In the School of Natural Sciences today, the areas of interest in theoretical physics include elementary particle physics, string theory, quantum theory and quantum gravity and their relationship to geometry, theoretical and observational astrophysics, and cosmology. In 1985, Edward Witten, who subsequently joined the Faculty in the School of Natural Sciences in 1987, was invited to the Institute by the School of Mathematics to give several lectures on string theory aimed at mathematicians. Interest in the lectures was such that a program in string theory was organized for the academic year 1987-88. While the program originated in the School of Mathematics, the School of Natural Sciences became increasingly involved, and as had been the case in earlier years, the borderline between the two Schools became somewhat blurred. The program established the increased contact between mathematicians and physicists that continues today.
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