Einsteins March paper, the only paper that Einstein himself called revolutionary, directly challenged the firm beliefs of all physicists. With compelling evidence in their support, physicists regarded the nature of light as a closed chapter: light was a continuous electromagnetic wave. Einstein countered this entrenched belief with the claim that light was a stream of discontinuous, isolated particles. The age-old conundrum of continuity vs. discontinuity was again called into play. Einsteins contemporaries totally rejected his idea and they even apologized for his having gone overboard. In the end, however, Einsteins light particle became part of the woodwork of physics. John S Rigden, Einstein, light, electromagnetic, continuity, discontinuity, atoms, wave lengths, photoelectric effect
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Just who was Albert Einstein? And what did he achieve? This talk will introduce some of his amazing discoveries and examine where curiosity can lead you. Einstein, discovers, curiosity, impact, inventions, light, photons, Damien Pope, space, time, relativity, speed of light
Stephen Kern will set the stage for the Miraculous Year with an examination of the general cultural climate surrounding Einsteins eventations of 1905. Taking the fact that Einsteins most important paper begins with a discussion of simultaneity, Kern will consider how a variety of developments in the culture of the period involved a reworking of the experience of time and space, creating new ways of thinking about and experiencing simultaneity. Novelists developed new writing strategies to capture the simultaneity of events in new urban centers, painters rendered simultaneous views of frontal and profiled views of a single face, cinematic editing made it possible to offer moviegoers a sense of several things happening at once with *last minute rescues, even dramatists staged simultaneous actions on stage at the same time. Poets created simultaneous poetry, and journalists characterized it as an age of simultaneity. The entire world was becoming coordinated temporally with the introduction of World Standard Time based on solar readings in at the Greenwich Observatory in England, relayed electronically to the Eiffel Tower, and then beamed around the world electronically by telegraph over land and even to ships at sea made possible by the new wireless. The most dramatic simultaneous event of the period, the first truly international event, was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, which was a trans-Atlantic simultaneous drama on the high seas made possible by the coordinated action of the wireless, ham radio transmission, telegraph, and mass circulation newspaper.
The achievements of 19th Century physicists stand shoulder to shoulder with those of their 20th Century successors. Physics, per se, did not exist in 1800, but a century later, physics not only existed, but was regarded as the model for all sciences. During the 19th Century, the physics that dominates current introductory textbooks was brought to completion. Electricity and magnetism, two separate domains of Nature, were united as electromagnetism; the laws of thermodynamics were established; the kinetic theory of matter was developed in its current form; and the nature of light, the crowning achievement of 19th Century physics, was demonstrated to be an electromagnetic wave. The substantive achievements were stunning. But more than the technical successes, 19th Century physicists made the subject part of the larger culture. John S Rigden, 19th century, 20th century, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, physicists, light wave, kinetic matter, energy, culture
Synchronization phenomena are abundant in nature, science, engineering and social life. Synchronization was first recognized by Christiaan Huygens in 1665 for coupled pendulum clocks; this was the beginning of nonlinear sciences. First, several examples of synchronization in complex systems are presented, such as in organ pipes, fireflies, epilepsy and even in the (in)stability of large mechanical systems as bridges. These examples illustrate that, literally speaking, subsystems are able to synchronize due to interaction if they are able to communicate. Second, general physical mechanisms for synchronization and de-synchronization phenomena in coupled complex systems are presented and conditions for synchronizability are discussed. It is explained that diffusion properties give a crucial insight into this problem. I will show that the general concepts of curvature and recurrence are helpful to uncover complex synchronization. Third, applications of these new techniques are given. They range from El Nino Monsoon interactions via electrochemical oscillators and lasers to cognitive processes during reading and to neuroscience.
Many systems take the form of networks: the Internet, the World Wide Web, social networks, distribution networks, citation networks, food webs, and neural networks are just a few examples. I will show some recent empirical results on the structure of these and other networks, particularly emphasizing degree sequences, clustering, and vertex-vertex correlations. I will also discuss some graph theoretical models of networks that incorporate these features, and give examples of how both empirical measurements and models can lead to interesting and useful predictions about the real world.
Noncommutative geometry is a more general formulation of geometry that does not require coordinates to commute. As such it unifies quantum theory and geometry and should appear in any effective theory of quantum gravity. In this general talk we present quantum groups as a microcosm of this unification in the same way that Lie groups are a microcosm of usual geometry, and give a flavour of some of the deeper insights they provide. One of them is the ability to interchange the roles of quantum theory and gravity by `arrow reversal'. Another is that noncommutative spaces typically carry a canonical 1-parameter evolution or intrinsic time created from the fundamental conflict between noncommuting coordinates and differential calculus. In physical terms one could say that quantising space typically has an anomaly for the spatial translation group and this forces the system to evolve. We give an example where we derive Schroedinger's equation in this way.