Physics Colloquium: David MacPherson, Department of Chemical Engineering

Monday, October 10 2011 at 4:00 PM

Location: Engineering-Physics Building Room 209

David MacPherson, research engineer in chemical engineering, presents the next Physics Colloquium on Monday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. His presentation, titled "Building Physics on Particle to Particle Interactions", takes place in the Physics-Engineering Building Room 209.

According to MacPherson's abstract: "Our fundamental equations of physics are built on the existence of the complex continuum that we call space. Space solves Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism, Einstein’s equation for gravitational interactions, and the Schrödinger-Dirac equations for quantum mechanics. However, our interpretation of the physical world depends on the mathematical models that we use to represent it.
Bell’s theorem and the experiments that it inspired indicate that in special cases particles can have direct interactions. Is it possible to take this a step further and understand all interactions as direct particle to particle interactions? Is it possible to understand fundamental physics without the concept of a location in space?

"In an attempt to answer this question I found myself trying to solve the Laplace and Helmholtz equation in convex polygons. Over the past dozen years A.S. Fokas et al. developed a method for solving several PDEs in convex polygons. I will summarize their method and describe how I am using it in an attempt to model particle interactions."