Klaus Kirsten awarded NSF grantNov. 25, 2008
Klaus Kirsten, professor of mathematics at Baylor University, recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study a type of quantum effect known as the Casmir effect.
The Casmir effect is increasingly relevant in the study of both micro-scale and cosmological-scale physics. For example, in microelectromechanical systems it is responsible for up to 10% of the forces present. On a cosmological scale, it relates to the dark energy and to the stabilization of extra dimensions of the universe. Professor Kirsten's research seeks to develop and advance techniques to obtain insight into the origin of the sign of the Casmir energy and its dependence upon the geometry and material properties of the object. Last summer, Professor Kirsten co-organized a two-week Summer Graduate Workshop at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at the University of California-Berkeley. The focus of the workshop was the interplay between physics and number theory.