Physics

Abstract mathematics sometimes has surprisingly practical applications, to not only physics but other arenas as well. Take, for example, the work of extraordinarily innovative mathematician and former Member Maryam Mirzakhani , whose recent death at the age of 40 has been mourned around the...
John ZuHone of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observator, gives a lecture at the 2016 Prospects in Theoretical Physics Program. Photo by Andrea Kane.
The 2017 Prospects in Theoretical Physics program will celebrate its sixteenth year by convening more than 130 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from around the world at the Institute for Advanced Study from July 17 to 28 to explore “Particle Physics at the LHC and...
Robbert Dijkgraaf , Institute Director and Leon Levy Professor, discusses the complex relationship between mathematics and physics with Brady Haran of Numberphile during the 2017 National Math Festival in Washington, D.C. Dijkgraaf examines the differences between the fields, their powerful connection fostered by the...
Grand ideas have a way of turning up in unusual settings, far from an office or a chalkboard. Months ago, Quanta Magazine set out to photograph some of the world’s most accomplished scientists and mathematicians, including Juan Maldacena , Carl P. Feinberg...
Scientists look around the universe and see amazing structure. There are objects and processes of fantastic complexity. Every action in our universe follows exact laws of nature that are perfectly expressed in a mathematical language. These laws of nature appear fine-tuned to bring about life,...
Physicist Paul Halpern honors the life and work of Cécile DeWitt-Morette , former Member in the School of Mathematics/Natural Sciences, who died on May 8 at the age of 94, writing: Starting with the bombing of her family’s house in World War II that...
“What is space and time really? Why is the universe really big?” Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed asks. “And on top of that, we don’t understand why there are big things in it.” Part of a family that zigzagged the globe in pursuit, and defense,...
New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than does the sum of their microscopic components. In a recent essay, Erik Hoel , Visitor in the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies,...
What struck me was some regularity in the anomaly. The rotational velocities were not just larger than expected, they became constant with radius. Why? Sure, if there was dark matter, the speed of stars would be greater, but the rotation curves, meaning the rotational speed...
Einstein’s general theory of relativity taught us that the universe is expanding, but we have only recently discovered the pace of that expansion and its consequences. View the video at Business Insider as Robbert Dijkgraaf , Institute Director and Leon...
How does science work? . . . The scientific method—famously objective, logical and eminently reliable; and the fruits of its success, both pure and applied, are the single most obvious factor in distinguishing the varying levels of progress between different human societies throughout history. But...
Lawrence Krauss , Member (2005) in the School of Natural Sciences, asks "What if the world around us is just a shadow of reality?" in the New Yorker 's Elements. ... The notion that the world of our experience is an accident...