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  • richardmitnick 4:21 pm on January 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Higgs boson could have kept our universe from collapsing", , , , , , , , , , Physics   

    From Live Science: “The Higgs boson could have kept our universe from collapsing” 

    From Live Science

    1.24.22
    Paul Sutter

    Other patches in the multiverse would have, instead, met their ends.

    1
    Physicists have proposed our universe might be a tiny patch of a much larger cosmos that is constantly and rapidly inflating and popping off new universes. In our corner of this multiverse, the mass of the Higgs boson was low enough that this patch did not collapse like others may have. Image credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images.

    The Higgs boson, the mysterious particle that lends other particles their mass, could have kept our universe from collapsing. And its properties might be a clue that we live in a multiverse of parallel worlds, a wild new theory suggests.

    That theory, in which different regions of the universe have different sets of physical laws, would suggest that only worlds in which the Higgs boson is tiny would survive.

    If true, the new model would entail the creation of new particles, which in turn would explain why the strong interaction — which ultimately keeps atoms from collapsing — seems to obey certain symmetries. And along the way, it could help reveal the nature of Dark Matter — the elusive substance that makes up most matter.

    A tale of two Higgs

    In 2012, the Large Hadron Collider achieved a truly monumental feat; this underground particle accelerator along the French-Swiss border detected for the first time the Higgs boson, a particle that had eluded physicists for decades.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN].

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    CERN LHC tube in the tunnel. Credit: Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan.

    SixTRack CERN LHC particles.

    The Higgs boson is a cornerstone of the Standard Model.

    European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) ATLAS Higgs Event June 18, 2012.

    European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) CMS Higgs Event May 27, 2012.

    This particle gives other particles their mass and creates the distinction between the weak interaction and the electromagnetic interaction.

    But with the good news came some bad. The Higgs had a mass of 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), which was orders of magnitude smaller than what physicists had thought it should be.

    To be perfectly clear, the framework physicists use to describe the zoo of subatomic particles, known as the Standard Model, doesn’t actually predict the value of the Higgs mass.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics, Quantum Diaries.

    For that theory to work, the number has to be derived experimentally. But back-of-the-envelope calculations made physicists guess that the Higgs would have an incredibly large mass. So once the champagne was opened and the Nobel prizes were handed out, the question loomed: Why does the Higgs have such a low mass?

    In another, and initially unrelated problem, the strong interaction isn’t exactly behaving as the Standard Model predicts it should. In the mathematics that physicists use to describe high-energy interactions, there are certain symmetries. For example, there is the symmetry of charge (change all the electric charges in an interaction and everything operates the same), the symmetry of time (run a reaction backward and it’s the same), and the symmetry of parity (flip an interaction around to its mirror-image and it’s the same).

    In all experiments performed to date, the strong interaction appears to obey the combined symmetry of both charge reversal and parity reversal. But the mathematics of the strong interaction do not show that same symmetry. No known natural phenomena should enforce that symmetry, and yet nature seems to be obeying it.

    What gives?

    A matter of multiverses

    A pair of theorists, Raffaele Tito D’Agnolo of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and Daniele Teresi of CERN, thought that these two problems might be related. In a paper published in January to the journal Physical Review Letters, they outlined their solution to the twin conundrums.

    Their solution: The universe was just born that way.

    They invoked an idea called the multiverse, which is born out of a theory called inflation. Inflation is the idea that in the earliest days of the Big Bang, our cosmos underwent a period of extremely enhanced expansion, doubling in size every billionth of a second.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    Inflation

    4
    Alan Guth, from M.I.T., who first proposed cosmic inflation.

    Lamda Cold Dark Matter Accerated Expansion of The universe http scinotions.com the-cosmic-inflation-suggests-the-existence-of-parallel-universes. Credit: Alex Mittelmann.

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

    Physicists aren’t exactly sure what powered inflation or how it worked, but one outgrowth of the basic idea is that our universe has never stopped inflating. Instead, what we call “our universe” is just one tiny patch of a much larger cosmos that is constantly and rapidly inflating and constantly popping off new universes, like foamy suds in your bathtub.

    Different regions of this “multiverse” will have different values of the Higgs mass. The researchers found that universes with a large Higgs mass find themselves catastrophically collapsing before they get a chance to grow. Only the regions of the multiverse that have low Higgs masses survive and have stable expansion rates, leading to the development of galaxies, stars, planets and eventually high-energy particle colliders.

    To make a multiverse with varying Higgs masses, the team had to introduce two more particles into the mix. These particles would be new additions to the Standard Model. The interactions of these two new particles set the mass of the Higgs in different regions of the multiverse.

    And those two new particles are also capable of doing other things.

    Time for a test

    The newly proposed particles modify the strong interaction, leading to the charge-parity symmetry that exists in nature. They would act a lot like an axion, another hypothetical particle that has been introduced in an attempt to explain the nature of the strong interaction.

    The new particles don’t have a role limited to the early universe, either. They might still be inhabiting the present-day cosmos. If one of their masses is small enough, it could have evaded detection in our accelerator experiments, but would still be floating around in space.

    In other words, one of these new particles could be responsible for the Dark Matter, the invisible stuff that makes up over 85% of all the matter in the universe.

    It’s a bold suggestion: solving two of the greatest challenges to particle physics and also explaining the nature of Dark Matter.

    Could a solution really be this simple? As elegant as it is, the theory still needs to be tested. The model predicts a certain mass range for the Dark Matter, something that future experiments that are on the hunt for dark matter, like the underground facility the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search, could determine. Also, the theory predicts that the neutron should have a small but potentially measurable asymmetry in the electric charges within the neutron, a difference from the predictions of the Standard Model.

    Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait awhile. Each of these measurements will take years, if not decades, to effectively rule out — or support – the new idea.

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

    Fritz Zwicky.
    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble, the original example of Dark Matter discovered during observations by Fritz Zwicky and confirmed 30 years later by Vera Rubin.
    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

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

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.
    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

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

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

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

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

    Lamda Cold Dark Matter Accerated Expansion of The universe http scinotions.com the-cosmic-inflation-suggests-the-existence-of-parallel-universes. Credit: Alex Mittelmann.

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

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

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

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment (US) Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA.

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

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

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

    Inside the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment U Washington (US) Credit : Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.
    ______________________________________________________

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 12:39 pm on January 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists discover 'secret sauce' behind exotic properties of a new quantum material", , , Classical physics can be used to explain any number of phenomena that underlie our world-until things get exquisitely small., Enter quantum mechanics-the field that tries to explain the behavior of subatomic particles like electrons and quarks and resulting effects., In charge density waves the electrons arrange themselves in the shape of ripples-much like those in a sand dune., Kagome metal, Kagome metals can exhibit exotic properties such as unconventional superconductivity; nematicity and charge-density waves., MIT Materials Research Laboratory (US), Physics, , The kagome metal family are composed of layers of atoms arranged in repeating units similar to a Star of David or sheriff’s badge., , The van Hove singularity involves the relationship between the electrons’ energy and velocity.   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US): “Physicists discover ‘secret sauce’ behind exotic properties of a new quantum material” 

    MIT News

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    January 21, 2022
    Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT Materials Research Laboratory (US)

    1
    A visualization of the zero-energy electronic states — also known as a “Fermi surface” — from the kagome material studied by MIT’s Riccardo Comin and colleagues. Image courtesy of the Comin Laboratory.

    MIT physicists and colleagues have discovered the “secret sauce” behind some of the exotic properties of a new quantum material that has transfixed physicists due to those properties, which include superconductivity.

    Although theorists had predicted the reason for the unusual properties of the material, known as a kagome metal, this is the first time that the phenomenon behind those properties has been observed in the laboratory.

    “The hope is that our new understanding of the electronic structure of a kagome metal will help us build a rich platform for discovering other quantum materials,” says Riccardo Comin, the Class of 1947 Career Development Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, whose group led the study. That, in turn, could lead to a new class of superconductors, new approaches to quantum computing, and other quantum technologies.

