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Gateways to Emergent Behavior in Science and Society
Prof David Pines, Founding Director-Emeritus of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter; Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Distinguished Research Professor, University of California at Davis
Date : 12 Dec 2016 (Monday)
Time : 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Venue : Wong Chak Chui Lecture Theater (LSK G012), Lee Shau Kee Business Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST
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The universe is emergent, which the interactions between electrons, ions, people, and their environment give rise to unpredicted emergent collective behavior at every scale. In this lecture, the speaker will first consider some examples from quantum matter, and then discuss whether some of the lessons learned from quantum matter might help the people understand emergent behavior in living matter and in society.

The examples from quantum matter will be:

- collective modes in electron liquids
- conventional superconductivity in metals
- nuclear superconductivity and the celestial superfluidity found in neutron stars
- unconventional superconductivity in cuprates

He will then consider briefly the possibility of a “Physics of Emergence” that would encompass living matter, social, and economic behavior, and conclude with a brief discussion of ways people might use emergent behavior to reboot the teaching of science to 7th graders.


About the speaker

Prof David Pines obtained his PhD from Princeton University in 1950 and started his career in the University of Pennsylvania. In 1952, he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and moved to Princeton University as an Assistant Professor in 1955. In 1959, he returned to UIUC and is currently the Professor Emeritus of Physics. He is also the Founding Director-Emeritus of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (a multi-campus research program of the University of California) and the Distinguished Research Professor of Physics at University of California at Davis.

Prof Pines’ current research focuses on the search for the organizing principles responsible for emergent behavior in matter, with particular attention to correlated matter, the study of materials in which unexpectedly new classes of behavior emerge in response to the strong and competing interactions among their elementary constituents. His recent work has focused on emergent behavior in correlated electron superconductors; he has explored ways in which one can get superconductivity without phonons, and the use of the spin-fermion model to examine the role played by magnetic quasiparticle interactions in bringing about superconductivity, pseudogap and quantum critical behavior in the cuprate, heavy electron, and organic superconductors.

Prof Pines received numerous awards including the Friemann Prize in Condensed Matter Physics by the University of Notre Dame (1983); the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award by University of Illinois College of Engineering (1993); the John Bardeen Prize of the Triennial International Conference on Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity (2009); and the John David Jackson Excellence in Graduate Physics Education Award by the American Association of Physics Teachers (2013). He was also an elected member of the American Philosophical Society; and the US National Academy of Sciences; an elected fellow of the American Physical Society; the American Astronomical Society; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For attendees’ attention


  The lecture is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
  Light refreshments will be served from 3:30 to 4:00 pm.



HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
Enquiries: ias@ust.hk / 2358 5912