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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Gunther Uhlmann, University of Washington
Friday, May 17, 2024 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
ECE 125
Gunther Uhlmann
Gunther Uhlmann

We will consider the inverse problem of determining the sound speed or index of refraction of a medium by measuring the travel times of waves going through the medium. This problem arises in global seismology in an attempt to determine the inner structure of the Earth by measuring travel times of earthquakes. It also has several applications in optics and medical imaging among others.

The problem can be recast as a geometric problem: Can one determine the Riemannian metric of a Riemannian manifold with boundary by measuring the distance function between boundary points? This is the boundary rigidity problem. We will survey some of the known results about this problem.

No previous knowledge of differential geometry will be assumed.

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