[ASC-list] Tonight BrisScience : Opening the Doors to Science 30 November 2009

Lynelle Ross l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au
Mon Nov 30 02:00:34 UTC 2009


PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS AT THE STATE LIBRARY OF QUEENSLAND

A bookend Brisbane Writers Festival event in partnership with  
BrisScience proudly presents

OPENNING THE DOORS TO SCIENCE Presented by UK Author, Len Fisher

IgNobel Prize winning physicist, Len Fisher, has captured the public  
imagination with his personal approach to popular science writing.  
Topics range from the physics of biscuit dunking to the use of the  
mathematics of co-operation to help resolve resource depletion and  
global warming. Len Fisher is author of Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game  
Theory in Everyday Life; How to Dunk a Doughnut: The Science of  
Everyday Life; Weighing the Soul: The Evolution of Scientific Ideas;  
and, The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life.

WHEN: 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm (Doors open at 6 pm)
WHERE: State Library of Queensland, Auditorium 1
Questions? Contact Lynelle Ross (l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au)

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UPCOMING BRISSCIENCE TALKS visit www.BrisScience.org for further  
details.

14 December - Numbers: From -1 to 2 raised to the power of infinity  
Presented by Dr Daryl Cooper, University of California, Santa Barbara
One cornerstone of mathematics is the concept of number. We learn in  
primary school that when you multiply two negative numbers the answer  
is positive. A few years back a prominent columnist claimed that this  
was wrong and that the answer is really negative. We will start by  
explaining why the answer is indeed positive. This explanation  
illustrates a key stepping stone for tonight’s lecture: all numbers  
are abstractions. From here we will explain exactly what infinity is,  
how to do basic arithmetic with infinity, why there are different  
sizes of infinity, and why 2 raised to the power infinity is always  
bigger than the infinity you first thought of!

Two lessons come from this. First one must have a very  precise  
understanding of a concept before trying to reason about it. Second,  
and perhaps most importantly: advanced mathematics is full of  
amazingly beautiful and intriguing ideas, some of which are far  
crazier than the weirdest science fiction, or the most bizarre  
hallucinations. However these ideas are as real and certain as that  
2+2=4.

     * Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm (Doors open at 6pm)
     * Venue: Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall
     * Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies  
following the talk, and Daryl will be available to answer any questions.
     * Questions? Contact Lynelle (l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au)



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 From your friendly BrisScience Co-ordinators, Joel, Andrew and Lynelle
c/o School of Mathematics and Physics,
The University of Queensland,
Brisbane Australia, 4072
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