Tagged: Dark Matter Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 10:50 am on May 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ALPS II "light-through-the-wall" experiment, , , Dark Matter, , , , , , The search for particularly light particles from which dark matter could be made up, World's most sensitive instrument of its kind to generate axions.   

    From DESY German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] (DE) : “‘Light-through-the-wall experiment ALPS’ launches search for dark matter” 

    From DESY German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] (DE)


    DESY is one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials to biomolecular processes that are essential to life. The accelerators and detectors that DESY develops and builds are unique research tools. The facilities generate the world’s most intense X-ray light, accelerate particles to record energies and open completely new windows onto the universe.

    That makes DESY not only a magnet for more than 3000 guest researchers from over 40 countries every year, but also a coveted partner for national and international cooperations. Committed young researchers find an exciting interdisciplinary setting at DESY. The research centre offers specialized training for a large number of professions. DESY cooperates with industry and business to promote new technologies that will benefit society and encourage innovations. This also benefits the metropolitan regions of the two DESY locations, Hamburg and Zeuthen near Berlin.

    World’s most sensitive instrument of its kind to generate axions.

    With the “light-through-the-wall experiment” ALPS II, the world’s most sensitive model-independent experiment for the search for particularly light particles from which dark matter could be made up, starts today at DESY. According to scientific calculations, this ominous form of matter should be five times more abundant in the universe than normal, visible matter. So far, however, no one has been able to measure particles of this substance – with the ALPS experiment, this proof could now succeed.

    Any Light Particle Search (ALPS) II. DESY.

    The approximately 250-metre-long ALPS (Any Light Particle Search) experiment is looking for a particularly light type of novel elementary particle. With the help of twenty-four recycled superconducting magnets from the HERA accelerator, intense laser light, precision interferometry and highly sensitive detectors, the international research team wants to search for these so-called axions or axion-like particles.

    These particles are said to react only extremely weakly with known matter, so that they cannot be found at accelerator experiments. Therefore, ALPS uses a completely different measuring principle: In a strong magnetic field, light particles – photons – could be converted into these mysterious particles and back into light. “The idea for an experiment like ALPS has been around for over 30 years. By using components and infrastructure from the former HERA accelerator in conjunction with state-of-the-art technologies, we are now in a position to realize ALPS II in an international collaboration for the first time,” says Beate Heinemann, Director of Particle Physics at DESY. Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors, adds: “DESY has set itself the task of deciphering the subject matter in all its diversity. ALPS II thus fits perfectly into our research strategy and may open the door to dark matter.”

    In an approximately 120-metre-long vacuum tube, which is enclosed by twelve HERA magnets set up in a straight row, the ALPS team reflects high-intensity laser light back and forth in a so-called optical resonator.

    If a photon were to turn into an axion in the strong magnetic field, it could pass through a light-tight wall at the end of this series of magnets.

    Behind this wall is an almost identical magnetic link. In it, this axion could transform back into light, which is captured by the detector at the end. A second optical resonator, which is set up here, increases the probability that an axion will become a light particle again by a factor of 10,000. “However, despite all our technical tricks, the probability that a photon will transform into an axion and back again is very small – comparable to throwing a pass with 33 dice at the same time,” says DESY researcher Axel Lindner, project leader and spokesperson for the ALPS collaboration.

    In order for the measurement to work, the researchers pushed all components of the experiment to peak performance. The light detector is so sensitive that it can detect a single light particle per day. The precision of the mirror system for the light is also record-breaking: the mirror distance relative to the wavelength of the laser light may vary by a fraction of an atomic diameter at most. And the superconducting magnets, each nine meters long, generate a magnetic field of 5.3 Tesla in the vacuum tube, more than 100,000 times the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnets [above] come from the 6.3-kilometre-long proton ring of the HERA accelerator [above] and were upcycled for the ALPS project. The inside of the originally bent magnets was bent straight especially for the experiment so that more laser light can be stored in them, and the safety devices for superconducting operation at minus 269 degrees Celsius have been completely revised. The ALPS experiment was proposed by DESY theorist Andreas Ringwald. With his calculations to extend the Standard Model, he also underpinned the theoretical motivation for the experiment. Ringwald says: “For ALPS, researchers from experimental physics and theory worked very closely together. The result is an experiment with a unique discovery potential for axions, which may even allow us to search for high-frequency gravitational waves later on.”

    The search for the axions begins in a reduced operating mode, in which the search for “background light”, which could simulate the presence of axions, is simplified. In the second half of 2023, the experiment is expected to reach full sensitivity. An improvement of the mirror system is then planned for 2024, and an alternative light detector system can also be installed later. The researchers expect the first publications of the results from ALPS measurements in 2024. “Even if we don’t find any light particles with ALPS, we will use the experiment to shift the exclusion limits for superlight particles by a factor of 1000,” Lindner is convinced.

    Panoramic photo of the 250-metre-long ALPS experiment. In the middle is the first magnet installed in the tunnel for ALPS II. It bears the signatures of the employees involved. Photo: DESY, Marta Mayer.

    A total of about 30 researchers have come together in the international ALPS collaboration; they come from seven research institutions: In addition to DESY, the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) and the Institute for Gravitational Physics at Leibniz University in Hanover, Cardiff University (Great Britain), the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida, USA), Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, the University of Hamburg and the University of Southern Denmark (Odense) are involved.

    The researchers also have plans for the time after the axion search. For example, they want to use ALPS to find out whether a magnetic field influences the propagation of light in a vacuum, as predicted decades ago by Euler and Heisenberg. And the researchers also want to use the experimental setup to detect high-frequency gravitational waves.

    What are axions??

    Axions are hypothetical particles. They belong to a physical mechanism proposed by the theorist Roberto Peccei, together with his colleague Helen Quinn, in 1977 to solve a problem of strong interaction – one of the four fundamental forces of nature. In 1978, theorists Frank Wilczek and Steven Weinberg linked a new particle to this Peccei-Quinn mechanism. Since this particle would “clean up” the theory, Wilczek named it “axion” after a detergent. Axions or axion-like particles are predicted by various extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics. If they existed, they would solve a whole series of today’s mysterious physical problems, including candidates for the building blocks of dark matter. According to current calculations, this should occur in the universe about five times as often as normal matter.

    Drone flight through the ALPS II experiment at DESY

    Also in the hunt:

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    DESY German Electron Synchrotron [Deütsches Elektronen-Synchrotron] (DE) is one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials to biomolecular processes that are essential to life. The accelerators and detectors that DESY develops and builds are unique research tools. The facilities generate the world’s most intense X-ray light, accelerate particles to record energies and open completely new windows onto the universe. 
That makes DESY not only a magnet for more than 3000 guest researchers from over 40 countries every year, but also a coveted partner for national and international cooperations. Committed young researchers find an exciting interdisciplinary setting at DESY. The research centre offers specialized training for a large number of professions. DESY cooperates with industry and business to promote new technologies that will benefit society and encourage innovations. This also benefits the metropolitan regions of the two DESY locations, Hamburg and Zeuthen near Berlin.

    DESY Petra III interior

    DESY Petra III


    H1 detector at DESY HERA ring


    DESY LUX beamline

  • richardmitnick 10:03 am on May 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First SuperCDMS detector towers journey from SLAC to SNOLAB", Dark Matter, , , , , , , The first pair of towers are now at the Ontario facility where they'll further the hunt for dark matter particles.   

    From “Symmetry” Via The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory: “First SuperCDMS detector towers journey from SLAC to SNOLAB” 

    From “Symmetry”


    From The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    Nathan Collins

    Researchers examine one of the SuperCDMS SNOLAB detector towers. (Jacqueline Ramseyer Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

    The first pair of towers are now at the Ontario facility where they’ll further the hunt for dark matter particles.

    After years of pioneering work, researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have completed the detector towers that will soon sit at the heart of the SuperCDMS SNOLAB dark matter detection experiment.

    The team finished building the towers this past September, and SLAC, which leads the SuperCDMS project, sent the first two towers to SNOLAB in Ontario, Canada earlier this month.

    SuperCDMS SNOLAB will look for relatively light dark matter particles, between about half the mass of the proton to roughly 10 proton masses, and in that range it will be the world’s most sensitive direct-detection experiment, said Richard Partridge, a senior staff scientist at SLAC and a long-time SuperCDMS researcher. That accomplishment comes down to two things: improvements in the detector design and the location of the experiment itself, Partridge said.

    “It’s been a lot of fun,” Partridge said. “We’ve learned a lot of new things, and we’ve built some really interesting technology,” including flexible superconducting cables, electronics systems that function in extreme cold, and improved cryogenics systems – along with advances in shielding the detectors – that have made the detectors and surrounding systems better able to sense passing dark matter than ever before.

    The experiment will also benefit from its new location a mile and a quarter underground at SNOLAB, where the background of cosmic rays will interfere less with efforts to find a dark matter signal.

    “SNOLAB and SuperCDMS are made for each other,” said SNOLAB Executive Director Jodi Cooley. “We are extremely excited about the potential for SuperCDMS to detect dark matter directly and advance our insight into the nature of the universe.”

    Two SuperCDMS detector towers resting inside storage containers within the Low Radon Cleanroom at SNOLAB. (Vijay Iyer/University of Toronto)

    Vitaly Yakimenko, SLAC’s deputy director for projects and infrastructure and SuperCDMS project director, said researchers look forward to bringing the experiment online. “It’s been 10 years of technological development to build these state-of-the-art detectors,” he said. The team hopes the experiment will capture signs of illusive dark matter particles, but regardless of the outcome, it will establish a path forward for even more sensitive experiments, Yakimenko said. “It’s a major accomplishment.”

    JoAnne Hewett, head of SLAC’s Fundamental Physics Directorate and the lab’s chief research officer, said she was pleased by the experiment’s progress. “Understanding dark matter is one of the most important areas of research, both around the world and here at SLAC,” Hewett said. “We’re excited to reach this milestone and to work with our partners to build this cutting-edge experiment.”
    Searching deep underground

    Scientists know that all the visible matter in the universe – all the dust and planets and stars that we can already detect through telescopes – makes up only about 15 percent of what’s actually out there. The rest is dark matter, but no one knows exactly what that is. Physicists can tell it’s there through its gravitational pull on ordinary matter, but it is otherwise very hard to detect.

    That’s where experiments like SuperCDMS SNOLAB [above]come in.

    The project is the latest iteration of a series of experiments that use silicon and germanium crystals to try to find dark matter particles. These crystals are cooled to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero – hence the experiments’ name: Cryogenic Dark Matter Search, or CDMS. The hope is that at such low temperatures, researchers could detect passing dark matter particles by the tiny vibrations they create when colliding with the crystals.

    Those collisions would also produce pairs of electrons and electron deficiencies, or holes, that move through the crystals, triggering more vibrations and amplifying the dark matter signal. Sophisticated superconducting electronics help detect these signals.

    To make that job possible, the experiment will be built and operated at SNOLAB, 6,800 feet underground inside a nickel mine near Sudbury, Ontario. There, the SLAC-built detectors will be shielded from high-energy particles, called cosmic radiation, which can create unwanted background signals.

    A long journey

    Once the detectors were done, the next step for the SLAC team was getting them to SNOLAB – and here there were tradeoffs. To protect them from cosmic rays, the team wanted to get them to their new underground home as quickly as possible, which might suggest a direct route over the Rocky Mountains or even a flight to Ontario. However, the thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes affords less protection from cosmic rays.

    “In principle, we want to keep things as low as possible, but there’s also a cost to the total number of days you’re on the surface,” said Tarek Saab, a University of Florida physicist and SuperCDMS spokesperson. “So, we want a route that gives you the least overall exposure to cosmic rays.”

    In the end, the team decided to take a route east to Texas and then north to SNOLAB.

