The Simons Foundation invites mathematicians, scientists and science lovers in the New York City area to its weekly lecture series, the Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures. These curated, high-level lectures are free to attend, and feature leading scientists and mathematicians discussing their work at the frontiers of research. The lectures aim to foster discourse and drive discovery among the local research community.
The Presidential Lectures focuses on four subjects: physics; mathematics and computer science; biology; and neuroscience and autism science. For 2023, lectures in each subject area will center on a particular theme:
The theme of the 2023 lecture series in physics is “The Third Quantum Revolution.” The first quantum revolution began with the discovery of quantum mechanics, which ultimately led to the invention of the transistor, the laser and the atomic clock. The second revolution enabled the control of small systems of particles and experimental demonstration of entanglement and non-locality — work that was recently recognized with the 2022 Nobel Prize in physics. We are now on the verge of a third quantum revolution, enabling the control of large quantum systems to forge previously unrealized quantum technologies. These talks will explore the many dimensions of this third revolution, from basic physics to quantum computing, communication and sensing.
The theme of the 2023 lecture series in mathematics and computer science is “Waves.” The equations that describe waves are crucial tools for understanding everything from how sound propagates to the behavior of quantum particles. This set of talks will explore the richness of the wave equation and its non-linear extensions in general relativity, particle physics, hydrodynamics, optics, quantum mechanics and electrodynamics.
The theme of the 2023 lecture series in biology is “Microbiomes.” Microscopic lifeforms live just about everywhere on Earth — in the deep ocean, suspended in the atmosphere and even in our planet’s interior. Microbial communities can even thrive within plants and animals, affecting the biology and biochemistry inside their hosts. On the environmental scale, microbial communities profoundly impact food chains, biogeochemical cycling and climate. This series of talks will explore microbiomes and their roles in specific hosts and environments.
The theme of the 2023 lecture series in neuroscience and autism science is “The Neuroscience of Sleep.” All animals need to sleep; it is essential to health and well-being, with many disease states disrupting sleep. Yet, despite its importance, the fundamental biological reasons and mechanisms for sleep remain poorly understood. This set of talks will explore the state of sleep science, including the mechanisms that initiate sleep, what happens in the brain during sleep, what happens when sleep is disordered and why sleep is necessary.