home > seminars 2010 > Hubsch

 

Prof. Tristan Hübsch

Department of Physics & Astronomy, Howard University

 

November 17, 3:30 PM

Thirkield Hall (Physics), room 103

 

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Physics is Found There

Mirror duality is one of the hallmarks of the string theory, which distinguishes it from any conceivable point-particle theory; it makes the theory better behaved and limits the parameter space to a less indefinite (perhaps even finite) object of study. Mirror symmetry is also tremendously useful, as it can render models exactly solvable, and will also produce minor and major mathematical miracles along the way. With nearly half a billion (!) constructions over the past quarter of a century, this is “experimental mathematics” and provides a hitherto unprecedented synergy between physics and mathematics—complete with crazy conjectures, hilarious hunches, preposterous presumptions and strange speculations. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov: “The harbinger of new science is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘Now, that's strange!?’”

In this talk, I will describe one such “strange speculation” which took 17 years of neglect and inattention to grow into a fine, upstanding theorem.

 

Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm