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  • richardmitnick 7:14 pm on May 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "phys.org", "Simulations suggest interstellar objects could be captured by Earth's gravity", , , , ,   

    From Carnegie Mellon University And From Harvard University Via “phys.org” : “Simulations suggest interstellar objects could be captured by Earth’s gravity” 

    From Carnegie Mellon University


    From Harvard University



    Bob Yirka

    Visualization of trajectories of incoming particles getting scattered by the Sun-Earth-Moon system. Since there are two binary systems present, we can calculate the cross section of the whole system and that of the Earth-Moon system. Left: A particle experiencing a close encounter with the Sun. Right: A particle experiencing a close encounter with the Earth-Moon system. Image credit: NASA. Credit: MNRAS (2023) [below]

    A quartet of space scientists, two from Carnegie Mellon University and two from Harvard University, has found via simulations that it should be possible for interstellar objects to be captured by Earth’s gravity. The team, made up of Diptajyoti Mukherjee, Hy Trac, Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb, has submitted a paper describing their work to the MNRAS [below].

    Back in 2017, an object in the solar system (subsequently named ‘Oumuamua) was discovered to have come from outside of the solar system, making it the first observed interstellar object (ISO). Two years later, comet 2I Borisov was found to have come from outside the solar system, as well.

    The two visits to our solar system generated a wave of interest in the space community surrounding ISOs. Thus far, no more have been discovered, but many in the space science community believe that it is likely that some ISOs have traveled into our solar system, but instead of escaping, became trapped either in a loop around the sun or around one of the planets. In this new effort, the research team looked into the possibility of such occurrences using numerical analysis and simulations.

    Prior research into the topic focused almost exclusively on ISOs being captured by the sun or by Jupiter. Because of that, the researchers chose to make their main focus capture of ISOs by Earth.

    Via simulations, the team found that it should be possible for an ISO to be caught in a planetary orbit around Earth, but it was 1,000 times more likely to happen to Jupiter. Their simulations also showed that if an ISO were to be captured by Earth’s gravity, it would likely have an unstable orbit, meaning its capture would likely be brief, mostly due to the pull of gravity from the other planets.

    The researchers were not willing to make any guesses based on their simulations about the likelihood of ISOs currently residing in the solar system, but suggest future work should look into the possibility. They conclude by noting such work will be extremely difficult due to the small size of such objects.


    This figure from the research compares Jupiter’s efficacy at capturing ISOs into near-Earth orbits compared to the Earth-Moon efficacy. The math is fairly complex, but basically, the x-axis shows excess hyperbolic velocity, and as that rises, capture efficiency decreases. (Mukherjee et al. 2023)

    This figure from the research shows the distribution of orbital parameters for known small Solar System bodies vs captured ISOs. The left panel shows Astronomical Units, the middle panel shows orbital eccentricity and the right panel shows inclination. (Mukherjee et al. 2023)

    See the science paper for further 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

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best-known landmark.

    Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.


    Harvard University was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University.

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

    Carnegie Mellon University is a global research university with more than 12,000 students, 95,000 alumni, and 5,000 faculty and staff.

    Carnegie Mellon University has been a birthplace of innovation since its founding in 1900.

    Today, we are a global leader bringing groundbreaking ideas to market and creating successful startup businesses.

    Our award-winning faculty members are renowned for working closely with students to solve major scientific, technological and societal challenges. We put a strong emphasis on creating things—from art to robots. Our students are recruited by some of the world’s most innovative companies.

    We have campuses in Pittsburgh, Qatar and Silicon Valley, and degree-granting programs around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

    The Carnegie Mellon University was established by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, formerly a part of the The University of Pittsburgh. Since then, the university has operated as a single institution.

    The Carnegie Mellon University has seven colleges and independent schools, including the College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, Tepper School of Business, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the School of Computer Science. The Carnegie Mellon University has its main campus located 3 miles (5 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, and the university also has over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including degree-granting campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley.

    Past and present faculty and alumni include 20 Nobel Prize laureates, 13 Turing Award winners, 23 Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 22 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science , 79 Members of the National Academies, 124 Emmy Award winners, 47 Tony Award laureates, and 10 Academy Award winners. Carnegie Mellon enrolls 14,799 students from 117 countries and employs 1,400 faculty members.


    Carnegie Mellon University is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. For the 2006 fiscal year, the Carnegie Mellon University spent $315 million on research. The primary recipients of this funding were the School of Computer Science ($100.3 million), the Software Engineering Institute ($71.7 million), the College of Engineering ($48.5 million), and the Mellon College of Science ($47.7 million). The research money comes largely from federal sources, with a federal investment of $277.6 million. The federal agencies that invest the most money are the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, which contribute 26% and 23.4% of the total Carnegie Mellon University research budget respectively.

    The recognition of Carnegie Mellon University as one of the best research facilities in the nation has a long history—as early as the 1987 Federal budget Carnegie Mellon University was ranked as third in the amount of research dollars with $41.5 million, with only Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University receiving more research funds from the Department of Defense.

    The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort between Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and Westinghouse Electric Company. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center was founded in 1986 by its two scientific directors, Dr. Ralph Roskies of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Michael Levine of Carnegie Mellon. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a leading partner in the TeraGrid, The National Science Foundation’s cyberinfrastructure program.

    Scarab lunar rover is being developed by the RI.

    The Robotics Institute (RI) is a division of the School of Computer Science and considered to be one of the leading centers of robotics research in the world. The Field Robotics Center (FRC) has developed a number of significant robots, including Sandstorm and H1ghlander, which finished second and third in the DARPA Grand Challenge, and Boss, which won the DARPA Urban Challenge. The Robotics Institute has partnered with a spinoff company, Astrobotic Technology Inc., to land a CMU robot on the moon by 2016 in pursuit of the Google Lunar XPrize. The robot, known as Andy, is designed to explore lunar pits, which might include entrances to caves. The RI is primarily sited at Carnegie Mellon University ‘s main campus in Newell-Simon hall.

    The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University, with offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arlington, Virginia, and Frankfurt, Germany. The SEI publishes books on software engineering for industry, government and military applications and practices. The organization is known for its Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), which identify essential elements of effective system and software engineering processes and can be used to rate the level of an organization’s capability for producing quality systems. The SEI is also the home of CERT/CC, the federally funded computer security organization. The CERT Program’s primary goals are to ensure that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist attacks on networked systems and to limit damage and ensure continuity of critical services subsequent to attacks, accidents, or failures.

    The Human–Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) is a division of the School of Computer Science and is considered one of the leading centers of human–computer interaction research, integrating computer science, design, social science, and learning science. Such interdisciplinary collaboration is the hallmark of research done throughout the university.

    The Language Technologies Institute (LTI) is another unit of the School of Computer Science and is famous for being one of the leading research centers in the area of language technologies. The primary research focus of the institute is on machine translation, speech recognition, speech synthesis, information retrieval, parsing and information extraction. Until 1996, the institute existed as the Center for Machine Translation that was established in 1986. From 1996 onwards, it started awarding graduate degrees and the name was changed to Language Technologies Institute.

    Carnegie Mellon is also home to the Carnegie School of management and economics. This intellectual school grew out of the Tepper School of Business in the 1950s and 1960s and focused on the intersection of behavioralism and management. Several management theories, most notably bounded rationality and the behavioral theory of the firm, were established by Carnegie School management scientists and economists.

    Carnegie Mellon also develops cross-disciplinary and university-wide institutes and initiatives to take advantage of strengths in various colleges and departments and develop solutions in critical social and technical problems. To date, these have included the Cylab Security and Privacy Institute, the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, the Neuroscience Institute (formerly known as BrainHub), the Simon Initiative, and the Disruptive Healthcare Technology Institute.

    Carnegie Mellon has made a concerted effort to attract corporate research labs, offices, and partnerships to the Pittsburgh campus. Apple Inc., Intel, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Facebook, IBM, General Motors, Bombardier Inc., Yahoo!, Uber, Tata Consultancy Services, Ansys, Boeing, Robert Bosch GmbH, and the Rand Corporation have established a presence on or near campus. In collaboration with Intel, Carnegie Mellon has pioneered research into claytronics.

  • richardmitnick 8:24 pm on May 30, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers discover eight new cataclysmic variables [CV's]", "phys.org", , , , ,   

    From The University of Warwick (UK) Via “phys.org” : “Astronomers discover eight new cataclysmic variables [CV’s]” 

    From The University of Warwick (UK)




    Spectra of the eight new cataclysmic variables. Credit: Inight et al., 2023.

    An international team of astronomers has analyzed the data from the latest phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

    Apache Point Observatory
    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    Apache Point Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    They discovered eight new cataclysmic variables (CV) systems. The finding is reported in a paper published May 22 for MNRAS [below].

    CVs are binary star systems consisting of a white dwarf primary that is accreting matter from a normal star companion. They irregularly increase in brightness by a large factor, then drop back down to a quiescent state. These binaries have been found in many environments, such as the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the solar neighborhood, and within open and globular clusters.

    SDSS is an important tool in the search for CVs as so far more than 500 objects of this type have been identified as part of this survey. The project has now entered its fifth phase (SDSS-V), which extends multi-object spectroscopy across the entire sky by operating robotic fiber positioners on the 2.5 m SDSS telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO) and at the 2.5 m Dupont telescope at Las Campanas Observatory.

    Given that SDSS-V contains a program to deliberately target white dwarfs and cataclysmic variable systems, a group of astronomers led by Keith Inight of the University of Warwick, UK, decided to use it in order to search for new CVs and to characterize the ones already detected.

    “SDSS-V is, for the first time, carrying out a dedicated survey of white dwarfs, both single and in binaries. We have analyzed the SDSS-V spectra of CVs and CV candidates observed as part of the final plug-plate operations of SDSS, and we discovered eight new CVs,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

    Out of the eight newly discovered cataclysmic variables, four turned out to be WZ Sagittae (WZ Sge) systems—non-magnetic CVs showcasing low accretion rate and rare superoutbursts. There is also one nova-like (NL) CV, one of the SU Ursae Majoris (SU UMa) subtype and one polar (due to the presence of a very strong magnetic field in its white dwarf). The subclass of the remaining one CV is yet to be determined.

    According to the study, none of the newly identified CVs displays noticeable changes in brightness in their light curves. The orbital periods of all these eight CVs were measured to be below 94 minutes, which is typical for old, low accretion rate systems. This suggests that SDSS-V will continue to increase the proportion of short-period cataclysmic variables among the known population of CVs.

    “This is consistent with previous findings that spectroscopically identified CVs have a larger proportion of short-period systems compared to samples identified from photometric variability,” the authors of the paper noted.

    Besides the detection of new cataclysmic variables, the astronomers also spectroscopically confirmed 53 and refuted 11 other CV candidates. Moreover, they were able to measure orbital periods for 21 CV systems.

    See the science paper for further 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 establishment of the The University of Warwick (UK) was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965.
    The University initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. In October 2013, the student population was over 23,000 of which 9,775 are postgraduates. Around a third of the student body comes from overseas and over 120 countries are represented on the campus.
    The University of Warwick is a public research university on the outskirts of Coventry between the West Midlands and Warwickshire, England. The University was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education. The Warwick Business School was established in 1967, the Warwick Law School in 1968, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) in 1980, and Warwick Medical School in 2000. Warwick incorporated Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004.
    Warwick is primarily based on a 290 hectares (720 acres) campus on the outskirts of Coventry, with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a central London base at the Shard. It is organized into three faculties — Arts, Science Engineering and Medicine, and Social Sciences — within which there are 32 departments. As of 2019, Warwick has around 26,531 full-time students and 2,492 academic and research staff. It had a consolidated income of £679.9 million in 2019/20, of which £131.7 million was from research grants and contracts. Warwick Arts Centre is a multi-venue arts complex in the university’s main campus and is the largest venue of its kind in the UK, which is not in London.

