Brian Foster & Jack Liebeck (solo violin)

  Superstrings is a lecture that celebrates Einstein Year by linking Einstein's favorite instrument, the violin, with many of the concepts of modern physics that he did so much to found. The performance begins with an introduction to Einstein's life and involvement with music and how his ideas have shaped our concepts of space, time and the evolution of the Universe. These slides are accompanied by selections from J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, some of Einstein's favorite music.
The lecture then proceeds with a discussion of some of our modern ideas that build on the structures of Einstein and define the so-called "Standard Model" of particle physics, in which the evolution of the Universe after the Big Bang can be understood by the interplay of a small number of fundamental forces on a few featureless "elementary" particles, the quarks and leptons, and their antimatter equivalents.
At several points in the lecture, solo violin music inspired by the ideas that are being discussed is played. This music has been specially commissioned by two outstanding young UK composers, Emily Hall and Anna Meredith. Furthermore, Jack uses his J.B. Guadagnini violin, the "ex-Wilhelmj", to illustrate by analogy several of the ideas discussed by Brian in the lecture.
Although in many ways a fantastic success, the "Standard Model" leaves many questions unanswered and leads to several paradoxes. Modern ideas of Superstrings may well lead to a much more satisfactory theory, although at the cost of predicting a whole host of new particles as yet undiscovered. Superstring theory also predicts that the universe has extra "hidden" dimensions of space whose size is so small that they are invisible to our everyday experience. Nevertheless, they may give rise to measurable effects in the next generations of "atom smashers" due to start operation at CERN in Geneva in a couple of years time. The lecture ends by looking at these possible effects and with a duet for two violins in which lecturer and soloist join forces to illustrate the production of mini Black Holes in the unimaginably violent collisions at CERN.

Einstein and his Music


  April 19th - Highgate School, London, UK
April 20th - Queen Elizabeth Boy's School, Barnet, UK
April 22nd - Kings of Wessex Community School, Cheddar, UK
April 22nd - Wells Cathedral School, Wells, UK
April 30th - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Illinois, USA (followed by recital)
May 1st - University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA (followed by recital)
May 14th - Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA (followed by recital)
June 27th - DESY, Hamburg, Germany (followed by recital)
July 1st - St. Austell VIth Form College, St. Austell, UK (followed by recital)
August 31st - Mazurian Lakes Conference, Poland
September 9th - St. Mary's Specialist Music School, Edinburgh, UK
September 30th - Pohan, South Korea (followed by recital)
October 14th - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, UK
October 18th - Eton College, Windsor, UK
October 19th - St. Helen's School, Hillingdon, UK
October 31st - Oundle School, Oundle, UK (followed by recital)
November 5th - Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
November 7th - Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA
November 11th - Purdue University, Indiana, USA (followed by recital)
November 12th –Johns Hopkins University,Maryland, USA (followed by recital)
November 13th - Princeton University, New Jersey, USA (followed by recital)
November 21st - Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham , UK
November 24th - St Helen's School, Abingdon, UK (afternoon)
November 24th - Downe House School, Oxfordshire, UK (evening)
November 25th - Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK
November 28th - United World College of the Atlantic, near Cardiff, UK
November 29th - Bedford School, Bedford, UK (followed by recital)
December 13th - Holywell Music Room, Oxford, UK (followed by recital)

Additional Information:

  Press release More information on Jack Liebeck
  Article in The Strad - April 2005
  Article in US Symmetry