PSU Mark
Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

Meeting Details

For more information about this meeting, contact Sergei Tabachnikov.

Title:Discovering and proving theorems by physical reasoning
Seminar:MASS Colloquium
Speaker:Mark Levi, Penn State
Abstract:
Physics often provides mathematics not only with a problem, but also with the idea of a solution. Some calculus problems can be solved more quickly without calculus, by using physics instead. A few examples of such problems will be given in a part of this talk. In addition to these problems, quite a few theorems which may seem somewhat mysterious become completely obvious when given a proper physical incarnation. This is the case for both ``elementary" theorems (the Pythagorean theorem, Pappus' theorems, some trig identities, and many, many more) and the less elementary ones: Noether's theorem, the preservation of Poincare's integral invariants, the Gauss-Bonnet theorem, the Riemann Mapping Theorem, Green's theorem, Moser's theorem on uniformization of density, etc. (no familiarity with any of these is assumed). I will describe a miscellaneous sampling from the above list, according to the audience's interest. No background beyond calculus and basic mechanics will be assumed in this talk.

Room Reservation Information

Room Number:MB113
Date:10 / 01 / 2009
Time:02:30pm - 03:20pm