The Trinity Mathematical Society has a blockbuster week with two talks from both the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Prof. Michael Green, and the current Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Prof. Mike Cates. (For those of you who haven’t heard of this Professorship, former holders include Isaac Newton, George Stokes, Paul Dirac and Stephen Hawking.) At 8:30PM on Monday 29 February, Prof. Green will be speaking to us at the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. On Tuesday 1 March at 7pm, Prof. Mike Cates will be speaking at MR2, CMS. Refreshments for both talks will be available 15 minutes before the talk.

8:30pm Monday 29 February, Winstanley Lecture Theatre

Speaker: Prof. Michael Green (DAMTP)

Title: The Scope of String Theory

Abstract: This talk will explain why string theory is such a compelling approach to understanding the fundamental particles and the physical forces, even though it is not yet a complete theory and it has yet to make precise experimental predictions. It will give an overview of the theory, illustrating how it describes physics at ultra-short distances in a manner that is radically different from more conventional theories. I will illustrate how the structure of string theory is influencing our understanding of quantum gravity as well as having profound connections with aspects of modern mathematics. The talk will end with an overview of recent ideas, which suggest that the string theory may have applications in areas of physics far removed from the ones it was originally intended for.

7:00pm Tuesday 1 March, MR2 (Wolfson Room), CMS

Speaker: Prof. Mike Cates (DAMTP)

Title: Mathematical Models of Cellular Locomotion

Abstract: Many types of cell in our bodies are not static but actively move around. The effects can be good, such as when immune cells search and destroy invading organisms, or bad, such as when cancer cells spread to distant parts of the body. Many biochemical circuits are implicated in cell movement, but cell fragments with no such circuits also move spontaneously — the cellular equivalent of a headless chicken. This observation suggests the presence of an autonomous “motility engine” whose operation is controlled, but not maintained, by the complex biochemical circuits present in real cells. I shall describe a simplified mathematical model for this engine, using ideas borrowed from the study of liquid crystalline materials, as found in every mobile phone and laptop screen.

Hope to see you all there!