    The work is reported in the Jan. 13 online issue of the journal Nature Physics.

    Classical physics can be used to explain any number of phenomena that underlie our world-until things get exquisitely small. Subatomic particles like electrons and quarks behave differently, in ways that are still not fully understood. Enter quantum mechanics, the field that tries to explain their behavior and resulting effects.

    The kagome metal at the heart of the current work is a new quantum material, or one that manifests the exotic properties of quantum mechanics at a macroscopic scale. In 2018 Comin and Joseph Checkelsky, MIT’s Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Physics, led the first study on the electronic structure of kagome metals, spurring interest into this family of materials. Members of the kagome metal family are composed of layers of atoms arranged in repeating units similar to a Star of David or sheriff’s badge. The pattern is also common in Japanese culture, particularly as a basket-weaving motif.

    “This new family of materials has attracted a lot of attention as a rich new playground for quantum matter that can exhibit exotic properties such as unconventional superconductivity, nematicity, and charge-density waves,” says Comin.

    Unusual properties

    Superconductivity and hints of charge density wave order in the new family of kagome metals studied by Comin and colleagues were discovered in the laboratory of Professor Stephen Wilson at The University of California -Santa Barbara (US), where single crystals were also synthesized (Wilson is a coauthor of the Nature Physics paper). The specific kagome material explored in the current work is made of only three elements (cesium, vanadium, and antimony) and has the chemical formula CsV3Sb5.

    The researchers focused on two of the exotic properties that a kagome metal shows when cooled below room temperatures. At those temperatures, electrons in the material begin to exhibit collective behavior. “They talk to each other, as opposed to moving independently,” says Comin.

    One of the resulting properties is superconductivity, which allows a material to conduct electricity extremely efficiently. In a regular metal, electrons behave much like people dancing individually in a room. In a kagome superconductor, when the material is cooled to 3 kelvins (about -454 degrees Fahrenheit) the electrons begin to move in pairs, like couples at a dance. “And all these pairs are moving in unison, as if they were part of a quantum choreography,” says Comin.

    At 100 K, the kagome material studied by Comin and collaborators exhibits yet another strange kind of behavior known as charge density waves. In this case, the electrons arrange themselves in the shape of ripples, much like those in a sand dune. “They’re not going anywhere; they’re stuck in place,” Comin says. A peak in the ripple represents a region that is rich in electrons. A valley is electron-poor. “Charge density waves are very different from a superconductor, but they’re still a state of matter where the electrons have to arrange in a collective, highly organized fashion. They form, again, a choreography, but they’re not dancing anymore. Now they form a static pattern.”

    Comin notes that kagome metals are of great interest to physicists in part because they can exhibit both superconductivity and charge density waves. “These two exotic phenomena are often in competition with one another, therefore it is unusual for a material to host both of them.”

    The secret sauce?

    But what is behind the emergence of these two properties? “What causes the electrons to start talking to each other, to start influencing each other? That is the key question,” says first author Mingu Kang, a graduate student in the MIT Department of Physics also affiliated with The MPG POSTECH Korea Research Initiative. That’s what the physicists report in Nature Physics. “By exploring the electronic structure of this new material, we discovered that the electrons exhibit an intriguing behavior known as an electronic singularity,” Kang says. This particular singularity is named for Léon van Hove, the Belgian physicist who first discovered it.

    The van Hove singularity involves the relationship between the electrons’ energy and velocity. Normally, the energy of a particle in motion is proportional to its velocity squared. “It’s a fundamental pillar of classical physics that [essentially] means the greater the velocity, the greater the energy,” says Comin. Imagine a Red Sox pitcher hitting you with a fast ball. Then imagine a kid trying to do the same. The pitcher’s ball would hurt a lot more than the kid’s, which has less energy.

    What the Comin team found is that in a kagome metal, this rule doesn’t hold anymore. Instead, electrons traveling with different velocities happen to all have the same energy. The result is that the pitcher’s fast ball would have the same physical effect as the kid’s. “It’s very counterintuitive,” Comin says. He noted that relating the energy to the velocity of electrons in a solid is challenging and requires special instruments at two international synchrotron research facilities: Beamline 4A1 of the Pohang Light Source and Beamline 7.0.2 (MAESTRO) of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

    3
    Pohang Light Source at The Pohang University of Science and Technology [성실; 창의; 진취](KR).

    Comments Professor Ronny Thomale of The Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg [Universität Würzburg](DE): “Theoretical physicists (including my group) have predicted the peculiar nature of van Hove singularities on the kagome lattice, a crystal structure made of corner-sharing triangles. Riccardo Comin has now provided the first experimental verification of these theoretical suggestions.” Thomale was not involved in the work.

    When many electrons exist at once with the same energy in a material, they are known to interact much more strongly. As a result of these interactions, the electrons can pair up and become superconducting, or otherwise form charge density waves. “The presence of a van Hove singularity in a material that has both makes perfect sense as the common source for these exotic phenomena” adds Kang. “Therefore, the presence of this singularity is the ‘secret sauce’ that enables the quantum behavior of kagome metals.”

    The team’s new understanding of the relationship between energy and velocities in the kagome material “is also important because it will enable us to establish new design principles for the development of new quantum materials,” Comin says. Further, “we now know how to find this singularity in other systems.”

    Direct feedback

    When physicists are analyzing data, most of the time that data must be processed before a clear trend is seen. The kagome system, however, “gave us direct feedback on what’s happening,” says Comin. “The best part of this study was being able to see the singularity right there in the raw data.”

    Additional authors of the Nature Physics paper are Shiang Fang of Rutgers University (US); Jeung-Kyu Kim, Jonggyu Yoo, and Jae-Hoon Park of Max Planck POSTECH/Korea Research Initiative and Pohang University of Science and Technology (Korea); Brenden Ortiz of the University of California-Santa Barbara (US); Jimin Kim of The Institute for Basic Science of Korea [기초과학연구원](KR); Giorgio Sangiovanni of the Universität Würzburg (Germany); Domenico Di Sante of The University of Bologna [Alma mater studiorum – Università di Bologna](IT) and The Flatiron Institute Center for Computational Astrophysics (US); Byeong-Gyu Park of Pohang Light Source (Korea); Sae Hee Ryu, Chris Jozwiak, Aaron Bostwick and Eli Rotenberg of DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US); and Efthimios Kaxiras of Harvard University (US).

    This work was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, the National Research Foundation of Korea, a Samsung Scholarship, a Rutgers Center for Material Theory Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, the California NanoSystems Institute, the European Union Horizon 2020 program, the German Research Foundation, and it used the resources of the Advanced Light Source, a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility.

    See the full article here .


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    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

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

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

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

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

    Foundation and vision

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

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

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

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

    Early developments

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

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

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

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

    Curricular reforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Recent history

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 9:45 am on January 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "At the interface of physics and mathematics", , , Integrable model: equation that can be solved exactly., , , Physics, , String Theory-which scientists hope will eventually provide a unified description of particle physics and gravity., ,   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH): “At the interface of physics and mathematics” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    24.01.2022
    Barbara Vonarburg

    Sylvain Lacroix is a theoretical physicist who conducts research into fundamental concepts of physics – an exciting but intellectually challenging field of science. As an Advanced Fellow at ETH Zürich’s Institute for Theoretical Studies (ITS), he works on complex equations that can be solved exactly only thanks to their large number of symmetries.

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    “It was fascinating to learn abstract mathematical concepts and see them neatly applied in the realm of physics,” says Sylvain Lacroix, Advanced Fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Studies. Photo: Nicola Pitaro/ETH Zürich.

    “I got hooked on the interplay of physics and mathematics while I was still at secondary school,” says 30-​year-old Sylvain Lacroix, who was born and grew up near Paris. “It was fascinating to learn abstract mathematical concepts and see them neatly applied in the realm of physics.” During his studies at The University of Lyon [Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1] (FR), he devoted much of his energy and enthusiasm to physics problems that had highly complex underlying mathematical structures. So when it came to selecting a topic for his doctoral thesis, this area of research seemed like the obvious choice. He decided to explore the theory of what are known as integrable models – a subject he has continued to pursue up to the present day.

