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Incomprehensible Comprehensibility of the Universe

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Templeton Prize Laureate’s talk on “Incomprehensible Comprehensibility of the Universe” is a comment on Einstein’s saying: ‘One may say that the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility’.

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In 1915, after a period of struggle, Einstein finally wrote down his gravitational field equations. Later on, he himself, and other physicists and mathematicians as well, found a host of solutions to these equations. Some of them represent rotating stars, gravitational waves, black holes, cosmic strings… Around 1915 nobody would even have suspected the existence of such objects. Now many of them have been discovered in the universe, and our confidence in Einstein’s equations has grown so much that we are sure that the process will go on. ‘The equations seem wiser that those who invented them’. Why? Is the universe really mathematical? What is the relationship between mathematics and the laws of physics? As science progresses these questions become even more pressing.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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