Sir Michael Atiyah University of Edinburgh
Wednesday, April 5, 2000, 4:00 p.m. Physics Building, Room 202
"Physics, Geometry and Space"
In the past 25 years there have been remarkable and quite unexpected developments in geometry originating in quantum theory. Professor Atiyah will outline the fascinating story which still continues, and involves the latest ideas in fundamental physics. This lecture is aimed at a general audience interested in science.
Professor Atiyah will be introduced by the UGA President Michael Adams. Banquet honoring Michael Atiyah: 6:30 p.m. at Trumps in downtown Athens.
Thursday, April 6, 2000, 4:00 p.m. Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center, Room 328
"Solitons and Symmetry"
The notion of a soliton is one of the most striking and unifying ideas of recent times - part way between a particle and a field configuration. In 3-dimensional space one may in particular look for symmetrical multi-solitons, having for instance the symmetries of a Platonic solid. These exist, but not in the way one would expect, and this will be illustrated with pictures. This lecture will be accessible to undergraduates in the mathematical sciences, mathematics education and physics.
Friday, April 7, 2000, 4:00 p.m. Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center, Room 328
"An elementary problem in Geometry"
Professor Atiyah will discuss an elementary problem which associates to any n distinct points of 3-dimensional space n complex polynomials in one variable of degree n-1 . The problem is to show that these polynomials are always linearly independent. This has unexpected links with physics and it also has interesting generalizations. This lecture as well will be accessible to math and physics majors.