    Lacroix readily acknowledges that most people outside his line of work find the term “integrable models” completely incomprehensible: “I have to admit that it’s probably not the simplest or most accessible field of physics,” he says, almost apologetically. That’s why he takes pains to explain it in layman’s terms: “We define a model as a body of laws, a set of equations that describe the behaviour of certain quantities, for example how the position of an object changes over time.” An integrable model is characterised by equations that can be solved exactly, which is by no means a given.

    Symmetry is the key

    Many of the equations used in modern physics – such as that practised at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] – are so complex that they can be solved only approximately. These approximation methods often serve their purpose well, for instance if there is only a weak interaction between two particles. However, other cases require exact calculations – and that’s where integrable models come in. But what makes them so exact? “That’s another aspect that is tricky to explain,” Lacroix says, “but it ultimately comes down to symmetry.” Take, for example, the symmetry of time or space: a physics experiment will produce the same results whether you perform it today or – under identical conditions – ten days from now, and whether it takes place in Zürich or New York. Consequently, the equation that describes the experiment must remain invariant even if the time or location changes. This is reflected in the mathematical structure of the equation, which contains the corresponding constraints. “If we have enough symmetries, this results in so many constraints that we can simplify the equation to the point where we get exact results,” says the physicist.

    Integrable models and their exact solutions are actually very rare in mathematics. “If I chose a random equation, it would be extremely unlikely to have this property of exact solvability,” Lacroix says. “But equations of this kind really do exist in nature.” Some describe the movement of waves propagating in a channel, for example, while others describe the behaviour of a hydrogen atom. “But it’s important to note that my work doesn’t have any practical applications of that kind,” Lacroix says. “I don’t examine concrete physical models; instead, I study mathematical structures and attempt to find general approaches that will allow us to construct new exactly solvable equations.” Although some of these formulas may eventually find a real-​world application, others probably won’t.

    After completing his doctoral thesis, Lacroix spent three years working as a postdoc at The University of Hamburg [Universität Hamburg](DE), before finally moving to Zürich in September 2021. “I don’t have a family, so I had no problem making the switch,” he says. He is relieved that he can now spend five years at the ITS as an Advanced Fellow and focus entirely on his research without having to worry about the future. He admits it was a pleasure getting to know different countries as a postdoc and that he enjoyed moving from place to place. “But it makes it very hard to have any kind of stability in your life.”

    A beautiful setting

    Lacroix spends most of his time working in his office at the ITS, which is located in a stately building dating from 1882 not far from the ETH Main Building. “It’s a lovely place,” he says, glancing out the window at the green surroundings and the city beyond. “I feel very much at home here. Living in Zürich is wonderful, it’s such a great feeling being here.” In his spare time, he likes watching movies, reading books and socialising. “I love meeting up with friends in restaurants or cafés,” he says. He also feels fortunate that he didn’t start working in Zürich until after the Covid measures had been relaxed.

    “I’m vaccinated and everyone’s very careful at ETH. We still have restrictions in place, but life is slowly getting back to normal – and that made it much easier to get to know my colleagues from day one,” he says. One of the greatest privileges of working at the ITS, Lacroix says, is that it offers an international environment that brings together researchers from all over the world. As well as offering a space for experts to exchange ideas and holding seminars where Fellows can present their work, the Institute also has a tradition of organising joint excursions. In the autumn of 2021, Lacroix joined his colleagues on a hike in the Flumserberg mountain resort for the first time: “I love hiking and it’s incredible to have the mountains so close.”

    Normally, however, he can be found sitting at his desk jotting down a series of mostly abstract equations on a sheet of paper. Occasionally his computer comes in handy, he says, because it has become so much more than just a calculating device; today’s computers can also handle abstract mathematical concepts, which can be very useful. Most people don’t really understand much of what Lacroix puts down on paper, but that doesn’t bother him: “I’ve learned to live with that,” he says; “I don’t feel isolated in my research at all – at least not in the academic sphere.”

    A better understanding of quantum field theory

    Integrable models are extremely symmetrical models, Lacroix explains. The basic principle of symmetry plays an important role in modern physics, for example in quantum field theory – the theoretical basis of particle physics – as well as in string theory, which scientists hope will eventually provide a unified description of particle physics and gravity. So could such an all-​encompassing unified field theory turn out to be an integrable model? “That would obviously be great, especially for me!” Lacroix says with a wry smile. “But it’s a bit optimistic to believe that whatever unified theory of physics finally emerges will have enough symmetries to make it completely exact.”

    Even if the equations he studies don’t explain the world directly, he still believes they can help us achieve a better understanding of theoretical physics. For example, we can take advantage of so-​called “toy models”, which have a particularly large number of symmetries, to simplify extremely complex equations in quantum field theory. “This gives us a better understanding of how the theory works, even if these models are too simplistic for the real world,” Lacroix says. Yet his primary interest lies in the purely mathematical questions that integrable models pose, and he admits that the equations they involve sometimes even appear in his dreams: “It’s hard to shake off what I’ve been thinking about the entire day. But I’ve never managed to solve a mathematical problem in my dreams – at least not so far!”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische Schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US) and University of Cambridge(UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US), California Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE ExcellenceRanking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London(UK) and The University of Cambridge(UK), respectively.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:41 am on January 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Housed at Rochester the Flash Center advances cutting-edge physics research", , , Flash Center - a research center devoted to computer simulations used to advance the understanding of astrophysics; plasma science; high-energy-density physics and fusion energy., Physics,   

    From The University of Rochester (US): “Housed at Rochester the Flash Center advances cutting-edge physics research” 

    From The University of Rochester (US)

    January 19, 2022

    Lindsey Valich
    lvalich@ur.rochester.edu

    1
    Petros Tzeferacos (right), associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, senior scientist at the University’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), and director of the Flash Center for Computational Science, uses the University’s VISTA Collaboratory visualization facility to explain FLASH simulations of a laser-driven experiment to (from left) LLE deputy director Chris Deeney, Flash center graduate research assistant and Horton Fellow Abigail Armstrong, and Flash center research scientist Adam Reyes. The center is devoted to computer simulations used to advance an understanding of astrophysics, plasma science, high-energy-density physics, and fusion energy. Photo: J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester.

    The Flash Center for Computational Science – University of Rochester (US) offers researchers worldwide access to a computer code that simulates phenomena in astrophysics, high-energy-density science, and fusion research.

    The University of Rochester is the new home of The Flash Center for Computational Science – a research center devoted to computer simulations used to advance the understanding of astrophysics, plasma science, high-energy-density physics, and fusion energy.

    The Flash Center for Computational Science recently moved from The University of Chicago (US) to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rochester. Located in the Bausch and Lomb building on the River Campus, the center encompasses numerous cross-disciplinary, computational physics research projects conducted using the FLASH code. The FLASH code is a publicly available multi-physics code that allows researchers to accurately simulate and model many scientific phenomena—including plasma physics, computational fluid dynamics, high-energy-density physics (HEDP), and fusion energy research—and inform the design and execution of experiments.

    “We are thrilled to have the Flash Center and the FLASH code join the University of Rochester research enterprise and family, and we want to thank the University of Chicago for working hand-in-hand with us to facilitate this transfer,” says Stephen Dewhurst. Dewhurst, the vice dean for research at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and associate vice president for health sciences research for the University, is currently serving a one-year appointment as interim vice president for research.

    The ‘premiere’ code used at the world’s top laser facilities

    Development of the FLASH code began in 1997 when the Flash Center was founded at the University of Chicago. The code, which is continuously updated, is currently used by more than 3,500 scientists across the globe to simulate various physics processes.

    The Flash Center fosters joint research projects between national laboratories, industry partners, and academic groups around the world. It also supports training in numerical modeling and code development for graduate students, undergraduate students, and postdoctoral research associates, while continuing to develop and steward the FLASH code itself.

