Moyal Medallist 2006

Moyal Medallist 2006

Moyal Medal

The 2006 Moyal Medallist is Dr Professor Eugene Seneta, School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney.

Title: Markov Chains as models in Statistical Mechanics


The Bernoulli–Laplace (1812) and the Ehrenfest (1907) urn models for mixing are instances of simple Markov chain models called random walks. Both were used to suggest a probabilistic resolution of the controversy concerning the irreversibility and recurrence paradoxes inherent in Boltzmann’s H-Theorem. Marian von Smoluchowski (1914) also modelled by a Markov chain the fluctuations over time in the number of particles contained in a geometrically well defined small element of volume in a solution containing particles exhibiting random motion.

The lecture will explore lightly the themes of entropy and reversibility within the framework of such Markov chains.

This talk should be accessible to honours and graduate students in mathematics, physics and statistics. There will be time for questions and discussion after the lecture.

The talk is followed by a complimentary light supper in the E7A-408 Tea-room. All are welcome.

John Corbett
Chair of the Moyal Medal Committee

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