From prehistoric times onward, people have always found ways to incorporate mathematical thinking into art. Today, we have sophisticated mathematical machinery that we can use both to understand the rules that underlie historical patterns and to describe new designs of great beauty and originality. Better yet, computers can serve as a powerful artistic tool, helping make these mathematical visions a reality. This talk will explore some of the exciting contemporary work that lies in the intersection of mathematics and art.
What, exactly, happened around the time of the Big Bang? Exploring new models inspired by superstring theory and supergravity, e.g. ones in which we live on “branes” that collide with a “big bang”. Satellite experiments to test such models.
Cosmology and cosmological implications of quantum gravity. Observable effects in cosmology help to identify the limits of general relativity, which could potentially be surpassed by modified theories of gravity and/or quantum gravity.
Applying the lessons learned in quantum information theory to gain a better understanding of quantum mechanics itself. Is quantum theory simply a new type of probability theory? Exploring new directions towards combining quantum theory with gravity.
The origin and evolution of the largest observable structures in the universe (much larger than entire galaxies); understanding why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Observational techniques: cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing and gravity waves.
Applications of quantum theory to cryptography and computation; understanding in more concrete, physical terms what quantum theory is telling us about the nature of reality. Applications of information theory to better understand the quantum “wave function”.
Galileos campaign on behalf of the modern view of the solar system is one of the most dramatic events in the history of relations between Christianity and science endlessly portrayed as a battle between theological interests and scientific freedom. But this traditional story is filled with factual errors. And when human fears, rivalries, revenge and the like are taken into account, the story takes on an altogether different cast. In Professor Lindbergs retelling, the ideological side of the story will be balanced with its richness as a human event.
This talk will examine the critical period in European concert music in the years around 1900, when the first generation of modernists--including Schoenberg, Mahler, Bartok, Debussy, and Stravinsky--were forging new musical languages. These composers were not revolutionaries. All remained deeply attached to their musical pasts, to traditions of tonality, syntax, and form. But each was able to re-imagine in a unique fashion the legacies of the nineteenth century to create powerful music fully characteristic of the dawning century.