Psych Central

Top scientific speakers and wide variety of experts gather at Perimeter Institute


Special October series examines physics in depth - from Einstein and his times to today's cutting-edge research and future directions


Displays and Exhibitions – Free.
Advance tickets can be reserved for entry date at a set time and are recommended.

Produced by Jessica Bradley, former curator at The National Gallery of Canada, the festival's interactive displays and exhibitions will be found throughout Perimeter Institute's award-winning building and will include:

  • The Wright Brother's Flyer replica and displays on early flight from the Smithsonian Institution (Washington) and Discovery of Flight Foundation (Virginia)
  • Einstein archival materials from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • 1903 Redpath automobile from The Canadian Automotive Museum
  • Marconi archival material from The Hammond Museum of Radio

Lectures in the Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas – Free. Tickets are required. Advance ticket ordering recommended.

  • List of speakers and abstracts follow.

Physica Phantastica Centre – Free.
Advance tickets can be reserved for entry date at a set time and are recommended.

Based on Perimeter Institute's eye-opening outreach programmes that reach schools across Canada, this interactive component of the festival includes:

  • Science history and experiments in the Physica Phantastica Centre
  • Hands-on displays demonstrating transformative accomplishments throughout history

Bistro Banter in the Black Hole Bistro – Free.
No advance tickets. Seating is limited.

Bistro Jazz in the Black Hole Bistro – $10 cover charge.
No advance tickets. Seating is limited.

Performances in the Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas
Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.

Complete details on Einstenfest can also be found at

Chronological Order of Events

Opening Night - Friday, September 30, 2005

The 20th century's most famous scientist was also a lover of music with a passion for the violin. We open EinsteinFest with a tribute the man and the times performed by one of today's pre-eminent concert violinists.

7:30 pm: Homage to Einstein
James Ehnes, violin
Eduard Laurel, piano

Mozart Sonata in G Major, Op. 378
Bartσk Sonata No. 1
Prokofiev Five Melodies, Op. 35
Brahms Sonata in A Major, Op. 100

9:30 pm: Bistro Jazz – The Joe Sealy/Paul Novotny Duo

First Week – The Science

Saturday, October 1--Friday, October 7, 2005

In six short months, Albert Einstein published five papers that led physics - and thereby, the world - into the modern era. Explore Einstein's momentous theories with special guest speakers including John S. Rigden, Honorary Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of the critically acclaimed Einstein 1905, The Standard of Greatness.

Saturday, October 1

10 am – 6pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 6pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open

10 am: Setting the Stage for 1905 – The 19th Century: Physics Becomes Queen of the Sciences and Part of Culture
John S. Rigden, Washington University
The achievements of 19th century physicists stand shoulder to shoulder with those of their 20th century successors. Physics, per se, did not exist in 1800, but a century later, physics not only existed, but was regarded as the model for all sciences. During the 19th century, the physics that dominates current introductory textbooks was brought to completion. Electricity and magnetism, two separate domains of Nature, were united as electromagnetism; the laws of thermodynamics were established; the kinetic theory of matter was developed in its current form; and the nature of light, the crowning achievement of 19th century physics, was demonstrated to be an electromagnetic wave. The substantive achievements were stunning. But more than the technical successes, 19th century physicists made the subject part of the larger culture.

12 noon: The Cultural Climate of Einstein's Europe around 1905
Stephen Kern, Ohio State University
Stephen Kern will set the stage for the miracle year with an examination of the general cultural climate surrounding Einstein's publications of 1905. Taking the fact that Einstein's most important paper begins with a discussion of simultaneity, Kern will consider how a variety of developments in the culture of the period involved a reworking of the experience of time and space, creating new ways of thinking about and experiencing simultaneity. Novelists developed new writing strategies to capture the simultaneity of events in new urban centers, painters rendered simultaneous views of frontal and profiled views of a single face, cinematic editing made it possible to offer moviegoers a sense of several things happening at once with *last minute rescues,* even dramatists staged simultaneous actions on stage at the same time. Poets created simultaneous poetry, and journalists characterized it as an age of simultaneity. The entire world was becoming coordinated temporally with the introduction of World Standard Time based on solar readings in at the Greenwich Observatory in England, relayed electronically to the Eiffel Tower and then beamed around the world electronically by telegraph over land and even to ships at sea made possible by the new wireless. The most dramatic simultaneous event of the period, the first truly international event, was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, which was a trans-Atlantic simultaneous drama on the high seas made possible by the coordinated action of the wireless, ham radio transmission, telegraph and mass circulation newspaper.

2:00 pm: Einstein Inside Out - for Ages 10 – 14
Damian Pope, Perimeter Institute Director of Scientific Outreach
Just who was Albert Einstein? And what did he achieve? This talk introduces his amazing discoveries and examines where curiosity can lead you.

4:00 pm: March 1905: Einstein's Revolutionary Quantum Paper
John S. Rigden, Washington University
Einstein's March paper, the only paper that Einstein himself called revolutionary, directly challenged the firm beliefs of all physicists. With compelling evidence in their support, physicists regarded the nature of light as a closed chapter: light was a continuous electromagnetic wave. Einstein countered this entrenched belief with the claim that light was a stream of discontinuous, isolated particles. The age-old conundrum of continuity vs. discontinuity was again called into play. Einstein's contemporaries totally rejected his idea and they even apologized for his having "gone overboard." In the end, however, Einstein's light particle became part of the woodwork of physics.

8:00 pm: Bistro Jazz – The Guido Basso Quartet

Sunday, October 2

10 am – 5pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 5pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open

10 am: April and May 1905: Witnessing Atoms
John S. Rigden, Washington University
In 1905, there were prominent scientists who did not believe in atoms. Einstein did. His April and May papers were motivated in part to support the concept of atoms. The April paper, Einstein's dissertation and one of his most cited papers, shows how the dimensions of a sugar molecule, suspended in water, can be determined. His method had many practical applications, hence the citations. In the May paper, a pollen particle took the place of a sugar molecule. For decades, the irregular, zigzagging motion of pollen particles was a mystery. In a paper that is magic, Einstein showed how, with a simple ruler and a stopwatch, one could witness atoms at work and prove their existence.

12 noon: Einstein's Science Demystified – Ages 15 and up
Damian Pope, Perimeter Institute Director of Scientific Outreach
This talk will take you on a tour through the mind of Albert Einstein, focussing on his discoveries of 1905 and the vital role his theories play in many of today's technologies.

2:00 pm: June and September 1905: Reshaping Space, Time and Energy
John S. Rigden, Washington University
Few, if any, papers have attracted as much attention as Einstein's June paper on the Special Theory of Relativity and no equation of physics has become part of common discourse except for the equation Einstein presented in his September paper: E = mc2. The concepts of space and time are ubiquitous in physics and, since the Special Theory of Relativity fundamentally altered these concepts, the impact of the June paper on physics has been pervasive. With the additional assertion, made in the June paper, that the speed of light is a constant for all observers, time and space became relative. From his Theory of Relativity, Einstein produced his September surprise: ponderable mass and incorporeal energy are equivalent. Humans distinguish between mass and energy, but Nature does not.

4:00 pm: Bistro Banter – Miracle or Meticulous? – Exploring Einstein's Monumental Achievement of 1905
Howard Burton, Perimeter Institute, Executive Director; John S. Rigden, Washington University

Tuesday, October 4 to Friday, October 7

5pm – 9pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

Tuesday, October 4

7:00 pm: Approaching Babel: Psychology as a "new" science in 1905
Sonu Shamdasani, University College London
At the turn of the century, numerous figures were attempting to form a new unitary science of psychology, modelled on how they imagined sciences like physics and chemistry functioned, with the discovery of universal laws and discoverers who would be proclaimed to be on the scale of Copernicus and Newton. It was intended that the formation of this new science would be nothing less than the completion of the scientific revolution, and that as a consequence, it would transform psychiatry, psychotherapy, the human sciences and indeed, all walks of life. Already by 1905, this dream was receding in an endless proliferation of competing and incompatible practices and conceptions--and one which has not ceased till this day. This talk reconstructs some of the multiple intersecting trajectories in one year of this would-be science.

Wednesday, October 5

7:00 pm: Was Einstein Right? Can his Theories Survive Today's Scientific Scrutiny? Clifford Will, Washington University
How has the most celebrated scientific theory of the 20th century held up under the exacting scrutiny of planetary probes, radio telescopes and atomic clocks? After 100 years, was Einstein right? This lecture relates the story of testing relativity from the 1919 measurements of the bending of light, to the 1980s measurement of the decaying double-neutron star system that reveal the action of gravity waves, to a 2004 space experiment to test whether space-time does "the twist". The lecture shows how a revolution in astronomy and technology led to a renaissance of general relativity in the 1960s and to a systematic program to try to verify its predictions. The lecture also demonstrates how relativity plays an important role in daily life.

