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  • richardmitnick 2:44 pm on October 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A new species of traversable wormhole has emerged, , , Basic Research, Black holes and wormholes, Carl Sagan and Kip Thorne, , Many theorists believe in black hole interiors but in order to understand them they must discover the fate of information that falls inside, , , The paradox has loomed since 1974 when the British physicist Stephen Hawking determined that black holes evaporate, The repulsive negative energy in the wormhole’s throat can be generated from the outside by a special quantum connection between the pair of black holes that form the wormhole’s two mouths, The wormhole also safeguards unitarity — the principle that information is never lost, While traversable wormholes won’t revolutionize space travel according to Preskill the new wormhole discovery provides “a promising resolution” to the black hole firewall question by suggesting   

    From Quanta: “Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes” 

    Quanta Magazine
    Quanta Magazine

    October 23, 2017
    Natalie Wolchover

    Tomáš Müller for Quanta Magazine

    In 1985, when Carl Sagan was writing the novel Contact, he needed to quickly transport his protagonist Dr. Ellie Arroway from Earth to the star Vega. He had her enter a black hole and exit light-years away, but he didn’t know if this made any sense. The Cornell University astrophysicist and television star consulted his friend Kip Thorne, a black hole expert at the California Institute of Technology (who won a Nobel Prize earlier this month). Thorne knew that Arroway couldn’t get to Vega via a black hole, which is thought to trap and destroy anything that falls in. But it occurred to him that she might make use of another kind of hole consistent with Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity: a tunnel or “wormhole” connecting distant locations in space-time.

    While the simplest theoretical wormholes immediately collapse and disappear before anything can get through, Thorne wondered whether it might be possible for an “infinitely advanced” sci-fi civilization to stabilize a wormhole long enough for something or someone to traverse it. He figured out that such a civilization could in fact line the throat of a wormhole with “exotic material” that counteracts its tendency to collapse. The material would possess negative energy, which would deflect radiation and repulse space-time apart from itself. Sagan used the trick in Contact, attributing the invention of the exotic material to an earlier, lost civilization to avoid getting into particulars. Meanwhile, those particulars enthralled Thorne, his students and many other physicists, who spent years exploring traversable wormholes and their theoretical implications. They discovered that these wormholes can serve as time machines, invoking time-travel paradoxes — evidence that exotic material is forbidden in nature.

    Now, decades later, a new species of traversable wormhole has emerged, free of exotic material and full of potential for helping physicists resolve a baffling paradox about black holes. This paradox is the very problem that plagued the early draft of Contact and led Thorne to contemplate traversable wormholes in the first place; namely, that things that fall into black holes seem to vanish without a trace. This total erasure of information breaks the rules of quantum mechanics, and it so puzzles experts that in recent years, some have argued that black hole interiors don’t really exist — that space and time strangely end at their horizons.

    The flurry of findings started last year with a paper [Journal not named] that reported the first traversable wormhole that doesn’t require the insertion of exotic material to stay open. Instead, according to Ping Gao and Daniel Jafferis of Harvard University and Aron Wall of Stanford University, the repulsive negative energy in the wormhole’s throat can be generated from the outside by a special quantum connection between the pair of black holes that form the wormhole’s two mouths. When the black holes are connected in the right way, something tossed into one will shimmy along the wormhole and, following certain events in the outside universe, exit the second. Remarkably, Gao, Jafferis and Wall noticed that their scenario is mathematically equivalent to a process called quantum teleportation, which is key to quantum cryptography and can be demonstrated in laboratory experiments.

    John Preskill, a black hole and quantum gravity expert at Caltech, says the new traversable wormhole comes as a surprise, with implications for the black hole information paradox and black hole interiors. “What I really like,” he said, “is that an observer can enter the black hole and then escape to tell about what she saw.” This suggests that black hole interiors really exist, he explained, and that what goes in must come out.



    Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Quanta Magazine

    The new wormhole work began in 2013, when Jafferis attended an intriguing talk at the Strings conference in South Korea. The speaker, Juan Maldacena, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, had recently concluded, based on various hints and arguments, that “ER = EPR.” That is, wormholes between distant points in space-time, the simplest of which are called Einstein-Rosen or “ER” bridges, are equivalent (albeit in some ill-defined way) to entangled quantum particles, also known as Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen or “EPR” pairs. The ER = EPR conjecture, posed by Maldacena and Leonard Susskind of Stanford, was an attempt to solve the modern incarnation of the infamous black hole information paradox by tying space-time geometry, governed by general relativity, to the instantaneous quantum connections between far-apart particles that Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”

    The paradox has loomed since 1974, when the British physicist Stephen Hawking determined that black holes evaporate — slowly giving off heat in the form of particles now known as “Hawking radiation.” Hawking calculated that this heat is completely random; it contains no information about the black hole’s contents. As the black hole blinks out of existence, so does the universe’s record of everything that went inside. This violates a principle called “unitarity,” the backbone of quantum theory, which holds that as particles interact, information about them is never lost, only scrambled, so that if you reversed the arrow of time in the universe’s quantum evolution, you’d see things unscramble into an exact re-creation of the past.

    Almost everyone believes in unitarity, which means information must escape black holes — but how? In the last five years, some theorists, most notably Joseph Polchinski of the University of California, Santa Barbara, have argued that black holes are empty shells with no interiors at all — that Ellie Arroway, upon hitting a black hole’s event horizon, would fizzle on a “firewall” and radiate out again.

    Many theorists believe in black hole interiors (and gentler transitions across their horizons), but in order to understand them, they must discover the fate of information that falls inside. This is critical to building a working quantum theory of gravity, the long-sought union of the quantum and space-time descriptions of nature that comes into sharpest relief in black hole interiors, where extreme gravity acts on a quantum scale.

