Professor Gunther Uhlmann, a mathematician

Inverse problems and Harry Potter's cloak

Can we make objects invisible? Professor Gunther Uhlmann explores inverse problems, and the progress scientists are making to achieve invisibility.

Inverse problems arise in all fields of science and technology where causes for a desired or observed effect are to be determined.

By solving inverse problems we obtain a large part of our information about the world.

An example is human vision: from the measurements of scattered light that reaches our retinas, our brains construct a detailed three-dimensional map of the world around us.

Over the past 15 years there have been several scientific proposals to achieve invisibility.

Professor Uhlmann's collaborators at the University of Washington, University of Rochester, and University of Helsinki have proposed a series of mathematical models used to build an invisibility cloak.

In this lecture, Professor Uhlmann will describe several inverse problems arising in different contexts, and discuss a simple and powerful proposal known as transformation optics, and its part in the progress scientists are making to achieve invisibility.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Monday 26 March 2018.

Professor Gunther Uhlmann

Professor Gunther Uhlmann is the Walker Family Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Washington, and Si-Yuan Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, HKUST, Hong Kong.

Professor Uhlmann studied mathematics as an undergraduate at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago before obtaining his PhD at MIT.

He has received several honours for his research, including the Guggenheim and Sloan Fellowships in addition to the prestigious Bôcher Memorial Prize.

Co-presented with the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney.

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