Ford Commemorative Lecture: "God does play dice: Why quantum mechanics is craps, How chaos crafted the Kuiper belt, and other curmudgeonly concepts"
April 9, 2012 - 11:00am
Marcus Nano Conference Room. 1116
Joseph Ford saw beauty in "Chaos" and the potential for ``villainous chaos" to be used in a constructive manner. His ideas have proved prescient. The talk will focus mainly on how chaotic dynamics may have played a key constructive -- rather than destructive -- role in shaping certain features of the Kuiper belt: in particular, the formation and properties of binary objects in the transneptunian part of the Solar System. Kuiper belt binaries stand out from other known binary objects in having a range of peculiar orbital and physical properties which may, actually, be the fingerprint of chaos in the primordial Kuiper belt. Understanding how these remote binaries formed may shed light on the formation and evolution of the Solar System itself.