Distinguished Lecture

Abels Proof: Solving the Unsolvable

Peter Pesic

Professor
St. Johns College
 
Thursday, March 23, 2006
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Room 1500 EECS Building

 

About the Event

In 1824, the young Niels Abel proved that algebraic equations of the fifth degree and higher are not, in general, solvable in radicals, arguably the first "impossibility proof" in modern mathematics. The story behind Abel's proof reaches back to Greek mathematics and opens a new perspective on the emergence of modern mathematics, how we understand it, and its larger significance in human thought.

Biography

Peter Pesic studied physics at Harvard and Stanford, where he received his doctorate, worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, taught, and was active as a pianist. Presently Tutor and Musician-in-Residence at St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM, he has written many articles on science and music as well as four books: /Labyrinth: A Search for the Hidden Meaning of Science/ (2000), /Seeing Double: Physics, Philosophy, and Literature/ (2002), /Abel's Proof: An Essay on the Sources and Meaning of Mathematical Unsolvability/ (2003), and /Sky in a Bottle/ (2005), all published by MIT Press.

Additional Information

Event Sponsor: General Dynamics Distinguished Lecture / EECS500 Tutorial

Open to: Public