(Listed in chronological order, so scroll down to see all programs.)
20 Years Later: The Many Faces of AdS/CFT
October 31- November 3, 2017
Program Organizers: Netta Engelhardt, Simone Giombi, Steven Gubser, Igor Klebanov, Silviu Pufu, Herman Verlinde, Yifan Wang (All Princeton University)
Much of our current understanding of quantum gravity and of strongly coupled gauge theory comes from the AdS/CFT correspondence. This workshop celebrates the 20th anniversary of AdS/CFT. We will take stock of the past 20 years of progress in understanding the holographic dictionary, applications of the correspondence, implications for quantum gravity and strongly coupled field theories, as well as using lessons from AdS/CFT to understand holographic quantum gravity in a more general context.
Geometrically Frustrated Self-assembly
November 27-29, 2017
Program Organizers: Greg Grason (University of Massachusetts), Pierre Ronceray, Salvatore Torquato, Paul Steinhardt (All Princeton University)
Geometrically frustrated assembly is an emerging paradigm for self-organized soft materials, where interactions between self-assembling elements (e.g., particles, macromolecules, proteins) favor local packing motifs that are incompatible with uniform global order in the assembly, either because of shape mismatch between the particles or because of the specificity of the interactions.
This meeting aims at bringing together, for the first time, a panel of theorists and a few experimentalists whose current research covers an aspect of this problem, and thinking together about the key questions regarding the concept and physical models of frustrated self-assembly.
How to get from A to B: Transitions in Biology
December 13-15, 2017
Program Organizers: Zemer Gitai, Hsin-Jung (Sophia) Li, Zhiyuan Li, Eric Weischaus, Ned Wingreen
Living systems are ever changing, transitioning from one state to another, from one event to the next. Transitions are essential for biology on multiple scales, from metabolic transition in prokaryotes to the maternal to zygotic transition during embryogenesis, and to the transition to multicellularity in the history of life. Commonalities exist in this variety of transitions, as their mathematical descriptions often appear to converge at a fundamental level. By bringing together researchers addressing a diversity of transitions in biology from both experimental and theoretical backgrounds, our workshop aims to promote interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.
Gravity in the Early Universe
January 8-10, 2018
Program Organizers: Anna Ijjas (Columbia), Frans Pretorius (Princeton), Paul J. Steinhardt (Princeton-PCTS)
This multi-faceted program will focus on modifications of Einstein gravity at high (but sub-Planckian) energy densities that would influence the dynamics and evolutionary history of the early universe. Of particular interest are a variety of recent proposals for avoiding the cosmological singularity by stably violating the null-energy condition while remaining in the regime of validity of classical field theories. Understanding these approaches requires the development of new ideas, new analytical tools, and new numerical techniques including novel adaptations of numerical general relativity to cosmology. Through a combination of monthly meetings and a focused workshop, the proposed program will bring together leading experts in cosmology and general relativity to explore these ideas.
This program is supported in part by the Simons Foundation as part of the Origins of the Universe Initiative.
Triggering on New Physics at the High-Luminosity LHC
January 15-17, 2018
Program Organizers: Mariangela Lisanti, Chris Tully, Isobel Ojalvo
The LHC community is now moving toward its final phase of experimental design, the Phase 2 Upgrade for the High-Luminosity LHC. A critical step in defining the capabilities of new physics searches at the HL-LHC has begun with the definition of the Phase 2 trigger upgrades. The experimental work on these systems will achieve sufficient maturity by the end of 2017, making this an ideal time for the experimental and theory communities to re-evaluate current strategies. This is a critical time to develop new trigger definitions that address the many exciting new ideas being developed by the phenomenology community. The strategies developed in this meeting will have a substantial impact on what new physics is recorded by the detectors and will ultimately inform our understanding of the physics accessible at the high-energy frontier.
Convection in Nature
February 8-10, 2018
Program Organizers: Daniel Lecoanet (PCTS) & Nadir Jeevanjee (GFDL)
Convection occurs throughout nature: in our atmosphere and oceans, in planetary cores, in stars, and in the atmospheres of other planets. This meeting will bring together experts on convection in different fields, to discuss the recent advances and major questions in each field. In each case, different physical effects influence the convection, such as the presence of moisture, adjacent stably stratified fluid, rotation, or magnetic fields. The goal of the meeting is to identify similarities in the convection in these different systems, and leverage the theoretical and observational results in a given field to address outstanding questions in other fields.
Mechanics in Morphogenesis
February 21-23, 2018
Program Organizers: Andrej Košmrlj (Princeton, MAE) Celeste Nelson, Princeton, CBE) Stas Shvartsman (Princeton, CBE) Lisa Manning (Syracuse, Physics)
"Morphological shapes of biological tissues and structures have inspired a plethora of scientists throughout history and in 2017 we are celebrating the 100-th anniversary of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s influential book titled “On Growth and Form”. Many recent activities have focused on understanding how biology has devised elaborate strategies for regulating pattern formation and mechanical forces in both space and time. Morphogenesis has also inspired scientists to design shape-programmable stimuli-responsive matter. This workshop aims at bringing together researchers from diverse backgrounds to forge new interdisciplinary connections."