    The quantum gravity connection is what drew Maldacena, and later Jafferis, to the ER = EPR idea, and to wormholes. The implied relationship between tunnels in space-time and quantum entanglement posed by ER = EPR resonated with a popular recent belief that space is essentially stitched into existence by quantum entanglement. It seemed that wormholes had a role to play in stitching together space-time and in letting black hole information worm its way out of black holes — but how might this work? When Jafferis heard Maldacena talk about his cryptic equation and the evidence for it, he was aware that a standard ER wormhole is unstable and non-traversable. But he wondered what Maldacena’s duality would mean for a traversable wormhole like the ones Thorne and others played around with decades ago. Three years after the South Korea talk, Jafferis and his collaborators Gao and Wall presented their answer. The work extends the ER = EPR idea by equating, not a standard wormhole and a pair of entangled particles, but a traversable wormhole and quantum teleportation: a protocol discovered in 1993 [Physical Review Letters]that allows a quantum system to disappear and reappear unscathed somewhere else.

    When Maldacena read Gao, Jafferis and Wall’s paper, “I viewed it as a really nice idea, one of these ideas that after someone tells you, it’s obvious,” he said. Maldacena and two collaborators, Douglas Stanford and Zhenbin Yang, immediately began exploring the new wormhole’s ramifications for the black hole information paradox; their paper appeared in April. Susskind and Ying Zhao of Stanford followed this with a paper about wormhole teleportation in July. The wormhole “gives an interesting geometric picture for how teleportation happens,” Maldacena said. “The message actually goes through the wormhole.”

    Video: David Kaplan explores one of the biggest mysteries in physics: the apparent contradiction between general relativity and quantum mechanics. Filming by Petr Stepanek. Editing and motion graphics by MK12. Music by Steven Gutheinz.

    Diving Into Wormholes

    In their paper, “Diving Into Traversable Wormholes,” published in Fortschritte der Physik, Maldacena, Stanford and Yang consider a wormhole of the new kind that connects two black holes: a parent black hole and a daughter one formed from half of the Hawking radiation given off by the parent as it evaporates. The two systems are as entangled as they can be. Here, the fate of the older black hole’s information is clear: It worms its way out of the daughter black hole.

    During an interview this month in his tranquil office at the IAS, Maldacena, a reserved Argentinian-American with a track record of influential insights, described his radical musings. On the right side of a chalk-dusty blackboard, Maldacena drew a faint picture of two black holes connected by the new traversable wormhole. On the left, he sketched a quantum teleportation experiment, performed by the famous fictional experimenters Alice and Bob, who are in possession of entangled quantum particles a and b, respectively. Say Alice wants to teleport a qubit q to Bob. She prepares a combined state of q and a, measures that combined state (reducing it to a pair of classical bits, 1 or 0), and sends the result of this measurement to Bob. He can then use this as a key for operating on b in a way that re-creates the state q. Voila, a unit of quantum information has teleported from one place to the other.

    Maldacena turned to the right side of the blackboard. “You can do operations with a pair of black holes that are morally equivalent to what I discussed [about quantum teleportation]. And in that picture, this message really goes through the wormhole.”

    Juan Maldacena, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study. Sasha Maslov for Quanta Magazine

    Say Alice throws qubit q into black hole A. She then measures a particle of its Hawking radiation, a, and transmits the result of the measurement through the external universe to Bob, who can use this knowledge to operate on b, a Hawking particle coming out of black hole B. Bob’s operation reconstructs q, which appears to pop out of B, a perfect match for the particle that fell into A. This is why some physicists are excited: Gao, Jafferis and Wall’s wormhole allows information to be recovered from black holes. In their paper, they set up their wormhole in a negatively curved space-time geometry that often serves as a useful, if unrealistic, playground for quantum gravity theorists. However, their wormhole idea seems to extend to the real world as long as two black holes are coupled in the right way: “They have to be causally connected and then the nature of the interaction that we took is the simplest thing you can imagine,” Jafferis explained. If you allow the Hawking radiation from one of the black holes to fall into the other, the two black holes become entangled, and the quantum information that falls into one can exit the other.

    The quantum-teleportation format precludes using these traversable wormholes as time machines. Anything that goes through the wormhole has to wait for Alice’s message to travel to Bob in the outside universe before it can exit Bob’s black hole, so the wormhole doesn’t offer any superluminal boost that could be exploited for time travel. It seems traversable wormholes might be permitted in nature as long as they offer no speed advantage. “Traversable wormholes are like getting a bank loan,” Gao, Jafferis and Wall wrote in their paper: “You can only get one if you are rich enough not to need it.”

    A Naive Octopus

    While traversable wormholes won’t revolutionize space travel, according to Preskill the new wormhole discovery provides “a promising resolution” to the black hole firewall question by suggesting that there is no firewall at black hole horizons. Preskill said the discovery rescues “what we call ‘black hole complementarity,’ which means that the interior and exterior of the black hole are not really two different systems but rather two very different, complementary ways of looking at the same system.” If complementarity holds, as is widely assumed, then in passing across a black hole horizon from one realm to the other, Contact’s Ellie Arroway wouldn’t notice anything strange. This seems more likely if, under certain conditions, she could even slide all the way through a Gao-Jafferis-Wall wormhole.

    The wormhole also safeguards unitarity — the principle that information is never lost — at least for the entangled black holes being studied. Whatever falls into one black hole eventually exits the other as Hawking radiation, Preskill said, which “can be thought of as in some sense a very scrambled copy of the black hole interior.”

    Taking the findings to their logical conclusion, Preskill thinks it ought to be possible (at least for an infinitely advanced civilization) to influence the interior of one of these black holes by manipulating its radiation. This “sounds crazy,” he wrote in an email, but it “might make sense if we can think of the radiation, which is entangled with the black hole — EPR — as being connected to the black hole interior by wormholes — ER. Then tickling the radiation can send a message which can be read from inside the black hole!” He added, “We still have a ways to go, though, before we can flesh out this picture in more detail.”

