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One hundred years ago, the celebrated first "Conseil de Physique Solvay" took place in Brussels, with the participation of the leading physicists of the time.
It marked a profound rupture between the old "classical physics" and the new "quantum physics" that describes the strange behaviour of Nature at the microscopic level. The Conference was one of the most important events in the advent of the quantum revolution. No other physics conference has acquired the same legendary status.
To celebrate this unique conference, the International Solvay Institutes will organize a series of exceptional events that will make Brussels the world's capital of physics for ten days in October 2011.
These events are, chronologically (please consult the corresponding pages for more information):
Thursday 13 October: Opening of the exhibitation "Brainstorming in Brussels - One Hundred Years of Solvay Conferences" in the building of the Belgian Academy. The exhibition will stay in Brussels until the end of 2011 and will then travel within Belgium.
Exhibition open to all but opening by invitation only.
Friday 14 October: Workshop "The Early Solvay Councils and the Advent of the Quantum Era" - open to all but registration mandatory.
Monday 17 October (evening): Reading of the theatre play "Copenhagen" with Nobel Laureates Alan Heeger and David Gross in the respective roles of Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, and Actress Fiona Shaw in the role of Margrethe Bohr. Playwright: Michael Frayn. Play director: Nancy Kawalek (University of California at Santa Barbara) - free and open to all but registration mandatory.
Tuesday 18 October: Academic Session "Why Curiosity-Driven Science?". Lectures and panel discussions on the role and impact of fundamental research, with the participation of leading figures from the business, political, philanthropic and scientific words - by invitation only.
Wednesday 19 October through Saturday 22 October: 25th Solvay Conference on Physics, "The Theory of the Quantum World", chaired by Nobel Laureate David Gross. Scientific conference by invitation only, gathering most of the prominent physicists working on the subject.
Opening session at the Brussels City Hall on Wednesday 19 October morning, in the presence of the Mayor of Brussels. By invitation only.
Sunday 23 October: Solvay Public Event "The Future of Physics", with two popular lectures by Nobel Laureates William Phillips and Franck Wilczek followed by a panel discussion chaired by Nobel Laureate David Gross - free and open to all but registration is mandatory.