    Meanwhile, SNOLAB has been busy getting the SuperCDMS facility ready for the detectors, the first two of which arrived on May 12 and made the trip 6,800 feet underground the following day. The remaining towers will arrive later this year, and initial preparations for the experiment are expected to be complete sometime in 2024, at which point the experimental team can begin taking initial data and working out any kinks that remain in the system. Researchers expect to run the experiment for three to four years before they have enough data to push the limits of what we know about dark matter.

    But for now, everyone is looking forward to delivering the detectors, Saab said. “It will be a significant milestone to have the detectors at SNOLAB.”

    See the full article SLAC here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory campus

    The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory originally named Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, is a Department of Energy National Laboratory operated by Stanford University under the programmatic direction of the Department of Energy Office of Science and located in Menlo Park, California. It is the site of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, a 3.2 kilometer (2-mile) linear accelerator constructed in 1966 and shut down in the 2000s, which could accelerate electrons to energies of 50 GeV.
    Today SLAC research centers on a broad program in atomic and solid-state physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine using X-rays from synchrotron radiation and a free-electron laser as well as experimental and theoretical research in elementary particle physics, astroparticle physics, and cosmology.

    Founded in 1962 as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the facility is located on 172 hectares (426 acres) of Stanford University-owned land on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California—just west of the University’s main campus. The main accelerator is 3.2 kilometers (2 mi) long—the longest linear accelerator in the world—and has been operational since 1966.

    Research at SLAC has produced three Nobel Prizes in Physics

    1976: The charm quark—see J/ψ meson
    1990: Quark structure inside protons and neutrons
    1995: The tau lepton

    SLAC’s meeting facilities also provided a venue for the Homebrew Computer Club and other pioneers of the home computer revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    In 1984 the laboratory was named an ASME National Historic Engineering Landmark and an IEEE Milestone.

    SLAC developed and, in December 1991, began hosting the first World Wide Web server outside of Europe.

    In the early-to-mid 1990s, the Stanford Linear Collider (SLC) investigated the properties of the Z boson using the Stanford Large Detector [below].

    As of 2005, SLAC employed over 1,000 people, some 150 of whom were physicists with doctorate degrees, and served over 3,000 visiting researchers yearly, operating particle accelerators for high-energy physics and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) [below] for synchrotron light radiation research, which was “indispensable” in the research leading to the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Stanford Professor Roger D. Kornberg.

    In October 2008, the Department of Energy announced that the center’s name would be changed to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The reasons given include a better representation of the new direction of the lab and the ability to trademark the laboratory’s name. Stanford University had legally opposed the Department of Energy’s attempt to trademark “Stanford Linear Accelerator Center”.

    In March 2009, it was announced that the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory was to receive $68.3 million in Recovery Act Funding to be disbursed by Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

    In October 2016, Bits and Watts launched as a collaboration between SLAC and Stanford University to design “better, greener electric grids”. SLAC later pulled out over concerns about an industry partner, the state-owned Chinese electric utility.


    The main accelerator was an RF linear accelerator that accelerated electrons and positrons up to 50 GeV. At 3.2 km (2.0 mi) long, the accelerator was the longest linear accelerator in the world, and was claimed to be “the world’s most straight object.” until 2017 when the European x-ray free electron laser opened. The main accelerator is buried 9 m (30 ft) below ground and passes underneath Interstate Highway 280. The above-ground klystron gallery atop the beamline, was the longest building in the United States until the LIGO project’s twin interferometers were completed in 1999. It is easily distinguishable from the air and is marked as a visual waypoint on aeronautical charts.

    A portion of the original linear accelerator is now part of the Linac Coherent Light Source [below].

    Stanford Linear Collider

    The Stanford Linear Collider was a linear accelerator that collided electrons and positrons at SLAC. The center of mass energy was about 90 GeV, equal to the mass of the Z boson, which the accelerator was designed to study. Grad student Barrett D. Milliken discovered the first Z event on 12 April 1989 while poring over the previous day’s computer data from the Mark II detector. The bulk of the data was collected by the SLAC Large Detector, which came online in 1991. Although largely overshadowed by the Large Electron–Positron Collider at CERN, which began running in 1989, the highly polarized electron beam at SLC (close to 80%) made certain unique measurements possible, such as parity violation in Z Boson-b quark coupling.

    Presently no beam enters the south and north arcs in the machine, which leads to the Final Focus, therefore this section is mothballed to run beam into the PEP2 section from the beam switchyard.

    The SLAC Large Detector (SLD) was the main detector for the Stanford Linear Collider. It was designed primarily to detect Z bosons produced by the accelerator’s electron-positron collisions. Built in 1991, the SLD operated from 1992 to 1998.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Large Detector


    PEP (Positron-Electron Project) began operation in 1980, with center-of-mass energies up to 29 GeV. At its apex, PEP had five large particle detectors in operation, as well as a sixth smaller detector. About 300 researchers made used of PEP. PEP stopped operating in 1990, and PEP-II began construction in 1994.


    From 1999 to 2008, the main purpose of the linear accelerator was to inject electrons and positrons into the PEP-II accelerator, an electron-positron collider with a pair of storage rings 2.2 km (1.4 mi) in circumference. PEP-II was host to the BaBar experiment, one of the so-called B-Factory experiments studying charge-parity symmetry.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory BaBar

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory SSRL

    Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

    SLAC plays a primary role in the mission and operation of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched in August 2008. The principal scientific objectives of this mission are:

    To understand the mechanisms of particle acceleration in AGNs, pulsars, and SNRs.
    To resolve the gamma-ray sky: unidentified sources and diffuse emission.
    To determine the high-energy behavior of gamma-ray bursts and transients.
    To probe dark matter and fundamental physics.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Fermi Large Area Telescope

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope.


    KIPAC campus

    The Stanford PULSE Institute (PULSE) is a Stanford Independent Laboratory located in the Central Laboratory at SLAC. PULSE was created by Stanford in 2005 to help Stanford faculty and SLAC scientists develop ultrafast x-ray research at LCLS.

    The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)[below] is a free electron laser facility located at SLAC. The LCLS is partially a reconstruction of the last 1/3 of the original linear accelerator at SLAC, and can deliver extremely intense x-ray radiation for research in a number of areas. It achieved first lasing in April 2009.

    The laser produces hard X-rays, 10^9 times the relative brightness of traditional synchrotron sources and is the most powerful x-ray source in the world. LCLS enables a variety of new experiments and provides enhancements for existing experimental methods. Often, x-rays are used to take “snapshots” of objects at the atomic level before obliterating samples. The laser’s wavelength, ranging from 6.2 to 0.13 nm (200 to 9500 electron volts (eV)) is similar to the width of an atom, providing extremely detailed information that was previously unattainable. Additionally, the laser is capable of capturing images with a “shutter speed” measured in femtoseconds, or million-billionths of a second, necessary because the intensity of the beam is often high enough so that the sample explodes on the femtosecond timescale.

    The LCLS-II [below] project is to provide a major upgrade to LCLS by adding two new X-ray laser beams. The new system will utilize the 500 m (1,600 ft) of existing tunnel to add a new superconducting accelerator at 4 GeV and two new sets of undulators that will increase the available energy range of LCLS. The advancement from the discoveries using these new capabilities may include new drugs, next-generation computers, and new materials.


    In 2012, the first two-thirds (~2 km) of the original SLAC LINAC were recommissioned for a new user facility, the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET). This facility was capable of delivering 20 GeV, 3 nC electron (and positron) beams with short bunch lengths and small spot sizes, ideal for beam-driven plasma acceleration studies. The facility ended operations in 2016 for the constructions of LCLS-II which will occupy the first third of the SLAC LINAC. The FACET-II project will re-establish electron and positron beams in the middle third of the LINAC for the continuation of beam-driven plasma acceleration studies in 2019.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory FACET

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory FACET-II upgrading its Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET) – a test bed for new technologies that could revolutionize the way we build particle accelerators.

    The Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator (NLCTA) is a 60-120 MeV high-brightness electron beam linear accelerator used for experiments on advanced beam manipulation and acceleration techniques. It is located at SLAC’s end station B

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator (NLCTA)

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryLCLS

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryLCLS II projected view

    Magnets called undulators stretch roughly 100 meters down a tunnel at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with one side (right) producing hard x-rays and the other soft x-rays.

    SSRL and LCLS are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

    Stanford University campus

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded Stanford University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members.

    Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university located in Stanford, California. Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford is consistently ranked as among the most prestigious and top universities in the world by major education publications. It is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Leland Stanford was a U.S. senator and former governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. The school admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley.

    The university is organized around seven schools: three schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate level as well as four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in law, medicine, education, and business. All schools are on the same campus. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. It has gained 126 NCAA team championships, and Stanford has won the NACDA Directors’ Cup for 24 consecutive years, beginning in 1994–1995. In addition, Stanford students and alumni have won 270 Olympic medals including 139 gold medals.

    As of October 2020, 84 Nobel laureates, 28 Turing Award laureates, and eight Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty, or staff. In addition, Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, roughly equivalent to the 7th largest economy in the world (as of 2020). Stanford is the alma mater of one president of the United States (Herbert Hoover), 74 living billionaires, and 17 astronauts. It is also one of the leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of the United States Congress.

    Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland Stanford Jr, their only child. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford’s previous Palo Alto farm.

    Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most specifically Cornell University. Stanford opened being called the “Cornell of the West” in 1891 due to faculty being former Cornell affiliates (either professors, alumni, or both) including its first president, David Starr Jordan, and second president, John Casper Branner. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to have higher education be accessible, nonsectarian, and open to women as well as to men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt this radical departure from traditional education, and Stanford became an early adopter as well.

    Despite being impacted by earthquakes in both 1906 and 1989, the campus was rebuilt each time. In 1919, The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace was started by Herbert Hoover to preserve artifacts related to World War I. The Stanford Medical Center, completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (originally named the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), established in 1962, performs research in particle physics.


    Most of Stanford is on an 8,180-acre (12.8 sq mi; 33.1 km^2) campus, one of the largest in the United States. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley) approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of San Jose. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped.

    Stanford’s main campus includes a census-designated place within unincorporated Santa Clara County, although some of the university land (such as the Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford Research Park) is within the city limits of Palo Alto. The campus also includes much land in unincorporated San Mateo County (including the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve), as well as in the city limits of Menlo Park (Stanford Hills neighborhood), Woodside, and Portola Valley.

    Non-central campus

    Stanford currently operates in various locations outside of its central campus.

    On the founding grant:

    Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a facility west of the central campus operated by the university for the Department of Energy. It contains the longest linear particle accelerator in the world, 2 miles (3.2 km) on 426 acres (172 ha) of land. Golf course and a seasonal lake: The university also has its own golf course and a seasonal lake (Lake Lagunita, actually an irrigation reservoir), both home to the vulnerable California tiger salamander. As of 2012 Lake Lagunita was often dry and the university had no plans to artificially fill it.

    Off the founding grant:

    Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892., in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892.
    Study abroad locations: unlike typical study abroad programs, Stanford itself operates in several locations around the world; thus, each location has Stanford faculty-in-residence and staff in addition to students, creating a “mini-Stanford”.

    Redwood City campus for many of the university’s administrative offices located in Redwood City, California, a few miles north of the main campus. In 2005, the university purchased a small, 35-acre (14 ha) campus in Midpoint Technology Park intended for staff offices; development was delayed by The Great Recession. In 2015 the university announced a development plan and the Redwood City campus opened in March 2019.

    The Bass Center in Washington, DC provides a base, including housing, for the Stanford in Washington program for undergraduates. It includes a small art gallery open to the public.

    China: Stanford Center at Peking University, housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, is a small center for researchers and students in collaboration with Beijing University [北京大学](CN) (Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University(CN) (KIAA-PKU).

