In the public lecture “The Latest News from the
Cosmos,” Matias Zaldarriaga, Professor in the School of
Natural Sciences, explores the most detailed map of the infant
universe to date. Publicly released on March 21, 2013, the map
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?
Following the discovery in July of a Higgs-like boson—an
effort that took more than fifty years of experimental work and
more than 10,000 scientists and engineers working on the Large
Hadron Collider—Juan Maldacena and Nima Arkani-Hamed,
John Brockman, founder and proprietor of the Edge website,
asks a question every New Year and invites the public to answer it.
THE EDGE QUESTION 2012 was, “What is your favorite deep,
elegant, or beautiful explanation?” He got 150 answers that
Pythagoras and Plato intuited that the world should embody
beautiful ideas; Newton and Maxwell demonstrated how the world
could embody beautiful ideas, in specific impressive cases.
Finally, in the twentieth...
“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.
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 of...
I sometimes like to think about what it might be like inside a
black hole. What does that even mean? Is it really
“like” anything inside a black hole? Nature keeps us
from ever knowing. (Well, what we know for sure is that nature
keeps us from...
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