Marcelo Gleiser

Academic Appointments

Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Appleton Professorship of Natural Philosophy
Director, Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement

Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist specialized in cosmology and high energy physics, complexity theory, and astrobiology. He has been at Dartmouth College since 1991. His undergraduate degree was from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (1981), followed by a Masters from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1982), and a Ph.D. from King's College London (1986). He was a postdoctoral fellow at Fermilab (1986-1988) and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1988-1991). He is a Fellow and past General Councilor of the American Physical Society and a recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House and NSF.

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In 2019, he was awarded the Templeton Prize, an honor he shares with distinguished scientists and religious leaders including Freeman Dyson, Martin Rees, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. Apart from his research and teaching, Marcelo is also very active in the public understanding of science, having authored five books in English translated into 15 languages, and thousands of essays in magazines and newspapers around the world. A frequent presence in science documentaries and shows, he was the co-founder of and regular contributor of the science and culture blog 13.7 originally hosted by National Public Radio, 13.7 and now called 13.8 and hosted by BigThink.

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116 Wilder
HB 6127
Physics and Astronomy
B.Sc. Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
M.Sc. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Ph.D. University of London, King’s College

Selected Publications

Gleiser, M. and Stamatopoulos, N.,Information Content of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, Phys. Rev. D 86, 045004 (2012) [arXiv:1205.3061]

Gleiser, M., Graham N., and Stamatopoulos N.,Generation of Coherent Structures After Cosmic Inflation, Phys. Rev. D 83, 096010 (2011). [arXiv:1103.1911]

From Cosmos to Intelligent Life: The Four Ages of Astrobiology, Int. J. Astrobiology , 11, 345-350 (2012) [arXiv: 1202.5042].

Drake Equation for the Multiverse: From the String Landscape to Complex Life, Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 19, 1299 (2010). [arXiv:1002.1651]

The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang (Dutton, 1997; second edition UPNE, 2005).

The Prophet and the Astronomer: A Scientific Journey to the End of Time (W W Norton, 2002).

A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A radical new vision for life in an imperfect universe (Free Press, 2010) .

The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning (Basic Books, 2014)

Information-Entropic Stability Bound for Compact Objects: Application to Q-Balls and the Chandrasekhar Limit of Polytropes, with D. Sowinski, Phys. Lett. B  727, 272-275 (2013) [arXiv:1307.0530]

Information Dynamics at a Phase Transition, with Damian Sowinski, J. Stat. Phys. 167, 1221-1232 (2017) DOI 10.1007/s10955-017-1762-6 [arXiv:1606.09641].

Gravitational Radiation Background from Boson Star Binaries, with Djuna Croon, Sonali Mohapatra, and Chen Sun, Physics Letters B 783 158-162) (2018),

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2018.03.055 [arXiv:1802.08259]

Configurational Information Approach to Instantons and False Vacuum Decay in D-dimensional Spacetime, with Damian Sowinski, Physi- cal Review D 98 056026 (2018) DOI:, [arXiv:1807:07588]

Configurational Entropic Study of the Enhanced Longevity in Resonant Oscillon, with Max Krackow, Physics Letters B 805 (2020) 135450, [arXiv:2003.10899][hep-th].

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Speaking engagements

Please check my personal website for and updated list of Speaking Engagements:

Works in progress

Developing an Information-Theoretic approach to the study of nature, in particular Field Theory

From Chemistry to Biology: Modeling the Origin of the First Protocells in Prebiotic Earth

Is Cosmological Inflation Probable? Revisiting the Initial Conditions Problem

BOOK- The Blind Spot: Experience and "Truth" in Science, with Adam Frank and Evan Thompson