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The past successes of Einstein's classical General Relativity have raised deep and difficult problems, involving global differential geometry and the theory of hyperbolic differential equations, whose solution would throw light on the evolution of black holes and the nature of space-time singularities. The solution of many of these physical problems requires the development of a quantum theory of gravity. This would inevitably involve ideas from differential geometry and related branches of mathematics, and it also poses fundamental questions concerning the scope and general formalism of quantum theory. The programme will bring together mathematicians and theoretical physicists working on both classical and quantum aspects of these problems to clarify the mathematical and physical questions that need addressing, and to contribute to their resolution.
The programme falls into four overlapping sub-programmes. Work on these sub-programmes will be most active during the following periods. Mathematical Foundations of Gravity ( January-March), Quantum Cosmology (April-May), Black Hole Physics (May-June) and Twistor Theory (April May-June). The following lecture series and meetings have been arranged:
A series of 10 Lectures by S T Yau (Harvard) at 11.30-12.30 and 2.30-3.30 on Tue 4, Wed 5, Thu 6, Fri 7 and Mon 10 January.
A series of 16 lectures by Alain Connes (College de France) at 10.30-11.20 and 11.40-12.30 on Thu 13, Tue 18, Thu 20, Tue 25 and Thu 27 January and Tue 1, Thu 3 and Tue 8 February.
To be held from Mon 28 to Thu 31 March. Contributions will include:
A series of 6 public lectures at 5 pm on Mon 25, Wed 27 April and Fri 29 and Mon 2, Wed 4 and Fri 6 May given alternately by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose followed by a debate between the two lecturers on Mon 9 May. [ Venue to be announced. ]
A one-day meeting on Sat 7 May with talks by members of the editorial board of Classical and Quantum Gravity and others.
A three-day workshop funded by the EC and organised by John Charap on Mon 20 to Wed 22 June.
The following are expected to participate in the programme for the periods indicated:
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INI is a creative collaborative space which is occupied by up to fifty-five mathematical scientists at any one time (and many more when there is a workshop). Some of them may not have met before and others may not realise the relevance of other research to their own work.
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“A world famous place for research in the mathematical sciences with a reputation for efficient management and a warm welcome for visitors”
The Isaac Newton Institute is a national and international visitor research institute. It runs research programmes on selected themes in mathematics and the mathematical sciences with applications over a wide range of science and technology. It attracts leading mathematical scientists from the UK and overseas to interact in research over an extended period.
INI has a vital national role, building on many strengths that already exist in UK universities, aiming to generate a new vitality through stimulating and nurturing research throughout the country.During each scientific programme new collaborations are made and ideas and expertise are exchanged and catalysed through lectures, seminars and informal interaction, which the INI building has been designed specifically to encourage.
For INI’s knowledge exchange arm, please see the Newton Gateway to Mathematics.
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