Eugene Wigner

Topology Mini-Symposium

Topology is the only major branch of modern mathematics that wasn't anticipated by the ancient mathematicians. Throughout most of its history, topology has been regarded as strictly abstract mathematics, without applications. However,...

From the data, you have this remnant of a real object that you want to resurrect. Before you can start to do that, the first thing you need to know is, is it really coming from such and such an object? Are there some good tests or signatures for that?

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.

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In the two years I spent at the Institute, 1957–59, I had the opportunity of meeting two of the founders of the quantum theory—Niels Bohr and Paul Dirac. In the case of Bohr, perhaps “meeting” overstates the case. He was a Mem­ber in the spring...

It all began with a cable from Oppenheimer that I received on March 10, 1948, in Trondheim, Norway: ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF BOHR AND HEITLER I AM GLAD TO OFFER YOU MEMBERSHIP SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICS FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 1948 – 1949 WITH STIPEND OF $3500. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER.

If two such great thinkers as Bohr and Einstein, who had such a high regard for each other, could be brought together for a prolonged period, would not something emerge of great value to all of us? This thought and this hope animated the guiding spirits of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study to invite Niels Bohr to come as a guest of the Institute for the entire spring semester of 1939.

What explains “the unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, as the late Princeton University physicist Eugene Wigner phrased it, in answering questions about the real world?

Natural phenomena could have been structured in a way...

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Albert Einstein had already left the country. He was in the United States and in contact with the founders of his new academic home, the Institute for Advanced Study, which would open in...