During 2012 the Newton Institute organised a number of events to celebrate its 20th anniversary. A focal point was the Celebration Day held at the Institute in July.

Title Speaker Date Location
The Spectral Point of View on Geometry and Physics Alain Connes 18 April 2012 Cardiff University
The Automorphism Tower Problem for Groups Joel Hamkins 20 April 2012 University of Bristol
Who’s Afraid of Higher Spin Theories? Rajesh Gopakumar 4 May 2012 Durham University
The Edges of the Universe: Black Holes, Horizons and Strings Andrew Strominger 9 May 2012 The Royal Society
Biological Switching Algorithms Luca Cardelli 16 July 2012 Liverpool John Moores University
Classical Holonomy; some physics of round trips John Hannay 2 October 2012 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Pickavance Lecture Theatre
Virtual Knot Theory Louis H. Kauffman 17 October 2012 Warwick University
Scientific Computing Methods behind Tsunami Early Warning Jörn Behrens 9 November 2012 University of Bath
Applications of Geometric Mechanics: Rigid Bodies, Fluids, Liquid Crystals, KdV, Teichmüller Geodesics Tudor Ratiu 3 December 2012 Glasgow University

20th Anniversary Lecture Series

During 2012 the Institute organised a special lecture series entitled ‘Newton Institute 20th Anniversary Lecture Series’. The Institute sponsored lectures around the UK which were given by participants on the Institute programme.

The following lectures were organised:

Murderous Maths with Kjartan Poskitt

Saturday 24 March 2012. 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Isaac Newton Institute, Seminar Room 1

An entertaining, interactive and hilarious look at the wonderful world of maths.

Ever wondered how to make your birthday twice as long or how to cut something in half but keep it in one piece? Join Kjartan Poskitt, author of the acclaimed “Murderous Maths” series for an hour of hilarious mathematical fun with flexagons, magic squares, strange number facts, knots, tricks, codes, amazing number predictions and much more. Lots of audience participation required!

Ages 8+.

Watch the the web seminar of Murderous Maths with Kjartan Poskitt

Intersections: Henry Moore and Stringed Surfaces

From 5 April to 20 June 2012

The Royal Society, London

This exhibition is a partnership between the Newton Institute, Henry Moore Foundation, the Science Museum and the Royal Society and explores the inspirational encounter with the nineteenth century mathematical stringed surfaces of Théodore Olivier and their influence on the work of the young Henry Moore.

Through shared, yet at times opposing, approaches to a simple string, the exhibition explores fascinating intersections between mathematics and art. ‘Intersections’ will bring these two forms of visual representation together for the first time, providing us with a rare opportunity to think with the sculptor and gain insight into his imagination.

As Moore himself has stated on several occasions, the use of string in his sculpture, which began in 1937, was uniquely influenced by seeing models at the Science Museum in London:

“I was fascinated by the mathematical models I saw there, which had been made to illustrate the difference of the form that is halfway between a square and a circle. One model had a square at one end with 20 holes along each side. Through these holes rings were threaded and lead to a circle with the same number of holes at the other end. A plane interposed through the middle shows the form that is halfway between a square and a circle. It wasn’t the scientific study of these models but the ability to look through the strings as with a bird cage and see one form within the other which excited me.”

From this particular encounter, ‘Intersections’ is also an exhibition about how individuals, from diverse disciplines, universally think through problems visually in order to discover new forms and results. More widely, through our own encounter with these strange and beautiful works of mathematics and art we glimpse a shared conversation between these separate disciplines, and find creativity common to both.

There is public access to the exhibition by arrangement with the Royal Society. Please telephone 020 7451 2606 to arrange your visit or ask at the main reception desk at the Royal Society.

Exhibition Catalogue

The launch event on the 4 April will be introduced by Professor Dawn Ades FBA OBE followed by a lecture entitled Intersection of Mathematics and Art by John Barrow (Cambridge). Attendance at the launch event and lecture is by invitation only.

The Edges of the Universe: Black Holes, Horizons and Strings

9 May 2012 6.30-7.30pm

The Royal Society, London

The Rothschild Visiting Professor Andrew Strominger (Harvard) will deliver a lecurure entitled “The Edges of the Universe: Black Holes, Horizons and Strings” at the Royal Society as part of the Strings and Henry Moore exhibition.

The visible universe has edges, known as event horizons, which surround a black hole or a region of space speeding away faster than light. Event horizons are governed by a strikingly simple set of quantum laws which imply that black holes are at once the simplest and most complex objects in the physical universe. As discovered four decades ago by Bekenstein and Hawking this dichotomy underlies a deep paradox, the resolution of which has become a focal point of modern physics. Unexpectedly, insight into this paradox has recently been gained from string theory. This lecture will give an elementary account of these developments.

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6.00pm and seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis. See the Royal Society webpage for further details.

Download the flyer for the event 

Celebration Day to mark the Inauguration of the Institute

11 July 2012

Isaac Newton Institute

On 11 July the Institute is holding a number of special events to mark the anniversary of the inauguration of the Institute.Some events will be open to the public and further details will be posted here when available.

2.00pm: Doors open

3.30pm: Former Deputy Director of the Institute Peter Goddard (Director, IAS Princeton) will give a general talk on the early history of the Institute. Watch the video

4.30pm: Tea and 20th Anniversary Celebration cake.

5.00pm: A talk suitable for a general scientific audience entitled Randomness, the Continuum and Reality will be given by Wendelin Werner (Fields Medal 2006) who was a Leibniz Fellow at the Institute. Watch the video

6.00pm: Wine reception.

There will be a small display of materials relating the early days of the Institute such as architects drawings, photographs and models. There will also be a number of audio visual presentations about the Institute and the science and mathematicians that it supports.

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