Can we make objects invisible? This has been a subject of human fascination for millennia in Greek mythology, movies, science fiction, etc. including the legend of Perseus versus Medusa and the more recent Star Trek and Harry Potter. In the last decade or so there have been several scientific proposals to achieve invisibility. One of the most general ways proposed to accomplish this goal has been "transformation optics" which we will describe in detail.
About the speaker
Günther Uhlmann's research focuses on inverse problems and imaging, microlocal analysis and partial differential equations. Uhlmann studied mathematics as an undergraduate at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago. He continued his studies at MIT where he received a PhD in 1976. He held postdoctoral positions at MIT, Harvard and NYU, including a Courant Instructorship at the Courant Institute in 1977–1978. In 1980, he became Assistant Professor at MIT and then moved in 1985 to the University of Washington. He has been the Walker Family Professor at the University of Washington since 2006. Since 2010 he has been on leave at the University of California, Irvine, as the Excellence in Teaching Endowed Chair.
Uhlmann has received several honors for his research including a Sloan Fellowship in 1984 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2001. In 2001 he was elected a Corresponding Member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics since 2004. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and a SIAM Fellow in 2010. He was an Invited Speaker at ICM in Berlin in 1998 and a Plenary Speaker at International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Zurich in 2007. He was named a Highly Cited Researcher by ISI in 2004. He was awarded the Bôcher Memorial Prize in 2011 and the Kleinman Prize also in 2011. Uhlmann delivered the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Einstein Lecture in 2012. He was awarded the Fondation Math'ematiques de Paris Research Chair for 2012–2013. He was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2012.