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Conferences, Workshops, Seminars and Colloquia

Conferences and Workshops

Perimeter’s renowned conference program returned with renewed enthusiasm this year, bringing together researchers from across the globe to discuss some of the biggest and most pressing questions in theoretical physics. Conferences organized at Perimeter focus on leading-edge topics, often in emerging fields. They highlight cross-disciplinary approaches by bringing together researchers who might not cross paths anywhere else. Through the conference and workshop programs, Perimeter acts as a Canadian and global nexus to shape the future of physics.

In 2022/23, 11 conferences and workshops were held at Perimeter, bringing 740 scientists through the doors as in-person attendees, with 1,732 additional participants joining remotely.

Perimeter continues to offer online access for all conferences and workshops through the building’s state-of-the-art audio-visual recording system, allowing virtual attendees to participate and interact meaningfully in the scientific discourse. Perimeter continues its commitment to hybrid conferences and workshops to provide increased accessibility and to reduce the carbon footprint associated with travel.

All conferences, workshops, and seminars held at Perimeter are recorded and made freely available to the scientific community through the Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA) and SciVideos.

Perimeter Hosts Strings 2023

Strings 2023
In July, Perimeter Institute was the host for the 34th iteration of Strings, the flagship conference for the string theory research community worldwide. String theorists began gathering yearly in 1988, and that gathering has since grown into a major international meeting – one of the largest in theoretical physics. The week-long conference has become increasingly broad and cross-disciplinary over the years. Strings 2023 was held in a hybrid format, with 200 researchers from around the world attending in person and another 1,400 researchers joining online. The organizing committee comprised Perimeter Research Faculty members Sabrina Pasterski (main), Freddy Cachazo, Kevin Costello, Davide Gaiotto, Jaume Gomis, Robert Myers, and Pedro Vieira and Research Associate Faculty member Alex Buchel. All the lectures from the conference are available on PIRSA.  String theory began reshaping the landscape of theoretical physics about 40 years ago. It reimagined elementary particles – things like electrons and quarks – as vibration modes in tiny, energetic strings. Since then, it has developed into a field of mathematical physics touching on subjects from quantum gravity to condensed matter physics. In the words of Andrew Strominger, Director of the Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature at Harvard University and a DVRC at Perimeter: “String theory isn’t just a small group of people narrowly working on some idea that came out 50 years ago. Rather, it’s a huge tree full of ideas.” 
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Seminars and Colloquia

Throughout the year, resident scientists and those from other institutions give seminars and colloquia on their latest research, promoting scientific exchange and often sparking collaboration across disciplines. This year’s seminar program returned to in-person presentations and discussions. However, having learned from our pandemic experiences, online options were still available for remote participants, as part of Perimeter’s continued commitment to broadening reach and accessibility.

In 2022/23, Perimeter hosted 333 seminars and 24 colloquia. Increasing the number of talks given by women has been a focus of EDI strategies at the Institute; this year, 20 percent of the talks were delivered by women.

With few exceptions, each seminar and colloquium is recorded and posted to PIRSA – a free, searchable online database that now catalogues more than 15,140 videos, which were viewed 515,436 times in 2022/23 alone. These recorded talks have become a valued resource worldwide, particularly to those who are not at major research centres.

With support from the Simons Foundation, Perimeter has also created a new international hub that expands on the success of PIRSA. carries the full PIRSA catalogue, as well as additional talks from partners including CERN (Switzerland), the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing (US), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy), and the South American Institute for Fundamental Research (Brazil). The total number of videos in the SciVideos archive has risen to 17,743, with over 2,780 videos added in the past year.

Neil Turok, Machine Learning for Quantum Many-Body Systems
Francesca Vidotto, Sciccom Collider
Panel discussion, Quantum Simulators of Fundamental Physics

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