    Indeed, obstacles remain in the quest to generalize the new wormhole findings to a statement about the fate of all quantum information, or the meaning of ER = EPR.

    A sketch known as the “octopus” that expresses the ER = EPR idea.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1306.0533 [hep-th]

    In Maldacena and Susskind’s paper proposing ER = EPR, they included a sketch that’s become known as the “octopus”: a black hole with tentacle-like wormholes leading to distant Hawking particles that have evaporated out of it. The authors explained that the sketch illustrates “the entanglement pattern between the black hole and the Hawking radiation. We expect that this entanglement leads to the interior geometry of the black hole.”

    But according to Matt Visser, a mathematician and general-relativity expert at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand who has studied wormholes since the 1990s, the most literal reading of the octopus picture doesn’t work. The throats of wormholes formed from single Hawking particles would be so thin that qubits could never fit through. “A traversable wormhole throat is ‘transparent’ only to wave packets with size smaller than the throat radius,” Visser explained. “Big wave packets will simply bounce off any small wormhole throat without crossing to the other side.”

    Stanford, who co-wrote the recent paper with Maldacena and Yang, acknowledged that this is a problem with the simplest interpretation of the ER = EPR idea, in which each particle of Hawking radiation has its own tentacle-like wormhole. However, a more speculative interpretation of ER = EPR that he and others have in mind does not suffer from this failing. “The idea is that in order to recover the information from the Hawking radiation using this traversable wormhole,” Stanford said, one has to “gather the Hawking radiation together and act on it in a complicated way.” This complicated collective measurement reveals information about the particles that fell in; it has the effect, he said, of “creating a large, traversable wormhole out of the small and unhelpful octopus tentacles. The information would then propagate through this large wormhole.” Maldacena added that, simply put, the theory of quantum gravity might have a new, generalized notion of geometry for which ER equals EPR. “We think quantum gravity should obey this principle,” he said. “We view it more as a guide to the theory.”

    In his 1994 popular science book, Black Holes and Time Warps, Kip Thorne celebrated the style of reasoning involved in wormhole research. “No type of thought experiment pushes the laws of physics harder than the type triggered by Carl Sagan’s phone call to me,” he wrote; “thought experiments that ask, ‘What things do the laws of physics permit an infinitely advanced civilization to do, and what things do the laws forbid?’”

    See the full article here .

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    Formerly known as Simons Science News, Quanta Magazine is an editorially independent online publication launched by the Simons Foundation to enhance public understanding of science. Why Quanta? Albert Einstein called photons “quanta of light.” Our goal is to “illuminate science.” At Quanta Magazine, scientific accuracy is every bit as important as telling a good story. All of our articles are meticulously researched, reported, edited, copy-edited and fact-checked.

  • richardmitnick 1:22 pm on October 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART- Anomalous radiative trapping, , , Basic Research, , , Exawatt Center for Extreme Light Studies, , QED’s double-edged sword, The ART of gamma-ray creation, Toward a Better Gamma-Ray Source?   

    From Optics & Photonics: “Toward a Better Gamma-Ray Source?” 

    Optics & Photonics

    Stewart Wills

    In the Chalmers team’s concept, electrons and positrons (green) trapped in a petawatt-power laser field (surfaces in red, orange and yellow) are oscilated to produce cascades of high-energy gamma-ray photons (pink). The team’s concept relies on careful control of laser pulse duration and peak power, as well as density of charged particles, to maximize gamma ray production and energy. [Image: Arkady Gonoskov]

    The advent of lasers of petawatt peak powers, at facilities such as those of the European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), has physicists licking their chops for a previously unavailable, extremely bright source of high-energy gamma-ray photons for new kinds of experiments. But just how “high” can “high-energy” be?

    European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI)

    Previous simulations have suggested that as laser peak powers reach lofty petawatt levels, the laser field itself can start to run into fundamental limits. Those limits are tied to strong-field quantum electrodynamic (QED) effects, which can, through complex feedbacks, eventually sap the energy of the laser field driving them. As a result, it’s generally been assumed that efficient gamma-ray production from these new petawatt-peak-power lasers would be limited to energies well under a billion electron volts (GeV).

    Now, researchers from Sweden, Russia and the United Kingdom have re-crunched the numbers, and suggested that this fundamental limit might not be so fundamental after all (Phys. Rev. X, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevX.7.041003). The team’s modeling suggests that, by tweaking the laser pulse intensity and duration in the right way, it’s possible to tune the system to minimize the energy-depleting effects and maximize the creation of gamma rays. This, says the team, would allow the radiation from the high-power laser to be “converted into a well-collimated flash of GeV photons.”

    Thus far, the scenario, requiring lasers with peak powers on the order of 10 PW, has been proved out only on the computer. But the authors hope to see it verified in practice as such powerful lasers start come on line with the maturing of the ELI and other projects—a development that, they maintain, “could enable a new era of experiments in photonuclear and quark-nuclear physics.”

    QED’s double-edged sword

    One reason for doubts about maximum attainable energy has to do with the previously inaccessible physics of strong-field QED that petawatt-peak-power lasers will suddenly put on the table. On the plus side, the strong fields of 10-PW-plus lasers, interacting with and accelerating particles in an electron–positron plasma, can cause those particles to radiate a large fraction of their energy as energetic gamma-ray photons. That, in turn, has raised considerable anticipation that these soon-to-be-launched high-peak-power lasers could provide a source for high-energy gamma rays for new kinds of experiments.

    But there’s a catch. As the flux of gamma-ray photons produced by these light–matter interactions increases, a significant share of those high-energy photons would themselves interact with the laser field to create a cascade of electron–positron pairs, through the QED process of pair production. The result would be an increasingly dense plasma cloud in the laser field that would rapidly pull energy out of the field itself, quickly erasing its ability to create additional gamma-ray photons and preventing its use as a sustainable a gamma-ray source above a certain energy threshold.

