THE SHAW PRIZE LECTURE
Three Easy Pieces: Examples of Chaos in the Solar System
Date: September 12, 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 11 am (Light Refreshment from 10:30 am)
Venue: Wang Gungwu Lecture Hall, Graduate House,
The University of Hong Kong Map of Wang Gungwu Lecture Hall
Speaker: Professor Peter Goldreich
Winner of the Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2007
About the Speaker:
Professor Peter Goldreich is currently a Professor of the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and the Lee A DuBridge Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He became emeritus professor at Caltech in 2003.
Professor Goldreich was born in New York, USA. He received his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 1960 and his PhD in Physics in 1963. Before joining the faculty at Caltech, he was an assistant professor of Astronomy and Geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1964 to 1966. He is a member of US National Academy of Sciences.
Chaos frustrates our ability to predict the future from knowledge of the present. Weather prediction and human behavior are prime examples. Professor Goldreich will explain the origin of chaos by considering the swing of a pendulum. Then he will describe the role it plays in unpredictable orbits, in climate variations on Mars, and in the transport of meteorites from the asteroid belt to Earth. The pendulum that underlies each example will be revealed. His presentation will include movies, demonstrations, and meteorites.