School of Mathematical Sciences

Doing physics from nothing: Buckingham Pi Theorem menu

Doing physics from nothing: Buckingham Pi Theorem

Diego Carranza Ortiz
Wed, 16/03/2016 - 12:00

Since its origins in the study of fluid dynamics, dimensional analysis has been a powerful tool for obtaining remarkable insights about the behaviour of physical systems. In this sense, I will present Buckingham Pi Theorem as a useful (and some people would say 'magical') algorithm to obtain physically relevant quantities in cases where dynamical equations are not known. Also, I will discuss it briefly in more modern mathematical terms involving Lie Algebras and rescaling groups. For the sake of clarity, I will work out several examples where this method can be applied, ranging from the Pythagorean theorem to black holes.