    Warwick has an average intake of 4,950 undergraduates out of 38,071 applicants (7.7 applicants per place).
    Warwick is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK), the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association (EU), the Midlands Innovation group, the Russell Group (UK), Sutton 13. It is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University. The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group.
    Warwick’s alumni and staff include winners of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal, Richard W. Hamming Medal, Emmy Award, Grammy, and the Padma Vibhushan, and are fellows to the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society. Alumni also include heads of state, government officials, leaders in intergovernmental organizations, and the current chief economist at the Bank of England. Researchers at Warwick have also made significant contributions such as the development of penicillin, music therapy, Washington Consensus, Second-wave feminism, computing standards, including ISO and ECMA, complexity theory, contract theory, and the International Political Economy as a field of study.

    Twentieth century

    The idea for a university in Warwickshire was first mounted shortly after World War II, although it was not founded for a further two decades. A partnership of the city and county councils ultimately provided the impetus for the university to be established on a 400-acre (1.6 km^2) site jointly granted by the two authorities. There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire. The name “University of Warwick” was adopted, even though Warwick, the county town, lies some 8 miles (13 km) to its southwest and Coventry’s city centre is only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of the campus. The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and it received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. Since then, the university has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the continuing purchase of adjoining farm land. The university also benefited from a substantial donation from the family of John ‘Jack’ Martin, a Coventry businessman who had made a fortune from investment in Smirnoff vodka, and which enabled the construction of the Warwick Arts Centre.

    The university initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres (2.9 km^2), with many modern buildings and academic facilities, lakes, and woodlands. In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution.

    Under Vice-Chancellor Lord Butterworth, Warwick was the first UK university to adopt a business approach to higher education, develop close links with the business community and exploit the commercial value of its research. These tendencies were discussed by British historian and then-Warwick lecturer, E. P. Thompson, in his 1970 edited book Warwick University Ltd.

    The Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical school based jointly at Warwick and University of Leicester (UK), opened in September 2000.

    On the recommendation of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his last major foreign policy address as US President in December 2000. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, explaining the decision in a press briefing on 7 December 2000, said that: “Warwick is one of Britain’s newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model both of academic excellence and independence from the government.”

    Twenty-first century
    The university was seen as a favored institution of the Labor government during the New Labor years (1997 to 2010). It was academic partner for a number of flagship Government schemes including the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and the NHS University (now defunct). Tony Blair described Warwick as “a beacon among British universities for its dynamism, quality and entrepreneurial zeal”. In a 2012 study by Virgin Media Business, Warwick was described as the most “digitally-savvy” UK university.

    In February 2001, IBM donated a new S/390 computer and software worth £2 million to Warwick, to form part of a “Grid” enabling users to remotely share computing power. In April 2004 Warwick merged with the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International. In July 2004 Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labor Party and the trade unions on Labor policy and trade union law, which has subsequently become known as the “Warwick Agreement”.

    In June 2006 the new University Hospital Coventry opened, including a 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m^2) university clinical sciences building. Warwick Medical School was granted independent degree-awarding status in 2007, and the School’s partnership with the University of Leicester was dissolved in the same year. In February 2010, Lord Bhattacharyya, director and founder of the WMG unit at Warwick, made a £1 million donation to the university to support science grants and awards.

    In February 2012 Warwick and Melbourne-based Monash University (AU) announced the formation of a strategic partnership, including the creation of 10 joint senior academic posts, new dual master’s and joint doctoral degrees, and co-ordination of research programmes. In March 2012 Warwick and Queen Mary University of London announced the creation of a strategic partnership, including research collaboration, some joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates, and the creation of eight joint post-doctoral research fellowships.

    In April 2012 it was announced that Warwick would be the only European university participating in the Center for Urban Science and Progress, an applied science research institute to be based in New York consisting of an international consortium of universities and technology companies led by New York University and NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

    In August 2012, Warwick and five other Midlands-based universities — Aston University (UK), The University of Birmingham (UK), The University of Leicester (UK), Loughborough University (UK) and The University of Nottingham — formed the M5 Group, a regional bloc intended to maximize the member institutions’ research income and enable closer collaboration.

    In September 2013 it was announced that a new National Automotive Innovation Centre would be built by WMG at Warwick’s main campus at a cost of £100 million, with £50 million to be contributed by Jaguar Land Rover and £30 million by Tata Motors.

    In July 2014, the government announced that Warwick would be the host for the £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture between the Automotive Council and industry. The ten-year programme intends to position the university and the UK as leaders in the field of research into the next generation of automotive technology.

    In September 2015, Warwick celebrated its 50th anniversary (1965–2015) and was designated “University of the Year” by The Times and The Sunday Times.


    In 2013/14 Warwick had a total research income of £90.1 million, of which £33.9 million was from Research Councils; £25.9 million was from central government, local authorities and public corporations; £12.7 million was from the European Union; £7.9 million was from UK industry and commerce; £5.2 million was from UK charitable bodies; £4.0 million was from overseas sources; and £0.5 million was from other sources.

    In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework Warwick was again ranked 7th overall (as 2008) amongst multi-faculty institutions and was the top-ranked university in the Midlands. Some 87% of the University’s academic staff were rated as being in “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” departments with top research ratings of 4* or 3*.

    Warwick is particularly strong in the areas of decision sciences research (economics, finance, management, mathematics and statistics). For instance, researchers of the Warwick Business School have won the highest prize of the prestigious European Case Clearing House (ECCH: the equivalent of the Oscars in terms of management research).

    Warwick has established a number of stand-alone units to manage and extract commercial value from its research activities. The four most prominent examples of these units are University of Warwick Science Park; Warwick HRI; Warwick Ventures (the technology transfer arm of the University); and WMG.

  • richardmitnick 9:46 pm on May 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Agence France Pressé", "phys.org", "Then and now - 70 years of Everest", , , , , ,   

    From Agence France Pressé(FR) Via “phys.org” : “Then and now – 70 years of Everest” 


    From Agence France Pressé(FR)




    The South Col route used for the first ascent of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, on May 29, 1953.

    Seventy years ago, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepali Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first humans to summit Everest on May 29, 1953.

    The British expedition made the two men household names around the world and changed mountaineering forever.

    Hundreds now climb the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) peak every year, fuelling concerns of overcrowding and pollution on the mountain.

    AFP looks at the evolution of the Everest phenomenon.

    What is the mountain called?

    Initially known only to British mapmakers as Peak XV, the mountain was identified as the world’s highest point in the 1850s and renamed in 1865 after Sir George Everest, a former Surveyor General of India.

    On the border of Nepal and China and climbable from both sides, it is called “Chomolungma” or “Qomolangma” in Sherpa and Tibetan—”goddess mother of the world”—and “Sagarmatha” in Nepali, meaning “peak of the sky”.

    How has climbing Everest changed?

    The 1953 expedition was the ninth attempt on the summit and it took 20 years for the first 600 people to climb it. Now that number can be expected in a single season, with climbers catered to by experienced guides and commercial expedition companies.

    The months-long journey to the base camp was cut to eight days with the construction of a small mountain airstrip in 1964 in the town of Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region.

    Gear is lighter, oxygen supplies are more readily available, and tracking devices make expeditions safer. Climbers today can summon a helicopter in case of emergency.

    Every season, experienced Nepali guides set the route all the way to the summit for paying clients to follow.

    But Billi Bierling of Himalayan Database, an archive of mountaineering expeditions, said some things remain similar: “They didn’t go to the mountains much different than we do now. The Sherpas carried everything. The expedition style itself hasn’t changed.”

    What is base camp like?

    The starting point for climbs proper, Everest Base Camp was once little more than a collection of tents at 5,364 meters (17,598 feet), where climbers lived off canned foods.

    Now fresh salads, baked goods and trendy coffee are available, with crackly conversations over bulky satellite phones replaced by wifi and Instagram posts.

    The daily number of climbers who reached the summit of Mount Everest since the first successful climb in 1953.
    Credit: AFP.

    How does the news of a summit travel?

    Hillary and Tenzing summited Everest on May 29 but it only appeared in newspapers on June 2, the day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation: the news had to be brought down the mountain on foot to a telegraph station in the town of Namche Bazaar, to be relayed to the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

    In 2011, British climber Kenton Cool tweeted from the summit with a 3G signal after his ninth successful ascent. More usually, walkie-talkie radios are standard expedition equipment and summiteers contact their base camp teams, who swiftly post on social media.

    In 2020, China announced 5G connectivity at the Everest summit.

    What are the effects of climate change?

    Warming temperatures are slowly widening crevasses on the mountain and bringing running water to previously snowy slopes.

    A 2018 study of Everest’s Khumbu glacier indicated it was vulnerable to even minor atmospheric warming, with the temperature of shallow ice already close to melting point.

    Google Earth image.

    Khumbu Icefall – own photograph —Uwe Gille 12:05, 26 Apr 2005

    “The future of the Khumbu icefall is bleak,” its principal investigator, glaciologist Duncan Quincey, told AFP. “The striking difference is the meltwater on the surface of the glaciers.”

    Three Nepali guides were killed on the formation this year when a chunk of falling glacial ice swept them into a deep crevasse.

    It has become a popular cause for climbers to highlight, and expedition companies are starting to implement eco-friendly practices at their camps, such as solar power.

    What is the impact of social media?

    Click, post, repeat—the climbing season plays out on social media as excited mountaineers document their journey to Everest on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

    Hashtags keep their sponsors happy and the posts can catch the eyes of potential funders.

    That applies to both foreign climbers and their now tech-savvy Nepali guides.

    “Everyone posts nowadays, it is part of how we share and build our profile,” said Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, who has summited Everest multiple times and has 62,000 Instagram followers.

    Mountain of records?

    Veteran Nepali guides Kami Rita Sherpa and Pasang Dawa Sherpa both scaled Everest twice this season, with the latter twice matching the former’s record number of summits before Kami Rita reclaimed pole position with 28.

    There are multiple Everest record categories for first and fastest feats of endurance.

    But some precedents are more quixotic: in 2018, a team of British climbers, an Australian and a Nepali dressed in tuxedos and gowns for the world’s highest dinner party at 7,056 meters on the mountain’s Chinese side.

    Nonagenarian Kanchha Sherpa is the last surviving member of the 1953 expedition that saw Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa become the first humans to summit the world’s highest mountain.

    But his journey to prominence began in the opposite direction: at 19, he ran away from his home in Namche Bazaar—now the biggest tourist hub on the route to the Everest base camp—to Darjeeling in India, looking for Tenzing in hopes of finding work.

    The future co-summiteer had already established himself in the hilly Indian region, which was the starting point for expeditions at the time as Nepal had only recently opened to foreigners.

    At first, the teenager did chores at his mentor’s house.

    Months later he found himself back in his home region as a member of the British expedition, for just a few Nepali rupees (now a few US cents) a day.

    Although he had no mountaineering training, Kanchha Sherpa climbed beyond 8,000 metres on Everest.

    [My Favorite? Willi Unsoeld who was a part of the first American expedition to summit Everest, from the West Face May 1, 1963.

