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[Emeriti-faculty] [Fwd: Fwd: Sept. 4th Colloquium]

Please see the note below for an interesting Mathematical Physics Colloquium this Friday, Sept. 4.  If you have students who might be interested, please let them know as well.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: Sept. 4th Colloquium
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 23:39:32 -0400
From: Bruce Boghosian <bruce boghosian tufts edu>
To: Roger Tobin <roger tobin tufts edu>
CC: Bruce Boghosian <bruce boghosian tufts edu>
References: <4A981F85 6030703 tufts edu>

Dear Roger:

I thought that members of the Physics Department might be interested in the first Mathematics colloquium of the semester, to be held this Friday, September 4.  The speaker will be Professor Constantino Tsallis of the Brazilian Physics Research Center in Rio de Janeiro.  The full announcement is copied below.

Tsallis' work sometimes elicits controversy, but I like to explain it by saying that his program tries to do for statistical mechanics the same thing that was done for geometry in the 19th century.  By denying a single postulate -- that of the extensivity of the entropy -- he is able to derive logically and mathematically self-consistent variations of statistical physics that are very different from the usual formulation of Boltzmann and Gibbs.  He then goes on to claim that these variants have physical relevance for systems that defy the usual formulation, typically due to long-range forces, long-time memory, long tails on correlation functions, etc.  The mathematical formulation is clear enough; it is the physical relevance of these variant statistical mechanical frameworks that elicits most of the controversy.

In any case, I can vouch for the fact that Tsallis is a good and entertaining speaker, because I have heard him before on several occasions.  Members of the Physics Department are welcome to join us -- both for the tea at 3:30 and the talk itself at 4:00.  Please feel free to circulate this announcement to your faculty and graduate students if you think there will be interest.

Best regards,

Bruce M. Boghosian
Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics
Bromfield-Pearson Hall, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, USA
(+1 617) 627-3054 (office), (+1 617) 627-3966 (fax), bruce boghosian tufts edu

Begin forwarded message:

From: Kristin Snyder <kristin snyder tufts edu>
Date: August 28, 2009 2:18:45 PM EDT
Subject: Sept. 4th Colloquium

You are invited to a Tufts Mathematics Colloquium:

``Entropy, Gaussians and Lyapunov exponents: what can we do when the standard concepts come up short?''

Constantino Tsallis
CBPF, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Friday, September 4, 2009, 4:00pm
Bromfield-Pearson Building, Room 101


Concepts such as the Boltzmann-Gibbs-Shannon entropy, Gaussian  distributions and Lyapunov exponents are long known to provide all  kinds of good services to science. There is however a huge class of  natural, artificial and social systems, namely the so called "complex  systems" (emerging in physics, economics, biology, linguistics, and  elsewhere) for which these standard concepts only provide trivial,  often useless, answers. We will briefly introduce current  generalizations --- nonadditive entropy, nonextensive statistical  mechanics ---  of these classical concepts. These generalizations  satisfactorily come up with the job. Recent theoretical, experimental,  observational and computational support will be mentioned as well.