Thursday, October 6

7:00 pm: The Mind of a Genius: An Exploration of the Exceptional Brain of Albert Einstein
Dr. Sandra Witelson, McMaster University
In June 1999, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience Dr. Sandra Witelson attracted global attention when she published "The exceptional brain of Albert Einstein" in the British medical journal Lancet. The article discussed what Witelson and her co-researchers found when they compared anatomical measurements of the late physicist's brain (the brain was removed and preserved upon Einstein's death in 1955 at age 76) with the brains of 35 men and 56 women who had normal intelligence. In this lecture, Dr. Witelson relates her remarkable findings.

Friday, October 7

6:30 pm: Homage to 1905 – Ursula Oppens discusses the Programme she crafted especially for EinsteinFest

7:30 pm: Homage to 1905 Ursula Oppens, piano

Ravel Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (1911)
Janacek Sonata 1.X.1905, "From the Street"
Debussy Images, Book 1
Prokofiev Sonata No. 1
Ives Sonata No. 1

9:30 pm: Bistro Jazz –The John Sherwood Trio

Second Week: The Times

Saturday, October 8--Friday, October 14, 2005

In the rapidly changing world at world the turn of the century, Albert Einstein was surrounded by brilliant minds and creative thinkers. Explore revolutionary ideas in philosophy, mathematics, and literature; the roots of jazz and the birth of the silent movie; the age of wireless communication, the dawn of flight and much more in this eye-opening weekend for the whole family.

Saturday, October 8

10 am – 6pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am –6pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open
Special interactive displays on the Wright Brothers and the physics of flight.

10 am: The Wright Brothers and their Fabulous Flying Machines – ages 7 - 12
Peter L. Jakab, Smithsonian Institution
How did two young farm boys from Indiana become legends? Peter L. Jakab tells the fascinating story of Wilbur and Orville Wright and brings to life a tale of curiosity, dreams, persistence and the invention of fabulous flying machines.

1:00 pm: Einstein Rocks! – Family Concert – ages 7 and up
Who were the rockers, what instruments did they play and what did it sound like back in 1905? Find out in this fun-filled, one-hour, interactive concert. Participate in the "footstomp" and enjoy favourites of the ragtime and early jazz era performed by Elite Syncopation quintet.

2:30 pm: From Joplin to Jelly Roll - The Birth of Jazz
Hear the sounds of Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton and get the inside story on the birth of jazz! Performing their unique interpretations of ragtime and early jazz, the Elite Syncopation quintet weaves together blues, habanera, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, folk music, the New Orleans tradition, novelty ragtime and jazz.

5:00pm: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age
Peter L. Jakab, Smithsonian Institution
The Wright Brothers achieve something that had eluded other capable engineers and scientists for centuries. What exactly did they do and how did they do it? Peter L. Jakab, Chairman of the Aeronautics Division at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, answers these questions and discusses the almost immediate impact the airplane had not only on the technical world but also on the world at large around the time of Einstein's miracle year. Mr. Jakab will also explore the tremendous impact of the invention of the airplane in the first decade after the historic first flights at Kitty Hawk.

7:00 pm Buttoned Up and Down: European Fashion in 1905
Russell Smith, Author
The turn of the century, although labelled the Belle Ιpoque in the public imagination, was actually a time of strangely conservative tastes in clothing; a time of long dresses, high collars and a powerful social pressure to look bourgeois rather than aristocratic. The sober fashions of 1905 reflected the definitive ascendancy of the middle classes in Europe. Aesthetically, they were a reaction against the Byronic flamboyance of the Romantic era--and a precursor to the revolutionary flash of the jazz era. Meanwhile, the great cultural upheaval of Modernism in art and architecture was in its embryonic phase, and utterly unreflected in the styles of daily life. In a sense, this aesthetic moment was the calm before the storm, suggesting that, culturally, in 1905 the 20th century had in fact not yet really begun. When did it begin?

8:30 pm: Bistro Jazz – The Dave Young Trio

Sunday, October 9

10 am – 4pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 4pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open Includes displays on wireless communication and Morse code.

