27. October 2022 | Press releases:

On the trail of the unsolvable? Event series "The 7 Greatest Adventures in Mathematics" makes a stop in Braunschweig

The Millennium Prize Problems are seven mathematical problems which, apart from the Poincaré Conjecture, remain unsolved to this day despite the tireless efforts of mathematicians from all over the world. They were selected by the Clay Mathematics Institute at the turn of the millennium and each solution was offered a prize of one million US dollars. In order to explore the adventure of the millennium problems together, the nationwide event series The 7 Greatest Adventures in Mathematics of the Junge Akademie and the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung (German Mathematical Society), with the support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation), will take place this year at seven locations with lectures and workshops for pupils. On 1 and 8 November, two lectures on the Navier-Stokes equations are planned at Technische Universität Braunschweig.

In the year 1900, David Hilbert compiled 23 mathematical problems that shaped mathematics in the 20th century. Similarly, the Millennium Prize Problems are shaping mathematics today. For many problems, a solution cannot be expected in the near future, but on the way to these distant goals, fascinating results emerge.

The series of events was initiated by the two Braunschweig mathematics professors Timo de Wolff (Institute of Analysis and Algebra), speaker of the Junge Akademie, and Sebastian Stiller (Institute for Mathematical Optimization), board member of the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung until 2020. It is under the patronage of Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research.

“Gold standard of fluid mechanics”

How does water flow over a rapids? How does the wind blow around a skyscraper or how does air flow around a car body? And is it possible to calculate this? Is there a basic mathematical model for this – like Newton’s laws for the motion of solid bodies? One basic model of fluid mechanics is the Navier-Stokes equations. They are more complicated than Newton’s laws and for complex applications one has to approximate them or fall back on values from experiments, for example in the wind tunnel. “Navier-Stokes equations are the gold standard of fluid mechanics and therefore fit very well with our Cluster of Excellence in Aviation SE2A,” says Prof. Sebastian Stiller. But of what quality is this mathematical model? That is not (yet) known.

Lectures at TU Braunschweig

Tuesday, 1 November 2022, 5.30 p.m.
TU Braunschweig, Historic Main Building, Architectural Pavilion, Pockelsstraße 4, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany

The Vice-President of the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, Prof. Dr. Joachim Escher from the Institute of Applied Mathematics at Leibniz Universität Hannover, will give a lecture on the Millennium Prize Problem of the Navier-Stokes equations in a generally understandable way.

Afterwards, he will join the Chair of the German Science and Humanities Council Prof. Dr. Dorothea Wagner (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Prof. Dr. Jens Friedrich (TU Braunschweig, spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence SE2A on the energy transition in aviation) and Prof. Dr. Timo de Wolff, spokesperson of the Junge Akademie (TU Braunschweig, Institute for Analysis and Algebra) in a panel discussion on the topic “Warum auf den Gipfel? Mathematik zwischen Grundlagenwissenschaft und Anwendungsmächtigkeit” (Why go to the summit? Mathematics between basic science and application power). You can follow the event via livestream at https://lnk.tu-bs.de/kCqSaJ.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022, 3.00 p.m.
TU Braunschweig, Historic Main Building, Architecture Pavilion, Pockelsstraße 4, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany

Prof. Dr. Carsten Schilde from the Institute for Particle Technology at TU Braunschweig will talk about the importance of the Navier-Stokes equations in applications, especially engineering sciences, in his lecture “Wie alles fließt” (“How everything flows”).

Closing event on 18 November in Berlin

At the closing event on Friday, 18 November 2022 at 6 p.m. at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Dr. Timo de Wolff from the Institute of Analysis and Algebra at TU Braunschweig, spokesperson for the Junge Akademie and co-initiator of the event series, will also give a welcoming speech.