    Sixty years ago this spring, the first American mountaineers to scale the world’s tallest mountain accomplished that feat in a manner that still has the climbing world in awe today. The ascent of Mt. Everest by Willi Unsoeld and Tom Hornbein is considered one of the greatest climbing achievements in history. A graduate of Oregon State University, Unsoeld later served on the faculty of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Oregon State before taking a leave of absence to join the Peace Corps and embarking upon his historic trek. (contributed photo)

    Approaching the Mount Everest (8,848 meters, center). In front is Nuptse (7,861 meters). Cropped to show West Ridge. Bottom left is Ice Fall in Khumbu Glacier below Western Cwm. Above, far left is Lho La with snowfield of Rongbuk Glacier behind (middle left). Everest is top, towards the right with South Col top right. West Ridge extends from Everest to Lho La with West Shoulder prominent at half way. North Col behind West Shoulder with Changtse to the left. Southwest Face of Everest stretching below the summit. Nuptse in foreground (a large area lower right) obscuring Western Cwm.]

    See the full article here.

  • richardmitnick 8:40 pm on May 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "phys.org", "X-ray emissions from black hole jets vary unexpectedly challenging leading model of particle acceleration", , , , , ,   

    From The University of Maryland Via “phys.org” : “X-ray emissions from black hole jets vary unexpectedly challenging leading model of particle acceleration” 

    From The University of Maryland




    Gigantic X-rays flares offer new insight into the whirling maelstrom just outside supermassive black holes
    Stanford Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.

    Researchers discovered only relatively recently that black hole jets emit X-rays, and how the jets accelerate particles to this high-energy state is still a mystery. Surprising new findings in Nature Astronomy [below] appear to rule out one leading theory, opening the door to reimagining how particle acceleration works in the jets—and possibly also elsewhere in the universe.

    One leading model of how jets generate X-rays expects the jets’ X-ray emissions to remain stable over long time scales (millions of years). However, the new paper found that the X-ray emissions of a statistically significant number of jets varied over just a few years.

    “One of the reasons we’re excited about the variability is that there are two main models for how X-rays are produced in these jets, and they’re completely different,” explains lead author Eileen Meyer, an astronomer at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “One model invokes very low-energy electrons and one has very high-energy electrons. And one of those models is completely incompatible with any kind of variability.”

    For the study, the authors analyzed archival data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the highest-resolution X-ray observatory available.

    The research team looked at nearly all of the black hole jets for which Chandra had multiple observations, which amounted to 155 unique regions within 53 jets.

    Discovering relatively frequent variability on such short time scales “is revolutionary in the context of these jets, because that was not expected at all,” Meyer says.

    Rethinking particle acceleration

    In addition to assuming stability in X-ray emissions over time, the simplest theory for how jets generate X-rays assumes particle acceleration occurs at the center of the galaxy in the black hole “engine” that drives the jet. However, the new study found rapid changes in X-ray emissions all along the length of the jets. That suggests particle acceleration is occurring all along the jet, at vast distances from the jet’s origin at the black hole.

    “There are theories out there for how this could work, but a lot of what we’ve been working with is now clearly incompatible with our observations,” Meyer says.

    Interestingly, the results also hinted that jets closer to Earth had more variability than those much farther away. The latter are so far away, that by the time the light coming from them reaches the telescope, it is like looking back in time. It makes sense to Meyer that older jets would have less variability. Earlier in the universe’s history, the universe was smaller and ambient radiation was greater, which researchers believe could lead to greater stability of X-rays in the jets.

    Critical collaboration

    Despite Chandra’s outstanding imaging resolution, the data set posed significant challenges. Chandra observed some of the pockets of variability with only a handful of X-ray photons. And the variability in X-ray production in a given jet was typically tens of percent or so. To avoid unintentionally counting randomness as real variability, Meyer collaborated with statisticians at the University of Toronto and the Imperial College of London.

    “Pulling this result out of the data was almost like a miracle, because the observations were not designed to detect it,” Meyer says. The team’s analysis suggests that between 30 and 100 percent of the jets in the study showed variability over short time scales. “While we would like better constraints,” she says, “the variability is notably not zero.”

    The new findings poke significant holes in one of the major theories for X-ray production in black hole jets, and Meyer hopes the paper spurs future work. “Hopefully this will be a real call to the theorists,” she says, “to basically take a look at this result and come up with jet models that are consistent with what we’re finding.”

    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

    U Maryland Campus

    The University of Maryland is a public land-grant research university. Founded in 1856, The University of Maryland is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. It is also the largest university in both the state and the Washington metropolitan area, with more than 41,000 students representing all fifty states and 123 countries, and a global alumni network of over 388,000. Its twelve schools and colleges together offer over 200 degree-granting programs, including 92 undergraduate majors, 107 master’s programs, and 83 doctoral programs. The University of Maryland is a member of The Association of American Universities and competes in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

    The University of Maryland’s proximity to the nation’s capital has resulted in many research partnerships with the federal government; faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as The National Institutes of Health (US), The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The National Institute of Standards and Technology, The Food and Drug Administration, The National Security Agency, and The Department of Homeland Security. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and is labeled a “Public Ivy”, denoting a quality of education comparable to the private Ivy League. The University of Maryland is ranked among the top 100 universities both nationally and globally by several indices, including its perennially top-ranked criminology and criminal justice department.

    In 2016, the University of Maryland-College Park and The University of Maryland- Baltimore formalized their strategic partnership after their collaboration successfully created more innovative medical, scientific, and educational programs, as well as greater research grants and joint faculty appointments than either campus has been able to accomplish on its own. According to The National Science Foundation, the university spent a combined $1.1 billion on research and development in 2019, ranking it 14th overall in the nation and 8th among all public institutions. As of 2021, the operating budget of the University of Maryland is approximately $2.2 billion.

    On March 6, 1856, the forerunner of today’s University of Maryland was chartered as the Maryland Agricultural College. Two years later, Charles Benedict Calvert (1808–1864), a future U.S. Representative (Congressman) from the sixth congressional district of Maryland, 1861–1863, during the American Civil War and descendant of the first Lord Baltimores, colonial proprietors of the Province of Maryland in 1634, purchased 420 acres (1.7 km^2) of the Riversdale Mansion estate nearby today’s College Park, Maryland. Later that year, Calvert founded the school and was the acting president from 1859 to 1860. On October 5, 1859, the first 34 students entered the Maryland Agricultural College. The school became a land grant college in February 1864.

    Following the Civil War, in February 1866, the Maryland legislature assumed half ownership of the school. The college thus became in part a state institution. By October 1867, the school reopened with 11 students. In 1868, the former Confederate admiral Franklin Buchanan was appointed President of the school, and in his tenure of just over a year, he reorganized it, established a system of strict economy in its business transactions, applied some of its revenues for the paying off of its debts, raised its standards, and attracted patrons through his personal influence: enrollment grew to 80 at the time of his resignation, and the school’s debt was soon paid off. In 1873, Samuel Jones, a former Confederate Major General, became president of the college.

    Twenty years later, the federally funded Agricultural Experiment Station was established there. During the same period, state laws granted the college regulatory powers in several areas—including controlling farm disease, inspecting feed, establishing a state weather bureau and geological survey, and housing the board of forestry. Morrill Hall (the oldest instructional building still in use on campus) was built the following year.

    The state took control of the school in 1916, and the institution was renamed Maryland State College. That year, the first female students enrolled at the school. On April 9, 1920, the college became part of the existing University of Maryland, replacing St. John’s College, Annapolis as the university’s undergraduate campus. In the same year, the graduate school on the College Park campus awarded its first PhD degrees and the university’s enrollment reached 500 students. In 1925 the university was accredited by The Association of American Universities.

    By the time the first black students enrolled at the university in 1951, enrollment had grown to nearly 10,000 students—4,000 of whom were women. Prior to 1951, many black students in Maryland were enrolled at The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

    In 1957, President Wilson H. Elkins made a push to increase academic standards at the university. His efforts resulted in the creation of one of the first Academic Probation Plans. The first year the plan went into effect, 1,550 students (18% of the total student body) faced expulsion.

    On October 19, 1957, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom attended her first and only college football game at the University of Maryland after expressing interest in seeing a typical American sport during her first tour of the United States. The Maryland Terrapins beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 21 to 7 in the historical game now referred to as “The Queen’s Game”.

    Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at UMD in 1964. In 1969, the university was elected to The Association of American Universities. The school continued to grow, and by the fall of 1985 reached an enrollment of 38,679. Like many colleges during the Vietnam War, the university was the site of student protests and had curfews enforced by the National Guard.

    In a massive restructuring of the state’s higher education system in 1988, the school was designated as the flagship campus of the newly formed University of Maryland System (later changed to the University System of Maryland in 1997), and was formally named the University of Maryland-College Park. All of the five campuses in the former network were designated as distinct campuses in the new system. However, in 1997 the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation allowing the University of Maryland-College Park to be known simply as The University of Maryland, recognizing the campus’ role as the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.

    The other University System of Maryland institutions with the name “University of Maryland” are not satellite campuses of the University of Maryland-College Park. The University of Maryland-Baltimore, is the only other school permitted to confer certain degrees from the “University of Maryland”.

    In 1994, the National Archives at College Park completed construction and opened on a parcel of land adjoining campus donated by the University of Maryland, after lobbying by President William Kirwan and congressional leaders to foster academic collaboration between the institutions.

    In 2004, the university began constructing the 150-acre (61 ha) “M Square Research Park,” which includes facilities affiliated with The Department of Defense , Food and Drug Administration, and the new National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, affiliated with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In May 2010, ground was broken on a new $128-million, 158,068-square-foot (14,685.0 m^2) Physical Science Complex, including an advanced quantum science laboratory.

    The university’s Great Expectations campaign from 2006 to 2012 exceeded $1 billion in private donations.

    The university suffered multiple data breaches in 2014. The first resulted in the loss of over 300,000 student and faculty records. A second data breach occurred several months later. The second breach was investigated by the FBI and Secret Service and found to be done by David Helkowski. Despite the attribution, no charges were filed. As a result of the data breaches, the university offered free credit protection for five years to the students and faculty affected.

    In 2012, the University of Maryland-College Park and the University of Maryland- Baltimore united under the MPowering the State initiative to leverage the strengths of both institutions. The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016 officially formalized this partnership.

    The University of Maryland’s University District Plan, developed in 2011 under President Wallace Loh and the College Park City Council, seeks to make the City of College Park a top 20 college town by 2020 by improving housing and development, transportation, public safety, local pre-K–12 education, and supporting sustainability projects. As of 2018, the university is involved with over 30 projects and 1.5 million square feet of development as part of its Greater College Park Initiative, worth over $1 billion in public-private investments. The university’s vision is to revitalize the campus to foster a dynamic and innovative academic environment, as well as to collaborate with the surrounding neighborhoods and local government to create a vibrant downtown community for students and faculty

    In October 2017, the university received a record-breaking donation of $219.5 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, ranking among the largest philanthropic gifts to a public university in the country.

    As of February 12, 2020, it has been announced that Darryll J. Pines will be the 34th President of the University of Maryland-College Park effective July 1, 2020. Darryll J. Pines is the dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering since January 2009. Darryll J. Pines has been with the University of Maryland College Park for 25 years since he arrived in 1995 and started as an assistant professor.

    In 2021, the university announced it had achieved its record goal of $1.5 billion raised in donations since 2018 as part of its Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland for investments in faculty, students, research, scholarships, and capital projects.

    The university hosts “living-learning” programs which allow students with similar academic interests to live in the same residential community, take specialized courses, and perform research in those areas of expertise. An example is the Honors College, which is geared towards undergraduate students meeting high academic requirements and consists of several of the university’s honors programs. The Honors College welcomes students into a community of faculty and undergraduates. The Honors College offers seven living and learning programs: Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students, Design Cultures and Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Honors Humanities, Gemstone, Integrated Life Sciences, and University Honors.

    Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES), started in 2013, is directed by Michel Cukier and run by faculty and graduate students. ACES students are housed in Prince Frederick Hall and take a 14 credit, two year curriculum that educates future leaders in the field of cybersecurity. ACES also offers a complementary two-year minor in cybersecurity.

    Design Cultures and Creativity (DCC), started in 2009, is directed by artist Jason Farman and run by faculty and graduate students. The DCC program encourages students to explore the relationship between emerging media, society, and creative practices. DCC students are housed in Prince Frederick residence hall together and take a 16 credit, two year interdisciplinary curriculum which culminates in a capstone.

    Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) is a living and learning program for Honors College freshmen and sophomores, helping build entrepreneurial mindsets, skill sets, and relationships for the development of solutions to today’s problems. Through learning, courses, seminars, workshops, competitions, and volunteerism, students receive an education in entrepreneurship and innovation. In collaboration with faculty and mentors who have launched new ventures, all student teams develop an innovative idea and write a product plan.

    Honors Humanities is the honors program for beginning undergraduates with interests in the humanities and creative arts. The selective two-year living-learning program combines a small liberal arts college environment with the resources of a large research university.

    Gemstone is a multidisciplinary four-year research program for select undergraduate honors students of all majors. Under guidance of faculty mentors and Gemstone staff, teams of students design, direct and conduct research, exploring the interdependence of science and technology with society.

    Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) is the honors program for students interested in all aspects of biological research and biomedicine. The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences has partnered with the Honors College to create the ILS program, which offers nationally recognized innovations in the multidisciplinary training of life science and pre-medical students. The objective of the ILS experience is to prepare students for success in graduate, medical, dental, or other professional schools.

    University Honors (UH) is the largest living-learning program in the Honors College and allows students the greatest independence in shaping their education. University Honors students are placed into a close-knit community of the university’s faculty and other undergraduates, committed to acquiring a broad and balanced education. Students choose from over 130 seminars exploring interdisciplinary topics in three broad areas: Contemporary Issues and Challenges, Arts and Sciences in Today’s World, and Using the World as a Classroom.

    The College Park Scholars programs are two-year living-learning programs for first- and second-year students. Students are selected to enroll in one of 12 thematic programs: Arts; Business, Society, and the Economy; Environment, Technology, and Economy; Global Public Health; International Studies; Life Sciences; Media, Self, and Society; Public Leadership; Science and Global Change; Science, Discovery, and the Universe; Science, Technology, and Society. Students live in dormitories in the Cambridge Community on North Campus.

    The nation’s first living-learning entrepreneurship program, Hinman CEOs, is geared toward students who are interested in starting their own business. Students from all academic disciplines live together and are provided the resources to explore business ventures.

    The QUEST (Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams) Honors Fellows Program engages undergraduate students from business, engineering, and computer, mathematical, and physical sciences. QUEST Students participate in courses focused on cross-functional collaboration, innovation, quality management, and teamwork. The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) has also been long considered an outstanding engineering division of the university since its inception in 1908.

    Other living-learning programs include: CIVICUS, a two-year program in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences based on the five principles of civil society; Global Communities, a program that immerses students in a diverse culture (students from all over the world live in a community), and the Language House, which allows students pursuing language courses to live and practice with other students learning the same language.

    The Mock Trial Team engages in intercollegiate mock trial competition. The team, which first began competing in 1990, has won five national championships (2008, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1992), which ranks the most of any university, and was also the national runner-up in 1992 and 1993.


    On October 14, 2004, the university added 150 acres (61 ha) in an attempt to create the largest research park inside the Washington, D.C., Capital Beltway, formerly known as “M Square,” and now known as the “Discovery District”.

    Many of the faculty members have funding from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Security Agency. These relationships have created numerous research opportunities for the university including:

    Taking the lead in the nationwide research initiative into the transmission and prevention of human and avian influenza.
    Creating a new research center to study the behavioral and social foundations of terrorism with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Launching the joint NASA-University of Maryland Deep Impact spacecraft in early January 2005.

    The University of Maryland Libraries provide access to scholarly information resources required to meet the missions of the university.

    The University of Maryland is an international center for the study of language, hosting the largest community of language scientists in North America, including more than 200 faculty, researchers, and graduate students, who collectively comprise the Maryland Language Science Center. Since 2008 the university has hosted an NSF-IGERT interdisciplinary graduate training program that has served as a catalyst for broader integrative efforts in language science, with 50 participating students and contributions from 50 faculty. The University of Maryland is also home to two key ‘migrator’ centers that connect basic research to critical national needs in education and national security: the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) and the National Foreign Language Center.

    The Center for American Politics and Citizenship provides citizens and policy-makers with research on issues related to the United States’ political institutions, processes, and policies. CAPC is a non-partisan, non-profit research institution within the Department of Government and Politics in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

    The Space Systems Laboratory researches human-robotic interaction for astronautics applications, and includes the only neutral buoyancy facility at a university.

    The Joint Quantum Institute conducts theoretical and experimental research on quantum and atomic physics. The institute was founded in 2006 as a collaboration between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    The Center for Technology and Systems Management (CTSM) aims to advance the state of technology and systems analysis for the benefit of people and the environment. The focus is on enhancing safety, efficiency and effectiveness by performing reliability, risk, uncertainty or decision analysis studies.

    The Joint Global Change Research Institute was formed in 2001 by the University of Maryland and the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The institute focuses on multidisciplinary approaches of climate change research.

    The Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) was formed in 1985 at the University of Maryland. CALCE is dedicated to providing a knowledge and resource base to support the development of electronic components, products and systems.

    The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) launched in 2005 as one of the Centers of Excellence supported by the Department of Homeland Security in the United States. START is focused on the scientific study of the causes and consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world.

    The university is tied for 58th in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings of “National Universities” across the United States, and it is ranked tied for 19th nationally among public universities. The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Maryland as 43rd in the world in 2015. The 2017–2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Maryland 69th in the world. The 2016/17 QS World University Rankings ranked Maryland 131st in the world.

    The university was ranked among Peace Corps’ 25 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges for the tenth consecutive year in 2020. The University of Maryland is ranked among Teach for America’s Top 20 Colleges and Universities, contributing the greatest number of graduating seniors to its 2017 teaching corps. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked the University 10th for in-state students and 16th for out-of-state students in its 2019 Best College Value ranking. Money Magazine ranked the university 1st in the state of Maryland for public colleges in its 2019 Best College for Your Money ranking.

    For the fourth consecutive year in 2015, the university is ranked 1st in the U.S. for the number of Boren Scholarship recipients – with 9 students receiving awards for intensive international language study. The university is ranked as a Top Producing Institution of Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars for the 2017–2018 academic year by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    In 2017, the University of Maryland was ranked among the top 50 universities in the 2018 Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report based on its high academic research performance and global reputation.

    In 2021, the university was ranked among the top 10 universities in The Princeton Review’s annual survey of the Top Schools for Innovation & Entrepreneurship; this was the sixth consecutive such ranking.

    WMUC-FM (88.1 FM) is the university non-commercial radio station, staffed by UMD students and volunteers. WMUC is a freeform radio station that broadcasts at 10 watts. Its broadcasts can be heard throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Notable WMUC alumni include Connie Chung, Bonnie Bernstein, Peter Rosenberg and Aaron McGruder.

  • richardmitnick 10:06 pm on May 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Parity symmetry violation" points to an infinitesimal period in our universe's history when the laws of physics were different than they are today-the perios of "Inflation"., "Parity symmetry" is the idea that physical laws shouldn't prefer one shape over its mirror image., "Parity violation" would mean that the universe does have a preference for either left- or right-handed shapes., "phys.org", "The laws of physics have not always been symmetric which may explain why you exist", , Parity violation is required to explain why there is more matter than antimatter-an essential condition for galaxies and stars and planets and life to form in the way they have., , , Since parity violation can only be imprinted on the universe during "inflation" if what we found is true it provides smoking-gun evidence for "inflation" theory., Symmetry braking has been required to explain why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe-why that any of this exists at all., The technical aspects of the analysis make it difficult to say whether the universe prefers "right-handed" or "left-handed" shapes.   

    From The University of Florida Via “phys.org” : “The laws of physics have not always been symmetric which may explain why you exist” 

    From The University of Florida




    Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain.

    For generations, physicists were sure the laws of physics were perfectly symmetric. Until they weren’t.

    Symmetry is a tidy and attractive idea that falls apart in our untidy universe. Indeed, since the 1960s, some kind of broken symmetry has been required to explain why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe—why, that is, that any of this exists at all.

    But pinning down the source behind this existential symmetry violation, even finding proof of it, has been impossible.

    Yet in a new paper published in MNRAS [below], University of Florida astronomers have found the first evidence of this necessary violation of symmetry at the moment of creation. The UF scientists studied a whopping million trillion three-dimensional galactic quadruplets in the universe and discovered that the universe at one point preferred one set of shapes over their mirror images.

    This idea, known as parity symmetry violation, points to an infinitesimal period in our universe’s history when the laws of physics were different than they are today, with enormous consequences for how the universe evolved.

    The finding, established with a high level of statistical confidence, has two primary consequences. First, this parity violation could only have imprinted itself on the future galaxies during a period of extreme inflation in the earliest moments of the universe, confirming a central component of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the cosmos.

    Parity violation would also help answer perhaps the most crucial question in cosmology: Why is there something instead of nothing? That’s because parity violation is required to explain why there is more matter than antimatter, an essential condition for galaxies, stars, planets and life to form in the way they have.

    “I’ve always been interested in big questions about the universe. What is the beginning of the universe? What are the rules under which it evolves? Why is there something rather than nothing?” said Zachary Slepian, a UF astronomy professor who supervised the new study. “This work addresses those big questions.”

    Slepian worked with UF postdoctoral researcher and the study’s first author, Jiamin Hou, and the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicist Robert Cahn to conduct the analysis. The trio published their findings May 22 in the journal Monthly MNRAS [below]. The same researchers first proposed the idea of searching for parity violation using quadruplets of galaxies in a paper that was also recently published in Physical Review Letters [below].

    “Parity symmetry” is the idea that physical laws shouldn’t prefer one shape over its mirror image. Scientists usually use the language of “handedness” to describe this trait, because our left and right hands are mirror images we are all familiar with. There is no way to rotate your left hand in three dimensions to make it look like your right hand, which means they are always distinguishable from one another.

    “Parity violation” would mean that the universe does have a preference for either left- or right-handed shapes. To discover the universe’s handedness, Slepian’s lab imagined all the possible combinations of four galaxies connected by imaginary lines in space. This makes for a 3D object called a tetrahedron, like a lopsided pyramid—the simplest shape that has a mirror image. They defined right- and left-handed galactic tetrahedrons based on how galaxies were connected to their closest and farthest partners in these imaginary shapes.

    Their method required analyzing a trillion imaginary tetrahedrons for each of a million galaxies, a mind-boggling number of combinations. “Eventually we realized we needed new math,” Slepian said.

    So Slepian’s team developed sophisticated mathematical formulas that allowed the immense calculations to be performed in a reasonable period. It still required a considerable amount of computational power. “UF’s unique technology we have here with the HiPerGator supercomputer allowed us to run the analysis thousands of times with different settings to test our result,” he said.

    The technical aspects of the analysis make it difficult to say whether the universe prefers “right-handed” or “left-handed” shapes, but the scientists saw clear evidence that the cosmos does have a preference. They established their finding with a degree of certainty known as seven sigma, a measure of how unlikely it is to achieve the result based on chance alone. In physics, a result with a sigma value of five or higher is typically considered reliable because the odds of a chance result at this level are vanishingly small. A similar analysis, conducted by a former Slepian lab member, identified the same universal shape preference, albeit with slightly less statistical confidence due to differences in the study design.