10:00 am: New Technologies and Inventions of Space and Time
Robert Friedel, University of Maryland
Albert Einstein worked in the Swiss Patent Office in 1905. What was the new world of technology that a patent examiner would have confronted in the young century? Robert Friedel, historian of technology and author of several books on inventions of this period, shows why the times a century ago were as exciting and disorienting an age of technological change as our own--maybe even more so! The horseless carriage (we would call it the automobile), the wireless telegraph, motion pictures, electric light and power, as well as a host of surprising new minor inventions, all filled the young 20th century with an air of novelty and expectation.

12 noon: Exploration to the Ends of the Earth: Roald Amundsen, the Quest for the Northwest Passage and the Quest for the Poles
James P. Delgado, Vancouver Maritime Museum
In 1905, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen completed the first ever transit of the fabled Northwest Passage, culminating a centuries-long quest that had claimed ships and lives. Amundsen's feat was one of many human achievements in the first decade of the new century, and a landmark in the history of exploration.
Amundsen's voyage was preceded by the controversial North Pole expedition of Robert Peary, another long-sought prize of explorers. Amundsen's quests shifted south to Antarctica and the South Pole, a prize he achieved, and then back to the Arctic, when he tried and failed to navigate, locked in the polar ice, to the North Pole. This presentation will examine the life, feats, trials, failures and successes of Amundsen and his contributions to science and exploration.

2:00 pm: From Marconi to Lazaridis – The Age of Wireless Communication
Robert Friedel, University of Maryland; Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion
Wireless Communication amazed the world at the turn of the century. That astounding early technology has morphed into one of the hottest communications devices on the market today. Technology historian Robert Friedel and Mike Lazaridis, inventor of the BlackBerry, bring you the story of wireless communication.

4:00 pm: Bistro Banter – Inventors, Inventions, Conquerors and Conquests – The Ingredients for Success
Howard Burton, Perimeter Institute; Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion; Robert Friedel, University of Maryland; James P. Delgado, Vancouver Maritime Museum

Monday, October 10

10 am – 5pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 5pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open
Includes displays on the birth of the motion picture.

12 noon: Silent Films for Kids - with Live Music Accompaniment
Ben Model, Composer/Musician, New York
Get ready to laugh! A hilarious hour of classics for kids by masters of the silent film era: Charlie Chaplin in The Pawnshop, Buster Keaton in The High Sign and Harold Lloyd in Number Please.

1:30 pm: The Birth of the Silent Film Era
Bruce Lawton, Film Historian, New York
Lecture featuring films circa 1905. Around the time Einstein was discovering Special Relativity, the era of the silent film was born. Film historian Bruce Lawton takes us back to those early days with a talk that includes films made circa 1905 by the Edison, Biograph and Lubin film companies.

3:00 pm: Silent Film Classic - with Live Music Accompaniment
Ben Model, Composer/Musician, New York
Buster Keaton in College. This full-length classic features Keaton playing a strait-laced, academic and anti-sports-minded college freshman and his attempts to win the heart of the girl he loves. Also on the program is the Keaton short, The Electric House.

Wednesday, October 12 to Friday, October 14

5pm – 9pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

Wednesday, October 12

7:00 pm: 1905: The Philosophical Context
Ray Monk, University of Southampton
What was happening in Philosophy in 1905? This lecture will seek to answer that question by picking out some of the most influential works of philosophy that were published in or shortly before that year, describing both those works themselves and their intellectual context. The works discussed will include Henri Poincare's Science and Hypothesis, Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations, Gottlob Frege's Fundamental Laws of Arithmetic and Bertrand Russell's "On Denoting". What Monk hopes to bring out is how the seminal works of that period established the tone and content of 20th century philosophy and drew the battle lines of the great philosophical disputes of the last hundred years: Intuitionism versus Logicism, Phenomenology versus Analytic Philosophy, etc.

