We invite you to "A Fractured Universe? Fundamental Physics, Symmetry and Life", a workshop hosted at the University of Sydney.

Our cosmos displays a curious mixture of symmetry and asymmetry. Why is it that some symmetries hold (electric charge, spin, mass-energy), some almost hold (baryon number, lepton number, parity, cosmic homogeneity), some are broken (chiral symmetry, electroweak gauge symmetry), and some don't hold at all (macroscopic time asymmetry)? Does the answer to these fundamental questions lie in their effect on the creation of observers like us? Or do symmetry principles, as John Wheeler argued, merely summarise while hiding the real machinery of nature?

In light of these challenges, this workshop will bring together physicists, cosmologists, astronomers and philosophers of science for two days of invited and contributed talks. Topics covered will include:

  • the role of symmetries in fundamental laws of nature
  • symmetry breaking in cosmology and particle physics
  • cosmic and fundamental constants
  • physical theories of the multiverse
  • the role of probability theory in evaluating fine-tuning and naturalness
  • the connection between life and our cosmic environment
  • the broader implications of our place in the cosmos.


Venue: Seminar Room 3003, Sydney Nanoscience Hub, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Date: Thursday 30 November - Friday 1 December, 2017.

Places are limited to 40 attendees.

The website for the 2016 Fine-tuning, the Multiverse and Life Workshop meeting can be found here.

Last updated 1-Aug-2017.