Architecture, Structure and the Geometry of Equilibrium
Geometry is at the intersection of architecture and structure; structures are driven by physics. In this talk, we will explore how the geometry of buildings and bridges respond to the forces of nature. We will even show how one can derive some basic building forms using only a pencil, ruler and straight edge.
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The lecture series is supported by the College Curricular Innovation Fund and organized in cooperation with the Art, Science + Culture Initiative at The University of Chicago. For information on the lecturers, see the attached pdf file.
Physics & Contemporary Architecture Guest Lecture Series
Gary Horowitz, University of California, Santa Barbara
Black Holes and Spacetime Singularities
One of the most profound predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity is the existence of black holes. Despite recent data coming from gravitational wave detectors and the Event Horizon Telescope, there are still fundamental mysteries about these objects. I will start by describing some of these mysteries and recent progress toward understanding them, but then turn to something even more exotic. Inside black holes are spacetime singularities: regions where general relativity breaks down and must be replaced by a quantum theory of gravity. It may be possible for these singularities to also occur outside black holes, where they could be seen by distant observers. I will describe some attempts to find examples of these so-called “naked” singularities.
Rigid or flexible particles suspended in viscoelastic fluids are ubiquitous in the food industry (e.g. pastes), industrial molding applications (all composites and 3-D printed parts), the energy industry (e.g. fracking fluids), and biological fluids (i.e. swimming of bacteria in mucous). The mathematical description of these suspensions is in its infancy. For example, the foundational work in Newtonian suspensions was accomplished by Einstein in 1905 , but that same calculation in an elastic fluid appeared in 2018 (!) However, the real breakthrough has been the development of a computational simulation of such viscoelastic suspensions, with particle level resolution. These simulations will allow the principles which govern the simplest flows of such suspensions, which are now only beginning to be understood, to become elucidated in the next decade. I will describe a series of foundational problems that have now been analyzed using these new computational methods including comparison to existing experiments. I will then discuss those problems that represent “the next steps” in the field.
Shedding New Light on Photosynthetic Systems Using Multidimensional Spectroscopies
The primary events of photosynthesis occur on ultrafast timescales with high quantum efficiency. Elucidating the design principles of photosynthetic systems remains an outstanding challenge that has the potential to impact our design of artificial light-harvesting materials. I will demonstrate how multidimensional spectroscopy can address open questions about photosynthetic systems and describe our recent progress in developing and using these tools to probe the mechanisms of ultrafast energy conversion in natural photosynthetic systems. Host: Melissa Bodine, firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons who may need assistance please contact Brenda Thomas at email@example.com.