    The ART of gamma-ray creation

    The team behind the new research—led by physicist Arkady Gonoskov of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, along with colleagues at Chalmers, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lobachevsky State University in Russia, and the University of Plymouth in the U.K.—sought to get around that limit. To do so, they looked in detail at the interaction of the electron–positron cascade with another process in these high-energy laser fields, so-called anomalous radiative trapping (ART).

    In ART, using a complex set of parabolic mirrors, 12 laser pulses can be focused into a dipole standing wave that traps electrons and positrons. The trapped particles are then oscillated in the wave in such a way that they gain substantial energy and have a high probability of emitting a substantial part of that gained energy in a single gamma-ray photon.

    As with other approaches to gamma-ray creation, the increasing gamma-ray flux from ART leads to a pair-production cascade and a growing plasma cloud of electrons and positrons. But using advanced 3-D QED particle-in-cell (PIC) numerical simulations, the Gonoskov team was able to establish that, at laser powers above around 7 PW, it’s possible to keep that cascade from putting a lid on the laser field’s energy for gamma-ray production.

    The trick, according to the team is to tune the ART setup’s pulse duration, peak power and initial particle density to maximize the field intensity, and thus the gamma-ray production, just before the plasma effects from the cascade start to reduce the energy of the generated photons. This, according to the researchers, allows “a maximal number of particles to interact with the most intense part of the laser pulses, and emit a large number of high-energy photons.”

    From simulation to reality?

    In their comprehensive PIC simulation, the researchers found that an experiment using 12 laser pulses with a total peak power of 40 PW could result in a well-collimated gamma-ray beam with an energy greater than 2 GeV, and “the unique capability of achieving high peak brilliance in an energy range unachievable for conventional sources.” As such, it could offer “a powerful tool for studying fundamental electromagnetic processes, and will open qualitatively new possibilities for studying photonuclear processes.”

    Putting the that promise to the test outside of numerical experiments, of course, must await the full production implementation of petawatt-scale lasers in ELI and elsewhere. In a press release accompanying the study, Gonoskov noted that the team’s concept “is already part of the experimental program proposed for one such facility: the Exawatt Center for Extreme Light Studies in Russia,” currently under construction.

    Exawatt Center for Extreme Light Studies, Russia

    See the full article here .

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    Optics & Photonics News (OPN) is The Optical Society’s monthly news magazine. It provides in-depth coverage of recent developments in the field of optics and offers busy professionals the tools they need to succeed in the optics industry, as well as informative pieces on a variety of topics such as science and society, education, technology and business. OPN strives to make the various facets of this diverse field accessible to researchers, engineers, businesspeople and students. Contributors include scientists and journalists who specialize in the field of optics. We welcome your submissions.

  • richardmitnick 10:06 am on October 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Basic Research, But no matter how when and where a new exoplanet is discovered there’s always that question burning at the back of our minds: could this exoplanet have Earth-like life?, , Modeling Limitless Skies   

    From astrobites: “Modeling Limitless Skies” 

    Astrobites bloc


    Title: Redox Evolution via Gravitational Differentiation on Low Mass Planets: Implications for Biosignatures, Water Loss and Habitability
    Authors: R. Wordsworth, L. Schaefer, R. Fischer
    First Author’s Institution: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences & Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Status: Submitted to ApJ [open access]

    Looking for life

    If you’ve been tuning into astronomy news lately, you’ve probably heard about a number of the cool new exoplanet discoveries, like those in the TRAPPIST-1 system, continuously rolling in from our telescopes hard at work.

    A size comparison of the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, lined up in order of increasing distance from their host star. The planetary surfaces are portrayed with an artist’s impression of their potential surface features, including water, ice, and atmospheres. NASA

    The TRAPPIST-1 star, an ultracool dwarf, is orbited by seven Earth-size planets (NASA).

    But no matter how, when, and where a new exoplanet is discovered, there’s always that question burning at the back of our minds: could this exoplanet have Earth-like life?

    See the full article here .

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    What do we do?

    Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.
    Why read Astrobites?

    Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.
    Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

  • richardmitnick 8:25 am on October 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Basic Research, , , ,   

    From FNAL: “Three Fermilab scientists awarded $17.5 million in SciDAC funding” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    October 23, 2017
    Troy Rummler

    Three Fermilab-led collaborations have been awarded a combined $17.5 million over three years by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program. Researchers James Amundson, Giuseppe Cerati and James Kowalkowski will use the funds to support collaborations with external partners in computer science and applied mathematics to address problems in high-energy physics with advanced computing solutions.

    The awards, two of which can be extended to five years, mark the fourth consecutive cycle of successful bids from Fermilab scientists, who this year also bring home the majority of high-energy physics SciDAC funding disbursed. The series of computational collaborations has enabled Fermilab to propose progressively more sophisticated projects. One, an accelerator simulation project, builds directly on previous SciDAC-funded projects, while the other two projects are new: one to speed up event reconstruction and one to design new data analysis workflows.

    “Not only have we had successful projects for the last decade,” said Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of Fermilab’s Scientific Computing Division, “but we acquired enough expertise that we’re now daring to do things that we wouldn’t have dared before.”

    James Amundson

    SciDAC is enabling James Amundson and his team to enhance both the depth and accuracy of simulation software to meet the challenges of emerging accelerator technology.

    His project ComPASS4 will do this by first developing integrated simulations of whole accelerator complexes, ensuring the success of PIP-II upgrades, for example, by simulating the effects of unwanted emitted radiation. PIP-II is the lab’s plan for providing powerful, high-intensity proton beams for the international Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. The work also supports long-term goals for accelerators now in various stages of development.

