00 PM at the Ludington Library (5 South Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr).
Levin’s presentation “Taking Action: How to be a Citizen Lobbyist” will take a look at the newest demographic of religiously-unaffiliated Americans, a group that comprises the largest “religious” demographic in the country, with its numbers continuing to grow each year. As a result, it’s now more important than ever to organize and train secular activists at the local level to impact public policy. Come and hear how can you make an impact as a secular activist, how even busy folks with families can incorporate secular activism into their hectic lives, and how one event in Washington, D.C. can inspire and prepare you to become engaged in the political process.
Her presentation is free and open to the public.
Levin’s activities this past year at the Secular Coalition for America include being the Project Manager of the #KnitABrick Campaign and the Video Coordinator for the Openly Secular campaign, preparing weekly updates on secular community activities for the SCA National Update Call, producing and editing media materials as needed including op-eds and videos, managing the SCA Internship program, and conducting outreach to secular and allied communities throughout the United States to build a grassroots base of support.
She also has a blog — Applied Sentience, A National Platform the Next Generation of Humanist Thinkers — at http://appliedsentience.com/author/sarahmarielevin. As the Parent &Community Coordinator for AmeriCorps/VISTA, Levin implemented 36 bilingual English/Spanish educational workshops tailored to low-income immigrant and refugee families in southern Arlington, Virginia; recruited local experts in the community to voluntarily lead workshops on a range of topics, including family literacy, financial literacy, and navigating the American school system; generated a 150 percent increase in average workshop attendance within seven months; liaised with parents enrolled in Greenbrier Learning Center’s after school program; provided crisis assistance in cases of homelessness and domestic violence; established and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations in the community; interpreted presentations from both English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English as necessary; and designed and distributed bilingual promotional materials.
Levin graduated cum laude from American University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a regional focus on the Middle East. While there, she was a leader of the Rationalist and Atheist student group. She also serves as the Secular Student Alliance’s Volunteer Network Coordinator for secular student groups in the Washington, D.C. area.
Levin will be speaking on Thursday, April 9, 7:00 PM at the Ludington Library (5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr). A SEPTA stop is located across the street from the library. For more information, contact:
Glen Loev, Freethought Society Vice-President
Tom Melchiorre, Freethought Society Board Member
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