Is Life Digital or Analog? How Life Might or Might not Survive in a Cold Expanding Universe
Science Editors and Producers
02 March 2001
Robert Sanders, Media Relations
WHAT: "Is Life Digital or Analog? How Life Might or Might not Survive in a Cold Expanding Universe," a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, by physicist Freeman J. Dyson. Dyson, a much-honored scientist and frequent author, is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 7, 5:45 p.m.
WHERE: Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Berkeley.
BACKGROUND: Dyson, 77, is a physicist renowned for his courageous and informed challenges to conventional approaches to science and technology. He has helped popularize science through articles in The New Yorker and Scientific American, and through many widely acclaimed books for the general public. Dyson has inspired generations of scientists and the broader community with his unique views on such topics as the colonization of our solar system and the future of mankind. He holds 20 honorary degrees and is the author of seven books, most recently "The Sun, the Genome and the Internet" (Oxford University Press, 1999).
Dyson has argued that life might be able to survive as the universe expands and cools down if it can adapt to low temperature. Scientists such as Laurence Krauss and Glenn Starkman disagree, primarily, Dyson says, because they make different assumptions about the nature of life. "It turns out that both sides in the argument are right," Dyson says. "I assumed that life is analog, Krauss and Starkman assumed that it is digital." In his talk, Dyson will explain what it means for life to be digital or analog, and why analog survives longer.
Dyson visited the campus last year for a week to talk with students and researchers and delivered the annual Oppenheimer Lecture. This year, he again plans to spend a week in the physics department.