Woensdag 17 november 2010
Spreker: 
Simon Brain (Radboud Universiteit)

Titel: 
Elements and Applications of Twistor Theory

Tijd: 
11:00  12:00

Plaats: 
HG01.028

Vanaf kwart voor 11 is er koffie en thee voor de zaal.
Abstract
Twistors were introduced in the late 1960s by Sir Roger Penrose, with the aim
of finding a suitable geometric formalism for the union of quantum theory and
general relativity. Penrose's insight was to interpret the light rays
(null curves) in spacetime as being the fundamental objects, rather than the
points of spacetime itself. This allows for an elegant framework in which
complicated differential equations on spacetime are recast in terms of much
simpler algebraic equations on twistor space; a method which is similar in
spirit to the way the Fourier transform helps to solve differential equations
in dimension one.
In this talk I will try to give a friendly introduction to the basic elements
of twistor theory, followed by a short survey of some of the wideranging
applications it has found in mathematics and physics.