The Institute Letter Spring 2019

Includes a variety of articles by Faculty and Members exploring black holes, the discovery of the amplituhedron, the origins and influence of an anti-Semitic legend on modern capitalism, the “big bang” of Hellenistic “globalization,” democracy and truth, the gilets jaunes protests, and mapping the elusive magnetic field between our galactic stars.

“From the perspective of gravity, [a black hole] is the simplest object we know of, no more than a hole in space. At the same time, according to quantum theory, it is the most complex object, the most compact way to store matter and information.” Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, discusses the paradoxical nature of black holes and their role in twenty-first-century physics.

On March 14, 2019, Albert Einstein's 140th birthday, the Institute for Advanced Study held the inaugural IAS Einstein Gala to honor trailblazing mathematician, investor, and philanthropist Jim Simons. The New York event, which raised $3.5 million to support basic research at IAS, was attended by more than 550 leaders from the worlds of business, philanthropy, technology, art, and academia, among them Ellen Futter, Larry Gagosian, Vartan Gregorian, Jeff Koons, Eric Schmidt, Diana Taylor, James and Merryl Tisch, and Sir James and Elaine Wolfensohn.