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Ernest Solvay was a wealthy Belgian industrialist who dabbled in physics. He got the idea of sponsoring a conference to which the most notable scientists of the time would be invited with the hope that they might spend some time discussing his ideas. The first of these meetings was held in Brussels in 1911, and there is no record that I am aware of that anyone discussed Solvay's ideas. The guest list could be taken from the authors' index of any text on twentieth-century physics. Madame Curie was there, and just behind her in the photograph, and standing to Einstein's left, is Paul Langevin, a theoretical physicist with whom she had just ended a notorious affair. Seated next to her on her left is Henri Poincar é, who was one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived. But he was also a polymath who had worked in all sorts of sciences, including physics. Some of the things he wrote before Einstein's invention of the theory of relativity in 1905 have intimations of the theory and,...

Keywords

Steklov Institute Riemann Hypothesis Ricci Flow Young Mathematician Print Journal 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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