    “In the last five years FLASH has become the premiere academic code for designing and interpreting experiments at the world’s largest laser facilities, such The National Ignition Facility (US) at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(US) and the Omega Laser Facility at The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), here at the University of Rochester,” says Michael Campbell, the director of the LLE. “Having the Flash Center and the FLASH code at Rochester significantly strengthens LLE’s position as a unique national resource for research and education in science and technology.”

    Petros Tzeferacos, an associate professor of physics and astronomy and a senior scientist at the LLE, serves as the center’s director. Tzeferacos’s research combines theory, numerical modeling with the FLASH code, and laboratory experiments to study fundamental processes in plasma physics and astrophysics, high-energy-density laboratory astrophysics, and fusion energy. Tzeferacos became director of the Flash Center in 2018 after serving for five years as associate director and code group leader, when the center was still housed at the University of Chicago.

    “The University of Rochester is a unique place where plasma physics, plasma astrophysics, and high-energy-density science are core research efforts,” Tzeferacos says. “We have in-house computational resources and leverage the high-power computing resources at LLE, the Center for Integrated Research Computing (CIRC), and national supercomputing facilities to perform our numerical studies. We also train the next generation of computational physics and astrophysics scientists in the use and development of simulation codes.”

    Research at the Flash Center is funded by The Department of Energy (US) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the US DOE Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences, the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency, The National Science Foundation (US), DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (US), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and the LLE.

    “FLASH is a critically important simulation tool for academic groups engaging with NNSA’s academic programs and performing HEDP research on NNSA facilities,” says Ann J. Satsangi, federal program manager at the NNSA Office of Experimental Sciences. “The Flash Center joining forces with the LLE is a very positive development that promises to significantly contribute to advancing high-energy-density science and the NNSA mission.”

    4

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of Rochester campus

    The University of Rochester (US) is a private research university in Rochester, New York. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees.

    The University of Rochester (US) enrolls approximately 6,800 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. Its 158 buildings house over 200 academic majors. According to the National Science Foundation (US), Rochester spent $370 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 68th in the nation. The university is the 7th largest employer in the Finger lakes region of New York.

    The College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering is home to departments and divisions of note. The Institute of Optics was founded in 1929 through a grant from Eastman Kodak and Bausch and Lomb as the first educational program in the US devoted exclusively to optics and awards approximately half of all optics degrees nationwide and is widely regarded as the premier optics program in the nation and among the best in the world.

    The Departments of Political Science and Economics have made a significant and consistent impact on positivist social science since the 1960s and historically rank in the top 5 in their fields. The Department of Chemistry is noted for its contributions to synthetic organic chemistry, including the first lab based synthesis of morphine. The Rossell Hope Robbins Library serves as the university’s resource for Old and Middle English texts and expertise. The university is also home to Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Department of Energy (US) supported national laboratory.

    University of Rochester(US) Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

    The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music (US) ranks first among undergraduate music schools in the U.S. The Sibley Music Library at Eastman is the largest academic music library in North America and holds the third largest collection in the United States.

    In its history university alumni and faculty have earned 13 Nobel Prizes; 13 Pulitzer Prizes; 45 Grammy Awards; 20 Guggenheim Awards; 5 National Academy of Sciences; 4 National Academy of Engineering; 3 Rhodes Scholarships; 3 National Academy of Inventors; and 1 National Academy of Inventors Hall of Fame.

    History

    Early history

    The University of Rochester traces its origins to The First Baptist Church of Hamilton (New York) which was founded in 1796. The church established the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York later renamed the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution in 1817. This institution gave birth to both Colgate University(US) and the University of Rochester. Its function was to train clergy in the Baptist tradition. When it aspired to grant higher degrees it created a collegiate division separate from the theological division.

    The collegiate division was granted a charter by the State of New York in 1846 after which its name was changed to Madison University. John Wilder and the Baptist Education Society urged that the new university be moved to Rochester, New York. However, legal action prevented the move. In response, dissenting faculty, students, and trustees defected and departed for Rochester, where they sought a new charter for a new university.

    Madison University was eventually renamed as Colgate University (US).

    Founding

    Asahel C. Kendrick- professor of Greek- was among the faculty that departed Madison University for Rochester. Kendrick served as acting president while a national search was conducted. He reprised this role until 1853 when Martin Brewer Anderson of the Newton Theological Seminary in Massachusetts was selected to fill the inaugural posting.

    The University of Rochester’s new charter was awarded by the Regents of the State of New York on January 31, 1850. The charter stipulated that the university have $100,000 in endowment within five years upon which the charter would be reaffirmed. An initial gift of $10,000 was pledged by John Wilder which helped catalyze significant gifts from individuals and institutions.

    Classes began that November with approximately 60 students enrolled including 28 transfers from Madison. From 1850 to 1862 the university was housed in the old United States Hotel in downtown Rochester on Buffalo Street near Elizabeth Street- today West Main Street near the I-490 overpass. On a February 1851 visit Ralph Waldo Emerson said of the university:

    “They had bought a hotel, once a railroad terminus depot, for $8,500, turned the dining room into a chapel by putting up a pulpit on one side, made the barroom into a Pythologian Society’s Hall, & the chambers into Recitation rooms, Libraries, & professors’ apartments, all for $700 a year. They had brought an omnibus load of professors down from Madison bag and baggage… called in a painter and sent him up the ladder to paint the title “University of Rochester” on the wall, and they had runners on the road to catch students. And they are confident of graduating a class of ten by the time green peas are ripe.”

    For the next 10 years the college expanded its scope and secured its future through an expanding endowment; student body; and faculty. In parallel a gift of 8 acres of farmland from local businessman and Congressman Azariah Boody secured the first campus of the university upon which Anderson Hall was constructed and dedicated in 1862. Over the next sixty years this Prince Street Campus grew by a further 17 acres and was developed to include fraternities houses; dormitories; and academic buildings including Anderson Hall; Sibley Library; Eastman and Carnegie Laboratories the Memorial Art Gallery and Cutler Union.

    Twentieth century

    Coeducation

    The first female students were admitted in 1900- the result of an effort led by Susan B. Anthony and Helen Barrett Montgomery. During the 1890s a number of women took classes and labs at the university as “visitors” but were not officially enrolled nor were their records included in the college register. President David Jayne Hill allowed the first woman- Helen E. Wilkinson- to enroll as a normal student although she was not allowed to matriculate or to pursue a degree. Thirty-three women enrolled among the first class in 1900 and Ella S. Wilcoxen was the first to receive a degree in 1901. The first female member of the faculty was Elizabeth Denio who retired as Professor Emeritus in 1917. Male students moved to River Campus upon its completion in 1930 while the female students remained on the Prince Street campus until 1955.

    Expansion

    Major growth occurred under the leadership of Benjamin Rush Rhees over his 1900-1935 tenure. During this period George Eastman became a major donor giving more than $50 million to the university during his life. Under the patronage of Eastman the Eastman School of Music (US) was created in 1921. In 1925 at the behest of the General Education Board and with significant support for John D. Rockefeller George Eastman and Henry A. Strong’s family medical and dental schools were created. The university award its first Ph.D that same year.

    During World War II University of Rochester was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. In 1942, the university was invited to join the Association of American Universities(US) as an affiliate member and it was made a full member by 1944. Between 1946 and 1947 in infamous uranium experiments researchers at the university injected uranium-234 and uranium-235 into six people to study how much uranium their kidneys could tolerate before becoming damaged.

    In 1955 the separate colleges for men and women were merged into The College on the River Campus. In 1958 three new schools were created in engineering; business administration and education. The Graduate School of Management was named after William E. Simon- former Secretary of the Treasury in 1986. He committed significant funds to the school because of his belief in the school’s free market philosophy and grounding in economic analysis.

