Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA).
PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
Inside Harvard College Observatory in 1904, a young woman named Henrietta Swan Leavitt sat hunched over a stack of glass photographic plates, patiently counting stars. The images had been taken by a telescope high in the Peruvian Andes, and Miss Leavitt was given the tedious chore of measuring the brightness of thousands of tiny lights, something that would now be done by machine. Her job title was \'computer,\' but during the next few years she rose above her station as a tabulator of data and discovered a new law, one that would change forever our view of the universe.
Inspired by the notion that the differences between quantum theory and classical physics are best expressed in terms of information theory, Hardy (2001) and Clifton, Bub, and Halvorson (2003) have constructed frameworks general enough to embrace both quantum and classical physics, within which one can invoke principles that distinguish the classical from the quantum.
A cosmological model based on an inhomogeneous D3-brane moving in an AdS_5 X S_5 bulk is introduced. Although there is no special points in the bulk, the brane Universe has a center and is isotropic around it. The model has an accelerating expansion and its effective cosmological constant is inversely proportional to the distance from the center, giving a possible geometrical origin for the smallness of a present-day cosmological constant.
Entanglement entropy is currently of interest in several areas in physics, such as condensed matter, field theory, and quantum information. One of the most interesting properties of the entanglement entropy is its scaling behavior, especially close to phase transitions. It was believed that for dimensions higher than 1 the entropy scales like surface area of the subsystem. We will describe a recent result for free fermions at zero temperature, where the entropy in fact scales faster. The latter problem will be related to a mathematical conjecture due to H. Widom (1982).
I will describe some recent advances in the simulation of binary black hole spacetimes using a numerical scheme based on generalized harmonic coordinates. After a brief overview of the formalism and method, I will present results from the evolution of a couple of classes of initial data, including Cook-Pfieffer quasi-circular inspiral data sets, and binaries constructed via scalar field collapse. In the latter case, preliminary studies suggest that in certain regions of parameter space there is extreme sensitivity of the resulting orbit to the initial conditions.
While modern theories lavishly invoke several spatial dimensions within models that seek to unify relativity theory and quantum mechanics, none seems to consider the possibility that a yet-unfamiliar aspect of time may do the work. I introduce the notion of Becoming and then consider its consequences for physical theory. Becoming portrays a possible aspect of time that is "curled" very much like the extra spatial dimensions in superstring theories.
The universe computes: every atom, electron, and elementary particle registers bits of information, and every time two particles collide those bits are flipped and processed. By hacking the computational power of the universe, we can build quantum computers which store and process information at the level of atoms and electrons. This computational capacity underlies the generation of complex systems, and provides insight into the origin of life and its future. Seth Lloyd is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).