On July 12th, Prof. Maryna Viazovska from EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) will deliver a lecture entitled "The sphere packing problem and beyond." Prof. Viazovska is a world-renowned Ukrainian researcher who has recently received a Fields Medal, a prestigious honor described as the Nobel Prize of Mathematics. The Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw is organising a public lecture which will be broadcasted online on YouTube.
About the lecture:
The sphere packing problem is a geometric question with a long and exciting history. The original sphere packing problem in dimension 3 is known as Kepler’s conjecture and it was famously solved by Thomas Hales at the very end of the twentieth century. In 2016, the speaker was lucky enough to solve the sphere packing problem in dimension 8 and contribute to its solution in dimension 24. This lecture is aimed for the general public and does not require a prerequisite in mathematics. Viazovska will speak about the history of Kepler’s conjecture, and explain what “dimension” means for a mathematician and why it is an extremely useful concept.
Finally, the lecture will outline the connections between the sphere packing problem and some of the mysteries of modern physics.