DIAS Headquarters, 10 Burlington Road - D04C932 contact@dias.ie 00353 (0) 16140100

Two oldest Institutes for Advanced Studies in the world come together for Dublin event

The two first institutes for advanced studies ever established in the world – the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton (IAS) – co-hosted a conference in Dublin in late April, attracting theoretical physicists from around the world.

For their first formal collaborative event to date, researchers from IAS, Princeton were in Dublin to co-host a range of workshops and public lectures. The conference ran with world-renowned theoretical physicists including Nima Arkani-Hamed (IAS Princeton), Tadashi Tokieda and Lance Dixon (both Stanford University), featuring as keynote speakers.

DIAS was established in 1940 by then Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera, with the aim of creating a centre of the highest international standards in both theoretical physics – as a global science – and in Celtic studies – in view of its importance to Ireland’s national identity. DIAS was founded on the model of the original Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, which had been established in 1930. The Dublin Institute was expanded in 1947 to include the School of Cosmic Physics, encompassing astronomy, astrophysics and geophysics.

Commenting on the historic meeting, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS said: “DIAS is the world’s second, and Ireland’s only, independent institute for advanced studies, after the original Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. According to Irish author and mathematician John Lighton Synge, De Valera regarded the foundation of DIAS as one of his greatest achievements. Engagement between DIAS and IAS over the decades has taken the form of lengthy research visits between researchers at our two Institutes and Board memberships. It’s very exciting that we are now having a formal in-person week of events.

“Both IAS Princeton and DIAS were established for the purpose of conducting fundamental research. At DIAS, for more than 80 years, our research has gained insights into Celtic society and its legacy; progressed our understanding of our island, our planet and the universe; and contributed to the deciphering of the underpinning mathematical principles of nature. Central to our research is collaboration with international scientists, researchers and institutes. These links have ensured that Ireland is centrally involved in ground-breaking international projects. I look forward to continuing collaboration with IAS Princeton.”

Event Details
The conference, entitled ‘The Amplituhedron at 10’, ran from Monday 24 to Friday 28 April, featuring experts from both DIAS and IAS Princeton and marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Amplituhedron as a new mathematical object by Professor Arkani-Hamed and Professor Jaroslav Trnka. This was the first of two planned in-person engagements between the two Institutes over the coming year. The lead organiser for the Dublin event is Professor Sergei Gukov, Senior Professor, DIAS.

Kicking off conference proceedings was Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed, a leading particle physics phenomenologist delivered a public lecture on, ‘Why Is the Universe Big?’. In his talk, Prof. Nima Arkani-Hamed explored the question, ‘why is the universe big?’, and discussed some of the deepest mysteries confronting fundamental physics today, challenging the foundations of our understanding of spacetime, quantum mechanics and the vacuum. This lecture is now available on our YouTube Channel here.

The conference also featured a special public lecture from renowned Japanese mathematician Tadashi Tokieda, who is a professor of mathematics at Stanford. He grew up as a painter in Japan and later earned a PhD in pure mathematics from Princeton. He has been an applied mathematician in England and the US.

Tokieda’s lecture ‘A World from a Sheet of Paper’ explored a diversity of phenomena, from magic tricks and geometry through elasticity and the traditional Japanese art of origami to medical devices. The lecture is now available to view on our YouTube Channel here.