Explore firsthand accounts of research and questions posed by IAS scientists and scholars. From art history to string theory, from moral anthropology to the long-term fate of the universe, contributions span the last decade to the research of today.
Laboratory study of a macroscopic black hole is impossible with current or foreseeable technology, so the only way to test these predictions of Einstein’s theory is to find black holes in the heavens. Not surprisingly, isolated black holes are difficult to see. Not only are they black, they are also very small: a black hole with the mass of the Sun is only a few kilometers in diameter.
Tornadoes are a high-level description of the motions of enormous numbers of interacting molecules. We want to understand how mind emerges from brain, just as we understand how tornadoes emerge from molecules.
We should not assume that making sense of post-Soviet Russia was ever going to be easy. Great Powers that lose empires bear grudges, and the speed with which an empire is lost can exacerbate the problem. No one can expect that a powerful country run by a former secret policeman is going to operate by the same rules of the game to which we are accustomed. Quite simply, what may seem sensible or rational to ourselves is irrelevant.
I got the telephone call at 7:45 a.m. the next morning that Sergei Magnitsky had been murdered. . . . I thought they had to do something. Instead, Putin circled the wagons, exonerated every single person involved, and gave state honors and promotions to the people most complicit. It became obvious we wouldn’t get justice in Russia, so we decided to get justice outside of Russia.
As of 1985 it was still not entirely safe to write about cosmology. In May of that year, I published an article in the Chinese journal Science in which I introduced quantum cosmology and referred in passing to the view that “the universe arose from nothing.”
To visualize what is meant by three-dimensional hyperbolic geometry, a rich area of interest for mathematicians and physicists, consider a chunk of glass sitting on a table, such that the speed of light n is proportional to the height above the table.
Explore a collection of Robert Langlands’s papers, as well as some of his lectures and correspondence, on topics ranging from functoriality, representation theory, and Shimura varieties to endoscopy, percolation, and geometric theory.
One of the most amazing things we discovered in science is that everything is made of small particles. It's the properties of these molecules, atoms, nuclei, and elementary particles that allow us to answer simple questions like: why is grass green? But how small are these particles? And how did we discover them?
On the direction of fundamental physics in coming years and decades, including efforts to replace the concept of spacetime and understand how the macroscopic world is formed by microscopic quantum mechanical laws
One day, at the [Institute’s] traditional 3 o’clock tea, Rosen mentioned to Einstein a fundamental issue of interpretation related to entangled wave-functions. Einstein immediately saw the implications for his long-standing disagreement with [Niels] Bohr. As they discussed the problem, Boris Podolsky joined the conversation, and later proposed to write an article. Einstein acquiesced.
From its first usage in 1871 by anti-clerical campaigners, the word laïcité has been a polemical term; then it was aimed at ending the public power of the Catholic Church, now it is used to define a Frenchness that excludes Muslims.
Since the global financial crisis in 2008, countries once locked behind the Iron Curtain have increasingly drifted to the far right. . . . Politicians and scholars strategically deploy historical knowledge as a tool to quash growing domestic opposition to the economic upheavals and insecurities of the post-socialist era.