Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, first came to the Institute as a Member in 1984 and was appointed as a Professor in 1987. His work has significantly enriched the fields of mathematics and physics, and he has contributed greatly to the modern interest in superstrings as a candidate theory for the unification of all known physical interactions. Most recently, he has explored quantum duality symmetries of field theories and string theories, opening significant new perspectives on particle physics, string theory, and topology.
In 2006, Edward Witten, Charles Simonyi Professor in the School
of Natural Sciences, cowrote with Anton Kapustin a 225-page paper,
“Electric-Magnetic Duality and the Geometric Langlands
Program,” on the relation of part of the geometric
Prospects in Theoretical Physics is summer program designed for
graduate students and postdoctoral scholars considering a career in
theoretical physics. First held by the School of Natural Sciences
at the Institute for Advanced Study in the summer...
We felt like we were in uncharted territory: no mathematicians we knew had ever received grants of this magnitude before. Normally, mathematicians receive relatively small individual grants from the National Science Foundation. This sounded a bit scary . . . We turned to the Institute for Advanced Study as the place to foster innovation. As they say, the rest is history.
“It is indeed an endless cycle of imagination and concentration, of divergence and convergence, of playing and thinking that determines the rhythm of science and scholarship,” writes Robbert Dijkgraaf on the occasion of becoming the Institute’s ninth Director and first Leon Levy Professor. “The Institute is devoted to creating and supporting these experiences.”
On November 14, the Institute for Advanced Study announced
the appointment of Robbert Dijkgraaf as its ninth Director,
succeeding, as of July 1, 2012, Peter Goddard, who has served as
Director since January 2004.
The ancients thought that space and time were preexisting entities on which motion happens. Of course, this is also our naive intuition. According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, we know that this is not true. Space and time are dynamical objects whose shape is modified by the bodies that move in it.
In the twentieth century, mathematicians developed a deep
theory of knots, which was revolutionized by the discovery of the
Jones polynomial—a way to calculate a number for every
knot—by Vaughan F. R. Jones in the early 1980s. Below, Edward
The fundamental lemma has been described as a gross understatement. Says Andrew Wiles, a Visitor in the School of Mathematics and an Institute Trustee, “At first, it was thought to be a minor irritant, but it subsequently became clear that it was not a lemma but rather a central problem in the field.”
When Friedrich Hirzebruch was a Member in the School of
Mathematics in 1954, his paper, "Some problems on differentiable
and complex manifolds", was published in the Annals of
Mathematics. In it he asked whether Chern numbers in albegraic
Physicists have used Feynman diagrams as a tool for calculating
scattering amplitudes that describe particle interactions for more
than six decades. Their broad utility was due initially in large
part to the seminal work of Freeman Dyson, Professor...