Dr Alessandro Sergi will present a lecture entitled:


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Time: 17h45

Venue: John Bews Lecture Theatre, Life Sciences Campus, Carbis Road, Pietermaritzburg. 

What is life? Can we understand its universal features in terms of the motion of atoms and molecules? Are the weird effects of quantum physics necessary to explain life? 

Such challenging questions will be tackled from a theoretical physicist’s perspective by stirring a philosophical discussion. A critical assessment of the recent developments of molecular biology will be presented. Quantum phenomena of relevance to biological systems will also be reviewed. In the end, the only possible answer to the riddle of Life will be Socrates’s aphorism: I know that I know nothing.   

Dr. Alessandro Sergi was born in Italy in 1968. He received his degree in physics with full marks from the University of Messina in 1992. He has obtained the Phd in physics in 1997 from the same University. Since 1997, he has held various research positions in physics departments in Italy and chemistry departments in Canada and USA. In August 2007 he joined the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UKZN School of Chemistry and Physics in Pietermaritzburg, where he leads a research group currently composed of five postgraduate students. Dr. Sergi is an expert in the computer simulation of systems having both quantum and classical features: in this particular field, he has developed a formalism based on novel mathematical structures. In 2008 he received the B3 rating from the National Research Foundation. He is the co-author of more than 40 research papers and 3 book chapters, and he has been a speaker in many conferences all over the world.

All welcome, please support!  Light refreshments will be supplied. 

Enquiries: Dr Sandi Willows-Munro, Tel. 033 – 260 5436 / 5435.

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