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The Royal Irish Academy's Hamilton Lecture with Sir Roger Penrose

The Royal Irish Academy hosts the Annual Hamiltonian Lecture
  • Location: Dublin
  • Adult Groups
When Oct 16, 2013
from 07:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College, 152-160 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
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Booking information for this event can be found here.

Sir Roger Penrose is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University. He is a renowned promoter of the popularisation of maths and science in the UK.

He will be presenting a paper to mark the Royal Irish Academy's commemoration of Hamilton on October 16th.

His paper is entitled "Twistor Theory: A Developing Hamiltonian Legacy," and an abstract is included below:

"When, in 1843, Hamilton scratched the basic equations for quaternions on the stonework of Dublin’s Broome Bridge, his brilliant algebraic representation of Euclidean 3-space initiated a role for a non-commutative algebra (ab≠ba), and a fourth dimension, into the description of physics. Through subsequent work by Clifford, Minkowski, Cartan, Heisenberg, Dirac, and many others, Hamilton’s insights were developed in numerous ways, often taking his initial innovations in unexpected directions.

One such development was the theory of twistors, initiated in 1963 as a geometric algebra for the description of physics within Minkowski’s space-time 4-geometry. Though well suited to treating massless particles and fields, twistor theory attracted little attention from the physics community until the early 21st century, when it was found useful for describing the scattering of particles at very high energies. Yet, the theory remained obstructed from its ability to address the gauge forces of particle physics and Einstein’s general relativity, by the so-called “googly problem”, which limited its applicability to left-handed rather than right-handed interactions. A recent development opens a novel route to a solution, using Hamilton’s non-commutativity in an unexpected way."


This event is sponsored by The Irish Times and Arup.