    Although the scientists are confident in this signal of parity violation, it remains possible that uncertainty in the underlying measurements could explain the asymmetry. Thankfully, much larger samples of galaxies from next-generation telescopes could provide enough data to erase these uncertainties in just a few years. Slepian’s group at UF will perform their analysis on this new, more robust data as part of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument telescope team.

    This is not the first time parity violation has been spotted, but it is the first evidence of parity violation that could affect the three-dimensional clustering of galaxies in of the universe. One of the fundamental forces, the weak force, also violates parity. But its reach is extremely limited, and it cannot influence the scale of galaxies. That galactic influence would require a parity violation to occur right at the moment of the Big Bang, a period known as inflation.


    In physical cosmology, cosmic inflation, cosmological inflation is a theory of exponential expansion of space in the early universe. The inflationary epoch lasted from 10^−36 seconds after the conjectured Big Bang singularity to some time between 10^−33 and 10^−32 seconds after the singularity. Following the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but at a slower rate. The acceleration of this expansion due to dark energy began after the universe was already over 7.7 billion years old (5.4 billion years ago).

    Inflation theory was developed in the late 1970s and early 80s, with notable contributions by several theoretical physicists, including Alexei Starobinsky at Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Alan Guth at Cornell University, and Andrei Linde at Lebedev Physical Institute. Alexei Starobinsky, Alan Guth, and Andrei Linde won the 2014 Kavli Prize “for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation.” It was developed further in the early 1980s. It explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Quantum fluctuations in the microscopic inflationary region, magnified to cosmic size, become the seeds for the growth of structure in the Universe. Many physicists also believe that inflation explains why the universe appears to be the same in all directions (isotropic), why the cosmic microwave background radiation is distributed evenly, why the universe is flat, and why no magnetic monopoles have been observed.

    The detailed particle physics mechanism responsible for inflation is unknown. The basic inflationary paradigm is accepted by most physicists, as a number of inflation model predictions have been confirmed by observation; however, a substantial minority of scientists dissent from this position. The hypothetical field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton.

    In 2002 three of the original architects of the theory were recognized for their major contributions; physicists Alan Guth of M.I.T., Andrei Linde of Stanford, and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton shared the prestigious Dirac Prize “for development of the concept of inflation in cosmology”. In 2012 Guth and Linde were awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their invention and development of inflationary cosmology.

    Alan Guth, from M.I.T., who first proposed Cosmic Inflation.

    Alan Guth’s notes:
    Alan Guth’s original notes on inflation.

    “Since parity violation can only be imprinted on the universe during “inflation” if what we found is true it provides smoking-gun evidence for “inflation”,” Slepian said.

    Nor could the weak force’s parity violation explain the abundance of matter. In a symmetrical universe, the Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which would have annihilated one another and left the universe devoid of stars and planets. Since we clearly ended up with a universe made mostly of matter, physicists have long sought some sign of an asymmetry in early creation.

    The findings by Slepian’s lab can’t yet explain how we ended up with this crucial abundance of matter. The “how” will require new physics going beyond the Standard Model, which explains our current universe.

    But the new results do strongly suggest that there was an asymmetry at the earliest moments of the Big Bang.

    Now the race is on for scientists to produce a theory that can explain the mirror-image preference of the universe and the excess of matter.

    Physical Review Letters

    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 University of Florida is a public land-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida, traces its origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906.

    After the Florida state legislature’s creation of performance standards in 2013, the Florida Board of Governors designated the University of Florida as one of the three “preeminent universities” among the twelve universities of the State University System of Florida. For 2022, U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida as the 5th (tied) best public university and 28th (tied) best university in the United States. The University of Florida is the only member of the Association of American Universities in Florida and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It is the third largest Florida university by student population, and is the fifth largest single-campus university in the United States with 57,841 students enrolled for during the 2020–21 school year. The University of Florida is home to 16 academic colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. It offers multiple graduate professional programs—including business administration, engineering, law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine—on one contiguous campus, and administers 123 master’s degree programs and 76 doctoral degree programs in eighty-seven schools and departments. The university’s seal is also the seal of the state of Florida, which is on the state flag, though in blue rather than multiple colors.

    The University of Florida’s intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known as the “Florida Gators”, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). In their 111-year history, the university’s varsity sports teams have won 42 national team championships, 37 of which are NCAA titles, and Florida athletes have won 275 individual national championships. In addition, as of 2021, University of Florida students and alumni have won 143 Olympic medals, including 69 gold medals.

    The University of Florida traces its origins to 1853, when the East Florida Seminary, the oldest of the University of Florida’s four predecessor institutions, was founded in Ocala, Florida.

    On January 6, 1853, Governor Thomas Brown signed a bill that provided public support for higher education in Florida. Gilbert Kingsbury was the first person to take advantage of the legislation, and established the East Florida Seminary, which operated until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. The East Florida Seminary was Florida’s first state-supported institution of higher learning.

    James Henry Roper, an educator from North Carolina and a state senator from Alachua County, had opened a school in Gainesville, the Gainesville Academy, in 1858. In 1866, Roper offered his land and school to the State of Florida in exchange for the East Florida Seminary’s relocation to Gainesville.

    The second major precursor to the University of Florida was the Florida Agricultural College, established at Lake City by Jordan Probst in 1884. Florida Agricultural College became the state’s first land-grant college under the Morrill Act. In 1903, the Florida Legislature, looking to expand the school’s outlook and curriculum beyond its agricultural and engineering origins, changed the name of Florida Agricultural College to the “University of Florida,” a name the school would hold for only two years.

    In 1905, the Florida Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which consolidated the state’s publicly supported higher education institutions. The member of the legislature who wrote the act, Henry Holland Buckman, later became the namesake of Buckman Hall, one of the first buildings constructed on the new university’s campus. The Buckman Act organized the State University System of Florida and created the Florida Board of Control to govern the system. It also abolished the six pre-existing state-supported institutions of higher education, and consolidated the assets and academic programs of four of them to form the new “University of the State of Florida.” The four predecessor institutions consolidated to form the new university included the University of Florida at Lake City (formerly Florida Agricultural College) in Lake City, the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School in St. Petersburg, and the South Florida Military College in Bartow.

    The Buckman Act also consolidated the colleges and schools into three institutions segregated by race and gender—the University of the State of Florida for white men, the Florida Female College for white women, and the State Normal School for Colored Students for African-American men and women.

    The City of Gainesville, led by its mayor William Reuben Thomas, campaigned to be home to the new university. On July 6, 1905, the Board of Control selected Gainesville for the new university campus. Andrew Sledd, president of the pre-existing University of Florida at Lake City, was selected to be the first president of the new University of the State of Florida. The 1905–1906 academic year was a year of transition; the new University of the State of Florida was legally created, but operated on the campus of the old University of Florida in Lake City until the first buildings on the new campus in Gainesville were complete. Architect William A. Edwards designed the first official campus buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style. Classes began on the new Gainesville campus on September 26, 1906, with 102 students enrolled.

    In 1909, the school’s name was simplified from the “University of the State of Florida” to the “University of Florida.”

    The alligator was incidentally chosen as the school mascot in 1911, after a local vendor ordered and sold school pennants imprinted with an alligator emblem since the animal is very common in freshwater habitats in the Gainesville area and throughout the state. The mascot was a popular choice, and the university’s sports teams quickly adopted the nickname.

    The school colors of orange and blue were also officially established in 1911, though the reasons for the choice are unclear. The most likely rationale was that they are a combination of the colors of the university’s two largest predecessor institutions, as the East Florida Seminary used orange and black while Florida Agricultural College used blue and white. The older school’s colors may have been an homage to early Scottish and Ulster-Scots Presbyterian settlers of north central Florida, whose ancestors were originally from Northern Ireland and the Scottish Lowlands.

    In 1909, Albert Murphree was appointed the university’s second president. He organized the university into several colleges, increased enrollment from under 200 to over 2,000, and was instrumental in the founding of the Florida Blue Key leadership society. Murphree is the only University of Florida president honored with a statue on campus.

    In 1924, the Florida Legislature mandated women of a “mature age” (at least twenty-one years old) who had completed sixty semester hours from a “reputable educational institution” be allowed to enroll during regular semesters at the University of Florida in programs that were unavailable at Florida State College for Women. Before this, only the summer semester was coeducational, to accommodate women teachers who wanted to further their education during the summer break. Lassie Goodbread-Black from Lake City became the first woman to enroll at the University of Florida, in the College of Agriculture in 1925.

    John J. Tigert became the third university president in 1928. Disgusted by the under-the-table payments being made by universities to athletes, Tigert established the grant-in-aid athletic scholarship program in the early 1930s, which was the genesis of the modern athletic scholarship plan used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Inventor and educator Blake R Van Leer was hired as Dean to launch new engineering departments and scholarships. Van Leer also managed all applications for federal funding, chaired the Advanced Planning Committee per Tigert’s request. These efforts included consulting for the Florida Emergency Relief Administration throughout the 1930s.

    Beginning in 1946, there was dramatically increased interest among male applicants who wanted to attend the University of Florida, mostly returning World War II veterans who could attend college under the GI Bill of Rights (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act). Unable to immediately accommodate this increased demand, the Florida Board of Control opened the Tallahassee Branch of the University of Florida on the campus of Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee. By the end of the 1946–47 school year, 954 men were enrolled at the Tallahassee Branch. The following semester, the Florida Legislature returned the Florida State College for Women to coeducational status and renamed it Florida State University. These events also opened up all of the colleges that comprise the University of Florida to female students. Florida Women’s Hall of Fame member Marylyn Van Leer became the first woman to receive a master’s degree in engineering. African-American students were allowed to enroll starting in 1958. Shands Hospital opened in 1958 along with the University of Florida College of Medicine to join the established College of Pharmacy. Rapid campus expansion began in the 1950s and continues today.

    The University of Florida is one of three Florida public universities, along with Florida State University and the University of South Florida, to be designated as a “preeminent university” by Florida senate bill 1076, enacted by the Florida legislature and signed into law by the governor in 2013. As a result, the preeminent universities receive additional funding to improve the academics and national reputation of higher education within the state of Florida.

    In 1985, the University of Florida was invited to join The Association of American Universities, an organization of sixty-two academically prominent public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. Florida is one of the seventeen public, land-grant universities that belong to the AAU. In 2009, President Bernie Machen and the University of Florida Board of Trustees announced a major policy transition for the university. The Board of Trustees supported the reduction in the number of undergraduates and the shift of financial and other academic resources to graduate education and research. In 2017, the University of Florida became the first university in the state of Florida to crack the top ten best public universities according to U.S. News. The University of Florida was awarded $900.7 million in annual research expenditures in sponsored research for the 2020 fiscal year. In 2017, university president Kent Fuchs announced a plan to hire 500 new faculty to break into the top five best public universities; the newest faculty members would be hired in STEM fields.

    In its 2021 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Florida as tied for the fifth-best public university in the United States, and tied for 28th overall among all national universities, public and private.

    Many of the University of Florida’s graduate schools have received top-50 national rankings from U.S. News & World Report with the school of education 25th, Florida’s Hough School of Business 25th, Florida’s Medical School (research) tied for 43rd, the Engineering School tied for 45th, the Levin College of Law tied for 31st, and the Nursing School tied for 24th in the 2020 rankings.

    Florida’s graduate programs ranked for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report in the nation’s top 50 were audiology tied for 26th, analytical chemistry 11th, clinical psychology tied for 31st, computer science tied for 49th, criminology 19th, health care management tied for 33rd, nursing-midwifery tied for 35th, occupational therapy tied for 17th, pharmacy tied for 9th, physical therapy tied for 10th, physician assistant tied for 21st, physics tied for 37th, psychology tied for 39th, public health tied for 37th, speech-language pathology tied for 28th, statistics tied for 40th, and veterinary medicine 9th.

