Video Library

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. 

  

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Speaker(s): 

The history of physics, from Galileo's spatialization of time to Einstein's block universe, and on to Julian Barbour's timeless quantum cosmology, tells a story by which time is demoted from a fundamental aspect of experience to an emergent illusion in a world held to be fundamentally timeless. The question I would like to address is, is this correct, or will the next stage in the development of physics require a rediscovery of time as a primary aspect of nature?

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Speaker(s): 

In his article `More is Different', P W Anderson (1972) sensitized the physics community about importance of emergence, by using concepts such as broken symmetry, emergent hierarchical structures, constructionists converse of reductionism etc. The manifestation of complexity and hierarchy in the quantum many particle systems go beyond broken symmetries. In certain quantum systems we have the opposite - emergence of new local gauge symmetries. This idea was introduced, for example, for Mott insulators, by Anderson and us in 1988.

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Speaker(s): 

This talks will focus on a particular example of emergent phenomenon in a particular system. By adding to our repertoire of emergent phenomena, it may help deepen our discussions of the topic in the abstract. The system belongs to the new family that has swept condensed matter physics and goes by the name of topological insulators, which paradoxically also includes super°uids and superconductors for these too have no low energy excitations in the bulk.

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Speaker(s): 

Emergent phenomena are typically described as those that cannot be reduced, explained nor predicted from their microphysical base. However, this characterization can be fully satisfied on purely epistemological grounds, leaving open the possibility that emergence may simply point to a gap in our knowledge of these phenomena. By contrast, Anderson

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Speaker(s): 

Effective field theories, underpinned by the resnormalization framework, are a central feature of condensed matter physics and relativistic field theory. However the phenomenon of decoherence is not so easily subsumed under this framework. Ordinary environmental decoherence may lead to very unusual effective theories, and recent ideas about intrinsic decoherence in Nature (eg., Penrose's ideas aobut gravitational decoherence) do not obviously lead to any effective field theory.

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Speaker(s): 

The canonical example of emergence is how thermodynamics emerges from microscopic laws through statistical mechanics. One of the vexing questions in the foundations of statistical mechanics is though how is it possible to justify thermalization in a closed system. In quantum statistical mechanics, entanglement can give the key to answer this question, provided that they are typically very entangled. Fortunately, most states in the Hilbert space are maximally entangled. Unfortunately, most states in the Hilbert space of a quantum many body system are not physically accessible.

 

Thursday Oct 27, 2011
Speaker(s): 

I will begin by discussing some of the strongest observational evidence for Lorentz symmetry, and the essential role that Lorentz symmetry appears to play in the consistency of black hole thermodynamics. Next I will discuss some reasons for suspecting that Lorentz symmetry may nevertheless be emergent. And finally I will discuss difficulties with the concept of emergent Lorentz symmetry, and how such difficulties might conceivably be overcome.

 

Thursday Oct 27, 2011
Speaker(s): 

This paper has two aims. The first is to improve upon the diverse and often muddled philosophical characterizations of emergence by articulating reasonably precise necessary and sufficient conditions for a phenomenon to count as emergent in physics. Central to this account of emergence is the idea that emergent phenomena cannot be explained reductively. The second aim of the paper is to apply this account to the use of effective field theories in gravitational physics.

 

Thursday Oct 27, 2011
Speaker(s): 

Prominent philosophers of physics, including Craig Callender and John Earman, have issued stern warnings against drawing any foundations of physics conclusions from theories obtained by taking the thermodynamic limit. Without dismissing these worries entirely, I argue that we shouldn't take them too seriously.

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