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.
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Saturday Mornings of Theoretical Physics events
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?
The power of available computers has now grown exponentially for many decades. The ability to discover numerically the implications of equations and models has opened our eyes to previously hidden aspects of physics and greatly extended the range of phenomena to which the concepts of physics can be applied.
The most recent Morning of Theoretical Physics introduced Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (GR) published exactly a century ago. Despite strenuous efforts to replace it with a theory consistent with quantum mechanics, Einstein's theory remains the best available account of gravity.
‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics’ - Richard Feynman. The seventh Morning of Theoretical Physics was devoted to the idea of quantum computation and the strange behaviour of certain types of fundamental particle.
The speakers at this Morning of Theoretical Physics discussed how ideas from theoretical particle physics guide the high energy accelerator programme at CERN.
The fifth Saturday Morning of Theoretical Physics saw three talks discussing ideas from theoretical physics are currently being applied to Black Holes.
The fourth installment of the Mornings of Theoretical Physics was devoted to the physics of plasma – the fourth state of matter, the fabric of much of the visible universe (from stars to galaxies to intergalactic space), the fuel of fusion reactors – and a relatively recent addition to the core activities of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics.
At this event the speakers examined the implications of recent astrophysical experiments for physics beyond the Standard Model, considering the connections between cosmology and particle theory.
The physics of living matter was explored in this second event: addressing current ideas surrounding active materials - such as cells and microorganisms - and systems, discussing how these systems naturally provide a testing ground for theories of non-equilibrium statistical physics, and how evolution finds solutions in hyper-astronomically large search spaces.