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.

I think many of the people who are interested in congratulating me on the Abel Prize are doing so because I’m a woman and I’m the first woman to get it. 

And I can’t help resist telling the...

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"Multi-faceted gems, each with crystalline symmetry that gives them an unexpected mathematical beauty”—that is how the physicist Lance Dixon describes the mathematical objects used to predict what happens when nature’s fundamental particles...

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Conventional wisdom today says that the sciences—natural, physical, and even the quantitative social sciences like economics—are especially good for teaching effective truth practices. That is surely right to a degree. But just as much, we might...

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On November 22, five days into the gilets jaunes protests, with some 2,000 roads and roundabouts barricaded across the country and 280,000 demonstrators having taken to the streets in the major cities, Emmanuel Macron welcomed journalists...

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You may have done this experiment as a child: spread a bunch of iron filings on a table, a heap of insouciant metal dust. Now place a bar magnet in their midst, and ah! The iron filings snap to attention, as if endowed with a sudden sense of...

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In 327–326 B.C.E., Alexander the Great, after having defeated the Persian King and conquered the Persian Empire, crossed eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and Bactria, testing the limits of his abilities. He attacked the fortress of Aornos, on Mount Pir...

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On April 10, 2019, we were presented with the first-ever close-up image of a black hole by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). This remarkable technological achievement was made possible by the collective efforts of hundreds of astrophysics,...