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 04, 2013

We can set foot on faraway planets, in a sense, by exploring the world beneath our
feet. Underground caves provide unique insights into what we might find beneath
alien landscapes. We are studying caves on Earth to understand how they
form, the spectacular minerals they produce, and the unusual creatures – from
microbes to vertebrates – that thrive in them.

By understanding the caves of our own planet, we can use them as models for the
subsurfaces of other planets. This work provides insights into the lava tubes


Wednesday Nov 27, 2013

Derek Muller from YouTube's Veritasium will present a webcast on Wednesday November 27, 2013 at 7pm EST from the Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas at Perimeter Institute.Derek will discuss the question: Do videos really improve student learning? Derek’s PhD in physics education research suggests the answer may be no! In this one hour talk, he will share insights from his research as well as the incredible physics phenomena he has captured for his YouTube channel.Derek Muller created the popular YouTube channel Veritasium in January 2011.


Wednesday Nov 06, 2013

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.

Scientific Areas: 


Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

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
coming up?
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


Wednesday Jun 05, 2013

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.

Scientific Areas: 


Wednesday May 01, 2013

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.


Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

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.  

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Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

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.


Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

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?