Physics

Move over Brexit. For a brief moment on April 10, the attention in the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels was not focused on Theresa May, but on the first photo of a black hole...

Edward Witten lectures at the podium

From December 4–5, 2018, the School of Natural Sciences hosted a workshop on "Quantum Information and the Structure of Spacetime." The event focused on quantum aspects of black holes, with an emphasis on applying ideas from quantum information...

In the last six months, Juan Maldacena, Carl P. Feinberg Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, has received three major awards: the Lorentz Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; the 2018 Einstein...

How do we fit into our mathematical descriptions? Well, one thing I’ll tell you is that in general, when you have dualities, things that are easy to see in one description can be hard to see in the other description. So you and I, for example,...

As part of Ideas: Celebrating 2017–18Clay Cordova, Marvin L. Goldberger Member in the School of ...

Ideas that originate in particle physics have an uncanny tendency to appear in the most diverse mathematical fields. This is especially true for string theory. Its stimulating influence in mathematics will have a lasting and rewarding impact,...

One of the surprising things about chaos is that it took so long for physicists to appreciate how common it is. This is despite the fact that people seem to come naturally programmed with intuition for the basic phenomenon: that small changes to...

The Institute sometimes spends money on risky ventures, giving sustained support to people who work on unfashionable and dubious projects. One example of a risky venture was Einstein, who worked here for twenty years on unified field theories...

Albert Einstein finished his general theory of relativity in November 1915, and in the hundred years since, its influence has been profound, dramatically influencing the direction of physics, cosmology, and mathematics. The theory upended Isaac...

The article by Wally Greenberg in the spring 2015 Institute Letter mentions the anomalous axial current triangle diagram and describes its connection with counting quark degrees of freedom. This derives from a calculation I did when a...

I gave a copy of the preprint of my paper to Robert Oppenheimer, who, as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, was my host. A week later I met him at an Eastern Physics Meeting at the University of Maryland, my home institution. When I asked him if he had read my paper, he replied, “Greenberg, it’s beautiful!” I was elated. After a pause, he completed his assessment of my paper by saying, “But I don’t believe a word of it!”

Before dawn on July 4, CERN scientists announced the discovery of a new particle consistent with the boson predicted nearly fifty years ago by Peter Higgs. He gave one of his first seminars on his theory at the Institute at the invitation of...