    Administration and organization

    Stanford is a private, non-profit university that is administered as a corporate trust governed by a privately appointed board of trustees with a maximum membership of 38. Trustees serve five-year terms (not more than two consecutive terms) and meet five times annually.[83] A new trustee is chosen by the current trustees by ballot. The Stanford trustees also oversee the Stanford Research Park, the Stanford Shopping Center, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University Medical Center, and many associated medical facilities (including the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital).

    The board appoints a president to serve as the chief executive officer of the university, to prescribe the duties of professors and course of study, to manage financial and business affairs, and to appoint nine vice presidents. The provost is the chief academic and budget officer, to whom the deans of each of the seven schools report. Persis Drell became the 13th provost in February 2017.

    As of 2018, the university was organized into seven academic schools. The schools of Humanities and Sciences (27 departments), Engineering (nine departments), and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (four departments) have both graduate and undergraduate programs while the Schools of Law, Medicine, Education and Business have graduate programs only. The powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council, which is made up of tenure and non-tenure line faculty, research faculty, senior fellows in some policy centers and institutes, the president of the university, and some other academic administrators, but most matters are handled by the Faculty Senate, made up of 55 elected representatives of the faculty.

    The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford and all registered students are members. Its elected leadership consists of the Undergraduate Senate elected by the undergraduate students, the Graduate Student Council elected by the graduate students, and the President and Vice President elected as a ticket by the entire student body.

    Stanford is the beneficiary of a special clause in the California Constitution, which explicitly exempts Stanford property from taxation so long as the property is used for educational purposes.

    Endowment and donations

    The university’s endowment, managed by the Stanford Management Company, was valued at $27.7 billion as of August 31, 2019. Payouts from the Stanford endowment covered approximately 21.8% of university expenses in the 2019 fiscal year. In the 2018 NACUBO-TIAA survey of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, only Harvard University, the University of Texas System, and Yale University had larger endowments than Stanford.

    In 2006, President John L. Hennessy launched a five-year campaign called the Stanford Challenge, which reached its $4.3 billion fundraising goal in 2009, two years ahead of time, but continued fundraising for the duration of the campaign. It concluded on December 31, 2011, having raised a total of $6.23 billion and breaking the previous campaign fundraising record of $3.88 billion held by Yale. Specifically, the campaign raised $253.7 million for undergraduate financial aid, as well as $2.33 billion for its initiative in “Seeking Solutions” to global problems, $1.61 billion for “Educating Leaders” by improving K-12 education, and $2.11 billion for “Foundation of Excellence” aimed at providing academic support for Stanford students and faculty. Funds supported 366 new fellowships for graduate students, 139 new endowed chairs for faculty, and 38 new or renovated buildings. The new funding also enabled the construction of a facility for stem cell research; a new campus for the business school; an expansion of the law school; a new Engineering Quad; a new art and art history building; an on-campus concert hall; a new art museum; and a planned expansion of the medical school, among other things. In 2012, the university raised $1.035 billion, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Research centers and institutes

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Stanford Research Institute, a center of innovation to support economic development in the region.
    Hoover Institution, a conservative American public policy institution and research institution that promotes personal and economic liberty, free enterprise, and limited government.
    Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, a multidisciplinary design school in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute of University of Potsdam [Universität Potsdam](DE) that integrates product design, engineering, and business management education).
    Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, which grew out of and still contains the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project.
    John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists
    Center for Ocean Solutions
    Together with UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, Stanford is part of the Biohub, a new medical science research center founded in 2016 by a $600 million commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan.

    Discoveries and innovation

    Natural sciences

    Biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) – Arthur Kornberg synthesized DNA material and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1959 for his work at Stanford.
    First Transgenic organism – Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer were the first scientists to transplant genes from one living organism to another, a fundamental discovery for genetic engineering. Thousands of products have been developed on the basis of their work, including human growth hormone and hepatitis B vaccine.
    Laser – Arthur Leonard Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for his work on lasers.
    Nuclear magnetic resonance – Felix Bloch developed new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements, which are the underlying principles of the MRI.

    Computer and applied sciences

    ARPANETStanford Research Institute, formerly part of Stanford but on a separate campus, was the site of one of the four original ARPANET nodes.

    Internet—Stanford was the site where the original design of the Internet was undertaken. Vint Cerf led a research group to elaborate the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP) that he originally co-created with Robert E. Kahn (Bob Kahn) in 1973 and which formed the basis for the architecture of the Internet.

    Frequency modulation synthesis – John Chowning of the Music department invented the FM music synthesis algorithm in 1967, and Stanford later licensed it to Yamaha Corporation.

    Google – Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford. They were working on the Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP). The SDLP’s goal was “to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal digital library” and it was funded through the National Science Foundation, among other federal agencies.

    Klystron tube – invented by the brothers Russell and Sigurd Varian at Stanford. Their prototype was completed and demonstrated successfully on August 30, 1937. Upon publication in 1939, news of the klystron immediately influenced the work of U.S. and UK researchers working on radar equipment.

    RISCARPA funded VLSI project of microprocessor design. Stanford and University of California- Berkeley are most associated with the popularization of this concept. The Stanford MIPS would go on to be commercialized as the successful MIPS architecture, while Berkeley RISC gave its name to the entire concept, commercialized as the SPARC. Another success from this era were IBM’s efforts that eventually led to the IBM POWER instruction set architecture, PowerPC, and Power ISA. As these projects matured, a wide variety of similar designs flourished in the late 1980s and especially the early 1990s, representing a major force in the Unix workstation market as well as embedded processors in laser printers, routers and similar products.
    SUN workstation – Andy Bechtolsheim designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation, which led to Sun Microsystems.

    Businesses and entrepreneurship

    Stanford is one of the most successful universities in creating companies and licensing its inventions to existing companies; it is often held up as a model for technology transfer. Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing university research, intellectual property, and university-developed projects.

    The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often funded, to launch their own companies.

    Companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world.

    Some companies closely associated with Stanford and their connections include:

    Hewlett-Packard, 1939, co-founders William R. Hewlett (B.S, PhD) and David Packard (M.S).
    Silicon Graphics, 1981, co-founders James H. Clark (Associate Professor) and several of his grad students.
    Sun Microsystems, 1982, co-founders Vinod Khosla (M.B.A), Andy Bechtolsheim (PhD) and Scott McNealy (M.B.A).
    Cisco, 1984, founders Leonard Bosack (M.S) and Sandy Lerner (M.S) who were in charge of Stanford Computer Science and Graduate School of Business computer operations groups respectively when the hardware was developed.[163]
    Yahoo!, 1994, co-founders Jerry Yang (B.S, M.S) and David Filo (M.S).
    Google, 1998, co-founders Larry Page (M.S) and Sergey Brin (M.S).
    LinkedIn, 2002, co-founders Reid Hoffman (B.S), Konstantin Guericke (B.S, M.S), Eric Lee (B.S), and Alan Liu (B.S).
    Instagram, 2010, co-founders Kevin Systrom (B.S) and Mike Krieger (B.S).
    Snapchat, 2011, co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy (B.S).
    Coursera, 2012, co-founders Andrew Ng (Associate Professor) and Daphne Koller (Professor, PhD).

    Student body

    Stanford enrolled 6,996 undergraduate and 10,253 graduate students as of the 2019–2020 school year. Women comprised 50.4% of undergraduates and 41.5% of graduate students. In the same academic year, the freshman retention rate was 99%.

    Stanford awarded 1,819 undergraduate degrees, 2,393 master’s degrees, 770 doctoral degrees, and 3270 professional degrees in the 2018–2019 school year. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2017 cohort was 72.9%, and the six-year rate was 94.4%. The relatively low four-year graduation rate is a function of the university’s coterminal degree (or “coterm”) program, which allows students to earn a master’s degree as a 1-to-2-year extension of their undergraduate program.

    As of 2010, fifteen percent of undergraduates were first-generation students.


    As of 2016 Stanford had 16 male varsity sports and 20 female varsity sports, 19 club sports and about 27 intramural sports. In 1930, following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee for the Associated Students, the athletic department adopted the mascot “Indian.” The Indian symbol and name were dropped by President Richard Lyman in 1972, after objections from Native American students and a vote by the student senate. The sports teams are now officially referred to as the “Stanford Cardinal,” referring to the deep red color, not the cardinal bird. Stanford is a member of the Pac-12 Conference in most sports, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in several other sports, and the America East Conference in field hockey with the participation in the inter-collegiate NCAA’s Division I FBS.

    Its traditional sports rival is the University of California, Berkeley, the neighbor to the north in the East Bay. The winner of the annual “Big Game” between the Cal and Cardinal football teams gains custody of the Stanford Axe.

    Stanford has had at least one NCAA team champion every year since the 1976–77 school year and has earned 126 NCAA national team titles since its establishment, the most among universities, and Stanford has won 522 individual national championships, the most by any university. Stanford has won the award for the top-ranked Division 1 athletic program—the NACDA Directors’ Cup, formerly known as the Sears Cup—annually for the past twenty-four straight years. Stanford athletes have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1912, winning 270 Olympic medals total, 139 of them gold. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, and 2016 Summer Olympics, Stanford won more Olympic medals than any other university in the United States. Stanford athletes won 16 medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics (12 gold, two silver and two bronze), and 27 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics.


    The unofficial motto of Stanford, selected by President Jordan, is Die Luft der Freiheit weht. Translated from the German language, this quotation from Ulrich von Hutten means, “The wind of freedom blows.” The motto was controversial during World War I, when anything in German was suspect; at that time the university disavowed that this motto was official.
    Hail, Stanford, Hail! is the Stanford Hymn sometimes sung at ceremonies or adapted by the various University singing groups. It was written in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (in 1896 she earned the first Stanford doctorate in Economics and later became associate professor of Sociology), but was not officially adopted until after a performance on campus in March 1902 by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
    “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman”: Stanford does not award honorary degrees, but in 1953 the degree of “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman” was created to recognize individuals who give rare and extraordinary service to the University. Technically, this degree is awarded by the Stanford Associates, a voluntary group that is part of the university’s alumni association. As Stanford’s highest honor, it is not conferred at prescribed intervals, but only when appropriate to recognize extraordinary service. Recipients include Herbert Hoover, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, Lucile Packard, and John Gardner.
    Big Game events: The events in the week leading up to the Big Game vs. UC Berkeley, including Gaieties (a musical written, composed, produced, and performed by the students of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society).
    “Viennese Ball”: a formal ball with waltzes that was initially started in the 1970s by students returning from the now-closed Stanford in Vienna overseas program. It is now open to all students.
    “Full Moon on the Quad”: An annual event at Main Quad, where students gather to kiss one another starting at midnight. Typically organized by the Junior class cabinet, the festivities include live entertainment, such as music and dance performances.
    “Band Run”: An annual festivity at the beginning of the school year, where the band picks up freshmen from dorms across campus while stopping to perform at each location, culminating in a finale performance at Main Quad.
    “Mausoleum Party”: An annual Halloween Party at the Stanford Mausoleum, the final resting place of Leland Stanford Jr. and his parents. A 20-year tradition, the “Mausoleum Party” was on hiatus from 2002 to 2005 due to a lack of funding, but was revived in 2006. In 2008, it was hosted in Old Union rather than at the actual Mausoleum, because rain prohibited generators from being rented. In 2009, after fundraising efforts by the Junior Class Presidents and the ASSU Executive, the event was able to return to the Mausoleum despite facing budget cuts earlier in the year.
    Former campus traditions include the “Big Game bonfire” on Lake Lagunita (a seasonal lake usually dry in the fall), which was formally ended in 1997 because of the presence of endangered salamanders in the lake bed.

