April 9, 2013

"Predicting The Future on Timescales
from Milliseconds to Billions of Years"

Greg Laughlin, Ph.D.
Professor, Astronomy & Astrophysics,
UC Santa Cruz

April 9, 2013
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

It’s all about "prediction".

Greg Laughlin and a collaborator captured the world’s attention in 1999 when they announced they had identified the five ages of the universe. Is it possible to know the universe’s life story from beginning to end? More generally, which kinds of events can be predicted with confidence, and which types cannot? In this talk, Laughlin will delve into four systems that display varying degrees of predictability:

(1) The so-called "Pythagorean Three-Body Problem"

(2) The stock market

(3) The weather

(4) The ultimate orbital stability of the solar system

These examples span wildly disparate phenomenon, but are united by a handful of very interesting and fundamental physical principles.

Learn about Laughlin's work and research interests.