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CAM Colloquium: Tadashi Tokieda (Stanford University) - Chain reactions

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 3:45pm

Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall, 253

To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. However, there turn out to exist in nature situations where the reaction seems neither equal in magnitude nor opposite in direction to the action.

We will see a series of experiments and movies, apparently more and more in violation of Newton's 3rd law, and give a full analysis of what is happening, discovering in the end that the phenomenon is in a sense generic. The keys are shock, singularity in the material property, and supply of "critical geometry."

Tadashi Tokieda grew up as a painter in Japan and became a classical philologist* in France before switching to mathematics (PhD, Princeton).  As of last fall, he is a professor of mathematics at Stanford.  Previously he had been a director of studies in mathematics at Cambridge for 13 years.  Most of his research is in applied mathematics.  He is active in outreach in the developing world, especially via the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences near Cape Town.  So far, he has lived in 8 countries (or 7 or 6, depending on the way we count).

*Not to be confused with philosophy.

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Event Type

Lecture, Seminar


College of Engineering, Mathematics, Center for Applied Mathematics


engineering, math, center for applied math, cam, College of Engineering, mathematics, center for applied mathematics



Tadashi Tokieda

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Mathematics, Stanford University

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