Oops! First week back, and I’m late posting this up — it’s on today (obviously) and it looks to be a cracker, so make sure to get to the Physics Podium at 1pm! More details below.
On Hales’ proof of the Kepler conjecture.
The Kepler conjecture states that the densest possible infinite packing of equal sized spheres is achieved by the face centred cubic lattice. This is a long standing and important problem, and was included on Hilbert’s famous list of unsolved problems at the turn of the 20th Century.
In 1998, Thomas Hales announced a proof of Kepler’s conjecture which has taken some time to become …widely accepted. The proof makes extensive use of computer programs, and is regarded as being virtually impossible to check directly via human calculation.
I will start with the proof of the closest packing of equal sized discs, and explain why the proof for spheres is so difficult in comparison. I will then give an overview of Hales’ proof before touching upon questions regarding the nature of proof in the digital age.
Presenter: Dr Nathan Clisby
When: Friday 8th of October, 1pm-2pm
Where: Hercus Theatre, Department of Physics
Free refreshments will be served after the seminar.