My Journey Through Mathematics and Physics with Elliott Lieb, 2023 Kyoto Prize Laureate in Basic Sciences

5/13/2024; 56 minutes

The 2023 Kyoto Prize Laureate in Basic Sciences, Professor Elliott Lieb presents snapshots of his seventy-year journey through the world of science, first as a would-be engineer, then as a physicist and later as a mathematician and a mathematical physicist. In many encounters with colleagues in different areas of research he learned that mathematics and a mathematical perspective can be pivotal in developing our thinking about physics. This fundamental connection between mathematics and physics was not always accepted at the beginning of my career, and it was even vigorously denied by some mathematicians and physicists. Lieb mentions some of his work to illustrate the value of mathematical physics for theoretical physics and to pure mathematics, the first being the Polaron bound found with K. Yamazaki in Kyoto in 1957. Another is the "ice problem", where he calculated the number of ways to color a chess board with only three colors so that neighboring squares never have the same color. (#39424)

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