    Financial decline and name change controversy

    Following the princely gifts given throughout his life George Eastman left the entirety of his estate to the university after his death by suicide. The total of these gifts surpassed $100 million before inflation and as such Rochester enjoyed a privileged position amongst the most well endowed universities. During the expansion years between 1936 and 1976 the University of Rochester’s financial position ranked third, near Harvard University’s(US) endowment and the University of Texas (US) System’s Permanent University Fund. Due to a decline in the value of large investments and a lack of portfolio diversity the university’s place dropped to the top 25 by the end of the 1980s. At the same time the preeminence of the city of Rochester’s major employers began to decline.

    In response the University commissioned a study to determine if the name of the institution should be changed to “Eastman University” or “Eastman Rochester University”. The study concluded a name change could be beneficial because the use of a place name in the title led respondents to incorrectly believe it was a public university, and because the name “Rochester” connoted a “cold and distant outpost.” Reports of the latter conclusion led to controversy and criticism in the Rochester community. Ultimately, the name “University of Rochester” was retained.

    Renaissance Plan
    In 1995 University of Rochester president Thomas H. Jackson announced the launch of a “Renaissance Plan” for The College that reduced enrollment from 4,500 to 3,600 creating a more selective admissions process. The plan also revised the undergraduate curriculum significantly creating the current system with only one required course and only a few distribution requirements known as clusters. Part of this plan called for the end of graduate doctoral studies in chemical engineering; comparative literature; linguistics; and mathematics the last of which was met by national outcry. The plan was largely scrapped and mathematics exists as a graduate course of study to this day.

    Twenty-first century

    Meliora Challenge

    Shortly after taking office university president Joel Seligman commenced the private phase of the “Meliora Challenge”- a $1.2 billion capital campaign- in 2005. The campaign reached its goal in 2015- a year before the campaign was slated to conclude. In 2016, the university announced the Meliora Challenge had exceeded its goal and surpassed $1.36 billion. These funds were allocated to support over 100 new endowed faculty positions and nearly 400 new scholarships.

    The Mangelsdorf Years

    On December 17, 2018 the University of Rochester announced that Sarah C. Mangelsdorf would succeed Richard Feldman as President of the University. Her term started in July 2019 with a formal inauguration following in October during Meliora Weekend. Mangelsdorf is the first woman to serve as President of the University and the first person with a degree in psychology to be appointed to Rochester’s highest office.

    In 2019 students from China mobilized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) defaced murals in the University’s access tunnels which had expressed support for the 2019 Hong Kong Protests, condemned the oppression of the Uighurs, and advocated for Taiwanese independence. The act was widely seen as a continuation of overseas censorship of Chinese issues. In response a large group of students recreated the original murals. There have also been calls for Chinese government run CSSA to be banned from campus.

    Research

    Rochester is a member of the Association of American Universities (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Rochester had a research expenditure of $370 million in 2018.

    In 2008 Rochester ranked 44th nationally in research spending but this ranking has declined gradually to 68 in 2018.

    Some of the major research centers include the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a laser-based nuclear fusion facility, and the extensive research facilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    Recently the university has also engaged in a series of new initiatives to expand its programs in biomedical engineering and optics including the construction of the new $37 million Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics on the River Campus.

    Other new research initiatives include a cancer stem cell program and a Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. UR also has the ninth highest technology revenue among U.S. higher education institutions with $46 million being paid for commercial rights to university technology and research in 2009. Notable patents include Zoloft and Gardasil. WeBWorK, a web-based system for checking homework and providing immediate feedback for students was developed by University of Rochester professors Gage and Pizer. The system is now in use at over 800 universities and colleges as well as several secondary and primary schools. Rochester scientists work in diverse areas. For example, physicists developed a technique for etching metal surfaces such as platinum; titanium; and brass with powerful lasers enabling self-cleaning surfaces that repel water droplets and will not rust if tilted at a 4 degree angle; and medical researchers are exploring how brains rid themselves of toxic waste during sleep.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:13 pm on January 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "This New Record in Laser Beam Stability Could Help Answer Physics' Biggest Questions", , , , Physics, , ,   

    From The University of Western Australia (AU) via Science Alert (AU) : “This New Record in Laser Beam Stability Could Help Answer Physics’ Biggest Questions” 

    U Western Australia bloc

    From The University of Western Australia (AU)

    via

    Science Alert (AU)

    1
    The laser setup at the University of Western Australia. Credit: D. Gozzard/UWA.

    22 JANUARY 2022
    DAVID NIELD

    Scientists are on a mission to create a global network of atomic clocks that will enable us to, among other things, better understand the fundamental laws of physics, investigate dark matter, and navigate across Earth and space more precisely.

    However, to be at their most effective, these clocks will need to be reliably and speedily linked together through layers of the atmosphere, which is far from easy. New research outlines a successful experiment with a laser beam that has been kept stable across a distance of 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles).

    For comparison, the new link is around 100 times more stable than anything that’s been put together before. It also demonstrates stability that’s around 1,000 times better than the atomic clocks these lasers could be used to monitor.

    “The result shows that the phase and amplitude stabilization technologies presented in this paper can provide the basis for ultra-precise timescale comparison of optical atomic clocks through the turbulent atmosphere,” write the researchers in their published paper [Physical Review Letters].

    The system builds on research carried out last year in which scientists developed a laser link capable of holding its own through the atmosphere with unprecedented stability.

    In the new study, researchers shot a laser beam from a fifth-floor window to a reflector 1.2 kilometers (0.74 miles) away. The beam was then bounced back to the source to achieve the total distance for a period of five minutes.

    Using noise reduction techniques, temperature controls, and tiny adjustments to the reflector, the team was able to keep the laser stable through the pockets of fluctuating air. The atmospheric turbulence at ground level here is likely to equate to ground-to-satellite turbulence (the air is calmer and less dense higher in the atmosphere) of several hundred kilometers.

    While laser accuracy has remained fairly constant for a decade or so, we’ve seen some significant improvements recently, including a laser setup operated by the Boulder Atomic Clock Optical Network (BACON) Collaboration and tested last March [Nature].

    That setup involved a pulse laser rather than the continuous wave laser tested in this new study. Both have their advantages in different scenarios, but continuous wave lasers offer better stability and can transfer more data in a set period of time.

    “Both systems beat the current best atomic clock, so we’re splitting hairs here, but our ultimate precision is better,” says astrophysicist David Gozzard from the University of Western Australia.

    Once an atomic clock network is put together, among the tests scientists will be able to perform is Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, and how its incompatibility with what we know about quantum physics could be resolved.

    By very precisely comparing the time-keeping of two atomic clocks – one on Earth and one in space – scientists are eventually hoping to be able to work out where General Relativity does and doesn’t hold up. If Einstein’s ideas are correct, the clock further away from Earth’s gravity should tick ever-so-slightly faster.

    But its usefulness doesn’t stop there. Lasers like this could eventually be used for managing the launching of objects into orbit, for communications between Earth and space, or for connecting two points in space.

    “Of course, you can’t run fiber optic cable to a satellite,” says Gozzard.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Western Australia is a public research university in the Australian state of Western Australia. The university’s main campus is in Perth, the state capital, with a secondary campus in Albany and various other facilities elsewhere.

    UWA was established in 1911 by an act of the Parliament of Western Australia and began teaching students two years later. It is the sixth-oldest university in Australia and was Western Australia’s only university until the establishment of Murdoch University (AU) in 1973. Because of its age and reputation, UWA is classed one of the “sandstone universities”, an informal designation given to the oldest university in each state. The university also belongs to several more formal groupings, including The Group of Eight (AU) and The Matariki Network of Universities. In recent years, UWA has generally been ranked either in the bottom half or just outside the world’s top 100 universities, depending on the system used.

    Alumni of UWA include one Prime Minister of Australia (Bob Hawke), five Justices of the High Court of Australia (including one Chief Justice, Robert French, now Chancellor), one Governor of the Reserve Bank (H. C. Coombs), various federal cabinet ministers, and seven of Western Australia’s eight most recent premiers. In 2018 alumnus mathematician Akshay Venkatesh was a recipient of the Fields Medal. As at 2021, the university had produced 106 Rhodes Scholars. Two members of the UWA faculty, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won Nobel Prizes as a result of research at the university.

