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.

The work of plasma fusion physicists may seem completely divorced from the realm of theoretical astrophysics, but, as Chris Hamilton, John N. Bahcall Fellow in the School of Natural Sciences, explains, the mathematical methods developed to exploit the power of the electrons, ions, and magnetic fields in fusion plasmas are precisely the same as those needed to describe the dynamics of stars, spiral arms, and dark matter in galaxies like the Milky Way. 

The unparalleled resolution of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) images of the black holes at the center of the M87 galaxy and at the center of our galaxy, called Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), allows us to test assumptions, predictions, and alternatives to Einstein’s theory of gravity. 

Past Members in the School of Natural SciencesRobert J. Vanderbei (2019–20) and Michael A. Strauss (1991–95), along with Neil deGrasse Tyson and J. Richard Gott, have authored a unique journey into the cosmos titled Welcome to the Universe in 3D: A Visual Tour, the fourth in a series of astrophysical tours for Princeton University Press

Taking Theory to Traffic

The largest live autonomous vehicle traffic experiment ever conducted began the week of November 18, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. While this experiment used 4 miles of highway, 288 cameras, and an impressive command center, one of its most vital resources was equations on a blackboard. In front of one of these blackboards was Benedetto Piccoli, Visitor in the School of Mathematics.

The Curriculum of the Woods

Predicting thousands of years of forest growth with just an afternoon of fieldwork and a simple calculator might seem like an impossible task, but Jonathan Levine, Chair of Princeton’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, who runs annual classes in “Forest Succession” in the Institute Woods, enables his students to achieve precisely this.