|This page shows the latest news items about Mathematical Physics. News items may be submitted to the Secretary.|
Please send news and suggestions for forthcoming bulletins to IAMP_secretariat@math.tu-berlin.de.
Some of you may like to read the inspiring speech delivered at the last Congress by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Dr. Jorge Sampaio. It is available at http://icmp2003.net/opening/.
The executive committee has changed the formula for at http://www.iamp.org/dues.html#life for life Membership to make it more encouraging to older members.
David Brydges, President
Jakob Yngvason, Vice President
Ruedi Seiler, Secretary
Volker Bach, Treasurer
|Vincent Ele Asor||University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria|
|Horia Cornean||Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark|
|Pedro Goldbaum||Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA|
|Birkhauser||New associate member|
Messages from Associate Members
(John T. Lewis 1932-2004). John Lewis, mathematical physicist and former director of the School of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, passed away on January 21 in Dublin, Ireland. John's early work in quantum mechanics was both practical (he was co-inventor of the Dalgarno-Lewis method in perturbation theory) and also conceptual (his 1970 paper with E. B. Davies introduced the notion of positive-operator-valued measure in quantum theory). He continued his work on fundamental problems in physics, including dissipative evolutions in quantum mechanics, Bose-Einstein condensation, and the equivalence of ensembles, and also conducted research in information theory. In 1993 John saw the possibility of applying large deviation theory to teletraffic engineering, and started a research program to develop his idea. Together with his team of graduate students and postdocs John pursued the commercial exploitation of this method, eventually leading to the formation of the company Corvil. After retiring from his Professorship at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in 2001, John became Principal Investigator at the Communications Network Research Institute, located at the Dublin Institute of Technology, where he brought together an international team to conduct research on communication networks. Throughout his career John was a gifted and dedicated teacher, and served as a mentor for several generations of young mathematicians. (Contributed by Chris King, Jan 30, 2004).
(Siegfried Schlieder 1918-2003). Siegfried Schlieder, a mathematical physicist formerly at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Physik in Munich, died last December at the age of 85.
Schlieder's most famous contribution is the Reeh-Schlieder theorem in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory, which states that that the vacuum is a cyclic vector for the field algebra of any open set in Minkowski space. (`You can create the whole world by applying to the vacuum operators localized in your room'). This somewhat counter-intuitive fact keeps intriguing researchers in mathematical physics and even philosophers to this day.
One of his continuing concerns was the interplay of the principles of quantum theory with Einstein causality (locality) and the relativistic spectrum condition. This was of course already the central point of the Reeh-Schlieder theorem, but he continued to come back to this circle of problems, analyzing the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and Bell's inqualities in the context of local relativistic quantum physics. His latest work, highly original and written when he was almost eighty years old, also belongs to his study of the fundamentals of quantum physics; in it he constructs an entropy-like quantity, related to the now popular concept of `entanglement', that may increase in time.
Besides his work on fundamental aspects of quantum theory he was interested in many diverse areas of physics. He did not write a great number of publications because he would only write a paper once he had a truly new and original point to make. But his work nevertheless reflects the diversity of his interests: he worked on the problem of giving a consistent probability interpretation of theories with indefinite metric in their state space, on field quantization on light like planes, on the foundation of the operator product expansion in quantum field theory, on the application of the equivalence principle to neutron interference in the earth's gravitational field (the so-called COW experiment), on the (im)possibility to define charges in classical Yang-Mills theory. And this does by no means exhaust his interests in physics.
Schlieder was a very modest man, totally uninterested in status or recognition, but he will be remembered as an independent and original mind who left behind results of lasting importance. (Contributed by Erhard Seiler, Feb 6, 2004).
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