BHI Colloquium


Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 1:30pm to 2:30pm


BHI Meeting Room

Peter Hintz (MIT)

Title: Recent developments in Strong Cosmic Censorship

Abstract: Penrose's Strong Cosmic Censorship (SCC) conjecture is a statement about the uniqueness of solutions of Einstein's field equations. It predicts that spacetimes generically become singular at Cauchy horizons. Such horizons exist deep inside of many black hole spacetimes, including Kerr and Reissner--Nordström spacetimes, and are expected to exist also for dynamical black holes. A failure of SCC would permit an observer to travel into such a black hole, cross the Cauchy horizon unharmed, and enter a region of spacetime which is no longer uniquely predicted by Einstein's field equations; thus, SCC is intimately tied to the deterministic nature of General Relativity. I will explain SCC in some detail, and survey recent rigorous as well as numerical results which provide evidence for and against SCC in various settings.


Matthew Stanley (NYU)

Title: Einstein's War: How World War I Made Relativity

Abstract: Einstein’s ascent to worldwide celebrity was, in large part, not his own doing. The 1919 confirmation of the German Einstein’s theory of general relativity by British astronomers soon after the end of the First World War made him an emblem of how science could rise above nationalism and petty patriotism.  But in fact international science – and relativity with it – was nearly shattered by the war. It was only the dedicated efforts of pacifist scientists, chiefly A.S. Eddington, that pulled both Einstein and his theory from behind the trenches and onto the front pages of newspapers around the globe.

See also: Math, Philosophy