Annual Report 2007-2008

  • This year Dr. Stachel started to work on turning his lecture notes on general relativity into a book on the subject. He has been joined in this work by Kaca Bradonjic, a graduate student in the Physics Department. She has also joined him in working on the topic of conformal and projective structures in general relativity. This fall and spring, he supervised her Directed Research Physics courses on this topic, with the hope that ultimately it will provide the topic of her Doctoral Thesis. Stachel gave a Physics Colloquium at the Physics Department of The City College of New York on April 30, 2008 on “The Search for a Quantum Theory of Gravity.”
  • He and Dr. Mihaela Iftime joined with Dr. Michael Wright of the Archive for Contemporary Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy in organizing a conference on “Trends in the Mathematical Representation of Space: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives,” co-sponsored by the Center for Einstein Studies and the Center for Philosophy and History of Science. It started on November 30 with a Colloquium by Prof. Pierre Cartier of the Institut des Hautes √Čtudes Scientifiques, Paris, ” On the Naturalness of Mathematics: Towards a Relativised Ontology for Mathematics,”and continued with all-day sessions on Dec. 1-2, 2007 at the Photonics Center.
  • Stachel chaired the Boston Colloquium session on March 17, 2008, at which Prof. Michel Janssen of the University of Minnesota spoke on ” Drawing the Line between Kinematics and Dynamics in Special Relativity.”
  • This year he wrote the article on “Albert Einstein” for the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Gale 2008, vol. 2, pp. 363-373,
  • His 2005 Mastermind Lecture on “Albert Einstein” was published in the Proceedings of the British Academy 151 (2007), pp. 423-458.