Physicist Pete Markowitz
 is selected to speak at TEDxFIU

This year’s TEDxFIU speakers will take the audience to an underwater sea laboratory, a remote village of Papua New Guinea and a newly imagined America with world-class public transportation. With “Reimagine Possible” as this year’s theme, the event will feature 11 talks – including two musical performances – that will make you reexamine your thoughts, question your identity and motivate you to do more for others.

With more than 100 applicants vying to speak at this year’s event, the competition to secure a spot was fierce. The selected students, faculty and alumni will challenge and inspire you by exploring topics like biological and chemical weapons, the re-domestication of wild plants and the fusion of classical violin and hip hop.

Pete E.C. Markowitz is a physicist with expertise in the electromagnetic production of quarks (especially strange quarks), exotic forms of matter and physics at the limits of the standard model. As a researcher, he’s involved in Jefferson Lab and the CERN accelerator in Switzerland. There, Markowitz leads FIU’s team in one of the largest scientific experiments in the world.

Earlier this year, the world was captivated when scientists at CERN confirmed the existence of the elusive Higgs boson particle, the subatomic speck often referred to as the “God particle.” As a result, Markowitz collaborated with FIU artist Xavier Cortada on an art installation that will forever mark the historic occasion: five banners at Point Five at the Large Hadron Collider. Cortada has created art installations around the world, including at the Earth’s poles. In 2007, he used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Pole as an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years. He has also been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Supreme Court, General Mills, Nike, and Hershey’s. His work has been featured on National Geographic TV and the Discovery Channel.

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