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Matt Strassler with Anand Thirumalai

Human Answers to Cosmic Questions

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Wednesday, April 17
7:30 pm PDT
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
Learn more about Sliding Scale tickets.


The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

Book cover: A plain off-white background with 4 layers of ocean waves stacked on top of each other. Each part of the title "Waves in an Impossible Sea" is typed and stacked in each layer of waves.
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Waves in an Impossible Sea: How Everyday Life Emerges from the Cosmic Ocean

The Elliott Bay Book Company

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Headshots of Matt Strassler (with fair skin grey hair) and Anand Thirumalai (with brown skin and eyeglasses)

How does ordinary life materialize out of an extraordinary cosmos?

If our planet is constantly ripping through space at 150 miles per second, why do we feel so still until we pick up enough speed and wind driving down the highway? Where do the complexities of things like the Higgs Boson and quantum field theory intersect with how we live our lives in real-time?

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In his new book Waves in an Impossible Sea: How Everyday Life Emerges from a Cosmic Ocean, theoretical physicist Matt Strassler sets out to bring sophisticated core concepts of modern physics to the general public. Curious minds ready for a deep and determined dive into the structures of our reality can expect to dig into the interwoven fabric of fundamental physics and our daily experience — but hold the big equations. Strassler likens our universe’s vast empty space and elementary particles to a rippling sea that we can move through, full of familiar occurrences and obscure origins. Waves in an Impossible Sea seeks to provide a keen scientific guide to navigating the depths of space, matter, energy, and how we exist in the middle of it all.

Matt Strassler is a physicist, writer, blogger, and researcher of the Large Hadron Collider, striving towards making the world of particle physics more accessible. He is an Associate of the Harvard University Physics Department, and has previously taught at the University of Philadelphia, the University of Washington, and Rutgers University. Waves in an Impossible Sea is his debut book, but more of Strassler’s writings can be found on his blog Of Particular Significance.

Anand Thirumalai, assistant professor of physics at DigiPen, specializes in computational astrophysics, focusing on late-stage stellar evolution and developing a hybrid stellar wind model. His research explores mass loss in oxygen-rich late-type stars and computational quantum mechanics for atomic structures in intense magnetic fields. Thirumalai, a scientific consultant for Disney’s “Wish (2023),” also serves on the academic advisory board for California State University (East Bay’s) Big Data program. 

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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