Boundary rigidity and the local inverse problem for the geodesic X-ray transform on tensors

Speaker: 

Andras Vasy

Institution: 

Stanford University

Time: 

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Host: 

Location: 

RH 306

In this talk, based on joint work with Plamen Stefanov and Gunther Uhlmann, I discuss the boundary rigidity problem on manifolds with boundary (for instance, a domain in Euclidean space with a perturbed metric), i.e. determining a Riemannian metric from the restriction of its distance  function to the boundary. This corresponds to travel time tomography, i.e. finding the Riemannian metric from the time it takes for solutions of the corresponding wave equation to travel between boundary points. A version of this relates to finding the speed of seismic waves inside the Earth from travel time data, which in turn permits a study of the structure of the inside of the Earth.

This non-linear problem in turn builds on the geodesic X-ray transform on such a Riemannian manifold with boundary. The geodesic X-ray transform on functions associates to a function its integral along geodesic curves, so for instance in domains in Euclidean space along straight lines. The X-ray transform on symmetric tensors is similar, but one integrates the tensor contracted with the tangent vector of the geodesics. I will explain how, under suitable convexity assumptions, one can invert the geodesic X-ray transform on functions, i.e. determine the function from its X-ray transform, in a stable manner, as well as the analogous tensor result, and the connection to the full boundary rigidity problem.

Geometric Partial Differential Equations from M Theory

Speaker: 

Duong Phong

Institution: 

Columbia University

Time: 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: 

RH 306

Since the mid 1990’s, the leading candidate for a unified theory of all fundamental physical interactions has been M Theory.

A full formulation of M Theory is still not available, and it is only understood through its limits in certain regimes, which are either one of five 10-dimensional string theories, or 11-dimensional supergravity. The equations for these theories are mathematically interesting in themselves, as they reflect, either directly or indirectly, the presence of supersymmetry. We discuss recent progresses and open problems about two of these theories, namely supersymmetric compactifications of the heterotic string and of 11-dimensional supergravity. This is based on joint work of the speaker with Sebastien Picard and Xiangwen Zhang, and with Teng Fei and Bin Guo.

Global bifurcations on the two sphere: first steps of a new theory

Speaker: 

Yulij Ilyashenko

Institution: 

Cornell University and Moscow State University

Time: 

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Host: 

Location: 

RH 306

Differential equations deal with the same matters as children do: pictures in the plane. If a picture related to a differential equation remains (topologically) the same after the equation is slightly perturbed, this equation is structurally stable. If it is not, abrupt changes of the corresponding picture may occur under a small perturbation. These abrupt changes are the subject of the bifurcation theory. This talk gives a survey of the first three years of development of a new branch of the bifurcation theory: global bifurcations on the two sphere. Bifurcations in generic one-parameter families were classified; the answer appeared to be quite unexpected. An important and non-trivial question ”who bifurcates?” was answered. Natalya Goncharuk and the speaker defined a set called large bifurcation support; bifurcations that occur in a small neighborhood of this set determine the global bifurcations on the two-sphere. This result is a starting point for systematic classification of global bifurcations in two-parameter families. New examples of structurally unstable three-parameter families will be demonstrated. These are joint results of the speaker and his collaborators: N. Goncharuk, D. Filimonov, Yu. Kudryashov, N. Solodovnikov, I. Schurov and others. The talk will be addressed to a broad audience.

Spectra for non-self-adjoint operators and integrable dynamics

Speaker: 

Michael Hitrik

Institution: 

UCLA

Time: 

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Host: 

Location: 

RH 306

Non-self-adjoint operators appear in many settings, from kinetic theory 
and quantum mechanics to linearizations of equations of mathematical 
physics. The spectral analysis of such operators, while often notoriously 
difficult, reveals a wealth of new phenomena, compared with their 
self-adjoint counterparts. Spectra for non-self-adjoint operators display 
fascinating features, such as lattices of eigenvalues for operators of 
Kramers-Fokker-Planck type, say, and eigenvalues for operators with 
analytic coefficients in dimension one, concentrated to unions of curves 
in the complex spectral plane. In this talk, after a general introduction, 
we shall discuss spectra for non-self-adjoint perturbations of 
self-adjoint operators in dimension two, under the assumption that the 
classical flow of the unperturbed part is completely integrable.
The role played by the flow-invariant Lagrangian tori of the completely 
integrable system, both Diophantine and rational, in the spectral analysis 
of the non-self-adjoint operators will be described. In particular, we 
shall discuss the spectral contributions of rational tori, leading to 
eigenvalues having the form of the "legs in a spectral centipede". This 
talk is based on joint work with Johannes Sj\"ostrand.

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