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News from the Mathematics Department

UPDATE: Allan Greenleaf lecture rescheduled for Spring 2010

Oct. 17, 2009

Due to illness, Allan Greenleaf, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Rochester, has cancelled his upcoming visit, originally scheduled for late November 2009, to Baylor University. He will reschedule his visit during the Spring semester 2010. A specific date will be posted as soon as his schedule permits.

Dr. Greenleaf will lecture on his acclaimed collaborative work on the mathematics and physics behind making objects appear invisible. This research is called cloaking. Interested readers can download a recent survey article, co-authored by Dr. Greenleaf, on this subject by clicking here.

The title of his lecture will be "Transformation Optics: Cloaking and Beyond".

Invisibility devices have long been a staple of science fiction, but in recent years there have been serious theoretical proposals for how such cloaks could be built, and even proof-of-concept experimental realizations. Mathematically, invisibility can be thought of as counterexamples to uniqueness theorems in inverse problems for partial differential equations. As a result, cloaking devices can (in principle) be built to yield "invisibility" not just for optics but for a variety of wave phenomena. Furthermore, other interesting effects on wave propagation are possible. I will discuss some of the mathematics and physics used for cloaking, and describe other transformation optics designs.