Department of Mathematics Colloquium


Abstract 

The recent Nobel Prize in chemistry was
awarded to Dan Shechtman for his discovery of Quasicrystals in
1982. But long before 1982, mathematicians were playing around
with these objects. Roger Penrose was thinking of Penrose tiling
of the plane, Yves Meyer was thinking of Meyer sets in connection to
harmonic analysis, and Delaunay was thinking about sets that are named
after him in the triangulation of the plane. All these three
streams of mathematics converge and they predated the actual discovery
of quasicrystals in nature. Why? Because such mathematical
objects must be beautiful to study to begin with. In this lively and
entertaining talk, I will make the mathematics behind quasicrystals
highly accessible to a wide audience. I will discuss different
formulations for such objects with unusual symmetry, provide some
motivation, and show that some of the different formulations are
equivalent.