    In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the engineering school 38th nationally, with its programs in biological engineering ranked 3rd, materials engineering 11th, industrial engineering 13th, aerospace engineering 26th, chemical engineering 28th, environmental engineering 30th, computer engineering 31st, civil engineering 32nd, electrical engineering 34th, mechanical engineering 44th.

    The 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities list assessed the University of Florida as 86th among global universities, based on overall research output and faculty awards. In 2017, Washington Monthly ranked the University of Florida 18th among national universities, with criteria based on research, community service, and social mobility. The lowest national ranking received by the university from a major publication comes from Forbes which ranked the university 68th in the nation in 2018. This ranking focuses mainly on net positive financial impact, in contrast to other rankings, and generally ranks liberal arts colleges above most research universities.

    University of Florida received the following rankings by The Princeton Review in its latest Best 380 Colleges Rankings: 13th for Best Value Colleges without Aid, 18th for Lots of Beer, and 42nd for Best Value Colleges. It also was named the number one vegan-friendly school for 2014, according to a survey conducted by PETA.

    On Forbes’ 2016 list of Best Value Public Colleges, University of Florida was ranked second. It was also ranked third on Forbes’ Overall Best Value Colleges Nationwide.

    The university spent over $900 million on research and development in 2020, ranking it one of the highest in the nation. According to a 2019 study by the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the university contributed $16.9 billion to Florida’s economy and was responsible for over 130,000 jobs in the 2017–18 fiscal year. The Milken Institute named University of Florida one of the top-five U.S. institutions in the transfer of biotechnology research to the marketplace (2006). Some 50 biotechnology companies have resulted from faculty research programs. Florida consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in licensing. Royalty and licensing income includes the glaucoma drug Trusopt, the sports drink Gatorade, and the Sentricon termite elimination system. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is ranked No. 1 by The National Science Foundation in Research and Development. University of Florida ranked seventh among all private and public universities for the number of patents awarded for 2005.

    Research includes diverse areas such as health-care and citrus production (the world’s largest citrus research center). In 2002, Florida began leading six other universities under a $15 million National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant to work on space-related research during a five-year period. The university’s partnership with Spain helped to create the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope in the Canary Islands (the cost was $93 million).

    Plans are also under way for the University of Florida to construct a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) research facility in collaboration with the Burnham Institute for Medical Research that will be in the center of University of Central Florida’s Health Sciences Campus in Orlando, Florida. Research will include diabetes, aging, genetics and cancer.

    The University of Florida has made great strides in the space sciences over the last decade. The Astronomy Department’s focus on the development of image-detection devices has led to increases in funding, telescope time, and significant scholarly achievements. Faculty members in organic chemistry have made notable discoveries in astrobiology, while faculty members in physics have participated actively in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, the largest and most ambitious project ever funded by the NSF.


    Through the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the University of Florida is the lead institution on the NASA University Research, Engineering, and Technology Institute (URETI) for Future Space Transport project to develop the next-generation space shuttle.

    In addition, the university also performs diabetes research in a statewide screening program that has been sponsored by a $10 million grant from the American Diabetes Association. The University of Florida also houses one of the world’s leading lightning research teams. University scientists have started a biofuels pilot plant designed to test ethanol-producing technology. The university is also host to a nuclear research reactor known for its Neutron Activation Analysis Laboratory. In addition, the University of Florida is the first American university to receive a European Union grant to house a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

    The University of Florida manages or has a stake in numerous notable research centers, facilities, institutes, and projects

    Askew Institute
    Bridge Software Institute
    Cancer and Genetics Research Complex
    Cancer Hospital
    Center for African Studies
    Center for Business Ethics Education and Research
    Center for Latin American Studies
    Center for Public Service
    Emerging Pathogens Institute
    Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center
    International Center
    Floral Genome Project
    Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy
    Florida Lakewatch
    Gran Telescopio Canarias
    Infectious Disease Pharmacokinetics Laboratory
    Lake Nona Medical City
    McKnight Brain Institute
    Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
    Rosemary Hill Observatory
    UF Innovate-Sid Martin Biotech
    UF Training Reactor
    Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience

    Student media

    The University of Florida community includes six major student-run media outlets and companion Web sites.

    The Independent Florida Alligator is the largest student-run newspaper in the United States, and operates without oversight from the university administration.
    The Really Independent Florida Crocodile, a parody of the Alligator, is a monthly magazine started by students.
    Tea Literary & Arts Magazine is UF’s student-run undergraduate literary and arts publication, established in 1995.
    WRUF (850 AM and 95.3 FM) includes ESPN programming, local sports news and talk programming produced by the station’s professional staff and the latest local sports news produced by the college’s Innovation News Center.
    WRUF-FM (103.7 FM) broadcasts country music and attracts an audience from the Gainesville and Ocala areas.
    WRUF-LD is a low-power television station that carries weather, news, and sports programming.
    WUFT is a PBS member station with a variety of programming that includes a daily student-produced newscast.
    WUFT-FM (89.1 FM) is an NPR member radio station which airs news and public affairs programming, including student-produced long-form news reporting. WUFT-FM’s programming also airs on WJUF-FM (90.1). In addition, WUFT offers 24-hour classical/arts programming on 92.1.

    Various other journals and magazines are published by the university’s academic units and student groups, including the Bob Graham Center-affiliated Florida Political Review and the literary journal Subtropics.

  • richardmitnick 12:52 pm on May 22, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Could NASA resurrect the Spitzer space telescope?", "phys.org", Infrared telescopes need to be kept cool to operate and eventually Spitzer ran out of coolant., NASA thinks they can reboot Spitzer., Rhea Space Activity, , Spitzer is in safe mode and not dead., Spitzer Resurrector is designed to restart Spitzer and confirm that it has been restored to its original performance capabilities and then remain nearby to act as a high-rate data relay to Earth., Spitzer's infrared observations fueled scientific discoveries too numerous to list., STR is a telerobotics mission and it would travel about 300 million km (186 million miles) and rendezvous with Spitzer., The effort to revitalize Spitzer is part of In-space Service Assembly and Manufacturing-"ISAM", , The telescope will still be restricted to warm mode so IRAC will be operating in only its two shorter wavelength bands and not the full spectrum of four bands of which it is capable., While this mission will restore Spitzer to operations it won't actually dock with the telescope so it won't be able to add coolant.   

    From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Via “phys.org” : “Could NASA resurrect the Spitzer space telescope?” 

    From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration




    NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope ceased operations in 2020. A new mission might bring it back to life. Credit: Rhea Space Activity.

    NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope served the astronomy community well for 16 years. From its launch in 2003 to the end of its operations in January 2020, its infrared observations fueled scientific discoveries too numerous to list.

    Infrared telescopes need to be kept cool to operate, and eventually, it ran out of coolant. But that wasn’t the end of the mission; it kept operating in “warm” mode, where observations were limited. Its mission only ended when it drifted too far away from Earth to communicate effectively.

    Now NASA thinks they can reboot the telescope.

    The Spitzer was one of four powerful space-based observatories in NASA’s Great Observatories program. The other three are the Hubble, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

    Together, they covered gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, ultraviolet light, and infrared. (Radio waves are easily observed from Earth.) The Compton was de-orbited in 2000, and the Hubble and the Chandra are still operating.

    While Webb is a much more powerful infrared instrument than the Spitzer, its observing time is in extremely high demand.

    Also, not all observations require such extreme power. The Spitzer could still perform scientifically valuable observations if it were operating.

    This montage contains an image from each of the Spitzer’s first twelve years of operations. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

    But now NASA thinks they may be able to get the Spitzer back into operations. They’ve given Rhea Space Activity an STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) worth $250,000 to develop the Spitzer Resurrector Mission (SRM.) The SRM would travel to Spitzer’s location, service it, and restore it to observational operations.

    Spitzer follows an unusual Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit, rather than a geocentric orbit like the Hubble. Over time, the Spitzer drifted, and in 2016, it had to be reoriented and pitched over at an extreme angle in order to communicate with Earth. But that meant that the solar panels were not fully illuminated, further limiting operations. Finally, on January 30th, 2020, NASA sent a shutdown signal to the telescope and pronounced the mission over.

    The telescope orbits the sun at a distance of one AU and is now on the other side of the sun, about two AU away from Earth.

    So the Spitzer is sitting out there with its equipment intact, but out of coolant and struggling to gather enough solar power to do anything. But it is in safe mode and not dead. The STR mission would rectify this.

    The STR is a telerobotics mission, and it would travel about 300 million km (186 million miles) and rendezvous with Spitzer. “Spitzer Resurrector is designed to restart Spitzer, confirm that it has been restored to its original performance capabilities, and then remain nearby to act as a high-rate data relay to Earth, thus restoring Spitzer to its full efficiency,” Rhea Space Activity said in a press release.

    If successful, this would be a remarkable achievement. The ability to service spacecraft in this way would be another significant leap in capabilities for space-based astronomy.

    Before the mission was shut down, Spitzer observing time was in high demand among astronomers. Once back in operation, the telescope would no doubt be busy with astronomical observations again. But Spitzer’s role would also be to find and characterize Near-Earth Objects, something that the telescope helped pioneer with its infrared capabilities.

    The effort to revitalize Spitzer is part of In-space Service Assembly and Manufacturing (ISAM,) and the techniques employed by the STR are being explored by the Department of the Air Force (DAF) and United States Space Force (USSF). So the STR would also serve as a technology demonstration for those techniques.

    “The ISAM implications of resurrecting Spitzer are jaw-dropping,” said Shawn Usman, Astrophysicist and CEO of Rhea Space Activity. “This would be the most complex robotic mission ever performed by humanity. As a teenager in the 1990s, I watched U.S. astronauts repair the first Great Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and now Rhea Space Activity has been given the opportunity to telerobotically extend the life of the last Great Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope. I am humbled to have Dr. Giovanni Fazio, the Principal Investigator of Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera (IRAC), as a Co-Investigator on this ambitious mission.”

    Spitzer’s IRAC instrument was a prolific piece of equipment, and its data led to thousands of scientific papers. While this mission will restore Spitzer to operations, it won’t actually dock with the telescope, so it won’t be able to add coolant. The telescope will still be restricted to warm mode, so IRAC will be operating in only its two shorter wavelength bands, not the full spectrum of four bands of which it is capable.

    NASA has given Rhea Space Activity a Phase 1 STTR, and RSA is pursuing a Phase 2 STTR. There’s still a lot of work to do before the Spitzer can be operational again, and neither RSA nor NASA has given a timeline for when the mission might take place.

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra,
    Spitzer and associated programs, and now the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) and The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU).

  • richardmitnick 12:38 pm on May 22, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New images released by Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope", "phys.org", , The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, The Inouye Solar Telescope's unique ability to capture data in unprecedented detail will help solar scientists better understand the sun's magnetic field and drivers behind solar storms., The recently inaugurated telescope is in its Operations Commissioning Phase (OCP)- a period during which the observatory is brought up to its full operational capabilities.   

    From The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope Via The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy And “phys.org” : “New images released by Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope” 


    From The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope



    The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy




    A mosaic of new solar images produced by the Inouye Solar Telescope was released today, previewing solar data taken during the telescope’s first year of operations during its commissioning phase. Images include sunspots and quiet-Sun features. Credit: NSF/AURA/NSO.