    “We will be able to study plasma acceleration in much greater detail than currently possible, then combine those simulations with simulations of the produced beam in order to create a virtual prototype next-generation accelerator,” Amundson said. “None of these simulations would have been tractable with current software and high-performance computing hardware.”

    Giuseppe Cerati

    The next generation of high-energy physics experiments, including the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, will produce an unprecedented amount of data, which needs to be reconstructed into useful information, including a particle’s energy and trajectory. Reconstruction takes an enormous amount of computing time and resources.

    “Processing this data in real time, and even offline, will become unsustainable with the current computing model,” Giuseppe Cerati said. He, therefore, has proposed to lead an exploration into modern computing architectures to speed up reconstruction.

    “Without a fundamental transition to faster processing, we would face significant reductions in efficiency and accuracy, which would have a big impact on an experiment’s discovery potential,” he added.

    James Kowalkowski

    James Kowalkowski’s group will aim to redefine data analysis, enhancing optimization procedures to use computing resources in ways that have been unavailable in the past. This means fundamental changes in computational techniques and software infrastructure.

    In this new way of working, rather than treating data sets as collections of files, used to transfer chunks of information from one processing or analysis stage to the next, researchers can view data as immediately available and moveable around a unified, large-scale distributed application. This will permit scientists within collaborations to process large portions of collected experimental data in short order — nearly on demand.

    “Without the special funding from SciDAC to pull people from diverse backgrounds together, it would be nearly impossible to carry out this work,” Kowalkowski said.

    See the full article here .

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

  • richardmitnick 10:07 am on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Basic Research,   

    From T3 – Technion Technology Transfer: “World-class Sponsorship for Technion DRIVE” 

    Technion T3 Technology Transfer

    Technion bloc


    World-class Sponsorship for Technion DRIVE

    Technion DRIVE Accelerator, a 9 month acceleration program for pre-seed and seed companies.

    The Technion DRIVE Accelerator Is successfully completing its first year of operation. Its impressive list of sponsors includes WeHealth by Servier and L’Oreal. WeHealth by Servier works in cooperation with startup partners to create innovative medical services and devices to improve patient care in targeted areas. L’Oreal has a pioneering innovation model which involves responsibility, global networking and sponsorship of research.

    “The participation of Servier and L’Oréal in the Technion DRIVE Accelerator shows their strong interest in being active players in Technion Innovation,” says Muriel Touaty, Director General of Technion France. “We are delighted that these two influential global companies are part of the initiative to accelerate startups born from the Technion innovation ecosystem,” adds CEO of T³ Benny Soffer.

    The Technion DRIVE Accelerator is a pre-seed and seed acceleration program that maximizes innovation potential from Technion’s global ecosystem – which includes faculty, researchers, students and alumni. In addition to seed funding, the accelerator offers business mentoring; office space; and access to Technion’s resources, research facilities, infrastructure and equipment. At Technion, the DRIVE embodies both the Technion vision of world-class research and the T³ mission of facilitating successful new ventures.

    After one year of operation the Drive already has a spread of fifteen pioneering start-ups. Among them are Mobility Insight – that is on its way to raising $5 million for its vehicle fleet and transportation management solution. In the area of autonomous systems, two companies address the challenges of drone technology. The first, Convexum, offers a cybersecurity platform for taking over and landing malicious drones and RegulusX Cyber Ltd that offers off-the-shelf security suite to protect drones from cyber-attacks and other system breaches. Another company – Feelit – is bringing the sense of touch to robotics with flexible sensing patch solutions that aim to exceed the sensitivity of human touch.

    Fields of innovation supported by the DRIVE include DIgital Health, Materials, ICT, Robotics, Augmented Reality, Big Data, FinTech and Autonomous Vehicles.

    L’Oreal and WeHealth by Servier are part of a global network of sponsors: LH Financial; FineTech Pharmaceutical; Global IoT Technology Ventures, Inc. (GiTV); FengHe Group; Cybele holdings; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Goodwin; and Shibolet & Co.

    Technion DRIVE Accelerator

    See the full article here .

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    Technion Campus

    A science and technology research university, among the world’s top ten,
    dedicated to the creation of knowledge and the development of human capital and leadership,
    for the advancement of the State of Israel and all humanity.

    T³ – Technion Technology Transfer

    T³ is the technology transfer office of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Entrepreneurship and commercialization are at the core of Technion innovation. As part of the Technion R&D Foundation (TRDF), T³ is a one-stop-shop for innovation and the expansion of Technion as a global hub for entrepreneurship, startups and commercialization.
    At T³, we commercialize cutting edge technologies developed by Technion researchers, students and alumni. T³’s mission is to facilitate and support the transformation of scientific discoveries into applied solutions. By creating optimal alliances between scientists, industrial partners, entrepreneurs, and investors, T³ enables a smooth transfer of technology to the world. Through its activities, T³ ensures that Technion IP and knowhow contributes to Israel’s economy and improves the quality of life worldwide.

  • richardmitnick 8:52 am on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A galactic embrace, , , Basic Research, ,   

    From ESO via Manu: “A galactic embrace” 

    Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    11 July 2011
    No writer credit

    Capturing a fusion between galaxies.
    Two galaxies, about 50 million light years away are literally woven into a galactic embrace. Seyfert Galaxy NGC 1097 in the constellation Fornax (Furnace), seen in this photograph taken with VIMOS instrument on Very Large Telescope (VLT). A companion, and comparatively small elliptical galaxy NGC 1097A , is also visible in the upper right. There is evidence that NGC 1097 and NGC 1097A have been interacting in the recent past.
    Although NGC 1097 seems to be wrapping its companion in its spiral arms, this is no gentle motherly giant. The larger galaxy also has four faint jets — too extended and faint to be seen in this image — that emerge from its centre, forming an X-shaped pattern, and which are the longest visible-wavelength jets of any known galaxy. The jets are thought to be the remnants of a dwarf galaxy that was disrupted and cannibalised by the much larger NGC 1097 up to a few billion years ago.