Thursday, October 13

7:00 pm: Probing the Geometry of Space – Mathematics circa 1900
David Rowe, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
One of the most hotly debated topics of the late 19th century concerned the geometry of physical space, an issue that arose with the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries. Lobachevsky and Bolyai opened the way, but it was not until the 1860s that scientists began to take this revolutionary theory seriously. Assuming the free mobility of rigid bodies, Helmholtz concluded that the geometry of space was Euclidean or else of constant curvature (either positive or negative). In 1899, these cases were tested by the astronomer Karl Schwarzschild who used data on stellar parallax to estimate the minimum size of the universe. Many argued that the notion of a curved space was nonsensical, whereas Poincarι, the most prominent mathematician of the era, thought that the geometry of space could never be determined absolutely. These classical debates played a major role in the discussions spawned by Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Friday, October 14

7:00 pm: 1905 - A Literary Response to Modernity
Stanley Corngold, Princeton University
This talk deals with representative works of German and Hapsburg fiction circa 1905. The literature produced by the genius of Thomas Mann (1875-1955), Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Robert Musil (1880-1942) and Franz Kafka (1883-1924) registers swiftly changing perceptions of human time and space owing to the frenetic pace of Central European modernization--of technical innovations in the manufacture of commodities; of the acquisition of wealth, producing changes in class structure; of the growth of cities, creating centers of simultaneous but dissociated activity requiring new medial connection--processes greeted by some writers as matters of great intellectual interest, by others as signs of the pathological breakdown of older norms and values.

8:30 pm: Bistro Jazz – Mel Brown and Miss Angel

Third Week: The Man

Saturday, October 15--Friday, October 21, 2005

The scientist who forever changed the way we think about space and time was also a remarkable and complex man. From his childhood to his later years, our experts delve into the human side of Albert Einstein and examine his politics, humanity, religion and celebrity.

Saturday, October 15

10 am – 6pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 6pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open

10 am: "Beware of Rotten Compromises": The Moral Foundations of Einstein's Politics
Robert Schulmann, Former Director, The Einstein Papers Project
Morality defined Albert Einstein's sense of social obligation and political justice. It thrust on him a lifelong sense of responsibility for the defenceless and the underprivileged. At the same time, his jealously guarded independence dictated a kind of splendid isolation that made him indifferent to the temptations of political influence. How did this sense of commitment arise? What were the sources of his fierce independence? How did he resolve the contradiction? This talk will explore the roots in Einstein's childhood, youth and early professional career, covering the years from the early 1880s until 1919, when he burst onto the world stage.

12 noon: Einstein's Rise to Fame
David Rowe, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
In November 1919, the British scientific community announced the confirmation of Einstein's prediction for the bending of light by the sun's gravitational field. This announcement made sensational headlines in British and American papers, and soon thereafter Einstein was thrust into the stratosphere of stardom. To appreciate this phenomenon requires taking a closer look at the role of leading image makers of the day, particularly in Weimar-era Germany. The intense media coverage of Einstein and his theory did much to stimulate public fascination, producing results that were at times odd, occasionally ridiculous and in some cases polarizing, like so many other phenomena of Weimar culture. To the extent that the relativity revolution reflected a new sensibility with deep psychological roots, it could not have found more fertile soil than in Einstein's Berlin.

2:00 pm: Albert Einstein: The Man Behind the Genius – for ages 12 and up
Alice Calaprice, Princeton University Press
Albert Einstein remains one of most famous scientists in world history. His image is instantly recognizable and for many people, Einstein personifies genius. But who was Einstein really? What was he like as a person? What did his science actually mean? From his years in Europe where he was known mainly for his scientific genius to his life in the United States, where his scientific contributions declined as he aged and he became more involved in the political, humanitarian and social concerns, Alice Calaprice, co-author of Albert Einstein, a biography, explores the man behind the genius.

3:30 pm: Mileva Maric: Wife, Colleague, Confidante and Creative Influence
Trevor Lipscombe, Johns Hopkins University Press
Einstein described Mileva Maric as "a creature who is my equal and who is strong and independent as I am." Later on, he would say she "is an unfriendly humourless creature who gets nothing out of life and who, by her mere presence, extinguishes other people's joy of living." Somewhere in between lies the truth. While Mileva's role in Einstein's research is cloudy and controversial, their marriage lasted from before his annus mirabilis up to the year of his greatest triumph, the experimental confirmation of his general theory of relativity. This lecture traces the relationship of Einstein and his first wife from their happy student days together in Zurich, through their divorce, to Mileva's final days in a sanatorium, where she kept repeating the single word "No!".

5:00 pm: From Romanticism to Modernism: Music in Einstein's World
Walter Frisch, Columbia University
This talk will examine the critical period in European concert music in the years around 1900, when the first generation of modernists--including Schoenberg, Mahler, Bartok, Debussy and Stravinsky--were forging new musical languages. These composers were not revolutionaries. All remained deeply attached to their musical pasts, to traditions of tonality, syntax and form. But each was able to re-imagine in a unique fashion the legacies of the nineteenth century to create powerful music fully characteristic of the dawning century.

