In keeping with the enthusiasm of the incoming total solar eclipse, I want to revive my presentation at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific annual meeting last year on this very topic The eclipse that changed the picture of the universe. Here is the abstract, and linked to it is its utube video (find in the widget area of the blog). I recorded the video after the talk, and so the discussion following the talk is missing in this video.
The Eclipse that Changed the Picture of the Universe
The distinguished total solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, gave new window to the universe. That eclipse truly stood as Einstein favoring cosmic phenomenon, authenticating his general theory of relativity; that the spacetime is conformed via gravity, upending the hitherto upheld Newtonian picture—gravity as force between masses. The bending of light due to mass that the eclipse captured reformed our understanding: from spacetime dynamics to black holes to the recently detected gravitational waves. [Video]
My recent visit to Mathfest 2017 (Mathematical Association of America annual meeting) was interesting and inciting, and there will be opportunities to discuss the sessions in detail here. Following the meeting it occurred to me that there wasn’t a talk that addressed total solar eclipse. Surely a conversation of total solar eclipse in the context of mathematics would have been captivating in the spirit of all the current anticipation of the show of 21st August. I could have brought up in my own talk. And yes, mathematics can very well be seen in the context. The dynamics of total solar eclipse lets us capture the mathematics of spacetime geometry; which we call Einstein’s general relativity in physics.
I have just uploaded my talk Exposing general audience to the voice of mathematics. Here is its abstract, and the video (find it in the widget area, just following the ASP talk).
Exposing general audience to the voice of mathematics
Under the theme of “Pursuit of Truth” at Saint Louis University I tried to shape up a TEDx talk on the subject of mathematics. From my perspective there isn’t a better subject to address reality than mathematics. Catching me off-guard, a facilitator in the rehearsal round frustratingly snapped for not to be able to follow anything. I scrambled to revamp the talk starting with plain and basic, such as squared and cubed number depictions, then moving to formulations of reality—first simpler of classical mechanics then more complex renderings, such as Dirac equation—to notice the audience cheerfully draw in into the farther intricacies of mathematics as detailed as the expressions in general relativity and quantum field. Foundational concepts and fitting analogies seems to be the key to garner enthusiasm [Video]
A few important links on the impending total solar eclipse: NASA; Being in the shadow; Great American Eclipse. And if you have some time before you embark on to glimpse this rare cosmic show, Sun Moon Earth by Tyler Nordgren would be worth a read.
Happy eclipse viewing!