Electromagnetism and Falling Cats

Geometry Topology Working Seminar
Friday, September 22, 2023 - 2:00pm for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Skiles 006
Daniel Irvine – Georgia Institute of Technology – dirvine7@gatech.edu
John Etnyre

In this talk I will develop a parallel between the classical field theory of electromagnetism and geometric mechanics of animal locomotion. I will illustrate this parallel using some informative examples from the two disciplines. In the realm of electromagnetism, we will investigate the magnetic monopole, as classically as possible. In the realm of animal locomotion, we will investigate the aphorism that a cat dropped (from a safe height) upside-down always lands on her feet. It turns out that both of these phenomena are caused by the presence of non-trivial topology.

No prior knowledge of classical field theory will be assumed, and this talk may continue into a second session at a later date.