    Award laureates and scholars

    Stanford’s current community of scholars includes:

    19 Nobel Prize laureates (as of October 2020, 85 affiliates in total)
    171 members of the National Academy of Sciences
    109 members of National Academy of Engineering
    76 members of National Academy of Medicine
    288 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    19 recipients of the National Medal of Science
    1 recipient of the National Medal of Technology
    4 recipients of the National Humanities Medal
    49 members of American Philosophical Society
    56 fellows of the American Physics Society (since 1995)
    4 Pulitzer Prize winners
    31 MacArthur Fellows
    4 Wolf Foundation Prize winners
    2 ACL Lifetime Achievement Award winners
    14 AAAI fellows
    2 Presidential Medal of Freedom winners

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 11:26 am on May 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Searching for the matter that hides its shine", "Sunyaev-Zeldovich effects": looking for shadows. Using the CMB to look for a kind of galactic watermark whereby the dust and gas at the edges of galaxies boost energy of the CMB light., An alternative to CMB research is to look instead for X-rays emitted by baryonic matter., , , , , Dark Matter, If researchers don't fully understand galaxy formation and evolution then the assumptions cosmologists make about galaxies may be incorrect., Just because matter is visible doesn’t mean it’s easy to see., , , , The "missing baryon" problem   

    From “Symmetry”: “Searching for the matter that hides its shine” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From “Symmetry”

    Nathan Collins

    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Olena Shmahalo.

    Just because matter is visible doesn’t mean it’s easy to see.

    Studies of the cosmos indicate that most of the matter that makes up the universe is dark matter—so called because it does not emit or reflect light. But even ordinary matter, the matter that makes up everything we can see, can be difficult to find.

    “If you look with an optical telescope, you’re seeing only a tiny fraction of the total matter,” says Emmanuel Schaan, a physicist at the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    Some matter, like dust and gas at the very edges of a galaxy or galaxy cluster, doesn’t emit any light of its own, and very little light shines on it. By contrast, other matter is too close to light sources to be seen. The light from matter that sits close to the heart of galaxies and galaxy clusters is hidden behind the brighter light of other objects like stars.

    The result is that only a small percentage of what’s considered visible matter is actually visible. “Ordinary matter is only 5% of the total energy in the universe,” Schaan says, “and if you look at stars within galaxies, you’re only seeing 5 to 10% of the ordinary matter.”

    Detecting that hidden ordinary matter, also called baryonic matter, will become increasingly important in years to come, Schaan says. “If we don’t know where the baryons are, then we cannot properly analyze precision data from experiments like LSST,” the Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time.

    Data from these experiments “contain a lot of precious information that will help us learn about dark energy, dark matter, inflation and neutrinos, but if we can’t properly model it, we’ll have to throw that data away.”

    Fortunately, astrophysicists are used to searching for things they can’t see. Just as they use a variety of methods to learn about the distribution of dark matter in the universe, they have identified ways to learn about the distribution of ordinary matter as well.

    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Olena Shmahalo.

    Missing matter and the cosmic backlight

    Cosmologists have a couple of ways to calculate how much ordinary matter there is in the universe. One way is to look at the relative amounts of hydrogen, deuterium, helium and other light elements and isotopes that exist today. According to the theory of Big Bang nucleosynthesis, these ratios depend on the number of baryons in the universe, so physicists can use them to infer how much ordinary matter there is.

    An independent estimate comes from the cosmic microwave background [CMB], the oldest light in the universe.

    That light is left over from a time when the universe cooled from an extremely hot plasma soup of electrons, protons and neutrons down to a more ordinary mix of hydrogen and helium. Tiny variations in the CMB reveal how that matter moved around and clumped up in the very early universe. From those observations, researchers can infer the mix of matter and dark matter.

    Either way, physicists have concluded that around 16% of the matter in the universe is ordinary, while the rest is dark matter.

    Yet when physicists catalogued all the ordinary matter they could find, in dust and gas and stars in galaxies, they could account only for a little more than half what the other measurements suggested should be there, Schaan says.

    Scientists have described this as the “missing baryon” problem.

    Over the last decade, researchers discovered that much of the missing matter started out in galactic centers and got blasted out to the galaxies’ extreme edges by such violent phenomena as supernovae and active galactic nuclei, leading some to declare the missing baryon problem solved.

    Still, researchers like Schaan want to know more about exactly how that matter is distributed in and around galaxies. In part, that’s to better understand galactic astrophysics for its own sake, but it’s also because understanding where the matter is and how it got there will inform the analysis of data from experiments like LSST, along with others that are trying to map out dark matter and dark energy.

    To map out the rest of the ordinary matter, then, Schaan and colleagues including Stefania Amodeo, Simone Ferraro and Nicholas Battaglia, along with other teams, have taken to looking for shadows. Using the CMB as a backlight, they look for a kind of galactic watermark whereby the heat and motion of dust and gas at the edges of galaxies boost the energy of the CMB light. These effects, known collectively as the “Sunyaev-Zeldovich effects”, can reveal both where the dust and gas are and also their speed and energy—thus providing essential new details on how it got there.

    Schaan says certain flavors of the SZ effect have already been measured fairly well—in particular a variety that reveals how fast dust and gas are moving—but others remain elusive. The hope is that with experiments such as the Atacama Cosmology Telescope gathering more CMB data, researchers will finally be able to get a good picture of the matter surrounding galaxies. “I think this will bloom in the next few years,” Schaan says.

    X-raying the universe

    While the cosmic-backlight approach should work well for mapping matter at the edges of galaxies, it does have a significant shortcoming: Astrophysicists still want to map the distribution of matter nearer to the heart of galaxies and galaxy clusters, but in those spots, light from stars and other sources will wash out the CMB.

    An alternative, says SLAC physicist Steven Allen, is to look instead for X-rays emitted by baryonic matter. Although galactic processes may blow some of that matter away, a considerable amount remains—and it gets very hot. In large galaxy clusters, Allen explains, gas temperatures can reach into tens of millions of degrees, at which point the gas emits a lot of X-rays.

    Mapping the distribution of matter in these hot zones gives scientists a way to test their assumptions about how galaxies and galaxy clusters form and evolve.

    For the most part, Allen says, the temperature and distribution of matter detected via X-rays is consistent with the idea that matter collapses and heats under the force of gravity. But Allen’s team and other X-ray astronomers have discovered that more heating has occurred than physicists would expect from gravitational collapse alone, and active galactic nuclei appear to have provided that heating.

    Allen’s group has also looked into another use of X-ray data, drawing on X-ray spectroscopy. That method reveals a chemical composition that again points to the material having been blasted around more powerfully and earlier in the history of the universe than scientists had imagined. “[Active galactic nuclei] must have put a lot of energy into the gas, and it must have happened relatively early,” Allen says.

    If researchers don’t fully understand galaxy formation and evolution, then the assumptions cosmologists make about galaxies may be incorrect and could throw off models of how matter shifted around the universe as it evolved. That could in turn have implications for how cosmologists understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy, which could feed back into astrophysicists’ studies of galaxy formation and evolution. “You can’t do one without the other,” Allen says.

    But investigations like Allen’s can help. By looking at X-rays from galaxies and galaxy clusters at different distances, researchers can map out how these objects evolved over time. Since distance is a proxy for how long ago the light we see was emitted, that could help astrophysicists build better models of galaxies that in turn help cosmologists improve their models of the universe.

    Making sense of the data

    As researchers gather more and more detailed data on what’s out there in the universe, theoretical models must keep up, says Chihway Chang, an astrophysicist and cosmologist at the University of Chicago and a former student at SLAC and Stanford University. That’s because this new information is only as valuable as scientists’ ability to translate it.

    Chang points to the Dark Energy Survey, a project aimed at mapping out how quickly the universe has expanded over time, as an example.
    The Dark Energy Survey

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CL) Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the Dark-Energy-Camera – DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile at an altitude of 7200 feet.

    NOIRLabNSF NOIRLab NOAO Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters.

    The Dark Energy Survey is an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe. The Dark Energy Survey began searching the Southern skies on August 31, 2013.

    According to Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the cosmic expansion. Yet, in 1998, two teams of astronomers studying distant supernovae made the remarkable discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up.

    Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011 Expansion of the Universe

    4 October 2011

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011

    with one half to

    Saul Perlmutter

    The Supernova Cosmology Project

    The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and The University of California-Berkeley,

    and the other half jointly to

    Brian P. Schmidt
    The High-z Supernova Search Team,
    The Australian National University, Weston Creek, Australia.


    Adam G. Riess
    The High-z Supernova Search Team,The Johns Hopkins University and
    The Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD.

    Written in the stars

    “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice…” *

    What will be the final destiny of the Universe? Probably it will end in ice, if we are to believe this year’s Nobel Laureates in Physics. They have studied several dozen exploding stars, called supernovae, and discovered that the Universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. The discovery came as a complete surprise even to the Laureates themselves.

    In 1998, cosmology was shaken at its foundations as two research teams presented their findings. Headed by Saul Perlmutter, one of the teams had set to work in 1988. Brian Schmidt headed another team, launched at the end of 1994, where Adam Riess was to play a crucial role.

    The research teams raced to map the Universe by locating the most distant supernovae. More sophisticated telescopes on the ground and in space, as well as more powerful computers and new digital imaging sensors (CCD, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009), opened the possibility in the 1990s to add more pieces to the cosmological puzzle.

    The teams used a particular kind of supernova, called Type 1a supernova. It is an explosion of an old compact star that is as heavy as the Sun but as small as the Earth. A single such supernova can emit as much light as a whole galaxy. All in all, the two research teams found over 50 distant supernovae whose light was weaker than expected – this was a sign that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating. The potential pitfalls had been numerous, and the scientists found reassurance in the fact that both groups had reached the same astonishing conclusion.

    For almost a century, the Universe has been known to be expanding as a consequence of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. However, the discovery that this expansion is accelerating is astounding. If the expansion will continue to speed up the Universe will end in ice.

    The acceleration is thought to be driven by dark energy, but what that dark energy is remains an enigma – perhaps the greatest in physics today. What is known is that dark energy constitutes about three quarters of the Universe. Therefore, the findings of the 2011 Nobel Laureates in Physics have helped to unveil a Universe that to a large extent is unknown to science. And everything is possible again.

    *Robert Frost, Fire and Ice, 1920

    To explain cosmic acceleration, cosmologists are faced with two possibilities: either 70% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called Dark Energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales.

    The Dark Energy Survey is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of Dark Energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia are working on the project. The collaboration built and is using an extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes, to carry out the project.

    Over six years (2013-2019), the Dark Energy Survey collaboration used 758 nights of observation to carry out a deep, wide-area survey to record information from 300 million galaxies that are billions of light-years from Earth. The survey imaged 5000 square degrees of the southern sky in five optical filters to obtain detailed information about each galaxy. A fraction of the survey time is used to observe smaller patches of sky roughly once a week to discover and study thousands of supernovae and other astrophysical transients.

    “As we’ve started to analyze more and more data from DES, we’re getting beautiful data with super high signal-to-noise ratio, but you can’t use all of it because our theoretical understanding on the smallest scales is very uncertain.”

    For that reason, scientists are working to build better models of astrophysical processes considered small-scale (compared to the size of the universe, that is), such as the process of active galactic nuclei spitting matter out to galactic edges, Chang says.

    Doing so could help researchers better understand some current tensions in cosmology—for instance, measurements based on the CMB suggest that matter is slightly more prone to clustering than one would expect using measurements based on studies of weak gravitational lensing, or the way the gravitational pull of matter bends light. Or it could reveal entirely new physics that researchers haven’t thought of yet.

    Despite the challenges, it’s an exciting time for the field, says Agnès Ferté, a cosmologist at SLAC. “A few years ago, the most precise information about cosmology came from the cosmic microwave background.”

    As researchers have added data on galaxy clustering and different varieties of gravitational lensing, they’ve learned more and more about the structure and history of the universe.

    Adding better models of smaller-scale astrophysical phenomena should help continue the advances, Ferté says, especially as even more detailed surveys from the Rubin Observatory and the European Space Agency’s Euclid satellite come on line.

    Perhaps, she says, researchers will even be able to make more precise tests of the theory of gravity itself or finally discover the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

    “I’m extremely excited,” Ferté says. “I think we will discover something new for sure.”

