Life in Low Dimensions

Trefoil

Saturday 26 November 2016

Will Rushworth, a PhD student in the Mathematics Department, will tell us about his research into low dimensional topology - the study of objects in dimensions 1 through 4 and how they fit inside each other. Come along at 3:45 PM in Emtpy Shop to find out more!

Topology is a branch of mathematics that claims to study the 'shape' of things; how do the mathematical notions of shape, size, and space relate to their everyday counterparts?
We'll see what exactly mathematicians mean by dimension, and look at examples of objects in dimension 0 through to 4. We'll also give some examples as to why one might stop at 4 - which is perhaps surprising given that we can easily define 10,000 dimensional things! We'll complicate things further by finding ways to fit lower dimensional things into higher dimensional things, and attempt to grasp what it might 'look like'. As the mathematician Dror Bar-Natan says, 'the working mathematician fears complicated words but loves pictures and diagrams'; we'll be following his advice and drawing a lot of them!