physics of events
Our digital lives rely on distributed computer systems, such as the internet, but understanding the order of events in such systems is not always straightforward.
Can we define an event without reference to space and time? And why would this be useful? Laura Mersini-Houghton explains.
The renowned physicist Juan Maldacena, of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, has developed a great analogy to explain the beautiful symmetries that underpin the fundamental forces and particles, including the Higgs boson: he thinks of space as a grid of countries and of particles as travellers keen on making money by speculating with currencies.
Most of us know what we mean when we say that something has happened. For theoretical physicists, however, this isn't an easy question. Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology explains why it's hard to define events and what to do about it.