Grad Seminar Series - Spinors and Space-Time

Date and Time


Summerlee Science Complex Room 1305



Berend Schneider


You may recall from first year special relativity that under a boost, length contraction occurs, so you might expect an object to appear `squashed' along the boost direction. This is, however, not how you see a boost. Attached you can see a gif of how the Millennium Falcon appears when it is being Lorentz boosted in the x-direction. This distortion is conformal, meaning that the shape of a small object appears the same to all observers! As a consequence, a sphere, like the earth, will appear as a sphere to all observers (i.e., the Lorentz contraction is invisible!)

Möbius transformation
Interestingly, I made this gif using complex numbers and spinors, which seem unrelated to relativity (you might recognize the gif as a Möbius transformation).

There is a very deep connection here! In this talk, I will construct a literal picture of a spinor, and discuss a few of its applications.


There will be snacks available throughout the talk in SSC 1305, as well as refreshments available beforehand in the lunchroom on the 2nd floor of MacN. 

Everyone is welcome to join! For those unable to attend in person, the talk will also be streamed live over teams.

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