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The O’Raifeartaigh Lecture

The O’Raifeartaigh Lecture is held annually in honour of Lochlainn O’Raifeartaigh (1933 – 2000).

This year’s O’Raighfeartaigh Lecture will be given by Prof. Duncan Haldane, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Physics and Sherman Fairchild University Professor of Physics at Princeton University.

Throughout his career O’Raifeartaigh made seminal contributions to fundamental physics, which continue to influence the landscape of theoretical physics today. Following a DIAS research fellowship to work with the great Irish relativist J. L. Synge, O’Raifeartaigh obtained his PhD from the University of Zurich. After rejoining DIAS as an assistant professor, O’Raifeartaigh spent time at the Mathematical Science Institute in Madras, the University of Syracuse and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 1968 O’Raifeartaigh returned to DIAS on a permanent basis as a Senior Professor and went on to build an internationally renowned group in theoretical high energy physics.

O’Raifeartaigh’s contributions to physics standout for both their depth and breadth. For instance, his 1965 “No Go Theorem”, prohibiting the non-trivial unification of spacetime and internal symmetries, was a profound insight that presaged an entire era of high energy theoretical physics. Similarly, his work on spontaneous supersymmetry breaking has been hugely influential over the course of the last 40 years. His highly original and deep contributions span an impressive array of topics in fundamental physics, always at the cutting edge of the time, from magnetic monopoles to Seiberg-Witten theory. O’Raifeartaigh received a von Humboldt Research Award in 1998 and the prestigious Wigner Medal in 2000 for his pioneering contributions to particle physics. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy at the age of 29, and was also a member of Academia Europea. O’Raifeartaigh was interested in the social implications of science and, in particular, was a co-founder of the Irish Pugwash movement.

The O’Raifeartaigh Lecture is held as a part of Irish Quantum Foundations (IQF), an annual conference on fundamental physics organised jointly by:

• The School of Mathematical Sciences and CfAR at Dublin City University
• The School of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
• The Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth University
• The Hamilton Mathematics Institute at Trinity College Dublin
• The School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin

IQF 2018 will be jointly hosted by the DCU School of Mathematical Sciences and the Centre for Astrophysics and Relativity (CfAR) at Dublin City University.

Previous O’Raighfeartaigh Speakers include:

Fabian Essler (University of Oxford)

Michael Duff (Imperial College London)

Viatcheslav Mukhanov (Arnold Sommerfeld Center Munich)

Erik Verlinde (University of Amsterdam)

Nathan Seiberg (IAS Princeton)

Andreas Wipf (University of Jena)

Fedor Smirnov (Pierre and Marie Curie University Paris)

Nathan Berkovits (IFT Sao Paulo)

Valery Rubakov (INR Moscow)

Hubert Saleur (IPhT Saclay)

Juan Maldacena (IAS Princeton)