    [Seemingly missing from this article are two new experimental projects which when realized should add considerably to the encyclopedic knowledge for which science is searching and to which results will add

    significant results.]

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 2:08 pm on May 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "The Euclid spacecraft will transform how we view the 'dark universe'", , , , , Dark Matter, ,   

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Via “phys.org” And “The Conversation (AU)” : “The Euclid spacecraft will transform how we view the ‘dark universe'” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)




    “The Conversation (AU)”


    Euclid is set to launch this year on a rocket built by SpaceX. Credit: Work performed by ATG under contract for ESA, CC BY-SA

    “The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid satellite completed the first part of its long journey into space on May 1, 2023, when it arrived in Florida on a boat from Italy. It is scheduled to lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket, built by SpaceX, from Cape Canaveral in early July.

    Euclid is designed to provide us with a better understanding of the “mysterious” components of our universe, known as dark matter and dark energy.

    Unlike the normal matter we experience here on Earth, dark matter neither reflects nor emits light. It binds galaxies together and is thought to make up about 80% of all the mass in the universe. We’ve known about it for a century, but its true nature remains an enigma.

    Dark energy is similarly puzzling. Astronomers have shown that the expansion of the universe over the last five billion years has been accelerating faster than expected. Many believe this acceleration is driven by an unseen force, which has been dubbed dark energy. This makes up about 70% of the energy in the universe.

    Euclid will map this “dark universe,” using a suite of scientific instruments to shed light on different aspects of dark energy and dark matter.

    A light in the dark

    After launch, Euclid will undertake a month-long journey to a region in space called the second Earth-Sun Lagrangian point, which is five times further from us than the Moon.

    It’s where the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Earth balance out and provides a stable vantage point for Euclid to observe the universe. Euclid will join the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at this point and will be the perfect companion to that amazing space observatory.

    My involvement in Euclid began in 2007 when I was invited by ESA to participate in an independent concept advisory team to assess two competing mission proposals called SPACE and DUNE.

    Both used different techniques, and therefore different instruments, to study the dark universe, and ESA was struggling to decide between them. Both were compelling concepts and our team decided that both had merit, especially to provide a vital cross-check between them. Euclid was thus born from the best of both concepts.

    Euclid is designed to study the whole universe so needs instruments with wide fields of view. The wider the field of view of the imaging instrument, the more of the universe it can observe. To do this, Euclid uses a relatively small telescope compared to JWST. In size, Euclid is roughly the size of a truck compared to the aircraft-sized JWST. But Euclid also carries some of the biggest digital cameras deployed in space with fields of view hundreds of times greater than JWST’s.

    Shapes and colors

    The Euclid VIS (or visible) instrument, built mostly in the UK, is designed to measure the positions and shapes of as many galaxies as possible to look for subtle correlations in this data caused by the gravitational lensing of the light, as it travels to us through the intervening dark matter. This gravitational lensing effect is weak, only one part in a hundred thousand for most galaxies, thus requiring lots of galaxies to see the effect in high definition. Thus VIS will produce Hubble telescope-like image quality over a third of the night sky.

    VIS, however, can’t measure the colors of objects. This is needed to measure their distance through the redshift effect, where light from those objects is shifted to longer, or redder, wavelengths in a way that relates to their distance from us. Some of this data will need to come from existing and planned ground-based observatories, but Euclid also carries the NISP (Near-Infra Spectrometer and Photometer) instrument which is specifically designed to measure the infrared colors and spectra, and therefore redshifts, for the most distant galaxies that Euclid will see.

    To measure dark energy, NISP will exploit a relative new technique called Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO) that provides an accurate measurement of the expansion history of the universe over its last 10 billion years. That history is vital for testing possible models of dark energy including suggested modifications to Albert Einstien’s Theory of General Relativity.

    Treasure trove

    Such an experiment takes an army of scientists and not everyone is solely working on dark matter and dark energy. Like JWST, Euclid will be a treasure-trove of new discoveries in many areas of astronomy. The Euclid consortium needs hundreds of people to help develop the sophisticated software needed to merge the space data with the ground-based data, and extract, to high accuracy, the shapes and colors of billions of galaxies.

    This software has also been checked and verified using some of the largest simulations of the universe that have ever been constructed. After arriving at L2, Euclid will undergo several months of testing, validation and calibration to ensure the instruments and telescope are working as expected. We are all familiar with such nervous waiting after the recent JWST launch.

    Once ready, Euclid will embark on a five-year survey of 15,000 square degrees of the sky with about 2,000 scientists from across the world collecting results along the way. However, the true power of Euclid will only be realized once we have all this data together and analyzed carefully. That could take another five years, taking us well into next decade before we have our final dark answers. The SpaceX launch therefore only feels like the half-way point in the Euclid story.

    I will travel to Florida this summer to see the launch of Euclid. I will be joined by hundreds of my colleagues who have dedicated their careers to building this amazing telescope and experiment. Seeing the project come together in this way makes me proud to call myself a “Euclidian.’

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the
    European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with The National Aeronautics and Space Agency to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.


    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization) , and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) . The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Copernicus mission

    Copernicus science center campus

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter annotated.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JP), Indian Space Research Organization (IN), the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos (RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programs include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.


    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”


    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate


    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Every member country must contribute to these programs:

    Technology Development Element Program
    Science Core Technology Program
    General Study Program
    European Component Initiative


    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programs, listed according to:

    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Space Situational Awareness


    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt (DE)
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris) (FR)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres (FR)
    The University of Central Lancashire (UK)

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programs (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, The Canadian Space Agency [Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC] (CA) takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programs and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programs. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).


    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programs, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO” exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.


    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organization for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organizations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programs and to organizing their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organizations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programs. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialized in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programs with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration SOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency[La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Hubble Space Telescope

    ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization]Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Space Telescope annotated. Launched in December 2021.

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency[中国国家航天局] (CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside, The Russian Federal Space Agency Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»](RU) one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Bepicolumbo in flight illustration. Artist’s impression of BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

  • richardmitnick 7:55 am on April 26, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "No WIMPS! Heavy particles don’t explain gravitational lensing oddities", , , , , , Dark Matter, , Detailed look at a lensed galaxy favors lighter particles called axions., ,   

    From “ars technica“: “No WIMPS! Heavy particles don’t explain gravitational lensing oddities” 

    From “ars technica“

    John Timmer

    Detailed look at a lensed galaxy favors lighter particles called axions.

    Decades after it became clear that the visible Universe is built on a framework of dark matter, we still don’t know what dark matter actually is. On large scales, a variety of evidence points toward what are called WIMPs: weakly interacting massive particles. But there are a variety of details that are difficult to explain using WIMPs, and decades of searching for the particles have turned up nothing, leaving people open to the idea that something other than a WIMP comprises dark matter.

    One of the many candidates is something called an axion [Nature (below)], a force-carrying particle that was proposed to solve a problem in an unrelated area of physics. They’re much lighter than WIMPs but have other properties that are consistent with dark matter, which has sustained low-level interest in them. Now, a new paper argues that there are features in a gravitational lens (largely the product of dark matter) that are best explained by axion-like properties.

    Particle or wave?

    So, what’s an axion? On the simplest level, it’s an extremely light particle with no spin that acts as a force carrier. They were originally proposed to ensure that quantum chromodynamics, which describes the behavior of the strong force that holds protons and neutrons together, doesn’t break the conservation of charge parity. Enough work was done to make sure axions were compatible with other theoretical frameworks, and a few searches [PNAS (below)] were done to try to detect them. But axions have mostly languished as one of a number of potential solutions to a problem that we haven’t figured out how to resolve.

    They have, however, attracted some attention as potential solutions to dark matter. But the behavior of dark matter was better explained by a heavy particle—specifically a weakly interacting massive particle. Axions were expected to be on the lighter side and could potentially be as light as the near-massless neutrino. The searches that were done for axions tended to rule out many of the heavier masses, as well, making the problem even more pronounced.

    But axions may be making a comeback, or at least holding steady while WIMPs faceplant. There have been a number of detectors built to try to catch indications of the weak interactions of WIMPs, and they’ve come up empty. If WIMPs are Standard Model particles, we could have inferred their presence based on missing mass in particle colliders. No evidence of that has been forthcoming. That has caused people to reexamine whether WIMPs are the best solution to dark matter.

    On cosmological scales, WIMPs continue to fit the data extremely well. But once you get down to the levels of individual galaxies, there are some oddities that don’t work quite as well unless the dark matter halo surrounding a galaxy has a complicated structure. Similar things seem to be true when you try to map the dark matter of individual galaxies based on its ability to create a gravitational lens that warps space so that it magnifies and distorts background objects.

    WIMP-based dark matter, modeled at left, leads to a smooth distribution from high (red) to low (blue) as you move farther from a galaxy’s core. With axions (right), quantum interference creates a far more irregular pattern. Amruth, et. al.

    The new work attempts to relate these potential oddities to a difference between the properties of WIMPS and axions. As their name implies, WIMPs should behave like discrete particles, interacting almost entirely through gravity. By contrast, axions should interact with each other through quantum interference, creating wave-like patterns in their frequency throughout a galaxy. So, while the frequency of WIMPs should gently decline with distance from the core of a galaxy, axions should form a standing wave (technically, a soliton) that boosts their frequency near the galactic core. Farther out, complex interference patterns should create areas where there are essentially no axions and other areas where they’re present at twice the average density.

    Hard to spot

    With some possible exceptions, dark matter constitutes the majority of the mass of a galaxy. Given that, these interference patterns should cause the gravitational pull from different areas of the galaxy to be uneven. If the differences between regions are large enough, this could potentially show up as minor deviations in the expected behavior of gravitational lensing. So, objects behind a galaxy should still appear as lensed images; they just might not be shaped the way we’d expect or in exactly the location we would predict.

    Modeling indicates that these deviations are small enough that even the Hubble Space Telescope couldn’t pick them up. But it might be possible to detect them at radio wavelengths by combining the data from widely separated radio telescopes into what’s essentially a single, giant telescope. (This approach enabled the Event Horizon Telescope to create an image of a black hole.)

    And, in at least one case, we have that data. HS 0810+2554 is a massive elliptical galaxy that sits between us and an active black hole in the core of another galaxy. The gravitational lens created by the galaxy in the foreground creates four images of the active galaxy, each with a bright galactic core and two large jets of material extending from it. It’s possible to compare the location and distortion of these four images to what we’d expect based on the presence of a typical dark matter halo in the foreground galaxy.

    It’s a relatively simple thing to do with the WIMPs, since there’s only one pattern we’d expect: the gradual fall off of dark matter levels as you move away from the galactic core. The lensing predictions based on that distribution do a poor job of matching the real-world data of where the lensed images show up.

    The challenge is doing the same analysis based on axion interference patterns, which are chaotic: run the model twice with different initial conditions, and you’ll get a different interference pattern. So, the odds of getting the one that’s actually present in the real-world galaxy that’s doing the lensing are pretty minimal. Instead, the research team ran 75 different models with the initial conditions chosen at random. By chance, some of these created distortions similar to the ones seen in the real-world data, typically affecting only one of the four lensed images. So, the researchers conclude that the distortions in the lensed images are consistent with a dark matter halo structured by the quantum interference of axions.

    So, is it really axions?

    Analysis of a single galaxy is never going to be a decisive slam dunk for anything, and there are several reasons to be extra cautious here. For one, the researchers made some assumptions about the distribution of normal, visible matter in a galaxy, which also exerts a gravitational effect. And elliptical galaxies are thought to be the result of smaller galaxies having merged, which could influence the distribution of dark matter in subtle ways that are difficult to detect by tracing the distribution of normal matter.

    Finally, this sort of interference pattern only works with extraordinarily light axions—on the order of 10-22 electronVolts. For contrast, the electron itself has a mass of about 500,000 electronVolts. This would potentially make the axions far lighter than even neutrinos.

