Physics

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...

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.

In this talk, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, discusses the direction of fundamental physics in coming years and decades, including efforts to replace the concept of spacetime...

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.”

It has been said that the goals of modern mathematics are recon­struction and development.1 The unifying conjectures between number theory and representation theory that Robert Langlands, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics...

I arrived at the Institute for Advanced Study in October 2003, after spending two years as a fellow at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in Geneva, Switzerland. For any theoretical physicist the Institute is a mythical place, and the offer to become a Member presented the possibility of a life-changing experience.