Gravity Experts to Meet at U

Conference Overlaps with 'PriceFest' Celebrating Physicists 60th Birthday

February 26, 2003 — About 80 physicists will meet at the University of Utah on Fri. Feb. 28 through Sun. March 2 for a scientific meeting on gravitational science and for “PriceFest” – a celebration of the 60th birthday of U physicist Richard Price.


Although the 44 scheduled lectures will be technical, media representatives and the public are invited to attend the 19th annual Pacific Coast Gravity Meeting, which will be held 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri. Feb. 28 in the Marriott Library’s Gould Auditorium and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. March 1 in room 102 of the James Fletcher Bldg.


The meeting of gravitational physicists from California, Oregon, Washington state, Utah, Montana and New Mexico “is a small informal conference especially suited to the young people who in the future who will be the stars of the physics of spacetime, black holes, cosmology and gravitational waves,” said Price, a professor of physics.


A program for the meeting is at http://wander.physics.utah.edu/PriceFest/program.php Click on session numbers to get the names of speakers and titles of their talks. Click on the titles to get abstracts of the talks.


The media and public also are invited to PriceFest lectures, a retrospective of Price’s career, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. March 2 in room 103 of the James Fletcher Bldg.


Special symposia celebrating 60th birthdays “used to be a tradition for the most famous physicists in the world, but it has become more common in my field for people who are widely recognized,” said Price, who chairs the gravitation group of the American Physical Society.


Price has organized such celebrations for other physicists on their 60th birthdays, “and they want to get even,” he explained.


The Sunday “PriceFest” speakers are:

– At 9 a.m., an introduction by U physicist Karel Kuchar
– At 9:10 a.m., California Institute of Technology physicist Kip Thorne, who was Price’s advisor years ago, will speak on “The Early Richard: Motorcycles, Karate Chops, Hair Loss and Tails.”
– At 10:35 a.m., Louisiana State University physicist Jorge Pullin, who once was a postdoctoral researcher under Price, will discuss “Richard Price, Car Talk and The American Journal of Physics.”
– At noon, U physicist David Kieda will discuss “The Hidden Side of Richard Price.”
– At 2:30 p.m., Albert Einstein Institute physicist Bernard Schutz, who went to grad school with Price at Caltech, will speak on “Catching Flies and Journalists with Richard Price.”
– At 4 p.m., another former Price postdoc, Carlos Lousto of the University of Texas, Brownsville, will lecture on “The Late Richard Price.”


Price also will be roasted during a 7 p.m. Sat. March 1 banquet at the Jewish Community Center. While it is too late to buy tickets, the banquet is open for media coverage.


Details of PriceFest may be found at: http://wander.physics.utah.edu/PriceFest/pricefest.html


Price’s research involves exotic astrophysics, including Einstein’s 1916 General Theory of Relativity that says “spacetime” -which includes the three dimensions of space and a fourth dimension of time – is warped by gravity. Price studies the relationship between black holes – which are collapsed stars so dense not even light escapes their intense gravity – and gravitational waves, which are oscillations or “ripples” in spacetime generated by violent astrophysical events such as collisions of black holes.

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coference organizer and research assistant professor of physics
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professor of physics
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