# Physics & Astronomy Colloquium
3:30 PM, Friday, October 24, 2008
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building
** Prof. Percy Deift**
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York
*Universality for Mathematical and Physical Systems *
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.
The speaker will recount some recent history of universality ideas in
Physics starting with Wigner's model for th 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 sstmes which arise
in a purely mathematical context such as the Riemann hypothesis and,
and a version of the card game solitaire called patience sorting.
Refreshments will be served in CP 155 at 3:15 PM |