From classical mechanics to symplectic (and contact) geometry

Series: 
Research Horizons Seminar
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 12:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location: 
Skiles 006
,  
School of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology
,  

Food and Drinks will be provided after the seminar.

In this seminar, Prof. John Etnyre will begin this talk by discussing a classical question concerning periodic motions of particles in classical physics. In trying to better understand this question we will develop the notion of a symplectic structure. This is a fundamental geometric object that provides the "right way" to think about classical mechanics, and many many other things too. We will then indicate how modern ideas can be used to give, at least partial, answers to our initial naive questions about periodic motions.