Activities in 2002-2003

From the Report for Academic Year 2002-2003
of the Institute for Advanced Study

PIET HUT established a new interdisciplinary program. His visitors spanned the fields of physics and astrophysics, computational biology, computer science, cognitive science, and philosophy.

Prof. Hut's own research focused on astrophysics. Together with colleagues from Japan and Holland, he published results from the first realistic N-body simulations of globular clusters, modeling the galactic cluster M15 and the giant cluster G1 in M32. He published several other papers in stellar dynamics, on the long-term evolution of isolated N-body systems, on the details of core collapse, as well as on other topics.

He published a book `The Gravitational Million-Body Problem', coauthored with Douglas Heggie from Edinburgh University. He organized a second workshop in the MODEST series (for MOdeling DEnse STellar systems), which he had started the year before, when he organized MODEST-1 in New York City. MODEST-2 was held in Amsterdam, in December 2002, with co-organizer Simon Portegies Zwart from Amsterdam University.

Together with Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart, Prof. Hut organized a workshop on Deflecting Asteroids, at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This was a follow-up meeting of a conference he organized there in 2001 with astronaut Ed Lu. He was also one of the organizers of a conference and summer school on the topic of `Ways of Knowing,' at Amherst College, as the fifth public offering of the Kira Institute, of which he is one of the founding members.