Linkages and their applications

Misha Kapovich

UC Davis

March 31,
4:15pm
refreshments at 3:45pm
2-338

ABSTRACT 

Historically, linkages appear as tools for tracing curves, they also have long been used in the mechanical engineering. One of the most famous examples is ``Watt parallelogram'', invented by James Watt to solve the problem of linking the piston of his steam engine to a point on the flywheel so that the straight line motion of the piston would convert to the rotation of the flywheel.

In this talk I will concentrate on three, purely mathematical, aspects of the theory of mechanical linkages:

1. Universality theorems for moduli spaces of mechanical linkages.

2. Applications of linkages to the representation theory of finitely- generated groups (Coxeter, Artin and 3-manifold groups).

3. Applications of polygonal linkages to the representation theory of Lie groups: Saturation theorems for the decompositions of tensor products of irreducible representations, etc.


Speaker's Contact Info: kapovich(at-sign)math.ucdavis.edu


Return to seminar home page

Combinatorics Seminar, Mathematics Department, MIT, sara(at-sign)math.mit.edu

Page loaded on February 23, 2004 at 01:53 PM. Copyright © 1998-99, Sara C. Billey. All rights reserved.