Comet Calendar Event Details

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Physics Colloquium: Predicting The Fate of Worlds
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102

Dr. Daniel Tamayo (Princeton University)

Not long after finding the universal law of gravitation, Isaac Newton asked a seemingly innocuous question. Is the solar system stable? Or might the planetary orbits eventually cross, leading to catastrophic collisions or ejections? Work on this question has been a fascinating series of twists and turns, as the household names in physics, from Lagrange to Poincare to Komolgorov, drove and established the fields of non-linear dynamics and chaos over the past three centuries. Remarkably, an answer was only established within the last decade through brute force numerical integration. This question has renewed relevance today, with the discovery of over 1000 multi-planet systems around stars other than our Sun. Our indirect detection methods are typically unable to characterize several important physical and orbital parameters. I will show that by ruling out unstable regions of phase space, we can characterize the compositions and dynamical histories of these exoplanets. I will also present our latest efforts to incorporate our analytic understanding of planetary dynamics with modern machine learning methods, which allows us to assess the stability of compact orbital configurations up to a million times faster than brute force integration. This opens up our ever-growing exoplanet sample to dynamical characterization, and will allow us to assess the role of chaos and instabilities in the planet formation process. 

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-5331 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.
Contact Info:
Michael Kesden, 972-883-3598
Questions? Email me.

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