7:30 pm: Revelation = Revolution: Einstein and Musical Discoveries of 1905

Penderecki String Quartet with Kimberly Barber, mezzo-soprano

Bartσk String Quartet #1
Laurie Radford Everything we see in the sky for string quartet and digital signal processing (2005 world premiθre)
Schoenberg Entruckung from String Quartet #2
Anthony Genge Prayer for Hydrogen for string quartet and hot air balloon (world premiθre)

9:30 pm: Bistro Jazz – The Pat LaBarbera Quartet

Sunday, October 16

10 am – 5pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 5pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open

10 am: Einstein Recovers Judaism and Discovers Politics
Robert Schulmann, Former Director, The Einstein Papers Project
Before 1919, Einstein's political and social interests lay fallow, their moral roots unarticulated. This talk argues that it was his search for Jewish identity as a 40-year-old in the years after World War I, as well as his growing commitment to Zionism, that laid the foundation for his active political engagement. Schulmann examines the trajectory of Einstein's ambiguous relationship with Judaism and Jewish settlement in Palestine from 1919 until the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Einstein's views over this 30-year period will be set in the context of the tragic interweaving of Hitler's absolute rule in Germany and the destruction of European Jews.

12 noon: Companion Stars: Einstein and Gφdel at the Institute for Advanced Study
John W. Dawson, Penn State University
Two of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century, Albert Einstein and Kurt Gφdel, were colleagues in Princeton during the years 1940 - 55. This talk will explore the contrasting personalities, revolutionary results, consonant world views and confluent interests in the nature of time that underlie their bond of friendship.

2 pm: Einstein's Political Priorities: World Government
David Rowe, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
Although Einstein emerged as a leading spokesman for pacifism in 1930, his political views already underwent a major shift even before Hitler came to power in January 1933. Disappointment with negotiations at the 1932 Disarmament Conference in Geneva led him to the conclusion that the only hope of averting a major war was the creation of a strong world government. Only after the Second World War did he have the opportunity to promote this political cause, however, partly by taking advantage of his public image as "grandfather of the bomb." Though he in fact played no significant part in the events that led up to the Manhattan project, in the wake of Hiroshima he became an active spokesman calling for control of nuclear weapons through the creation of an international organization that would serve as a stepping stone to world government.

4:00 pm: Bistro Banter – Humanitarian and Physicist – Exploring the Man and the Scientist
Howard Burton, Executive Director, Perimeter Institute; Robert Schulmann, Former Director, The Einstein Papers Project; David Rowe, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz; John Dawson, Penn State University

Monday, October 17 to Friday, October 21

5pm – 9pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

Monday, October 17

7:00 pm: Einstein, Picasso – Space, Time and the Beauty that Causes Havoc
Arthur I. Miller, University College London
The most important scientist of the twentieth century and its most important artist went through their periods of greatest creativity almost simultaneously and in remarkably similar circumstances: Einstein's special theory of relativity and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. It turns out they were both working on the same problem: the nature of space and time and, more particularly, simultaneity. When they produced these astonishing works, Einstein and Picasso were not the distinguished elderly figures that later became so familiar: they were in their twenties, unknown, feisty, dirt-poor and prone to getting into trouble--their personal and creative beauty caused havoc.

Tuesday, October 18

7:30 pm: Picasso at the Lapin Agile – written by Steve Martin
What happens when Elvis, Einstein and Picasso meet in a bar in Paris?
Winner of the 1996 New York Outer Critics' Circle Awards for best play and best playwright, Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a comedy set in 1904. Twentysomethings Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, both on the verge of greatness, argue about life, art, science and lust. Rupturing the space/time continuum, young Elvis joins them and the three experience the magic of forever altering the future.

Wednesday, October 19

7:30 pm: Picasso at the Lapin Agile – written by Steve Martin
(See October 18th for details.)

Thursday, October 20

7:30 pm: Picasso at the Lapin Agile – written by Steve Martin
(See October 18th for details.)

Friday, October 21

7:30 pm: Picasso at the Lapin Agile – written by Steve Martin
(See October 18th for details.)

