About Our Lectures
The Simons Foundation launched the Simons Foundation Lectures in 2013 with the intention of drawing area scientists and scholars together around diverse and important topics in mathematics, physics, computer science, life sciences and autism research.
What’s the longest sequence of steps you can create while guaranteeing your safety? If you’re two steps from death, the answer is 11. For three steps, the answer is 1,161. But what about for other numbers? This conundrum, the Erdős discrepancy problem, was conjectured by mathematician Paul Erdős in around 1932 and had gone unsolved for more than seven decades. In this lecture, Terence Tao will discuss his general solution to the problem, published last year, and its connections to the Chowla and Elliot conjectures in number theory. The solution incorporates mathematical tools from probability, number theory and information theory.
Ever since the invention of the laser more than 50 years ago, scientists have strived to create an X-ray laser. In the same way that visible lasers can concentrate light energy far better than a light bulb, a directed beam of X-rays would have many useful applications in medicine, security screening and the sciences.
In this lecture Jeff Harvey will discuss Moonshine, the Monster, and visions of a new synthesis of number theory, geometry and physics.
New abilities with laser light have enabled us to create and probe atomic gases at ultralow temperatures, forming the basis of atomic clocks accurate to 18 decimal places. This talk will discuss the history of such advanced clocks and how they are used to test fundamental laws of nature, search for new physics and create a range of technologies.