    These unusual jets are not the galaxy’s only intriguing feature. As previously mentioned, NGC 1097 is a Seyfert galaxy, meaning that it contains a supermassive black hole in its centre. However, the core of NGC 1097 is relatively faint, suggesting that the central black hole is not currently swallowing large quantities of gas and stars. Instead, the most striking feature of the galaxy’s centre is the ring of bright knots surrounding the nucleus. These knots are thought to be large bubbles of glowing hydrogen gas about 750–2500 light-years across, ionised by the intense ultraviolet light of young stars, and they indicate that the ring is a site of vigorous star formation

    With this distinctive central star-forming ring, and the addition of numerous bluish clusters of hot, young stars dotted through its spiral arms, NGC 1097 makes a stunning visual object.

    The data were originally taken in 2004 (see eso0438) with the VIMOS instrument on the VLT, and additional colour information from an image taken by amateur astronomer Robert Gendler has been superimposed. The VLT data were taken through three visible-light filters: R (at a wavelength of 652 nanometres, and shown here in red), V (a wavelength of 540 nanometres, shown in green), and B (456 nanometres, shown in blue). The image covers a region of approximately 7.7 x 6.6 arcminutes on the sky.


    ESO/R. Gendler

    See the full article here .

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    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO LaSilla
    ESO/Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO Vista Telescope
    ESO/Vista Telescope at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope at Cerro Paranal with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ALMA Array
    ALMA on the Chajnantor plateau at 5,000 metres.

    ESO/E-ELT to be built at Cerro Armazones at 3,060 m.

    APEX Atacama Pathfinder 5,100 meters above sea level, at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert.

    Leiden MASCARA instrument, La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft)

    Leiden MASCARA cabinet at ESO Cerro la Silla located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft)

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    SPECULOOS four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes 2016 in the ESO Paranal Observatory, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

  • richardmitnick 8:32 pm on October 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Basic Research, , Juan Valderrama y Aguilar, , Solar flare,   

    From Science Alert: “A 17-Year-Old Astronomer Recorded an Astonishing Rare Solar Flare Back in 1886” 


    Science Alert

    And then history forgot about him.

    20 OCT 2017

    Vaquero et al, Sol Phys (2017)

    If you’ve never heard of Juan Valderrama y Aguilar, you’re not alone. As it turns out, this amateur astronomer from Spain made history when he was just 17 years old.

    Back in 1886, Valderrama observed the third-ever recorded instance of an exceptionally bright solar flare, and even got his results published in an academic journal. But due to historical circumstance, we’re only hearing about this more than 100 years after his death.

    There’s plenty of turbulent magnetic activity happening on the surface of our Sun. Concentration of that energy can cause dark sunspots, characterised by a dip in the surface temperature. And when that magnetic energy suddenly explodes, we get fantastic solar flares.

    Despite risking damage to their retinas, humans have been watching sunspots for hundreds of years, but it wasn’t until 1859 – more than 200 years after the advent of the telescope – when English astronomer Richard Carrington lucked out and became the first human in history to observe a solar flare.

    The following solar storm was the biggest one recorded to this day – and if it were to happen today, it would wipe out a great deal of our communications technology.

    Thirteen years later, Italian astronomer Pietro Angelo Secchi scored a glimpse at a solar flare as well, thus joining Carrington’s extremely exclusive club.

    The third man to set his eyes on this remarkable sight was an unknown teen from Madrid, Spain. Unlike the fancy astronomers before him, all Valderrama had was a small backyard telescope with an aperture of just 6.6 centimetres (2.6 inches) and a strong filter to allow a look at the Sun.

    He kept detailed logs of his sunspot observations. And then on 10 September 1886, his amateur efforts were rewarded with something truly spectacular.

    “In the eastern region of the southern hemisphere a huge, beautiful sunspot was formed from yesterday to today,” he wrote in his logbook.

    “By looking at it carefully I noticed an extraordinary phenomenon on her, on the penumbra to the west of the nucleus, and almost in contact with it, a very bright object was distinguishable, producing a shadow clearly visible on the sunspot penumbra.

    “This object had an almost circular shape, and a light beam came out from its eastern part that crossed the sunspot to the south of the nucleus.”

    Astonished by the bright flash he’d seen, Valderrama captured the details in a meticulous drawing, and sent the information to an academic journal in France, L’Astronomie.

    Valderrama’s drawing. (Vaquero et al., Sol Phys 2017)

    But despite earning this publication, his achievement was lost in the annals of history and we probably still wouldn’t know about it, if a team of Spanish researchers hadn’t been researching historical records of solar observations.

    “The case of Valderrama is very unique, as he was the only person in the world more than a century ago to observe a relatively rare phenomenon: a white-light solar flare. And until now no one had realised,” says one of the team, José Manuel Vaquero from the University of Extremadura in Spain.

    Back then, these white-light flares were considered exceptional, and it’s only with the advent of modern, much more sensitive telescopes that we know that most solar flares are actually accompanied with such bright emissions of light.

    “It is extraordinary that in the Spain of the 19th century, a 17-year old kid would make such a scientific discovery, and it is even more impressive that he had the courage of submitting it for publication to a foreign scientific journal,” says one of the researchers, Jorge Sánchez Almeida from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain.

    Photo from Ogyalla observatory dating to 10 Sept 1886, marked up by researchers to show the flare. (Vaquero et al, Sol Phys 2017)

    Valderrama’s logbooks, spanning observations from December 1885 to April 1888, were preserved at the library of IAC, but very little is known about his life.

    According to Almeida’s personal website, the team is currently working on publishing a biography of Valderrama. “Who was this guy? If you are interested … stay tuned,” writes Almeida.

