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.

 

Wednesday Dec 14, 2011
Speaker(s): 

Apart from Einstein, Paul Dirac was probably the greatest theoretical physicist of the twentieth century. Dirac, co-inventor of the most revolutionary theory for 150 years 'quantum mechanics' is now best known for conceiving of anti-matter in his head and also for his deeply eccentric behaviour. For him, the most important attribute of a fundamental theory was its mathematical beauty, an idea that he said was 'almost a religion' to him. In this talk, Farmelo will argue that this obsession originated in his early life and training as an engineer and mathematician.

 

Wednesday Nov 02, 2011
Speaker(s): 

Black holes are hot! This discovery made by Stephen Hawking ties together gravity, spacetime, quantum matter, and thermal systems into the beautiful and exciting science of "Black Hole Thermodynamics". Its beauty lies in the powerful way it speaks of the unity of physics. The excitement arises because it tells us that there is something lacking in our understanding of spacetime and, at the same time, gives us a major clue as to what the missing ingredient should be.

 

Sunday Sep 18, 2011
Speaker(s): 

With a background in computer and systems engineering as well as language processing and automatic speech recognition, Ms. Payette was selected from a pool of 5,330 candidates to become a Canadian astronaut, focusing on technical issues in robotics. Today, following her amazing professional career and numerous life experiences, Ms. Payette is veteran of two missions to the International Space Station as a crew member and Flight Engineer.

 

Sunday Sep 18, 2011
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The world's most ambitious scientific experiment is buried 100 meters underground, straddling Switzerland and France. A billion times every minute, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) slams together protons, while four giant detectors watch closely.

Scientific Areas: 

 

Sunday Sep 18, 2011
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Learn about the future of “3D Printers” – machines that will fabricate arbitrary-shaped parts, layer by layer. Dr. Lipson will share a history of these technologies and preview a future in which we continue to gain unprecedented control over physical matter. If humans distinguish themselves from their evolutionary ancestors by making tools, then how might the ultimate tools – involving additive manufacturing – impact human culture forever? Dr. Lipson explores the science, technology and potential of programmable matter.

 

Sunday Sep 18, 2011
Speaker(s): 

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.

 

Wednesday Jun 01, 2011
Speaker(s): 

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

 

Wednesday May 04, 2011
Speaker(s): 

Imagine medicine that is predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory

 

Wednesday Apr 06, 2011
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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.

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Wednesday Mar 02, 2011
Speaker(s): 

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.

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