The Department of Physics at Portland State University invites you to attend the 2012 Mark Gurevitch Memorial Lecture Series
The Maggot in the Apple: Peaceful Coexistence of Incompatible Theories
with Dr. Michael Berry, Physics Department at Bristol University
Friday, June 1, 2012
5:15 p.m. - 6:15p.m.
Science Building 1, Room 107
Portland State University
In physics, as in science generally, most phenomena can be understood in more than one way: the gas in an engine obeys the laws of thermodynamics and also those of the motion of its molecules. The different theories correspond to different levels of description. These must overlap, but understanding their consilience is far from straightforward because they are usually based on seemingly incompatible concepts. The discordance arises from the fact, unappreciated until recently, that the limit in which the more general theory reduces to the less general (usually older) theory is mathematically singular. One consequence is a range of phenomena, of intense current interest, inhabiting the borderlands between the theories. I will explore this theme with examples from the physics of fluids, light and the quantum world.
Learn more about the Mark Gurevitch Lecture Series