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.
Nearly a century after their discovery, black holes remain one of the most striking, and problematic predictions of general relativity. Even more unsettling is the fact that they actually appear to exist! With only a handful of exceptions, every galaxy contains a supermassive behemoth, millions to billions as massive as the sun, at their center. These supermassive black holes are hardly incidental, they gravitationally power enormous outflows that rule the fates of their hosts.
The world around holds amazing properties. What is even more amazing
is that we are able to understand them, to control them, and turn them
in to technologies. From fire to electricity and magnetism, these
properties have been tamed and have transformed society. But what is
What are the properties of nature that will be tamed in the 21st century and impact all of us? Dr. Raymond Laflamme
will describe how the quantum world behaves, share the latest
While quantum mechanics is an immensely powerful and precise theory which seems to describe everything in the world, its insistence on only predicting what happens when we make "measurements" has left scientists and philosophers alike puzzled - as David Mermin summarized one of Einstein's concerns, "Is the moon there when nobody looks?" Dr.
Based on her book, The Calculus Diaries, join, Jennifer Ouellette as she shows how calculus can be applied to everything from gas mileage, diet, the rides at Disneyland, surfing in Hawaii, shooting craps in Vegas and warding off zombies. Even the mathematically challenged, can-and-should learn the fundamentals of the universal language.
What is time? Is our perception of time passing an illusion which hides a deeper, timeless reality? Or is it real, indeed, the most real aspect of our experience of the world? Einstein said that "the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion," and many contemporary theorists agree that time emerges from a more fundamental timeless quantum universe. But, in recent cosmological speculation, this timeless picture of nature seems to have reached a dead end, populated by infinite numbers of imagined unobservable universes.
Gravitational waves are "ripples of space-time" that were predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity almost a century ago. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) now pushes the frontiers of science and engineering to try and catch these waves for the first time. This will allow us to explore the last dance of pairs of neutron stars colliding to give birth to a black hole and other astrophysical events in a way humans never have before. Dr.
Curiosity is often said to drive science, but until the seventeenth century – the age of
the so-called Scientific Revolution – it was regarded with suspicion and
condemnation. What happened to liberate curiosity? Why did no question seem too
vast or trivial to be ruled out of bounds? And what does the freedom to be
curious really mean for science today?