Monday, November 12, 2007

Life in a Two-Dimensional Universe

I have spied the following lecture from the universities general audience lecture section.

Finally there is one happening this year; I was beginning to wonder whether any would happen! Please do attend if you happen to be around that time, for it looks pretty interesting. I am told (from an email) that free refreshments will be available! [Also if you attend I am sure the organisers will be encouraged and organise more such lectures for everyone.] Hopefully I can make it...

Wednesday 14th November 2007

Dr Colin Steele (School of Mathematics) -Life in a Two-Dimensional Universe
1:10pm-2pm - Alan Turing G-205


In 1885, Edwin Abbott published a book called 'Flatland' which was about a two-dimensional world. The 'hero' was Mr A Square and other inhabitants included triangles, hexagons etc. Other authors have produced different variations on a two-dimensional universe. Such universes can be extended to include astronomy and this talk considers what astronomy would be like in a 2-dimensional universe. One significant change is that gravity is not inverse-square but is instead simply inversely proportional to distance. The shapes of orbits are different as a result. This talk will consider many aspects of astronomy in a 2-dimensional universe including orbits, seasons, eclipses, meteors, aurora etc. The talk will conclude by considering universes with alternative numbers of dimensions, 4-dimensional, 1-dimensional and 0-dimensional. It can be concluded that, other that the 3-dimensional universe,the two-dimensional is most interesting.

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