Sir Michael Atiyah who receiced the Abel Prize in 2004, shared with Isadore Singer, will give the Abel Lecture at ICM in Rio on the 6th of August. He has titled the lecture: "The Future of Mathematical Physics: new ideas in old bottles". Atiyah will be introduced by Jacob Palis, former president of the International Mathematical Union and a member of the Abel Committee.
Mathematics and Physics have a rich and intricate history, going back at least to Pythagoras and Archimedes. In the last fifty years it has expanded in new directions but the future is uncertain. I propose to peer into the future using old ideas of Archimedes.
We still have much to learn from the wisdom of the past, as Abel demonstrated. I will illustrate my thoughts by simple examples such as the magical number pi. What can it teach us today, two millennia after Archimedes discovered it?