April 9-11, 2018
Program Organizers: Anna Frishman (PCTS), Howard Stone (PCTS,PU), Paulo Arratia (UPenn), Victor Steinberg (Weizmann)
This workshop will focus on Elastic Turbulence, a chaotic, strongly fluctuating regime of a fluid flow, which, amazingly, occurs at low Reynolds number (Re). This phenomenon, observed in polymer solutions, is driven by the strong coupling between the fluid flow and its elasticity at large Weissenberg number (Wi), defined as the product of the polymer relaxation time and the fluid shear rate. The statistical features of the flow in this regime have been suggested to be universal, insensitive to the details of the viscoelastic fluid. As such, it may even be relevant as a source of chaos in flows of living organisms on microscopic scales, if the latter exhibit elastic stresses.
The aim of the workshop will be to bring together theoreticians and experimentalists to take stock of the field, and determine what are the outstanding problems and open questions. The workshop would also explore the connection between Elastic Turbulence and higher Re, high Wi number flows, such as “elasto-inertial turbulence” at moderate Re and the phenomenon of drag reduction at high Re.
Regular patterns in biology: causes and consequencesCorina Tarnita, Rob Pringle, Simon Levin
April 18-20, 2018
Regular spatial patterns are common in natural systems and convey important information about those systems’ structure and function. Accordingly, pattern formation has long been a focus of research in nearly every field of biology (and science more generally), at levels of organization ranging from cells and organisms to entire landscapes. Although decades of theoretical investigations have uncovered some possible mechanisms of pattern formation, recent theoretical and empirical developments have revealed new possibilities and reinvigorated debates, making this a crucial time for a renewed conversation of patterns within and across fields. With this workshop, we seek to bring together experts, both theoreticians and empiricists, to discuss the state-of-the-art of and future directions for the study of pattern formation and its consequences across fields.
Plasma Physics Common to Astrophysical and Laboratory Plasmas
April 23-26, 2018
Program Organizers: Princeton (PPPL and Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences): A. Bhattacharjee, G. Hammett, G. Fu, H. Ji, S. Prager, J.Stone
Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics: S. Guenter, P. Helander, F. Jenko, P. Lauber
Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research: J. Buechner
Technical University of Berlin: W-C Mueller
The program will focus on plasma astrophysics and fusion plasma physics, with an emphasis on links between the two. It brings together multiple communities: laboratory plasma physicists, astrophysicists, solar system physicists. The unifying theme is that common plasma processes underlie a broad range of phenomena in both astrophysical and fusion plasmas.
This program constitutes a workshop of the Max-Planck/Princeton Center for Plasma Physics (MPPC), which has a goal of combining the resources (human and experimental) of the two partners for unique advance in specific topical areas of the center (magnetic reconnection, plasma turbulence, energetic particles, dynamo and the magnetorotational instability). The program will consist of plenary talks (from both center members and invited outside speakers) and working breakout sessions in each of the four topical areas.
This workshop is sponsored and organized by PPPL, with support from PCTS.
Contact Angela Powell with any questions: email@example.com
Statistical Mechanics Out of Equilibrium
April 30–May 2, 2018
Program Organizers: : Shivaji Sondhi (Princeton), Raghu Mahajan (Stanford → Princeton), Rahul Nandkishore (CU Boulder), Siddharth Parameswaran (Irvine → Oxford)
Recent years have witnessed dramatic advances in our understanding of non-equilibrium statistical physics. Breakthroughs have occurred in condensed matter (many body localization and thermalization), high energy physics (scrambling by black-holes and sharp bounds on quantum chaos), quantum information (dynamics of entanglement) and beyond. This conference will bring together experts from diverse subfields working on non-equilibrium statistical physics, to share ideas, establish a common language, and chart a path forward for the field.
Bridging Mathematical Optimization, Information Theory, and Data Science
May 14-16, 2018
Program Organizers: Yuxin Chen (EE), Mengdi Wang (ORFE)
Recent years have witnessed a flurry of exciting new developments and activities in the intersection of optimization theory, information theory, and mathematical data science. For instance, optimization theory inspires algorithmic breaks in machine learning and reinforcement learning; information theory offers powerful tools for understanding the fundamental limits in numerous data science applications; and the growing popularity of data science and statistical learning in turn provides new data-driven perspectives to optimization paradigms and enriches the toolbox of information theory.
The goal of this workshop is to bring together participants from multiple communities including mathematical optimization, information theory, statistics, and machine learning in order to conduct in-depth discussion and motivate interdisciplinary collaboration.
Back to Top of the List of Current Programs
2009-10 PAST PROGRAMS at PCTS HERE
2008-9 PAST PROGRAMS at PCTS HERE
2007-8 FIRST PROGRAMS AT PCTS HERE