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Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series

Perimeter Institute brings great thinkers from around the world to Canada to share their ideas on a wide variety of interesting and topical subjects. These lectures and debates are aimed at non-specialists. No mathematical or scientific knowledge is necessary or assumed. Each event is explicitly tailored for the general public and everyone is welcome to attend.


Dimanche sep 18, 2011

Some numbers mean things, and some numbers do things. Making--and breaking--that distinction was central to renowned mathematician John von Neumann’s implementation of Alan Turing’s Universal Machine in 1945-56. In this lecture, you will learn about the unlikeliest place on earth to build such a device and how this vital 5-kilobyte step in the digital revolution was sparked by a collision of ideas between mathematicians and engineers.


Mercredi juin 01, 2011

I belong to the lucky generation who survived World War Two and
unexpectedly found ourselves alive and young at the dawn of four
simultaneous revolutions. We were present at the creation of four new
technologies that were to continue transforming the world for the
following sixty-five years. First revolution, Space, beginning with the
first spacecraft, the V2 rocket, which came crashing down on our heads
in London in the last year of the war. Second revolution, Nuclear


Mercredi mai 04, 2011

Imagine medicine that is predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory


Mercredi avr 06, 2011

Space and time are two of the universe's most fundamental elements. Relativity combines these two into the unified notion of space-time, but twistor theory goes beyond this replacing both by something entirely different, where the basic elements are the paths taken by particles of light or other particles without mass.
Twistor theory has already found powerful applications in the field of high-energy physics.

Scientific Areas: 


Mercredi mar 02, 2011

Did you know you could fit the entire human race in the volume of a sugar cube? Or that, if the Sun were made of bananas, it wouldn't make much difference? Or that 98 per cent of the Universe is invisible? Award-winning science writer Marcus Chown invites you to come along and discover how the Universe we live in is far stranger than anything we could possibly have invented.

Scientific Areas: 


Mercredi jan 26, 2011

For thousands of years people have wondered, "Are we alone?" Out of the 500 planets so far known to orbit nearby stars, about 100 transit their host stars, that is, the planet goes in front of its star as seen from Earth. The transiting planets are "goldmines" for astronomers, because the planetary sizes, masses, and atmospheres can be routinely measured. NASA's Kepler Space Telescope is further revolutionizing transiting exoplanet studies with its unprecedented photometric precision. Dr.


Mercredi déc 01, 2010

Time is of philosophical interest as well as the subject of mathematical and scientific research. Even though it is a concept familiar to most, the passage of time remains one of the greatest enigmas of the universe. The philosopher Augustine once said: "What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know." The concept time indeed cannot be explained in simple terms. Emotions, life, and death - all are related to our interpretation of the irreversible flow of time. After a discussion of the concept of time, Prof.


Mercredi nov 03, 2010

Recent experimental evidence suggests that living organisms are using quantum mechanics in a sophisticated fashion to enhance the efficiency of photosynthesis. Bacteria are essentially performing a quantum computation to extract energy from light. I will show how plants and bacteria perform quantum information processing, and will discuss how living creatures engage in all sorts of quantum hanky-panky in their efforts to survive and reproduce.


Mercredi oct 06, 2010

Isaac Newton is known today as one of the most profound scientists to have ever lived. Newton's discoveries in physics, optics, and mathematics overturned a variety of fundamental beliefs about nature and reshaped science in ways that are still powerfully with us. But this is only part of Newton's fascinating story. Research over the last generation has revealed that the famous scientist spent over thirty years composing, transcribing, and expounding alchemical texts, resulting in a mass of papers totaling about a million manuscript words.


Mercredi juin 02, 2010

The Bell Curve is an extremely beautiful and elegant mathematical object that turns up – often in surprising ways – in all spheres of human life. The Curve was first used by astronomers to correct errors in their observations, but it soon found important applications in the social and medical sciences in the eighteen hundreds. Some philosophers believe that a new kind of human being was created around this time largely due to the growth of statistical reasoning in the arts and sciences. Dr.