    We’re certainly interested.

    The findings were published in Solar Physics earlier this year.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 12:29 pm on October 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Basic Research, , , Space Science Needs a Private-Funding Boost   

    From SA: “Space Science Needs a Private-Funding Boost” 

    Scientific American

    Scientific American

    October 21, 2017
    Jon A. Morse

    One of the first photos taken by Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, installed in May 2009, shows the crowded core of the star cluster Omega Centauri. Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble SM4 ERO Team

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble WFC3

    Basic research in the space sciences holds essentially limitless potential for tackling profound questions of our existence and opening the doors of exploration, innovation and future economic opportunity. Space science continues to generate extraordinary discoveries, whether groups are exploring Mars, investigating the fundamental physics of the universe or discovering new exoplanets around nearby stars.

    This drive to explore and exploit space has led to the emergence of new companies and innovations in traditional aerospace companies seeking to reform the way spacecraft are designed, built, launched and operated. There has also been a surge in private resources dedicated to creating new commercial capabilities and initiating the next wave of space exploration — though not yet for discovery-driven scientific missions. [NASA Could Reach Mars Faster with Public-Private Partnerships, Companies Tell Congress]

    It is encouraging to see that NASA is leaning more towards integrating commercial capabilities into how space science missions are implemented, especially for cubesats and small satellites. It is imperative that NASA embrace the many commercial capabilities that are becoming available in the small-sat market, which may reach $20 billion/year globally in the next few years. Such capabilities — including optical systems, sensors, spacecraft busses, launch vehicles and other mission elements — can be procured much more cheaply now than in recent years. These cheaper capabilities may not be represented in any costing models used during NASA scientific mission proposal reviews, and NASA must actively stay on top of such developments, perhaps even facilitating their use by candidate mission teams through workshops with relevant industry representatives.

    However, there are additional actions that NASA or other space agencies could take to accomplish high-priority science goals and increase the flight rate within a constrained fiscal environment.

    First, NASA needs to say in a steady stream of messaging that the agency desires private investment in space science missions. This message has been trumpeted for human spaceflight and space technology development, but for space science is generally an afterthought, sometimes mentioned as part of Q&A responses during advisory committee meetings, or is missing altogether in agency presentations.

    The NASA budget blueprint released in March 2017 boldly states in the very first sentence that the proposed budget “supports and expands public-private partnerships as the foundation of future U.S. civilian space efforts.” That would seem to include space science, but it is difficult to see how the space science portfolio is making such a transition. While it is common for institutions proposing a project to NASA to offer some salary support for mission team members and even make contributions to the payload, significant cost-sharing on space science missions addressing National Academy of Sciences priorities has yet to be demonstrated; instead, cost sharing tends to be accomplished through international partnerships.

    The main difficulty in executing private space science missions or increasing public-private partnerships is in securing private funding. There is noticeable progress in the number of self-funded university-based cubesat programs, and cubesats can accomplish interesting new science. But many high-priority science goals would need at least tens of millions of dollars of investment to build the appropriate spacecraft. There are several ways to approach fundraising, including through philanthropy, sponsorship and venture capital (in addition to cost sharing among different, perhaps international, organizations).

    Major philanthropic funding is commonplace in other scientific disciplines, i.e., medical research and ground-based astronomy, with modern project costs now on a par with those of sophisticated satellites, such as are developed in NASA’s Explorer, Discovery and New Frontiers programs. The nonprofit BoldlyGo Institute, founded in 2013, seeks to expand the philanthropic model to frontier space-based science missions — but the list of individuals or family foundations willing to support space science missions at seven- or eight-figure amounts may be limited. We, therefore, also propose additional mechanisms that NASA could employ to incentivize private investment, reduce mission costs and accelerate the pace of discovery.

    Besides considering funded Space Act Agreements, which are used in the human spaceflight program, as a procurement mechanism for small- and medium-class space science missions, NASA should also examine employing data buys and science prizes to lower costs and promote private investment and public-private partnerships. Our experience seeking private funding for space science indicates that significant venture capital could be available if there were even a modest return on investment.

    We do not usually consider scientific data as a commercial commodity, but if NASA were to offer a payout or science prize, analogous to the Google Lunar X Prize, or indicate that the agency would pay for certain data, such capital could be raised — as long as the payout or prize were roughly commensurate with the capital costs of the mission. NASA could pool resources with major research foundations and consult with the space science community to identify potential scientific goals that could be attained in this manner.

    Of course, this would be worthwhile only if significant cost savings could be realized compared to NASA’s traditional procurement and mission-development processes, making it possible to accomplish more missions (and more science) within a given budget. The dynamic, successful commercial satellite and launch industries, with entrepreneurial visionaries and nongovernmental sources of capital, now provide such cost-saving opportunities for many scientific applications. Now is the time to unleash this entrepreneurial spirit in the cause of basic scientific research and discovery.

    See the full article here .

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    Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S., has been bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 160 years.

  • richardmitnick 12:00 pm on October 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Basic Research, , Trapping Dust to Form Planets   

    From AAS NOVA: ” Trapping Dust to Form Planets” 



    20 October 2017
    Susanna Kohler

    How do planets form from dust grains in protoplanetary disks such as the one depicted in this artist’s illustration? Vortices may be the answer. [ESO]

    Growing a planet from a dust grain is hard work! A new study explores how vortices in protoplanetary disks can assist this process.

    Top: ALMA image of the protoplanetary disk of V1247 Orionis, with different emission components labeled. Bottom: Synthetic image constructed from the best-fit model. [Kraus et al. 2017]

    When Dust Growth Fails

    Gradual accretion onto a seed particle seems like a reasonable way to grow a planet from a grain of dust; after all, planetary embryos orbit within dusty protoplanetary disks, which provides them with plenty of fuel to accrete so they can grow. There’s a challenge to this picture, though: the radial drift problem.

