A Life Inside the Center
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 5:00pm
Ray Monk, Professor, University of Southampton
In this lecture, Ray Monk, author of Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center (Random House, 2013), will tell the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Institute's third Director (1947–66), in the context of the momentous developments in which he played a leading part.
Black Holes and Their Gusty Influence on the Birth of Galaxies
Friday, May 10, 2013 - 5:00pm
Nadia Zakamska, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Galaxies are the visible building blocks of the universe, astrophysical laboratories that have profoundly informed our knowledge of cosmology and nature. Black holes—once a bizarre mathematical consequence of Einstein’s relativity theory—are now mainstream astronomy, thanks to studies of the centers of nearby galaxies in which these exotic objects are routinely found. Galaxies and black holes form together under the influence of gravity until the powerful winds fueled by black holes snuff out the candle of star formation.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:30pm
Mark Goresky, Long-term Member, School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study
Cellular telephones, GPS, radar imaging, and most other modern wireless systems would not exist without the sophisticated mathematical and digital techniques that are used to encode and decode their messages. These "spread spectrum" methods, under continuous development since the 1960s, have facilitated spectacular improvements in the performance and reliability of wireless communications.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:30pm
Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
“Civilized countries did offer the right of asylum to those who, for political reasons, had been persecuted by their governments, and this practice, though never officially incorporated into any constitution, has functioned well enough throughout the nineteenth and even in the twentieth century; the trouble arose when it appeared that the new categories of persecuted were far too numerous to be handled by an unofficial practice destined for exceptional cases,” writes Hannah Arendt.
Friday, May 3, 2013 - 5:30pm
Matias Zaldarriaga, Professor, School of Natural Sciences
On March 21, 2013, the most detailed map of the infant universe to date was publicly released, showing relic radiation from the Big Bang, imprinted when the universe was just 380,000 years old. This was the first release of cosmological data from the Planck satellite, a mission of the European space agency that was initiated in 1996 and involved hundreds of scientists in over thirteen countries.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 4:30pm
Michael van Walt van Praag, Visiting Professor, School of Historical Studies
Most violent conflicts today are fought within states, and many are related to identity. They are, therefore, inextricably linked to how people perceive their history. How political leaders view and use history and historical narratives, including as the foundation for their claims, has a great impact on negotiations and can hold a peace process hostage.
Friday, October 26, 2012 - 5:30pm
Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor, School of Natural Sciences
Our present framework for physics is difficult to modify without destroying its marvelous, successful properties. This provides a strong check on theoretical speculations and helps guide us to a small set of candidates for new laws. In this talk, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, will illustrate these ideas in action by explaining why theoretical physicists knew the Higgs boson had to exist long before it was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider last July.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 4:30pm
Juan Maldacena, Professor, School of Natural Sciences
In this lecture, Juan Maldacena, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, will describe the theoretical ideas, developed in the 1960s and '70s, that led to the prediction of the Higgs boson, the particle that appears to have been discovered over the summer. The forces of nature are based on beautiful symmetries. Maldacena will explain why the Higgs mechanism is necessary to avoid some of the naive consequences of these symmetries and to explain various features of elementary particles.
Friday, May 4, 2012 - 5:30pm
Joan Wallach Scott, Harold F. Linder Professor, School of Social Science
The “British Club” in Paris (1789–93)
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 4:30pm
Jonathan Israel, Professor, School of Historical Studies