Lecture Seasons


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Lecture Season 2006-2007

 Three Easy Pieces: Examples of Chaos in the Solar System
Chaos frustrates our ability to predict the future from knowledge of the present. Weather prediction and human behavior are prime examples. I will explain the origin of chaos by considering the swing of a pendulum. Then I will describe the role it plays in unpredictable orbits, in climate variations on Mars, and in the transport of meteorites from the asteroid belt to Earth. The pendulum that underlies each example will be revealed. My presentation will include movies, demonstrations, and meteorites.
 Thursday, 8 February 2007    Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, Room 1305/07    8:00pm   Campus Map   Parking Info
Professor Peter Goldreich is one of the most prominent theoretical astrophysicists of our time. His work has provided fundamental theoretical insights for understanding the rotation of planets, the dynamics of Saturn's rings, pulsars, astrophysical masers, the spiral arms of galaxies, oscillations of the sun and white dwarfs, and astrophysical turbulence.
Many of his greatest contributions have been to our understanding of how planets form, migrate, and evolve. His studies are of great importance to investigations of the newly discovered planetary systems around other stars.
He completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University (Physics) in 1963, and after completing two years of postdoctoral research at Cambridge University, joined the Faculty of UCLA in 1964, and then on to Caltech. He remained in that institution until 2003. He is currently a professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Peter Goldreich's many honors include his early election to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (1972), the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society for preemninence in astronomical research (1979), the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1993), and the National Medal of Science (1995).

Website: http://www.sns.ias.edu/~pmg/