Woensdag 17 november 2010
||Simon Brain (Radboud Universiteit)
||Elements and Applications of Twistor Theory
||11:00 - 12:00
Vanaf kwart voor 11 is er koffie en thee voor de zaal.
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 space-time as being the fundamental objects, rather than the
points of space-time itself. This allows for an elegant framework in which
complicated differential equations on space-time 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 wide-ranging
applications it has found in mathematics and physics.