    The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope released eight new images of the sun, previewing the exciting science underway at the world’s most powerful ground-based solar telescope. The images feature a variety of sunspots and quiet regions of the sun obtained by the Visible-Broadband Imager (VBI), one of the telescope’s first-generation instruments.

    The Inouye Solar Telescope’s unique ability to capture data in unprecedented detail will help solar scientists better understand the sun’s magnetic field and drivers behind solar storms.

    The sunspots pictured are dark and cool regions on the sun’s “surface”, known as the photosphere, where strong magnetic fields persist. sunspots vary in size, but many are often the size of Earth, if not larger. Complex sunspots or groups of sunspots can be the source of explosive events like flares and coronal mass ejections that generate solar storms. These energetic and eruptive phenomena influence the outermost atmospheric layer of the sun, the heliosphere, with the potential to impact Earth and our critical infrastructure.

    A light bridge is seen crossing a sunspot’s umbra from one end of the penumbra to the other. Light bridges are believed to be the signature of the start of a decaying sunspot, which will eventually break apart. Light bridges are very complex, taking different forms and phases. It is unknown how deep these structures form. This image shows one example of a light bridge in remarkable detail.Umbra: Dark, central region of a sunspot where the magnetic field is strongest.Penumbra: The brighter, surrounding region of a sunspot’s umbra characterized by bright filamentary structures. Credit: NSF/AURA/NSOImage Processing: Friedrich Wöger(NSO), Catherine Fischer (NSO), Tetsu Anan (NSO)

    In the quiet regions of the sun, the images show convection cells in the photosphere displaying a bright pattern of hot, upward-flowing plasma (granules) surrounded by darker lanes of cooler, down-flowing solar plasma. In the atmospheric layer above the photosphere, called the chromosphere, we see dark, elongated fibrils originating from locations of small-scale magnetic field accumulations.

    The recently inaugurated telescope is in its Operations Commissioning Phase (OCP), a learning and transitioning period during which the observatory is slowly brought up to its full operational capabilities.

    The international science community was invited to participate in this phase through an Operations Commissioning Phase Proposal Call. In response to these calls, investigators submitted science proposals requesting telescope time for a specific and detailed science goal. In order to optimize for science return, while balancing the available observing time and the technical needs in this very early operational phase, the proposals were subsequently peer-reviewed by a proposal review committee and telescope time was granted by a Telescope Allocation Committee. The selected proposals were executed in 2022 during the Cycle 1 operations window.

    A detailed example of a light bridge crossing a sunspot’s umbra. In this picture, the presence of convection cells surrounding the sunspot is also evident. Hot solar material (plasma) rises in the bright centers of these surrounding “cells,” cools off, and then sinks below the surface in dark lanes in a process known as convection. The detailed image shows complex light bridge and convection cell structures on the Sun’s surface or photosphere.Light bridge: A bright solar feature that spans across an umbra from one penumbra to the other. It is a complex structure, taking different forms and phases, and is believed to be the signature of the start of a decaying sunspot.Umbra: Dark, central region of a sunspot where the magnetic field is strongest. Credit: NSF/AURA/NSOImage Processing: Friedrich Wöger(NSO), Catherine Fischer (NSO), Philip Lindner at Leibniz-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS)

    The newly released images make up a small fraction of the data obtained from the first Cycle. The Inouye Solar Telescope’s Data Center continues to calibrate and deliver data to the scientists and public.

    As the Inouye Solar Telescope continues to explore the sun, we expect more new and exciting results from the scientific community—including spectacular views of our solar system’s most influential celestial body.

    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”.


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    The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST, formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, ATST) represents a collaboration of 22 institutions, reflecting a broad segment of the solar physics community. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is a scientific facility for studies of the sun at Haleakala Observatory on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Known as the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) until 2013, it was named after Daniel K. Inouye, a US Senator for Hawaii. It is the world’s largest solar telescope, with a 4-meter aperture. The DKIST is funded by National Science Foundation and managed by the National Solar Observatory. The total project cost is $344.13 million. It is a collaboration of numerous research institutions. Some test images were released in January 2020. The end of construction and transition into scientific observations was announced in November 2021.

    The DKIST can observe the sun in visible to near-infrared wavelengths and has a 4.24-meter primary mirror in an off-axis Gregorian configuration that provides a 4-meter clear, unobstructed aperture. Adaptive optics correct for atmospheric distortions and blurring of the solar image, which enables high-resolution observations of features on the sun as small as 20 km (12 mi). The off-axis, clear aperture design avoids a central obstruction, minimizing scattered light. It also eases operation of adaptive optics and digital image reconstruction such as speckle imaging.
    The site on the Haleakalā volcano was selected for its clear daytime weather and favourable atmospheric seeing conditions.

    It commenced its first science observations on February 23, 2022, signaling the start of its year-long operations commissioning phase.

  • richardmitnick 9:10 pm on May 18, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "If the Higgs can reach the Hidden Valley we will see new physics in next-generation accelerators", "phys.org", , , , , ,   

    From The Polish Academy of Sciences [Polska Akademia Nauk] Via “phys.org” : “If the Higgs can reach the Hidden Valley we will see new physics in next-generation accelerators” 

    From The Polish Academy of Sciences [Polska Akademia Nauk]




    The search for exotic Higgs boson decays in future lepton colliders: 1) an electron and a positron from opposing beams collide; 2) the collision produces a high-energy Higgs boson; 3) the boson decays into two exotic particles moving away from the axis of the beams; 4) exotic particles decay into pairs of quark-antiquark, visible to detectors. Credit: IFJ PAN.

    It may be that the famous Higgs boson, co-responsible for the existence of masses of elementary particles, also interacts with the world of the new physics that has been sought for decades. If this were indeed to be the case, the Higgs should decay in a characteristic way, involving exotic particles. At the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, it has been shown that if such decays do indeed occur, they will be observable in successors to the LHC currently being designed.

    China’s premier particle collider set for major upgrade.
    Scientists in China have begun a transformation of the Beijing Electron Positron Collider that could pave the way for a future Higgs factory.
    The Beijing Spectrometer at the Beijing Electron Positron Collider is a collaboration of over 500 members from 74 research institutions in 15 countries. (Courtesy: IHEP)

    When talking about the “hidden valley,” our first thoughts are of dragons rather than sound science. However, in high-energy physics, this picturesque name is given to certain models that extend the set of currently known elementary particles. In these so-called Hidden Valley models, the particles of our world as described by the Standard Model belong to the low-energy group, while exotic particles are hidden in the high-energy region.

    Theoretical considerations suggest then the exotic decay of the famous Higgs boson, something that has not been observed at the LHC accelerator despite many years of searching. However, scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Cracow argue that Higgs decays into exotic particles should already be perfectly observable in accelerators that are successors to the Large Hadron Collider—if the Hidden Valley models turn out to be consistent with reality.

    “In Hidden Valley models we have two groups of particles separated by an energy barrier. The theory is that there could then be exotic massive particles which could cross this barrier under specific circumstances. The particles like Higgs boson or hypothetic Z’ boson would act as communicators between the particles of both worlds. The Higgs boson, one of the most massive particle of the Standard Model, is a very good candidate for such a communicator,” explains Prof. Marcin Kucharczyk (IFJ PAN), lead author of an article in the Journal of High Energy Physics [below], which presents the latest analyses and simulations concerning the possibility of detecting Higgs boson decays in the future lepton accelerators.

    The communicator, after passing into the low energy region, would decay into two rather massive exotic particles. Each of these would, in picoseconds—that is, trillionths of a second—decay into another two particles, with even smaller masses, which would then be within the Standard Model.

    So what signs would be expected in the detectors of future accelerators? The Higgs itself would remain unnoticed, as would the two Hidden Valley particles. However, the exotic particles would gradually diverge and eventually decay, generally into quark-antiquark beauty pairs visible in modern detectors as jets of particles shifted from the axis of the lepton beam.

    “Observations of Higgs boson decays would therefore consist of searching for the jets of particles produced by quark-antiquark pairs. Their tracks would then have to be retrospectively reconstructed to find the places where exotic particles are likely to have decayed. These places, professionally called decay vertices, should appear in pairs and be characteristically shifted with respect to the axis of the colliding beams in the accelerator. The size of these shifts depends, among other things, on masses and average lifetime of exotic particles appearing during the Higgs decay,” says Mateusz Goncerz, M.Sc. (IFJ PAN), co-author of the paper in question.

    The collision energy of protons at the LHC, currently the world’s largest particle accelerator, is up to several teraelectronvolts and is theoretically sufficient to produce Higgs capable of crossing the energy barrier that separates our world from the Hidden Valley. Unfortunately, protons are not elementary particles—they are composed of three valence quarks bound by strong interactions, capable of generating huge numbers of constantly appearing and disappearing virtual particles, including quark-antiquark pairs.

    Such a dynamic and complex internal structure produces huge numbers of secondary particles in proton collisions, including many quarks and antiquarks with large masses. They form a background in which it becomes practically impossible to find the particles from the exotic Higgs boson decays that are being sought.

    The detection of possible Higgs decays to these states should be radically improved by accelerators being designed as successors to the LHC: the CLIC (Compact Linear Collider) and the FCC (Future Circular Collider). In both devices it will be possible to collide electrons with their anti-material partners, the positrons (with CLIC dedicated to this type of collision, while FCC will also allow collisions of protons and heavy ions).

    Electrons and positrons are devoid of internal structure, so the background for exotic Higgs boson decays should be weaker than at the LHC. Only will it be sufficiently so to discern the valuable signal?

    In their research, physicists from the IFJ PAN took into account the most important parameters of the CLIC and FCC accelerators and determined the probability of exotic Higgs decays with final states in the form of four beauty quarks and antiquarks. To ensure that the predictions cover a wider group of models, the masses and mean lifetimes of the exotic particles were considered over suitably wide ranges of values.

    The conclusions are surprisingly positive: all indications are that, in future electron-positron colliders, the background of exotic Higgs decays could be reduced even radically, by several orders of magnitude, and in some cases could even be considered negligible.

    The existence of particle-communicators is not only possible in Hidden Valley models, but also in other extensions of the Standard Model. So if the detectors of future accelerators register a signature corresponding to the Higgs decays analyzed by the Cracow researchers, this will only be the first step on the road to understanding new physics. The next will be to collect a sufficiently large number of events and determine the main decay parameters that can be compared with the predictions of theoretical models of the new physics.

    “The main conclusion of our work is therefore purely practical. We are not sure whether the new physics particles involved in Higgs boson decays will belong to the Hidden Valley model we used. However, we have treated this model as representative of many other proposals for new physics and have shown that if, as predicted by the model, the Higgs bosons decay into exotic particles, this phenomenon should be perfectly visible in those electron and positron colliders which are planned to be launched in the near future,” concludes Prof. Kucharczyk.

    Journal of High Energy Physics

    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 Polish Academy of Sciences [Polska Akademia Nauk] is a Polish state-sponsored institution of higher learning, headquartered in Warsaw, that was established by the merger of earlier science societies, including the Polish Academy of Learning (Polska Akademia Umiejętności, abbreviated PAU), with its seat in Kraków, and the Warsaw Society of Friends of Learning (Science), which had been founded in the late 18th century.

    The Polish Academy of Sciences functions as a learned society acting through an elected assembly of leading scholars and research institutions. The Academy has also, operating through its committees, become a major scientific advisory body. Another aspect of the Academy is its coordination and overseeing of numerous (several dozen) research institutes. PAS institutes employ over 2,000 people and are funded by about a third of the Polish government’s budget for science.

