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Anne LaRiviere
Director of Admissions and Marketing

April, 2006

Woodland Hills, CA-Students at the Optimum Performance Institute continue to learn about new, cutting-edge scientific theories and techniques at "chalk talks" held at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KTIP) on the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara.

Recently they attended a lecture by a physicist who won the National Science Foundation's most prestigious prize for young researchers. He talked about the exotic quantum world of electrons "that dance and twirl" within crystals.

At another lecture, OPI participants viewed art created by four artists/mathematicians who use algorithms to create their pieces. The artists call themselves "The Algorists". They were introduced by David J. Gross, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and director of the Kavli Institute. The artists spoke about how these mathematical, algorithmic procedures can be used in the creative process.

As a result of that talk one of the OPI Participants, Jacob K., decided to change his college major from math to a double major that includes physics.

"The lecture was intriguing," he wrote in an essay that can be viewed on the OPI website www.opiliving.com. "It really got you to think about the workings of art and the foundations of physics…(It) got me to think about the world being related in a way I had never thought of before.…It was extremely neat to actually even be in the same room with a Nobel Laureate, something I have wanted to do for a long time."

"The Algorists" formed in 1995. The group includes Hans Dehlinger who uses computers to create distinctive lines; Jean-Pierre Hebert, artist-in-residence at the Kavli Institute who creates drawings by writing complex computer codes; Channa Horwitz who says she devised a system on the computer that allows her to visually "see time" and Roman Verostko who creates "visual analogues of the coded algorithms by which they grew".

"Quantum Crystals, Quantum Choreography and Quantum Computing" was the title of the talk by Matthew Fisher, Ph.D., winner in 1995 of the National Science Foundation award.

"Each crystal has its own unique choreography as varied as the crystals themselves," he said as he described ongoing efforts to discern the "quantum choreography" that underlies even the most intricate of nature's electron dances.

At an earlier lecture in Santa Barbara, Gross spoke about the process of receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics. He was awarded the Prize in 2004 for solving in l973 the last great remaining problem of what has since come to be called "The Standard Model" of the quantum mechanical picture of reality. He and co-recipients discovered how the nuclei of atoms work.

Gross was introduced by Steven Hawking, Ph.D., world renowned physicist and author. OPI Participants met both physicists at a reception following the lecture.

OPI Participants also attended a KITP lecture given by Princeton physicist William Bialek who spoke about "From Photons to Perception: A Physicist Looks at the Brain".

For further information contact:

Anne LaRiviere
Director of Admissions and Marketing

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