8:30 pm: Bistro Jazz – Kevin Breit and Folkalarm

Closing Weekend: The Legacy

Saturday, October 22--Sunday, October 23, 2005

What mysteries have been unraveled since the Miracle Year? Which ones remain unsolved? Join some of today's leading physicists as they discuss Einstein's legacy, his lasting influence and the current cutting-edge in quantum mechanics, gravity and superstring theory.

Saturday, October 22

10 am – 6pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 6pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open

10 am: First Principles--Building an Einstein Factory
Howard Burton, Perimeter Institute
Howard Burton, the Executive Director and chief architect of Perimeter Institute, describes the process and pitfalls of constructing a home for budding Einsteins from scratch in Waterloo.

12 noon Einstein and the Future of the Universe
Paul J. Steinhardt, Princeton University
In 1917, Albert Einstein was the first to attempt to describe the universe using his general theory of relativity. Since there was virtually no observational data available, he had to rely entirely on his redoubtable physical intuition and philosophical views. His conviction that space, time and matter are eternal led him to propose a static universe. After Hubble's discovery that the universe is expanding, Einstein abandoned the static idea and turned next to a cyclic model, which still allows periods of expansion but also has eternal space, time and matter. For nearly seventy years, these ideas have been abandoned in favour of the standard big bang model. However, as will be described in this lecture, a new kind of cyclic model has emerged in the last few years that revitalizes Einstein's dream of an endless universe. This lecture, at a level designed for a general audience, will describe the chain of ideas that has emerged over the last century.

2:00 pm: Faster than the Speed of Light: Could the Laws of Physics Change?
Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London
The laws of physics are usually meant to be set in stone; variability is not usually part of physics. Yet contradicting Einstein's tenet of the constancy of the speed of light raises nothing less than that possibility. This lecture discusses some of the more dramatic implications of a varying speed of light.

5:00 pm: Healey Talks Jazz: Truths, Myths and Legends
Jeff Healey
Musician extraordinaire, historian and aficionado Jeff Healy shares his life-long passion for jazz in this talk on truths and myths about the art form's birth, its early developments and its legends.

7:30 pm: Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards
One of Canada's most celebrated and accomplished musicians, Jeff Healey was known in the 90's for such Platinum hits as Angel Eyes. Now returning to his roots with the Jazz Wizards, Jeff Healey will captivate and delight you. This is traditional Jazz with an exuberant flair, excitement and wizardry that makes the familiar sound fresh.

9:30 pm: Bistro Jazz – The Ron Schirm Quartet

Sunday, October 23

10 am – 5pm: Displays and Exhibitions Open

10 am – 5pm: Physica Phantastica Centre Open

10 am: Meet the "Other" Einstein
John Stachel, Center of Einstein Studies, Boston University
It is well known that Einstein worked to develop a unified field theory that would encompass all of physics, including (he hoped) all quantum phenomena. It is not so well known that there was "another Einstein," who from 1916 on was skeptical about the continuum as a foundational element in physics, especially because of the existence of quantum phenomena. This talk will discuss the evidence for the existence of "the other Einstein" and his efforts to find what he called "a purely algebraic physics."

12 noon: Strange Views of Space and Time: From Einstein to String Theory
Gary Horowitz, University of California, Santa Barbara
In honour of the hundredth anniversary of Einstein's miracle year, this lecture describes the modern view of space and time. The discussion starts with special relativity, then describes how space and time are modified in Einstein's general theory of relativity, and ends with recent ideas coming out of string theory. In all cases, the view of space and time arising from modern physics is radically different from our everyday experience, yet many of their strange properties have already been confirmed by experiment.

2:00 pm: Quanta, Ciphers and Computers
Artur Ekert, University of Cambridge
In early 1935, Albert Einstein, together with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, published a classic paper which questioned the completeness of the quantum mechanical description of reality and, in a tacit way, introduced quantum entanglement. After playing a significant role in the development of the foundations of quantum mechanics, entanglement has been recently rediscovered as a new physical resource with potential commercial applications. In particular it can be used to construct new methods of secure communication and new methods of breaking ciphers. This lecture outlines the evolution of the concept from its origin to today and describes some of its current applications in quantum cryptography and quantum computation.

4:00 pm: Bistro Banter – Following in the Footsteps – Searching for the Next Miracle
Howard Burton, Perimeter Institute; Gary Horowitz, University of Santa Barbara, California; Artur Ekert, University of Cambridge; John Stachel, Center of Einstein Studies, Boston University

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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