She Mathmatically Describes The Multiverse and Wins Math’s Top Prize!

EDITORIAL:  This little gem of an article nearly slipped past me, but luckily I read in to its 3rd paragraph – and Bonanza it is about a topic that should be of interest to our Patrons of the Cosmic Cafe Show!  [CCS]

A woman has won the maths world’s “Nobel prize” for the first time. Maryam Mirzakhani of Stanford University, California, received the Fields medal today at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea.

The Fields medalThe medal is awarded once every four years to at most four recipients, who must be aged under 40 at the start of that year. All the previous 52 Fields medallists, dating back to 1936, have been male.

Mirzakhani, who is Iranian, studies the geometry of moduli space, a complex geometric and algebraic entity that might be described as a universe in which every point is itself a universe. Mirzakhani described the number of ways a beam of light can travel a closed loop in a two-dimensional universe. To answer the question, it turns out, you cannot just stay in your “home” universe – you have to understand how to navigate the entire multiverse. Mirzakhani has shown mathematicians new ways to navigate these spaces.

Mirzakhani first attracted international attention as a… [Continue]

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