    And the authors of the new paper themselves are mostly cautious about the evidence here, concluding their paper with the sentence: “Determining whether [WIMP- or axion-based dark matter] better reproduces astrophysical observations will tilt the balance towards one of the two corresponding classes of theories for new physics.” But their caution does slip in the last sentence of the abstract, where they write, “The ability of [axion-based dark matter] to resolve lensing anomalies even in demanding cases such as HS 0810+2554, together with its success in reproducing other astrophysical observations, tilt the balance toward new physics invoking axions.”

    We’ll see, undoubtedly shortly, whether that sentiment is shared by physicists beyond the authors and peer reviewers of this paper.

    Nature Astronomy
    Nature 2016
    PNAS 2015
    See the above science paper for instructive material with images.

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., and Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM, denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky.

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble, the original example of Dark Matter discovered during observations by Fritz Zwicky and confirmed 30 years later by Vera Rubin.

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970.

    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter(Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).

    Dark Matter Research

    Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search from DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University at SNOLAB (Vale Inco Mine, Sudbury, Canada).

    LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment xenon detector at Sanford Underground Research Facility Credit: Matt Kapust.

    DAMA at Gran Sasso uses sodium iodide housed in copper to hunt for dark matter LNGS-INFN.

    Yale HAYSTAC axion dark matter experiment at Yale’s Wright Lab.

    DEAP Dark Matter detector, The DEAP-3600, suspended in the SNOLAB (CA) deep in Sudbury’s Creighton Mine.

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD.

    DAMA-LIBRA Dark Matter experiment at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ (INFN’s) Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS) located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

    DARWIN Dark Matter experiment. A design study for a next-generation, multi-ton dark matter detector in Europe at The University of Zurich [Universität Zürich](CH).

    PandaX II Dark Matter experiment at Jin-ping Underground Laboratory (CJPL) in Sichuan, China.

    Inside the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment U Washington. Credit: Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.

    The University of Western Australia ORGAN Experiment’s main detector. A small copper cylinder called a “resonant cavity” traps photons generated during dark matter conversion. The cylinder is bolted to a “dilution refrigerator” which cools the experiment to very low temperatures.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Ars Technica was founded in 1998 when Founder & Editor-in-Chief Ken Fisher announced his plans for starting a publication devoted to technology that would cater to what he called “alpha geeks”: technologists and IT professionals. Ken’s vision was to build a publication with a simple editorial mission: be “technically savvy, up-to-date, and more fun” than what was currently popular in the space. In the ensuing years, with formidable contributions by a unique editorial staff, Ars Technica became a trusted source for technology news, tech policy analysis, breakdowns of the latest scientific advancements, gadget reviews, software, hardware, and nearly everything else found in between layers of silicon.

    Ars Technica innovates by listening to its core readership. Readers have come to demand devotedness to accuracy and integrity, flanked by a willingness to leave each day’s meaningless, click-bait fodder by the wayside. The result is something unique: the unparalleled marriage of breadth and depth in technology journalism. By 2001, Ars Technica was regularly producing news reports, op-eds, and the like, but the company stood out from the competition by regularly providing long thought-pieces and in-depth explainers.

    And thanks to its readership, Ars Technica also accomplished a number of industry leading moves. In 2001, Ars launched a digital subscription service when such things were non-existent for digital media. Ars was also the first IT publication to begin covering the resurgence of Apple, and the first to draw analytical and cultural ties between the world of high technology and gaming. Ars was also first to begin selling its long form content in digitally distributable forms, such as PDFs and eventually eBooks (again, starting in 2001).

  • richardmitnick 10:43 am on April 22, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New look at ‘Einstein rings’ around distant galaxies just got us closer to solving the dark matter debate", , , Axions vs WIMPs, , , Dark Matter, , , ,   

    From “The Conversation (AU)” : “New look at ‘Einstein rings’ around distant galaxies just got us closer to solving the dark matter debate” 

    From “The Conversation (AU)”

    Rossana Ruggeri
    Research Fellow in Cosmology
    The University of Queensland (AU)

    Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble.

    Physicists believe most of the matter in the universe is made up of an invisible substance that we only know about by its indirect effects on the stars and galaxies we can see.

    We’re not crazy! Without this “dark matter”, the universe as we see it would make no sense.

    But the nature of dark matter is a longstanding puzzle. However, a new study by Alfred Amruth at the University of Hong Kong and colleagues, published in Nature Astronomy [below], uses the gravitational bending of light to bring us a step closer to understanding.

    Invisible but omnipresent

    The reason we think dark matter exists is that we can see the effects of its gravity in the behaviour of galaxies. Specifically, dark matter seems to make up about 85% of the universe’s mass, and most of the distant galaxies we can see appear to be surrounded by a halo of the mystery substance.

    But it’s called dark matter because it doesn’t give off light, or absorb or reflect it, which makes it incredibly difficult to detect.

    So what is this stuff? We think it must be some kind of unknown fundamental particle, but beyond that we’re not sure. All attempts to detect dark matter particles in laboratory experiments so far have failed, and physicists have been debating its nature for decades.

    Scientists have proposed two leading hypothetical candidates for dark matter: relatively heavy characters called weakly interacting massive particles (or WIMPs), and extremely lightweight particles called axions. In theory, WIMPs would behave like discrete particles, while axions would behave a lot more like waves due to quantum interference.

    It has been difficult to distinguish between these two possibilities – but now light bent around distant galaxies has offered a clue.

    Gravitational lensing and Einstein rings

    When light travelling through the universe passes a massive object like a galaxy, its path is bent because – according to Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity – the gravity of the massive object distorts space and time around itself.

    As a result, sometimes when we look at a distant galaxy we can see distorted images of other galaxies behind it. And if things line up perfectly, the light from the background galaxy will be smeared out into a circle around the closer galaxy.

    This distortion of light is called “gravitational lensing”, and the circles it can create are called “Einstein rings”.

    By studying how the rings or other lensed images are distorted, astronomers can learn about the properties of the dark matter halo surrounding the closer galaxy.

    Axions vs WIMPs

    And that’s exactly what Amruth and his team have done in their new study. They looked at several systems where multiple copies of the same background object were visible around the foreground lensing galaxy, with a special focus on one called HS 0810+2554.

    Multiple images of a background image created by gravitational lensing can be seen in the system HS 0810+2554. Hubble Space Telescope / NASA / ESA.

    Using detailed modelling, they worked out how the images would be distorted if dark matter were made of WIMPs vs how they would if dark matter were made of axions. The WIMP model didn’t look much like the real thing, but the axion model accurately reproduced all features of the system.

    The result suggests axions are a more probable candidate for dark matter, and their ability to explain lensing anomalies and other astrophysical observations has scientists buzzing with excitement.

    Particles and galaxies

    The new research builds on previous studies that have also pointed towards axions as the more likely form of dark matter. For example, one study looked at the effects of axion dark matter on the cosmic microwave background, while another examined the behaviour of dark matter in dwarf galaxies.

    Although this research won’t yet end the scientific debate over the nature of dark matter, it does open new avenues for testing and experiment. For example, future gravitational lensing observations could be used to probe the wave-like nature of axions and potentially measure their mass.

    A better understanding of dark matter will have implications for what we know about particle physics and the early universe. It could also help us to understand better how galaxies form and change over time.

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., and Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM, denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky.

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble, the original example of Dark Matter discovered during observations by Fritz Zwicky and confirmed 30 years later by Vera Rubin.

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970.

    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter(Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).

    Dark Matter Research

    Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search from DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University at SNOLAB (Vale Inco Mine, Sudbury, Canada).

    LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment xenon detector at Sanford Underground Research Facility Credit: Matt Kapust.

    DAMA at Gran Sasso uses sodium iodide housed in copper to hunt for dark matter LNGS-INFN.

    Yale HAYSTAC axion dark matter experiment at Yale’s Wright Lab.

    DEAP Dark Matter detector, The DEAP-3600, suspended in the SNOLAB (CA) deep in Sudbury’s Creighton Mine.

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD.

    DAMA-LIBRA Dark Matter experiment at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ (INFN’s) Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS) located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

    DARWIN Dark Matter experiment. A design study for a next-generation, multi-ton dark matter detector in Europe at The University of Zurich [Universität Zürich](CH).

    PandaX II Dark Matter experiment at Jin-ping Underground Laboratory (CJPL) in Sichuan, China.

    Inside the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment U Washington. Credit: Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.

    The University of Western Australia ORGAN Experiment’s main detector. A small copper cylinder called a “resonant cavity” traps photons generated during dark matter conversion. The cylinder is bolted to a “dilution refrigerator” which cools the experiment to very low temperatures.

    Nature Astronomy

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Conversation (AU) launched as a pilot project in October 2014. It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.
    Our team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.
    Access to independent, high quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Our aim is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversation.

  • richardmitnick 12:32 pm on April 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Understanding our place in the universe", AI is an incredible scientific asset but it can also be used for more nefarious purposes: facial recognition software; sentencing decisions in criminal court. Many algorithms are biased against people, , , , At Fermilab he spends his days teaching machines how to analyze cosmological data a task for which they are better suited than most human scientists., At MIT Nord has focused his efforts on exploring the potential of AI to design new scientific experiments and instruments., , Brian Nord, , , Dark Matter, , In recent years Nord has attempted to develop methods to make the application of AI more ethical., Nord asks “Could we design the next particle collider or the next telescope in less than five years instead of 30?”, Nord’s efforts to combat racism in STEM have established him as a leader in the movement to address inequities and oppression in academic and research environments., ,   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Understanding our place in the universe” Brian Nord 

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Phie Jacobs | School of Science

    “A touchstone that I often come back to is space,” says Brian Nord. “The mystery of traveling in it and seeing what’s at the edge.”

    Brian Nord first fell in love with physics when he was a teenager growing up in Wisconsin. His high school physics program wasn’t exceptional, and he sometimes struggled to keep up with class material, but those difficulties did nothing to dampen his interest in the subject. In addition to the main curriculum, students were encouraged to independently study topics they found interesting, and Nord quickly developed a fascination with the cosmos. “A touchstone that I often come back to is space,” he says. “The mystery of traveling in it and seeing what’s at the edge.”

    Nord was an avid reader of comic books, and astrophysics appealed to his desire to become a part of something bigger. “There always seemed to be something special about having this kinship with the universe around you,” he recalls. “I always thought it would be cool if I could have that deep connection to physics.”

    Nord began to cultivate that connection as an undergraduate at The Johns Hopkins University. After graduating with a BA in physics, he went on to study at the University of Michigan, where he earned an MS and PhD in the same field. By this point, he was already thinking big, but he wanted to think even bigger. This desire for a more comprehensive understanding of the universe led him away from astrophysics and toward the more expansive field of cosmology. “Cosmology deals with the whole kit and caboodle, the whole shebang,” he explains. “Our biggest questions are about the origin and the fate of the universe.”

    Dark mysteries

    Nord was particularly interested in parts of the universe that can’t be observed through traditional means. Evidence suggests that dark matter makes up the majority of mass in the universe and provides most of its gravity, but its nature largely remains in the realm of hypothesis and speculation. It doesn’t absorb, reflect, or emit any type of electromagnetic radiation, which makes it nearly impossible for scientists to detect. But while dark matter provides gravity to pull the universe together, an equally mysterious force — dark energy — is pulling it apart. “We know even less about dark energy than we do about dark matter,” Nord explains.

    For the past 15 years, Nord has been attempting to close that gap in our knowledge. Part of his work focuses on the statistical modeling of galaxy clusters and their ability to distort and magnify light as it travels through the cosmos. This effect, which is known as strong gravitational lensing, is a useful tool for detecting the influence of dark matter on gravity and for measuring how dark energy affects the expansion rate of the universe.

    After earning his PhD, Nord remained at the University of Michigan to continue his research as part of a postdoctoral fellowship. He currently holds a position at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and is a senior member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. He continues to investigate questions about the origin and destiny of the universe, but his more recent work has also focused on improving the ways in which we make scientific discoveries.