    History

    The university was established in 1911 following the tabling of proposals by a royal commission in September 1910. The original campus, which received its first students in March 1913, was located on Irwin Street in the centre of Perth, and consisted of several buildings situated between Hay Street and St Georges Terrace. Irwin Street was also known as “Tin Pan Alley” as many buildings featured corrugated iron roofs. These buildings served as the university campus until 1932, when the campus relocated to its present-day site in Crawley.

    The founding chancellor, Sir John Winthrop Hackett, died in 1916, and bequeathed property which, after being carefully managed for ten years, yielded £425,000 to the university, a far larger sum than expected. This allowed the construction of the main buildings. Many buildings and landmarks within the university bear his name, including Winthrop Hall and Hackett Hall. In addition, his bequest funded many scholarships, because he did not wish eager students to be deterred from studying because they could not afford to do so.

    During UWA’s first decade there was controversy about whether the policy of free education was compatible with high expenditure on professorial chairs and faculties. An “old student” publicised his concern in 1921 that there were 13 faculties serving only 280 students.

    A remnant of the original buildings survives to this day in the form of the “Irwin Street Building”, so called after its former location. In the 1930s it was transported to the new campus and served a number of uses till its 1987 restoration, after which it was moved across campus to James Oval. Recently, the building has served as the Senate meeting room and is currently in use as a cricket pavilion and office of the university archives. The building has been heritage-listed by both the National Trust and the Australian Heritage Council.

    The university introduced the Doctorate of Philosophy degree in 1946 and made its first award in October 1950 to Warwick Bottomley for his research of the chemistry of native plants in Western Australia.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:57 pm on January 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Impossible material made possible inside a graphene sandwich", , Atoms bind together by sharing electrons., , In two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene atoms join along a plane to form structures just one atom thick which leads to fascinating properties determined by quantum mechanics., , Physics, The University of Antwerp [Universiteit Antwerpen](BE),   

    From The University of Vienna [Universität Wien] (AT): “Impossible material made possible inside a graphene sandwich” 

    From The University of Vienna [Universität Wien] (AT)

    20. January 2022

    Dr. Kimmo Mustonen
    Physik Nanostrukturierter Materialien
    Universität Wien
    1090 – Wien, Boltzmanngasse 5
    +43-1-4277-72858
    kimmo.mustonen@univie.ac.at

    Mag. Alexandra Frey
    Pressebüro und stv. Pressesprecherin
    Universität Wien
    1010 – Wien, Universitätsring 1
    +43-1-4277-175 33
    +43-664-60277-175 33
    alexandra.frey@univie.ac.at

    1
    A single layer of cuprous iodide encapsulated in between two sheets of graphene (gray atoms). Credit: © 2021 Kimmo Mustonen, Christoph Hofer, and Viera Skákalov.

    New results in Advanced Materials

    Atoms bind together by sharing electrons. The way this happens depends on the atom types but also on conditions such as temperature and pressure. In two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene atoms join along a plane to form structures just one atom thick which leads to fascinating properties determined by quantum mechanics. Researchers at the University of Vienna in collaboration with The Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen [Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen](DE), and The University of Antwerp [Universiteit Antwerpen](BE) and CY Cergy Paris, together with Danubia NanoTech, have produced a new 2D material made of copper and iodine atoms sandwiched between two graphene sheets. The results were published in the journal Advanced Materials.

    The design of new materials allows for either improved efficiency of known applications or totally new applications that were out of reach with the previously existing materials. Indeed, tens of thousands of conventional materials such as metals and their alloys have been identified over the last hundred years. A similar number of possible 2D materials have been predicted to exist, but as of now, only a fraction of them have been produced in experiments. One reason for this is the instability of many of these materials in laboratory conditions.

    In the recent study, the researchers synthesized 2D cuprous iodide that was stabilized in a graphene sandwich, as the first example of a material that does not otherwise exist in normal laboratory conditions. The synthesis utilizes the large interlayer spacing of oxidized graphene multilayers, which allows iodine and copper atoms to diffuse into the gap and to grow the new material. The graphene layers here have an important role imposing a high pressure on the sandwiched material that thus becomes stabilized. The resulting sandwich structure is shown in the illustration.

    “As so often, when we first saw the new material in our microscopy images, it was a surprise”, says Kimmo Mustonen, the lead author of the study. “It took us quite some time to figure out what the structure precisely was. This enabled us together with Danubia NanoTech company, headed by Viera Skákalová, to design a chemical process for producing it in large scale”, he continues. Understanding the structure was a joint effort of scientists from the Universities of Vienna, Tübingen, Antwerp and CY Cergy Paris. “We had to use several electron microscopy techniques to make sure that we were really seeing a monolayer of copper and iodine and to extract the exact atom positions in 3D, including the latest methods we have recently developed”, the second lead author Christoph Hofer adds.

    Following the 2D copper iodide, the researchers have already expanded the synthesis method to produce other new 2D materials. “The method seems to be truly universal, providing access to dozens of new 2D materials. These are truly exciting times!”, Kimmo Mustonen concludes.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Vienna [Universität Wien](AT) is a public university located in Vienna, Austria.It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. With its long and rich history, the University of Vienna has developed into one of the largest universities in Europe, and also one of the most renowned, especially in the Humanities. It is associated with 21 Nobel prize winners and has been the academic home to many scholars of historical as well as of academic importance.

    From the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

    The University was founded on 12 March 1365 by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, and his two brothers, Dukes Albert III and Leopold III, hence the additional name “Alma Mater Rudolphina”. After the Charles University in Prague [Univerzita Karlova](CZ) and Jagiellonian University [Uniwersytet Jagielloński](PL), the University of Vienna is the third oldest university in Central Europe and the oldest university in the contemporary German-speaking world; it remains a question of definition as the Charles University in Prague [Univerzita Karlova](CZ) was German-speaking when founded, too.

    The University of Vienna was modelled after the University of Paris [Université de Paris](FR). However, Pope Urban V did not ratify the deed of foundation that had been sanctioned by Rudolf IV, specifically in relation to the department of theology. This was presumably due to pressure exerted by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, who wished to avoid competition for the Charles University in Prague. Approval was finally received from the Pope in 1384 and the University of Vienna was granted the status of a full university, including the Faculty of Catholic Theology. The first university building opened in 1385. It grew into the biggest university of the Holy Roman Empire, and during the advent of Humanism in the mid-15th century was home to more than 6,000 students.

    In its early years, the university had a partly hierarchical, partly cooperative structure, in which the Rector was at the top, while the students had little say and were settled at the bottom. The Magister and Doctors constituted the four faculties and elected the academic officials from amidst their ranks. The students, but also all other Supposita (university members), were divided into four Academic Nations. Their elected board members, mostly graduates themselves, had the right to elect the Rector. He presided over the Consistory which included procurators of each of the nations and the faculty deans, as well as over the University Assembly, in which all university teachers participated. Complaints or appeals against decisions of faculty by the students had to be brought forward by a Magister or Doctor.

    Being considered a Papal Institution, the university suffered quite a setback during the Reformation. In addition, the first Siege of Vienna by Ottoman forces had devastating effects on the city, leading to a sharp decline, with only 30 students enrolled at the lowest point. For King Ferdinand I, this meant that the university should be tied to the church to an even stronger degree, and in 1551 he installed the Jesuit Order there. With the enacting of the Sanctio Pragmatica edict by emperor Ferdinand II in 1623, the Jesuits took over teaching at the theological and philosophical faculty, and thus the university became a stronghold of Catholicism for over 150 years. It was only in the Mid-18th century that Empress Maria Theresa forced the university back under control of the monarchy. Her successor Joseph II helped in the further reform of the university, allowing both Protestants and Jews to enroll as well as introducing German as the compulsory language of instruction.

