HUJI The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Edmund Landau Minerva Center for Research in Mathematical Analysis and Related Areas


Professor PERCY DEIFT (New York University)

will deliver three lectures on:


All physical systems in equilibrium obey the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, whatever the precise nature of the interaction between the atoms and molecules at the microscopic level, at the macroscopic level, physical systems exhibit universal behavior in the sense that they are all governed by the same laws and formulae of thermodynamics.
  1. Thursday, December 20, 2007
    In the FIRST talk the speaker will recount some recent history of universality ideas in physics starting with Wigner's model for the scattering of neutrons off large nuclei and show how these ideas have led mathematicians to investigate universal behavior for a variety of mathematical systems. This is true not only for systems which have a physical origin, but also for systems which arise in a purely mathematical context such as the Riemann hypothesis, and a version of the card game solitaire called patience sorting.

  2. Monday, December 24th, 2007
    Analytical Tools
    In the SECOND talk the speaker will describe some of the analytical tools that are used in analyzing some of the mathematical systems discussed in the first talk. The Riemann-Hilbert method plays a central role.

  3. Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
    Combinatorial Methods
    In the THIRD talk the speaker will describe some of the combinatorial and algebraic tools that are needed to analyze the above mathematical systems. Here the Robinson-Schensted-Knuth algorithm and the theory of non-intersecting paths play a key role.

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Last updated: July 10th, 2007

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