    AI powerup

    When it comes to addressing big questions about the nature of the cosmos, Nord has consistently run into one major problem: although his mastery of physics can sometimes make him feel like a superhero, he’s only human, and humans aren’t perfect. They make mistakes, adapt slowly to new information, and take a long time to get things done.

    The solution, Nord argues, is to go beyond the human, into the realm of algorithms and models. As part of Fermilab’s Artificial Intelligence Project, he spends his days teaching machines how to analyze cosmological data, a task for which they are better suited than most human scientists. “Artificial intelligence can give us models that are more flexible than what we can create ourselves with pen and paper,” Nord explains. “In a lot of cases, it does better than humans do.”

    Nord is continuing this research at MIT as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Visiting Scholars and Professors Program. Earlier this year, he joined the Laboratory for Nuclear Science (LNS), with Jesse Thaler in the Department of Physics and Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP) as his faculty host. Thaler is the director of the National Science Foundation’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions (IAIFI). Since arriving on campus, Nord has focused his efforts on exploring the potential of AI to design new scientific experiments and instruments. These processes ordinarily take an enormous amount of time, he explains, but AI could rapidly accelerate them. “Could we design the next particle collider or the next telescope in less than five years, instead of 30?” he wonders.

    But if Nord has learned anything from the comics of his youth, it is that with great power comes great responsibility. AI is an incredible scientific asset, but it can also be used for more nefarious purposes. The same computer algorithms that could build the next particle collider also underlie things like facial recognition software and the risk assessment tools that inform sentencing decisions in criminal court. Many of these algorithms are deeply biased against people of color. “It’s a double-edged sword,” Nord explains. “Because if [AI] works better for science, it works better for facial recognition. So, I’m working against myself.”

    Culture change superpowers

    In recent years, Nord has attempted to develop methods to make the application of AI more ethical, and his work has focused on the broad intersections between ethics, justice, and scientific discovery. His efforts to combat racism in STEM have established him as a leader in the movement to address inequities and oppression in academic and research environments. In June of 2020, he collaborated with members of Particles for Justice — a group that boasts MIT professors Daniel Harlow and Tracy Slatyer, as well as former MLK Visiting Scholar and CTP researcher Chanda Prescod-Weinstein — to create the academic Strike for Black Lives. The strike, which emerged as a response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, called on the academic community to take a stand against anti-Black racism.

    Nord is also the co-author of Black Light, a curriculum for learning about Black experiences, and the co-founder of Change Now, which produced a list of calls for action to make a more just laboratory environment at Fermilab. As the co-founder of Deep Skies, he also strives to foster justice-oriented research communities free of traditional hierarchies and oppressive power structures. “The basic idea is just humanity over productivity,” he explains.

    This work has led Nord to reconsider what motivated him to pursue a career in physics in the first place. When he first discovered his passion for the subject as a teenager, he knew he wanted to use physics to help people, but he wasn’t sure how. “I was thinking I’d make some technology that will save lives, and I still hope to do that,” he says. “But I think maybe more of my direct impact, at least in this stage of my career, is in trying to change the culture.”

    Physics may not have granted Nord flight or X-ray vision — not yet, at least. But over the course of his long career, he has discovered a more substantial power. “If I can understand the universe,” he says, “maybe that will help me understand myself and my place in the world and our place as humanity.”

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory , the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center , and the Haystack Observatory , as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Whitehead Institute.

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).


    The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

    From The Kavli Institute For Astrophysics and Space Research

    MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science is a research institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    The MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science

    The MIT Media Lab

    The MIT School of Engineering

    The MIT Sloan School of Management



    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities.

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected The Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However, six Massachusetts Institute of Technology students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched “OpenCourseWare” to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

  • richardmitnick 4:11 pm on April 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Catching Dark Matter in a Basement", , , Dark Matter, , , , The consensus among physicists is that dark matter makes up to 85% of the mass of the Universe., , The Trinity College of Arts & Sciences   

    From The DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory And The Trinity College of Arts & Sciences At Duke University: “Catching Dark Matter in a Basement” 

    From The DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory


    The Trinity College of Arts & Sciences


    Duke University


    Marie Claire Chelini | Trinity Communications – Duke University

    Dawn M Levy

    Few things carry the same aura of mystery as dark matter. The name itself radiates secrecy, suggesting something hidden in the shadows of the Universe.

    Dark matter, the invisible stuff that makes up 85% of the Universe’s matter, isn’t just hidden away between galaxies. A team of scientists is trying to bring it out of the shadows. (X-ray: NASA/CXO/Fabian et al.; Radio: Gendron-Marsolais et al.; NRAO/AUI/NSF Optical: NASA, SDSS)

    A collaborative team of scientists called COHERENT, including Kate Scholberg, Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics, Phillip Barbeau, associate professor of Physics, and postdoctoral scholar Daniel Pershey, attempted to bring dark matter out of the shadows of the Universe [Physical Review Letters (below)] and into a slightly less glamorous destination: a brightly lit, narrow hallway in a basement.

    Not an ordinary basement, though. Working in an area of Oak Ridge National Laboratory nicknamed “Neutrino Alley”, the team typically focuses on subatomic particles called neutrinos. They are produced when stars die and become supernovas, or, on a more down-to-Earth level, as a by-product of proton collisions in particle accelerators.

    Not coincidentally, Neutrino Alley is located directly underneath one of the most powerful particle accelerators in the world, Oak Ridge’s Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) [below]. Neutrino Alley houses a collection of detectors specifically designed to observe neutrinos as they pass through and collide with them.

    Kate Scholberg, co-author Grayson Rich and Philip Barbeau. (Long Li /Duke University)

    Neutrinos aren’t the only by-product of SNS’s operations, though. Dark matter (not to be confused with the movie villain favorite anti-matter) is also produced when particle accelerators crash protons together. Following up on years of theoretical calculation, the COHERENT team set out to capitalize both on SNS’s power and on the sensitivity of their neutrino detectors to observe dark matter in Neutrino Alley.

    “And we didn’t see it,” says Scholberg. “Of course, if we had seen it, it would have been more exciting, but not seeing it is actually a big deal.”

    She explains that the fact that dark matter wasn’t observed by their neutrino detectors allows them to greatly refine the theoretical models of what dark matter looks like.

    “We know exactly how the detector would respond to dark matter if dark matter had certain characteristics, so we were looking for that specific fingerprint.”

    The fingerprint in question is the way in which the nuclei of the atoms in the neutrino detector recoil when hit by a neutrino, or in this case, by a dark matter particle.

    Jason Newby and co-author Yuri Efremenko hold a photosensor used for particle detection in Neutrino Alley. (Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy)

    “It’s like throwing projectiles at a bowling ball on a sheet of ice,” said Pershey. The bowling balls, in his analogy, are the atoms contained in the neutrino detector — which in this experiment was a 14.6 kg cesium iodide crystal. “You can tell a lot about the projectile and the force with which it was thrown by how much the bowling ball recoils upon contact.”

    When it comes to dark matter, any information is good information. No one really knows what it is. Almost 100 years ago, physicists realized that the Universe couldn’t behave the way it did if all it contained was the stuff we can see.

    “We’re floating in a sea of dark matter,” said Jason Newby, group leader for neutrino research at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a co-author of the study. The consensus among physicists is that dark matter makes up to 85% of the mass of the Universe. It must be subject to gravity to explain the Universe’s behavior, but it doesn’t interact with any sort of light or electromagnetic wave, appearing dark.

    “We learned about it by looking at big galaxies rotating around each other, seeing that they rotate way faster than they ought to [Coma cluster above], implying that they have more mass than they appear to have,” said Pershey. “So we know that there’s extra stuff out there, we just need to learn where to look for it.”

    “Even though we’re in the realm of mostly no results,” said Newby, “it’s really important that everywhere you can look, you look, and then you can rule out a whole number of possibilities and focus on a new area with strategy rather than just using a ‘spaghetti on the wall’ approach.”

    “We’re extending our reach for what models for dark matter can exist, and that’s very powerful,” said Scholberg.

    She points out that the achievement doesn’t stop there: the experiment also allowed the team to extend the worldwide search for dark matter in a new way.

    “The typical detection technology is to go underground, build a very sensitive detector, and wait for these dark matter particles to just pass through,” said Pershey.

    The problem? Dark matter particles may be travelling quite leisurely through the air. If they also happen to be very light, they may not reach the detector with enough energy to create a detectable fingerprint.

    The COHERENT team experimental setup addresses this issue.

    “When you go to an accelerator, you produce those particles at significantly higher energies,” said Pershey. “And that gives them a lot more oomph to knock into nuclei and make the dark matter signal appear.”

    So, what now? It’s not quite back to the drawing board. Neutrino Alley is currently preparing to receive a much larger and more sensitive detector, which, combined with COHERENT’s refined search parameters, will greatly improve the chances of catching one of these devilish particles.

    “We’re at the doorstep of where the dark matter should be,” said Pershey.

    Physical Review Letters

    See the full Oak Ridge article here .

    See the full Duke University article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Trinity College of Arts and Sciences is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Duke University. Founded in 1838, it is the original school of the university. Currently, Trinity is one of two undergraduate colleges at Duke, the other being the Edmund T. Pratt School of Engineering.

    At Duke, Arts & Sciences is the collective name of all educational programs, research programs, and faculty in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences at Duke, inclusive of undergraduate programs and many degree programs in Duke’s Graduate School.

    The division’s unusual dual name may reflect the fact that it is responsible for undergraduate education (through Trinity College) and graduate education and research (Arts and Sciences).

    Younger than most other prestigious U.S. research universities, Duke University consistently ranks among the very best. Duke’s graduate and professional schools — in business, divinity, engineering, the environment, law, medicine, nursing and public policy — are among the leaders in their fields. Duke’s home campus is situated on nearly 9,000 acres in Durham, N.C, a city of more than 200,000 people. Duke also is active internationally through the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, Duke Kunshan University in China and numerous research and education programs across the globe. More than 75 percent of Duke students pursue service-learning opportunities in Durham and around the world through DukeEngage and other programs that advance the university’s mission of “knowledge in service to society.”

    Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.

    The campus spans over 8,600 acres (3,500 hectares) on three contiguous sub-campuses in Durham, and a marine lab in Beaufort. The West Campus—designed largely by architect Julian Abele, an African American architect who graduated first in his class at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64-meter) Duke Chapel at the campus’ center and highest point of elevation, is adjacent to the Medical Center. East Campus, 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) away, home to all first-years, contains Georgian-style architecture. The university administers two concurrent schools in Asia, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore (established in 2005) and Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China (established in 2013).

    Duke is ranked among the top universities in the United States. The undergraduate admissions are among the most selective in the country, with an overall acceptance rate of 5.7% for the class of 2025. Duke spends more than $1 billion per year on research, making it one of the ten largest research universities in the United States. More than a dozen faculty regularly appear on annual lists of the world’s most-cited researchers. As of 2019, 15 Nobel laureates and 3 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university. Duke alumni also include 50 Rhodes Scholars, 25 Churchill Scholars, 13 Schwarzman Scholars, and 8 Mitchell Scholars. The university has produced the third highest number of Churchill Scholars of any university (behind Princeton University and Harvard University) and the fifth-highest number of Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall Scholars of any American university between 1986 and 2015. Duke is the alma mater of one president of the United States (Richard Nixon) and 14 living billionaires.

    Duke is the second-largest private employer in North Carolina, with more than 39,000 employees. The university has been ranked as an excellent employer by several publications.


    Duke’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.168 billion, the tenth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Duke received $571 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health. Duke is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    Throughout the school’s history, Duke researchers have made breakthroughs, including the biomedical engineering department’s development of the world’s first real-time, three-dimensional ultrasound diagnostic system and the first engineered blood vessels and stents. In 2015, Paul Modrich shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2012, Robert Lefkowitz along with Brian Kobilka, who is also a former affiliate, shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on cell surface receptors. Duke has pioneered studies involving nonlinear dynamics, chaos, and complex systems in physics.