    The radial drift problem acknowledges that, as growing dust grains orbit within the disk, the drag force on them continues to grow as well. For large enough dust grains — perhaps around 1 millimeter — the drag force will cause the grains’ orbits to decay, and the particles drift into the star before they are able to grow into planetesimals and planets.

    A Close-Up Look with ALMA

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    So how do we overcome the radial drift problem in order to form planets? A commonly proposed mechanism is dust trapping, in which long-lived vortices in the disk trap the dust particles, preventing them from falling inwards. This allows the particles to persist for millions of years — long enough to grow beyond the radial drift barrier.

    Observationally, these dust-trapping vortices should have signatures: we would expect to see, at millimeter wavelengths, specific bright, asymmetric structures where the trapping occurs in protoplanetary disks. Such disk structures have been difficult to spot with past instrumentation, but the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made some new observations of the disk V1247 Orionis that might be just what we’re looking for.

    Schematic of the authors’ model for the disk of V1247 Orionis. [Kraus et al. 2017]

    Trapped in a Vortex?

    ALMA’s observations of V1247 Orionis are reported by a team of scientists led by Stefan Kraus (University of Exeter) in a recent publication. Kraus and collaborators show that the protoplanetary disk of V1247 Orionis contains a ring-shaped, asymmetric inner disk component, as well as a sharply confined crescent structure. These structures are consistent with the morphologies expected from theoretical models of vortex formation in disks.

    Kraus and collaborators propose the following picture: an early planet is orbiting at 100 AU within the disk, generating a one-armed spiral arm as material feeds the protoplanet. As the protoplanet orbits, it clears a gap between the ring and the crescent, and it simultaneously triggers two vortices, visible as the crescent and the bright asymmetry in the ring. These vortices are then able to trap millimeter-sized particles.

    Gas column density of the authors’ radiation-hydrodynamic simulation of V1247 Orionis’s disk. [Kraus et al. 2017]

    The authors run detailed hydrodynamics simulations of this scenario and compare them (as well as alternative theories) to the ALMA observations of V1247 Orionis. The simulations support their model, producing sample scattered-light images that well match the ALMA images.

    How can we confirm V1247 Orionis provides an example of dust-trapping vortices? One piece of supporting evidence would be the discovery of the protoplanet that Kraus and collaborators theorize triggered the potential vortices in this disk. Future deeper ALMA imaging may make this possible, helping to confirm our picture of how dust builds into planets.


    Stefan Kraus et al 2017 ApJL 848 L11. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa8edc

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    AAS Mission and Vision Statement

    The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

    The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
    The Society facilitates and strengthens the interactions among members through professional meetings and other means. The Society supports member divisions representing specialized research and astronomical interests.
    The Society represents the goals of its community of members to the nation and the world. The Society also works with other scientific and educational societies to promote the advancement of science.
    The Society, through its members, trains, mentors and supports the next generation of astronomers. The Society supports and promotes increased participation of historically underrepresented groups in astronomy.
    The Society assists its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels. The Society promotes broad interest in astronomy, which enhances science literacy and leads many to careers in science and engineering.

    Adopted June 7, 2009

  • richardmitnick 7:19 am on October 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Basic Research, , , ,   

    From ALMA: “Launch of ChiVO, the first Chilean Virtual Observatory” 

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres


    Valeria Foncea
    Education and Public Outreach Officer
    Joint ALMA Observatory
    Santiago, Chile
    Tel: +56 2 467 6258
    Cell: +56 9 75871963
    Email: vfoncea@alma.cl

    After more than two years of work, today was launched the first Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO), an astro-informatic platform for the administration and analysis of massive data coming from the observatories built across the country. Its implementation will provide advanced computing tools and research algorithms to the Chilean astronomical community.

    “This project is a major contribution for Chilean astronomers -said Diego Mardones, an astronomer at Universidad de Chile- because besides being an excellent tool for exploring the huge quantity of astronomical data that will be generated in our country in the coming years, it opens new opportunities of interdisciplinary research.”

    ChiVO main team. Left to right: Paulina Troncoso, Astronomer; Ricardo Contreras, U. of Concepción; Jorge Ibsen, ALMA; Mauricio Solar, ChiVO’s director, U. Técnica Federico Santa María (UFSM); Paola Arellano, REUNA; Victor Parada, U. of Santiago; Marcelo Mendoza, ChiVO’s alternate director, UFSM; Diego Mardones, U. of Chile; Mauricio Araya, UFSM; María; Guillermo Cabrera, U. of Chile.

    The project led by Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) is a successful collaboration with four other universities in Chile (Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, Universidad de Concepción y Universidad de Santiago) and was funded by FONDEF, the Chilean Scientific and Technological Development Fund. Furthermore, both the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and REUNA, the National Universities Network, are associated to the project. Thanks to ChiVO, Chile will become a member of the International Virtual Observatories Alliance (IVOA) and it will be accessible for all astronomers making their research in the country through its website http://www.chivo.cl.

    For the project’s director, Mauricio Solar, “this innovation will allow astronomical data to be processed in Chile using high-quality, local human capital and integrating Chilean astro-informatics with the international community at the highest levels of development.”

    With new telescopes being constructed in Chile, the amount of astronomical data generated will only increase. As an example, once ALMA is operating at full capacity, it will produce close to 250 terabytes of data each year. ChiVO will enable Chilean astronomers to access this data with high transfer rates, provide the infrastructure for high storage capacity and access the analysis of the data.

    “ChiVO and the services provided by it will be a key tool for the Chilean astronomical community, added Jorge Ibsen, director of ALMA’s Department of Computing. “ALMA is proud to be part of this project that will boost the usage of the astronomical data generated in the country.

    Link to ChiVO

    See the full article here .

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    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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