Topology and quantum physics

April 4, 2011 University of Porto

Speaker: Sir Michael Atiyah (about)
Abstract: Geometry and Physics have been closely linked, at least from the time of Galileo and Newton. Forces turn straight line motion into curved paths and the fundamental link between curvature and force persists into Maxwell’s theory of Electro-Magnetism and Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.
20th century Physics was dominated by Quantum Mechanics, and it took a long time to realize that this has close links with Topology, the branch of Geometry where measurement is unimportant and which is typified by the study of knots.
I will try to explain this story in non-technical language, using only high school geometry and physics.

Time: 15h
Room: Edifício da Matemática da FCUP
Video streaming: here


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