The Physics of What Happens: A Program to Analyze the Physics and Cosmology of "Events"
TWCF Number
Project Duration
April 1 / 2015
- March 31 / 2018
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Max Tegmark
Institution Foundational Questions Institute

Our common picture of everyday reality and our intuitive understanding of the laws of nature revolve around events, but the concept of “an event” has no clear, explicit, universal meaning in our fundamental theories of physics. The Physics of What Happens (PWH) program seeks to increase our understanding of the deepest nature of reality by focusing attention on this central concept in physics, cosmology, and related fields. The program will center on the following activities: a multimillion dollar grant program for research and outreach, an international conference, essay and video contests, and public outreach. Concrete outputs will include the grants we award and the associated outputs from those (research projects, articles, conferences, etc.), the conference, articles and blog posts on our website. The aim of this project is to focus attention on the role of events in Big Questions in physics, and to provide researchers with the ability to study these questions in the face of eroding support from public sources.

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