  • richardmitnick 8:34 pm on May 17, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "MeerKAT radio telescope catches a 'Mini Mouse' in the sky", "phys.org", , , ,   

    From SKA South Africa (SA) Via “phys.org” : “MeerKAT radio telescope catches a ‘Mini Mouse’ in the sky” 

    SKA South Africa

    From SKA South Africa (SA)



    A portion of the field centered on GRS 1915+105 as seen by the MeerKAT radio telescope at 1.28 GHz. Credit: Motta et al., 2023.

    Using the MeerKAT radio telescope, European astronomers have serendipitously discovered a new radio nebula during observations of the black hole binary GRS 1915+105. The newfound object, dubbed “the Mini Mouse,” is a young radio pulsar escaping its birth site and therefore creating a radio nebula with a cometary-like morphology. The finding was reported in a paper published May 10 for MNRAS [below].

    Pulsars are highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation. They are usually detected in the form of short bursts of radio emission; however, some of them are also observed via optical, X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes.

    A team of astronomers led by Sara Elisa Motta of the Brera Observatory in Italy, has recently performed MeerKAT observations of a black hole binary system known as GRS 1915+105 and its surroundings. During the observational campaign, conducted as part of the ThunderKAT Large Survey Program, they serendipitously spotted a feature that closely resembles “the Mouse”—a radio nebula detected in 1987.

    “Based on the resemblance with the Mouse, we named the newly identified feature in the GRS 1915+105 field ‘the Mini Mouse,'” the researchers explained.

    The observations found that the Mini Mouse radio nebula is produced by the supersonic pulsar PSR J1914+1054g (or J1914 for short), recently discovered by MeerKAT, escaping the location of its birth.

    The passage of a speeding pulsar. (Motta et al., arXiv, 2023)

    The nebula points back towards the previously unknown faint supernova remnant (SNR) candidate G45.24+0.18. The geometrical center of G45.24+0.18 is located within 30 arcseconds from the extension of the Mini Mouse axis of symmetry, and 12 arcminutes away from the head of the nebula.

    The pulsar J1914 has a spin period of approximately 138.9 milliseconds and dispersion measure of about 418.9 pc/cm3. Observations show that J1914 has a spin-down luminosity at a level of 400 decillion erg/s and its characteristic age is some 82,000 years. The distance to the pulsar was estimated to be 26,700 light years.

    The astronomers noted that if the characteristic age of J1914 is close to its actual age, then the projected pulsar velocity should be between 320 and 360 km/s. This would be well within the kick velocity distribution for young, isolated pulsars, centered at approximately 300 km/s, with a dispersion of approximately 190 km/s.

    “If the connection between J1914 and the faint SNR is correct, then we may have a faint, fast-spinning, distant young pulsar with a high kick velocity, i.e., a member of an under-sampled population, which could help extrapolating the local young pulsar velocity distribution to the wider Galactic one,” the researchers concluded.

    Summing up the results, the authors of the paper underlined that Mini Mouse is the fourth case of a bow shock associated with an escaping pulsar, for which both the pulsar signal and the SNR associated with its birth have been observed.


    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”.


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    About SKA South Africa (SA)

    MeerKAT [SKA-Mid], originally the Karoo Array Telescope, is a radio telescope consisting of 64 antennas in the Northern Cape of South Africa. In 2003, South Africa submitted an expression of interest to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Radio Telescope in Africa, and the locally designed and built MeerKAT was incorporated into the first phase of the SKA.

    SKA SARAO Meerkat Telescope [SKA-Mid], 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA.

    SKA Hera at SKA South Africa.

    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approximately one square kilometre giving 50 times the sensitivity, and 10 000 times the survey speed, of the best current-day telescopes. The SKA will be built in Southern Africa and in Australia. Thousands of receptors will extend to distances of 3 000 km from the central regions. The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. Construction of phase one of the SKA is scheduled to start in 2016. The SKA Organization, with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK, was established in December 2011 as a not-for-profit company in order to formalize relationships between the international partners and centralize the leadership of the project.

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organization. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

    Organizations from sixteen countries are currently taking part in the SKA project at government or national-coordination level or are represented as observers – Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Eight African partner countries are involved in coordinated action to support the future expansion of the SKA project in Africa.

    In February 2021, the members of the SKAO consortium were:[8][35]
    • Australia: Department of Industry and Science
    • Canada: National Research Council
    • China: National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
    • France: French National Centre for Scientific Research
    • Germany: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
    • India: National Centre for Radio Astrophysics[36]
    • Italy: National Institute for Astrophysics
    • Portugal: Portugal Space
    • South Africa: National Research Foundation
    • Spain: Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia[37]
    • Sweden: Onsala Space Observatory
    • Switzerland: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
    • The Netherlands: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
    • United Kingdom: Science and Technology Facilities Council
    As of December 2022, there were 16 countries involved in the project.

    Furthermore, around 100 organizations across about 20 countries have been participating in the design and development of the SKA project in the last decades and more specifically over the last 10 years during the detailed design of the telescopes. Many of these organizations and their experts are now involved in construction activities.

  • richardmitnick 8:03 pm on May 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Black holes might be defects in spacetime", "phys.org", "Topological soliton": occurance of two adjoining structures or spaces that are in some way "out of phase" with each other in ways that make a seamless transition between them impossible., , , , , , If the researchers can discover an important observational difference between topological solitons and traditional black holes this might pave the way to finding a way to test string theory itself., , , The scientists found found that these topological solitons are stable defects in space-time itself., , Topological solitons are incredibly hypothetical objects., Topological solitons since they are not singularities like black holes do not feature event horizons-ergo-no black hole.   

    From The Johns Hopkins University Via “phys.org” : “Black holes might be defects in spacetime” 

    From The Johns Hopkins University




    Artist view of a binary black hole system. Credit: Credit: Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State; LIGO/Caltech/MIT/.

    A team of theoretical physicists have discovered a strange structure in space-time that to an outside observer would look exactly like a black hole, but upon closer inspection would be anything but: they would be defects in the very fabric of the universe.

    Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicts the existence of black holes, formed when giant stars collapse. But that same theory predicts that their centers are singularities, which are points of infinite density. Since we know that infinite densities cannot actually happen in the universe, we take this as a sign that Einstein’s theory is incomplete. But after nearly a century of searching for extensions, we have not yet confirmed a better theory of gravity.

    But we do have candidates, including string theory. In string theory all the particles of the universe are actually microscopic vibrating loops of string. In order to support the wide variety of particles and forces that we observe in the universe, these strings can’t just vibrate in our three spatial dimensions. Instead, there have to be extra spatial dimensions that are curled up on themselves into manifolds so small that they escape everyday notice and experimentation.

    That exotic structure in spacetime gave a team of researchers the tools they needed to identify a new class of object, something that they call a “topological soliton”. In their analysis they found that these topological solitons are stable defects in space-time itself. They require no matter or other forces to exist—they are as natural to the fabric of space-time as cracks in ice. The research is published in the journal Physical Review D [below].

    The researchers studied these solitons by examining the behavior of light that would pass near them. Because they are objects of extreme space-time, they bend space and time around them, which affects the path of light. To a distant observer, these solitons would appear exactly as we predict black holes to appear. They would have shadows, rings of light, the works. Images derived from the Event Horizon Telescope and detected gravitational wave signatures would all behave the same.

    It’s only once you got close would you realize that you are not looking at a black hole. One of the key features of a black hole is its event horizon, an imaginary surface that if you were to cross it you would find yourself unable to escape. Topological solitons, since they are not singularities, do not feature event horizons. So you could in principle go up to a soliton and hold it in your hand, assuming you survived the encounter.

    These topological solitons are incredibly hypothetical objects, based on our understanding of string theory, which has not yet been proven to be a viable update to our understanding of physics. However, these exotic objects serve as important test studies. If the researchers can discover an important observational difference between topological solitons and traditional black holes, this might pave the way to finding a way to test string theory itself.

    Physical Review D

    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

    Johns Hopkins University campus

    The Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876, with the inauguration of its first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. “What are we aiming at?” Gilman asked in his installation address. “The encouragement of research … and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell.”

    The mission laid out by Gilman remains the university’s mission today, summed up in a simple but powerful restatement of Gilman’s own words: “Knowledge for the world.”

    What Gilman created was a research university, dedicated to advancing both students’ knowledge and the state of human knowledge through research and scholarship. Gilman believed that teaching and research are interdependent, that success in one depends on success in the other. A modern university, he believed, must do both well. The realization of Gilman’s philosophy at Johns Hopkins, and at other institutions that later attracted Johns Hopkins-trained scholars, revolutionized higher education in America, leading to the research university system as it exists today.

    The The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest (approximately $147.5 million in today’s currency)—of which half financed the establishment of the Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution’s first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany’s historic Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg [Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg] (DE), Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research. The university has graduate campuses in Italy, China, and Washington, D.C., in addition to its main campus in Baltimore.

    Johns Hopkins is organized into 10 divisions on campuses in Maryland and Washington, D.C., with international centers in Italy and China. The two undergraduate divisions, the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering, are located on the Homewood campus in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood. The medical school, nursing school, and Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center are located on the Medical Institutions campus in East Baltimore. The university also consists of the Peabody Institute, Applied Physics Laboratory, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, School of Education, Carey Business School, and various other facilities.

    Johns Hopkins was a founding member of the American Association of Universities. As of October 2019, 39 Nobel laureates and 1 Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Johns Hopkins. Founded in 1883, the Blue Jays men’s lacrosse team has captured 44 national titles and plays in the Big Ten Conference as an affiliate member as of 2014.


    The opportunity to participate in important research is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Hopkins’ undergraduate education. About 80 percent of undergraduates perform independent research, often alongside top researchers. In FY 2013, Johns Hopkins received $2.2 billion in federal research grants—more than any other U.S. university for the 35th consecutive year. Johns Hopkins has had seventy-seven members of the Institute of Medicine, forty-three Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, seventeen members of The National Academy of Engineering, and sixty-two members of The National Academy of Sciences. As of October 2019, 39 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the university as alumni, faculty members or researchers, with the most recent winners being Gregg Semenza and William G. Kaelin.

    Between 1999 and 2009, Johns Hopkins was among the most cited institutions in the world. It attracted nearly 1,222,166 citations and produced 54,022 papers under its name, ranking No. 3 globally [after Harvard University and the MPG Society (DE)] in the number of total citations published in Thomson Reuters-indexed journals over 22 fields in America.

    In FY 2000, Johns Hopkins received $95.4 million in research grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, making it the leading recipient of NASA research and development funding. In FY 2002, Hopkins became the first university to cross the $1 billion threshold on either list, recording $1.14 billion in total research and $1.023 billion in federally sponsored research. In FY 2008, Johns Hopkins University performed $1.68 billion in science, medical and engineering research, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total R&D spending for the 30th year in a row, according to a National Science Foundation ranking. These totals include grants and expenditures of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

    The Johns Hopkins University also offers the “Center for Talented Youth” program—a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and developing the talents of the most promising K-12 grade students worldwide. As part of the Johns Hopkins University, the “Center for Talented Youth” or CTY helps fulfill the university’s mission of preparing students to make significant future contributions to the world. The Johns Hopkins Digital Media Center (DMC) is a multimedia lab space as well as an equipment, technology and knowledge resource for students interested in exploring creative uses of emerging media and use of technology.

    In 2013, the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships program was established by a $250 million gift from Michael Bloomberg. This program enables the university to recruit fifty researchers from around the world to joint appointments throughout the nine divisions and research centers. Each professor must be a leader in interdisciplinary research and be active in undergraduate education. Directed by Vice Provost for Research Denis Wirtz, there are currently thirty-two Bloomberg Distinguished Professors at the university, including three Nobel Laureates, eight fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, ten members of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and thirteen members of the National Academies.

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