    From the 19th Century Onwards

    Big changes were instituted in the wake of the Revolution in 1848, with the Philosophical Faculty being upgraded into equal status as Theology, Law and Medicine. Led by the reforms of Leopold, Count von Thun und Hohenstein, the university was able to achieve a larger degree of academic freedom. The current main building on the Ringstraße was built between 1877 and 1884 by Heinrich von Ferstel. The previous main building was located close to the Stuben Gate (Stubentor) on Iganz Seipel Square, current home of the old University Church (Universitätskirche) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences [Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften(AT). Women were admitted as full students from 1897, although their studies were limited to Philosophy. The remaining departments gradually followed suit, although with considerable delay: Medicine in 1900, Law in 1919, Protestant Theology in 1923 and finally Roman Catholic Theology in 1946. Ten years after the admission of the first female students, Elise Richter became the first woman to receive habilitation, becoming professor of Romance Languages in 1907; she was also the first female distinguished professor.

    In the late 1920s, the university was in steady turmoil because of anti-democratic and anti-Semitic activity by parts of the student body. Professor Moritz Schlick was killed by a former student while ascending the steps of the University for a class. His murderer was later released by the Nazi Regime. Following the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria into Greater Germany by the Nazi regime, in 1938 the University of Vienna was reformed under political aspects and a huge number of teachers and students were dismissed for political and “racial” reasons. In April 1945, the then 22-year-old Kurt Schubert, later acknowledged doyen of Judaic Studies at the University of Vienna, was permitted by the Soviet occupation forces to open the university again for teaching, which is why he is regarded as the unofficial first rector in the post-war period. On 25 April 1945, however, the constitutional lawyer Ludwig Adamovich senior was elected as official rector of the University of Vienna. A large degree of participation by students and university staff was realized in 1975, however the University Reforms of 1993 and 2002 largely re-established the professors as the main decision makers. However, also as part of the last reform, the university after more than 250 years being largely under governmental control, finally regained its full legal capacity. The number of faculties and centers was increased to 18, and the whole of the medical faculty separated into the new Medical University of Vienna [Medizinische Universität Wien](AT).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:36 am on January 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "When graphene speaks scientists can now listen", , , It may be true that seeing is believing but sometimes hearing can be better., , Physics,   

    From Rice University (US): “When graphene speaks scientists can now listen” 

    From Rice University (US)

    Jan. 19, 2022

    Mike Williams
    713-348-6728
    mikewilliams@rice.edu

    Jeff Falk
    713-348-6775
    jfalk@rice.edu

    By Mike Williams

    Brothers in Rice lab find audio from graphene production contains valuable data. It may be true that seeing is believing but sometimes hearing can be better.


    When graphene speaks, scientists can now listen.
    Video produced by Brandon Martin/Rice University.

    Case in point: Two brothers in a Rice University laboratory heard something unusual while making graphene. Ultimately, they determined the sound itself could give them valuable data about the product.

    The brothers, John Li, a Rice alumnus now studying at Stanford University (US), and Victor Li, then a high school student in New York and now a freshman at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), are co-lead authors of a paper that describes the real-time analysis of laser-induced graphene (LIG) production through sound.

    The brothers were working in the lab of Rice chemist James Tour when they came up with their hypothesis and presented it at a group meeting.

    “Professor Tour said, ‘It is interesting,’ and told us to pursue it as a potential project,” John Li recalled.

    The results, which appear in Advanced Functional Materials, describe a simple acoustic signal processing scheme that analyzes LIG in real time to determine its form and quality.

    LIG, introduced by the Tour lab in 2014, makes layers of interconnected graphene sheets by heating the top of a thin polymer sheet to 2,500 degrees Celsius (4,532 degrees Fahrenheit), leaving only carbon atoms behind. The technique has since been applied to making graphene from other feedstock, even food.

    1
    Victor Li.

    3
    John Li

    “Under different conditions, we hear different sounds because different processes are occurring,” John said. “So if we hear variations during the synthesis, we’d be able to detect different materials being formed.”

    He said audio analysis allows for “far greater quality control capabilities that are orders of magnitude faster than characterization of laser-induced graphene by microscopy techniques.

    “In materials analysis, there are often tradeoffs between cost, speed, scalability, accuracy and precision, especially in terms of how much material you can systematically process,” John said. “What we have here allows us to efficiently scale the throughput of our analytical capabilities to the entire amount of material we’re trying to synthesize in a robust manner.”

    John invited his younger brother to Houston, knowing his expertise would be a plus in the lab. “We have complementary skill sets almost by design, where I avoid specializing in the things that he knows very well, and likewise, he avoids areas that I know very well,” he said. “So we form a very solid team.

    “Basically, I made the connection that the right sounds correspond to the right product, and he made the connection that the different sounds corresponded to different products,” he said. “Also, he is much stronger than I am at certain computational techniques, whereas I’m primarily an experimentalist.”

    A small, $31 microphone from Amazon taped to the laser head and attached to a cellphone inside the laser cabinet picks up the audio for analysis.

    “The brothers converted the sound pattern through a mathematical technique called a Fast Fourier transform, so they could get numerical data from the sound data,” Tour said. “Through some mathematical computations, that data can be a near-instant analytical tool to assess the product type and purity.”

    4
    Alex Lathem, an applied physics graduate student at Rice, prepares a sample for lasing. The lab is using sound to analyze the synthesis of laser-induced graphene in real time. Photo by Brandon Martin.

    John Li said the sounds emitted “provide information on the relaxation of the energy input when the laser hits the sample and gets absorbed, transmitted, scattered, reflected or just in general converted into different types of energy. That allows us to get local information on properties of the graphene’s microstructure, morphology and nanoscale characteristics.”

    Tour remains impressed by their ingenuity.

    “What these brothers came up with is amazing,” he said. “They are hearing the sounds of synthesis as it is performed, and from that they can determine product type and quality near-instantaneously. This could be an important approach during synthesis to guide manufacturing parameters.”

    He said sound analysis could contribute to a number of manufacturing processes, including his own lab’s flash Joule heating, a method to make graphene and other materials from waste products, as well as sintering, phase engineering, strain engineering, chemical vapor deposition, combustion, annealing, laser-cutting, gas evolution, distillation and more.

    “Between John’s experimental expertise and Victor’s mathematical talent, the family team is formidable,” Tour said. “My greatest joy is to provide an atmosphere where young minds can create and flourish, and in this case, they demonstrated expertise way beyond their years, John being only 19 and Victor 17 at the time of their discovery.”

    Co-authors of the paper are Rice graduate students Jacob Beckham and Weiyin Chen, postdoctoral researcher Bing Deng, alumnus Duy Luong and research scientist Carter Kittrell. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering.

    The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-19-1-0296) supported the research.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Stem Education Coalition

    Rice University (US) [formally William Marsh Rice University] is a private research university in Houston, Texas. It is situated on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.
    Opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice, Rice is a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 6:1 student-faculty ratio. The university has a very high level of research activity. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. Rice has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) since 1985 and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.
    The university is organized into eleven residential colleges and eight schools of academic study, including the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the School of Social Sciences, School of Architecture, Shepherd School of Music and the School of Humanities. Rice’s undergraduate program offers more than fifty majors and two dozen minors, and allows a high level of flexibility in pursuing multiple degree programs. Additional graduate programs are offered through the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Rice students are bound by the strict Honor Code, which is enforced by a student-run Honor Council.
    Rice competes in 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports and is a part of Conference USA, often competing with its cross-town rival the University of Houston. Intramural and club sports are offered in a wide variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, water polo, and crew.
    The university’s alumni include more than two dozen Marshall Scholars and a dozen Rhodes Scholars. Given the university’s close links to National Aeronautics Space Agency (US), it has produced a significant number of astronauts and space scientists. In business, Rice graduates include CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies; in politics, alumni include congressmen, cabinet secretaries, judges, and mayors. Two alumni have won the Nobel Prize.

