Hearne Eminent Lecture Series

The Horace Hearne Jr. Institute for Theoretical Physics created the Hearne Eminent Lecture Series to have leading theoretical physicists visit LSU and interact with students and other researchers and present their work to the LSU community and to communicate the excitement of research to the general public in Baton Rouge.

Year Speaker Title of Lecture Institution Honors/Achievements
9/11/2024 Katherine Freese


The University of Texas at Austin

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Director of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA) in Stockholm
  • Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society
  • The University of Chicago Alumni Professional Achievement Award
  • Elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
11/1/2023 Peter Meszaros

Multimessenger Astrophysics and Extreme Events

Center for Theoretical and Observational Cosmology, Pennsylvania State University

  • Gamma ray burst research, where my group plays a significant role in the NASA Swift and Fermi missions.
  • Member of the IceCube Neutrino Detector team, involved in the calculation of models of the ultra-high energy cosmic ray and neutrino production in cosmic sources.


Stephon Alexander

Chiral Gravitational Waves and the Cosmic Mysteries

Brown University

  • Former president of the National Society of Black Physicists
  • Executive director of Science and Arts Engagement New York Inc. (SAENY)
  • Member of the editorial board of Universe


Nilanjana Datta 

Entropy - ubiquitous, enigmatic and essential

University of Cambridge

  • Professor of Quantum Information Theory in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge
  • Fellow of Pembroke College


Scott Aaronson

Quantum Computational Supremacy and Its Applications

The University of Texas at Austin

  • David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of
    Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin
  • His research in theoretical computer science has focused mainly on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers
  • National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award
  • United States PECASE Award
  • Tomassoni-Chisesi Prize in Physics.


John Preskill

Quantum Computing and the Entanglement Frontier

California Institute of Technology

  • Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics
  • Director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
  • Founder, Caltech Institute for Quantum Information
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society


Paul Steinhardt

The Second Kind of Impossible: The Extraordinary Quest for a New Form of Matter


Princeton University

  • Albert Einstein Professor
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences
  • Dirac Medal
  • Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize


2:30pm at

Union Ballroom

Carlton M. Caves

What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? about Quantum Mechanics

Center for Quantum Information and Control

University of New Mexico

  • Distinguished Professor
  • Author of over 140 scientific papers
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
03/22/2017 Andreas Winter

Quantum Shannon Theory - On the ultimate physical limits of communication

Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona
  • ICREA Research Professor, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - Physics (2012 - present)
  • Professor of Physics of Information, University of Bristol - Department of Mathematics (2006-2012)
  • Whitehead Prize (London Mathematical Society) (2012)
11/30/2016 Matias Zaldarriaga

Deciphering the beginnings of the Universe: latest results and open questions

Institute for Advanced Study 
  • MacArthur Fellowship 2006
  • European Physical Society, Gribov Medal 2005
  • Sloan Fellowship 2004
  • American Astronomical Society, Helen B. Warner Prize 2003
  • Packard Fellowship 2001
04/15/2016 Seth Lloyd QUANTUM LIFE-How biological systems use quantum mechanics MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Dr. Lloyd is a principal investigator at the Research Laboratory of Electronics.
  • Member of the American Physical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
10/14/2015 Robert M. Wald Black Holes in General Relativity The University of Chicago
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1976
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 1996
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, 1997
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2000
  • National Academy of Sciences, 2001
  • Charles A. Swift Distinguished Service Professor, 2002