    In May 2006 Duke researchers mapped the final human chromosome, which made world news as it marked the completion of the Human Genome Project. Reports of Duke researchers’ involvement in new AIDS vaccine research surfaced in June 2006. The biology department combines two historically strong programs in botany and zoology, while one of the divinity school’s leading theologians is Stanley Hauerwas, whom Time named “America’s Best Theologian” in 2001. The graduate program in literature boasts several internationally renowned figures, including Fredric Jameson, Michael Hardt, and Rey Chow, while philosophers Robert Brandon and Lakatos Award-winner Alexander Rosenberg contribute to Duke’s ranking as the nation’s best program in philosophy of biology, according to the Philosophical Gourmet Report.

    Established in 1942, The DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system (by size) and third largest by annual budget. It is located in the Roane County section of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Its scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security, sometimes in partnership with the state of Tennessee, universities and other industries.

    ORNL has several of the world’s top supercomputers, including Summit, ranked by the TOP500 as Earth’s second-most powerful.

    ORNL OLCF IBM Q AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, No. 5 on the TOP500. .

    The lab is a leading neutron and nuclear power research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    It hosts the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, the BioEnergy Science Center, and the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Nuclear Reactors.

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    Areas of research

    ORNL conducts research and development activities that span a wide range of scientific disciplines. Many research areas have a significant overlap with each other; researchers often work in two or more of the fields listed here. The laboratory’s major research areas are described briefly below.

    Chemical sciences – ORNL conducts both fundamental and applied research in a number of areas, including catalysis, surface science and interfacial chemistry; molecular transformations and fuel chemistry; heavy element chemistry and radioactive materials characterization; aqueous solution chemistry and geochemistry; mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy; separations chemistry; materials chemistry including synthesis and characterization of polymers and other soft materials; chemical biosciences; and neutron science.
    Electron microscopy – ORNL’s electron microscopy program investigates key issues in condensed matter, materials, chemical and nanosciences.
    Nuclear medicine – The laboratory’s nuclear medicine research is focused on the development of improved reactor production and processing methods to provide medical radioisotopes, the development of new radionuclide generator systems, the design and evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals for applications in nuclear medicine and oncology.
    Physics – Physics research at ORNL is focused primarily on studies of the fundamental properties of matter at the atomic, nuclear, and subnuclear levels and the development of experimental devices in support of these studies.
    Population – ORNL provides federal, state and international organizations with a gridded population database, called Landscan, for estimating ambient population. LandScan is a raster image, or grid, of population counts, which provides human population estimates every 30 x 30 arc seconds, which translates roughly to population estimates for 1 kilometer square windows or grid cells at the equator, with cell width decreasing at higher latitudes. Though many population datasets exist, LandScan is the best spatial population dataset, which also covers the globe. Updated annually (although data releases are generally one year behind the current year) offers continuous, updated values of population, based on the most recent information. Landscan data are accessible through GIS applications and a USAID public domain application called Population Explorer.

  • richardmitnick 3:11 pm on April 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Accretion-induced collapse", "How to Make (and Find) Neutron Stars with a Dash of Dark Matter", , , , , , Dark Matter, If the white dwarf has a giant stellar companion it can steal some of the companion’s gas and become so massive that it collapses under its own gravity to become a neutron star and not a supernova., In some parts of the universe where dark matter is especially dense normal matter and dark matter might intermingle and swirl together to form stars., The team used two-dimensional fluid dynamics simulations to study how a dark-matter-containing white dwarf would collapse into a neutron star and estimated the gravitational waves., The visible-light signature of a white dwarf collapsing to form a neutron star might be tracked down via its gravitational wave emission.   

    From AAS NOVA: “How to Make (and Find) Neutron Stars with a Dash of Dark Matter” 


    From AAS NOVA

    Kerry Hensley

    When a white dwarf captures mass from a stellar companion, it can collapse to form a neutron star. If the white dwarf contained a small amount of dark matter, the dark matter might leave a noticeable imprint on the signal of the collapse. [NASA/CXC/M.Weiss]

    Extremely compact stellar remnants made of a mixture of normal matter and dark matter could explain a variety of puzzling observations, but it’s not clear exactly how these objects might form. Now, researchers have modeled a potential formation pathway and proposed a way to track them down.

    Where Dark Matter and Normal Matter Meet

    An infographic describing the gravitational wave event GW190814, which contained a 2.50–2.67-solar-mass object of unknown type. [LIGO Scientific Collaboration]

    In some parts of the universe, where dark matter is especially dense, normal matter and dark matter might intermingle and swirl together to form stars. If these dark-matter-containing stars evolve into neutron stars — extremely dense stellar remnants about the size of a city — such an object might explain the too-heavy neutron star thought to have participated in the gravitational wave event GW190814, among other curious observations.

    A team led by Ho-Sang Chan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) has proposed that neutron stars containing a small amount of dark matter might form through a circuitous route. First, a low- to intermediate-mass star composed of normal and dark matter evolves to become a white dwarf: an Earth-sized sphere containing roughly the mass of the Sun. If this white dwarf has a giant stellar companion, it can steal some of the companion’s gas and become so massive that it collapses under its own gravity. Usually, this would lead to a supernova explosion, but under certain conditions, the white dwarf might shrink down to become a neutron star instead.

    Chan and collaborators suggest that observing these events, called “accretion-induced collapse”, might yield a way to study the properties of these unusual neutron stars and of dark matter itself.

    Conceptualizing Collapse

    While the visible-light signature of a white dwarf collapsing to form a neutron star would be faint, Chan and collaborators have suggested that we might be able to track them down via their gravitational wave emission. The team used two-dimensional fluid dynamics simulations to study how a dark-matter-containing white dwarf would collapse into a neutron star and estimated the gravitational waves that would be emitted in the collapse.

    The team set the mass of their dark matter particles to a little more than a tenth of the mass of a proton, and they considered white dwarfs containing 1–20% dark matter by mass. Additionally, they considered different rotation profiles for the stars: rigid rotation (like a spinning top) and Keplerian rotation (like planets in the solar system, the velocity is highest near the center and lowest farther out).

    Observational Prospects

    Normalized gravitational wave strain (related to the wave amplitude) from the collapse of Kepler-rotating white dwarfs containing, from top to bottom, 0%, 1%, 5%, 10%, and 20% dark matter by mass. [Chan et al. 2023]

    Chan and collaborators found that the rotation of the star is key to determining the shape of the gravitational wave profile. For rigid rotators, there was essentially no difference between the gravitational waves emitted by stars containing dark matter and those made of solely normal matter. For Keplerian rotators, though, the presence of dark matter softens some peaks in the gravitational wave signal, and these differences are likely detectable with current gravitational wave facilities.

    Hopefully, future gravitational wave observations will yield new information about these theorized neutron stars, potentially illuminating the nature of dark matter.


    “Accretion-induced Collapse of Dark Matter-admixed Rotating White Dwarfs: Dynamics and Gravitational-wave Signals,” Ho-Sang Chan et al 2023 ApJ 945 133.
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    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

    The society was founded in 1899 through the efforts of George Ellery Hale. The constitution of the group was written by Hale, George Comstock, Edward Morley, Simon Newcomb and Edward Charles Pickering. These men, plus four others, were the first Executive Council of the society; Newcomb was the first president. The initial membership was 114. The AAS name of the society was not finally decided until 1915, previously it was the “Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America”. One proposed name that preceded this interim name was “American Astrophysical Society”.

    The AAS today has over 7,000 members and six divisions – the Division for Planetary Sciences (1968); the Division on Dynamical Astronomy (1969); the High Energy Astrophysics Division (1969); the Solar Physics Division (1969); the Historical Astronomy Division (1980); and the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (2012). The membership includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy.

    In 2019 three AAS members were selected into the tenth anniversary class of TED Fellows.

    The AAS established the AAS Fellows program in 2019 to “confer recognition upon AAS members for achievement and extraordinary service to the field of astronomy and the American Astronomical Society.” The inaugural class was designated by the AAS Board of Trustees and includes an initial group of 232 Legacy Fellows.

  • richardmitnick 7:44 am on April 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Vera Rubin Lives on in Lives of the Women She Helped in Astronomy", , , , , Dark Matter,   

    From “Scientific American” : “Vera Rubin Lives on in Lives of the Women She Helped in Astronomy” 

    From “Scientific American”

    Tulika Bose

    Vera Rubin Lives on in Lives of the Women She Helped in Astronomy. Scientific American

    The “Mother of Dark Matter” was a force of nature—and a forceful advocate for other women who wanted to dedicate their careers to the cosmos.
    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970.

    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter(Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).

    Teske: Vera Rubin means a lot to a lot of astronomers.

    Teske: She really was part of trying to push astronomy to be more inclusive, and make more opportunities for women in science and astronomy.

    In 1942, a fourteen-year old teenager named Vera Rubin built a telescope with her father out of cardboard.

    She would go on to change our understanding of galaxies — and open doors for female astronomers.

    Alycia Weinberger: She is often credited as the mother of dark matter, because the science that she is most well known for is discovering that galaxies seem to have a lot more mass in their outskirts than can be accounted for by the amount of visible light coming from their stars.

    In 1948 she received a bachelor’s from Vassar in astronomy — the only astronomy graduate.

    After being rejected from Princeton for being female — Vera enrolled in Cornell instead, where she studied 109 galaxies and made one of the first observations of Hubble’s law — or how galaxies move in relation to each other.

    Princeton wouldn’t admit women to its astronomy program for another 27 years.

    Teske: For a long time, women weren’t highlighted or their roles in science weren’t highlighted as much.

    After years of teaching, Vera C. Rubin joined the Carnegie Institute for Terrestrial Magnetism in 1965 where she met collaborator Kent Ford. With Kent Ford, she used a spectrometer to analyze spiral galaxies including Andromeda galaxy, about 2.5 million light years away.

    Weinberger: Very carefully and taking advantage of new instrumentation that was developed here, [she] was able to measure how fast stars in the outer parts of galaxies were rotating about their centers.

    Weinberger: She was particularly interested in taking spectra. So that’s where we break up the component light from an astronomical object into its component colors, which give us a lot of information about how that object is moving and what it’s composed of.

    She and Ford found something surprising.

    Weinberger: Vera discovered that the outer reaches of galaxies seemed to be moving too quickly. That led to the hypothesis that there’s some sort of dark matter, that is matter that has gravity, but doesn’t interact with light or doesn’t produce late, that could explain these peculiar rotation curves.

    Teske: These are observations that she kind of painstakingly made.

    — Yeah just you know, our favorite UGC.

    Teske: And I could just imagine how it was controversial at the time. This also turned out to be true about exoplanets, which is what I work on.

    Rubin kept on producing flat curves for decades until her results could no longer be denied.

    Along with Kent Ford, she analyzed over sixty galaxies.

    Vera Rubin also continued to fight for women her entire life.

    Weinberger: So Vera was an incredibly strong presence in this department for a lot of years. She had a tremendous influence on the way I thought about women in science and the capabilities of women. She said, there is no science that can be done by a man that can’t be done by a woman.

    Despite a lifetime of accomplishment, Vera Rubin never won a Nobel Prize.

    Teske: And I was so angry that she hadn’t that, you know, a Nobel Prize in the time that she was alive. But that’s not the end all, be all. And there are lots of other ways to honor people.

    Vera Rubin is the first woman to have an observatory — the Vera C. [Rubin] Observatory — named in her honor.

    She also received the National Medal of Science.

    Teske: I like to think that we’re carrying forward that legacy of encouraging curiosity in everyone, really, and emphasizing that there’s lots of ways to do science, a lot of approaches to science, and that if you’re hardworking and curious and have a question, that it’s worth, worth investigating.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
%d bloggers like this: