Pascal Lecture 2014
Professor Gary Gibbons FRS (Cambridge)
"The concept of solitons and gravity"
Abstract: I will begin by providing a short history of the soliton concept, as intended to eliminate the distinction between particles on the one hand and fields on the other. I will then discuss how the idea has fared in General Relativity and bring the story up to date with some remarks about extreme black holes, p-branes and fuzz-balls. If time permits, I will also mention some recent work on how solitons in the absence of gravity can give rise to interesting "emergent" spacetimes.
Gary Gibbons is Professor of Theoretical Physics in DAMTP, Cambridge University, where he has spent most of his career. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999, and to a Professorial Fellowship at Trinity College Cambridge in 2002.