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Saturday Mornings of Theoretical Physics events
The practical objective of improving steam engines led to an impressive level of abstract thinking during the development of thermodynamics.
A major theme in current theoretical physics is understanding the implications of quantum mechanics for the dynamics of composite systems. When sub-systems interact, they naturally become correlated.
Who can fail to be impressed by the grand sweep of spiral arms across the face of a galaxy? Look deeper and galaxies also pose fascinating problems in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.
Superfluidity and superconductivity -- the flow of matter or electrical current without friction -- are the two most spectacular manifestations of quantum mechanics at a macroscopic scale, and the understanding of these phenomena is one of the great achievements of quantum theory applied
The flow of liquids and gases is described by the Navier-Stokes equation
The properties of all forms of matter, from the most mundane to the most exotic kinds produced in advanced laboratories, are consequences of the laws of quantum mechanics.
For half a century physicists have explored and developed "string theory" which continues to be a major area of theoretical physics research today. What is string theory, and why are theoretical physicists willing to devote their lives to it?