    Background

    Rice University’s history began with the demise of Massachusetts businessman William Marsh Rice, who had made his fortune in real estate, railroad development and cotton trading in the state of Texas. In 1891, Rice decided to charter a free-tuition educational institute in Houston, bearing his name, to be created upon his death, earmarking most of his estate towards funding the project. Rice’s will specified the institution was to be “a competitive institution of the highest grade” and that only white students would be permitted to attend. On the morning of September 23, 1900, Rice, age 84, was found dead by his valet, Charles F. Jones, and was presumed to have died in his sleep. Shortly thereafter, a large check made out to Rice’s New York City lawyer, signed by the late Rice, aroused the suspicion of a bank teller, due to the misspelling of the recipient’s name. The lawyer, Albert T. Patrick, then announced that Rice had changed his will to leave the bulk of his fortune to Patrick, rather than to the creation of Rice’s educational institute. A subsequent investigation led by the District Attorney of New York resulted in the arrests of Patrick and of Rice’s butler and valet Charles F. Jones, who had been persuaded to administer chloroform to Rice while he slept. Rice’s friend and personal lawyer in Houston, Captain James A. Baker, aided in the discovery of what turned out to be a fake will with a forged signature. Jones was not prosecuted since he cooperated with the district attorney, and testified against Patrick. Patrick was found guilty of conspiring to steal Rice’s fortune and he was convicted of murder in 1901 (he was pardoned in 1912 due to conflicting medical testimony). Baker helped Rice’s estate direct the fortune, worth $4.6 million in 1904 ($131 million today), towards the founding of what was to be called the Rice Institute, later to become Rice University. The board took control of the assets on April 29 of that year.

    In 1907, the Board of Trustees selected the head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at Princeton University, Edgar Odell Lovett, to head the Institute, which was still in the planning stages. He came recommended by Princeton University (US)‘s president, Woodrow Wilson. In 1908, Lovett accepted the challenge, and was formally inaugurated as the Institute’s first president on October 12, 1912. Lovett undertook extensive research before formalizing plans for the new Institute, including visits to 78 institutions of higher learning across the world on a long tour between 1908 and 1909. Lovett was impressed by such things as the aesthetic beauty of the uniformity of the architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, a theme which was adopted by the Institute, as well as the residential college system at Cambridge University in England, which was added to the Institute several decades later. Lovett called for the establishment of a university “of the highest grade,” “an institution of liberal and technical learning” devoted “quite as much to investigation as to instruction.” [We must] “keep the standards up and the numbers down,” declared Lovett. “The most distinguished teachers must take their part in undergraduate teaching, and their spirit should dominate it all.”
    Establishment and growth

    In 1911, the cornerstone was laid for the Institute’s first building, the Administration Building, now known as Lovett Hall in honor of the founding president. On September 23, 1912, the 12th anniversary of William Marsh Rice’s murder, the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science, and Art began course work with 59 enrolled students, who were known as the “59 immortals,” and about a dozen faculty. After 18 additional students joined later, Rice’s initial class numbered 77, 48 male and 29 female. Unusual for the time, Rice accepted coeducational admissions from its beginning, but on-campus housing would not become co-ed until 1957.

    Three weeks after opening, a spectacular international academic festival was held, bringing Rice to the attention of the entire academic world.

    Per William Marsh Rice’s will and Rice Institute’s initial charter, the students paid no tuition. Classes were difficult, however, and about half of Rice’s students had failed after the first 1912 term. At its first commencement ceremony, held on June 12, 1916, Rice awarded 35 bachelor’s degrees and one master’s degree. That year, the student body also voted to adopt the Honor System, which still exists today. Rice’s first doctorate was conferred in 1918 on mathematician Hubert Evelyn Bray.

    The Founder’s Memorial Statue, a bronze statue of a seated William Marsh Rice, holding the original plans for the campus, was dedicated in 1930, and installed in the central academic quad, facing Lovett Hall. The statue was crafted by John Angel. In 2020, Rice students petitioned the university to take down the statue due to the founder’s history as slave owner.

    During World War II, Rice Institute was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

    The residential college system proposed by President Lovett was adopted in 1958, with the East Hall residence becoming Baker College, South Hall residence becoming Will Rice College, West Hall becoming Hanszen College, and the temporary Wiess Hall becoming Wiess College.

    In 1959, the Rice Institute Computer went online. 1960 saw Rice Institute formally renamed William Marsh Rice University. Rice acted as a temporary intermediary in the transfer of land between Humble Oil and Refining Company and NASA, for the creation of NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (now called Johnson Space Center) in 1962. President John F. Kennedy then made a speech at Rice Stadium reiterating that the United States intended to reach the moon before the end of the decade of the 1960s, and “to become the world’s leading space-faring nation”. The relationship of NASA with Rice University and the city of Houston has remained strong to the present day.

    The original charter of Rice Institute dictated that the university admit and educate, tuition-free, “the white inhabitants of Houston, and the state of Texas”. In 1963, the governing board of Rice University filed a lawsuit to allow the university to modify its charter to admit students of all races and to charge tuition. Ph.D. student Raymond Johnson became the first black Rice student when he was admitted that year. In 1964, Rice officially amended the university charter to desegregate its graduate and undergraduate divisions. The Trustees of Rice University prevailed in a lawsuit to void the racial language in the trust in 1966. Rice began charging tuition for the first time in 1965. In the same year, Rice launched a $33 million ($268 million) development campaign. $43 million ($283 million) was raised by its conclusion in 1970. In 1974, two new schools were founded at Rice, the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management and the Shepherd School of Music. The Brown Foundation Challenge, a fund-raising program designed to encourage annual gifts, was launched in 1976 and ended in 1996 having raised $185 million. The Rice School of Social Sciences was founded in 1979.

    On-campus housing was exclusively for men for the first forty years, until 1957. Jones College was the first women’s residence on the Rice campus, followed by Brown College. According to legend, the women’s colleges were purposefully situated at the opposite end of campus from the existing men’s colleges as a way of preserving campus propriety, which was greatly valued by Edgar Odell Lovett, who did not even allow benches to be installed on campus, fearing that they “might lead to co-fraternization of the sexes”. The path linking the north colleges to the center of campus was given the tongue-in-cheek name of “Virgin’s Walk”. Individual colleges became coeducational between 1973 and 1987, with the single-sex floors of colleges that had them becoming co-ed by 2006. By then, several new residential colleges had been built on campus to handle the university’s growth, including Lovett College, Sid Richardson College, and Martel College.

    Late twentieth and early twenty-first century

    The Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations was held at Rice in 1990. Three years later, in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy was created. In 1997, the Edythe Bates Old Grand Organ and Recital Hall and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, renamed in 2005 for the late Nobel Prize winner and Rice professor Richard E. Smalley, were dedicated at Rice. In 1999, the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology was created. The Rice Owls baseball team was ranked #1 in the nation for the first time in that year (1999), holding the top spot for eight weeks.

    In 2003, the Owls won their first national championship in baseball, which was the first for the university in any team sport, beating Southwest Missouri State (US) in the opening game and then the University of Texas and Stanford University twice each en route to the title. In 2008, President David Leebron issued a ten-point plan titled “Vision for the Second Century” outlining plans to increase research funding, strengthen existing programs, and increase collaboration. The plan has brought about another wave of campus constructions, including the erection the newly renamed BioScience Research Collaborative building (intended to foster collaboration with the adjacent Texas Medical Center), a new recreational center and the renovated Autry Court basketball stadium, and the addition of two new residential colleges, Duncan College and McMurtry College.

    Beginning in late 2008, the university considered a merger with Baylor College of Medicine, though the merger was ultimately rejected in 2010. Rice undergraduates are currently guaranteed admission to Baylor College of Medicine upon graduation as part of the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars program. According to History Professor John Boles’ recent book University Builder: Edgar Odell Lovett and the Founding of the Rice Institute, the first president’s original vision for the university included hopes for future medical and law schools.

    In 2018, the university added an online MBA program, MBA@Rice.

    In June 2019, the university’s president announced plans for a task force on Rice’s “past in relation to slave history and racial injustice”, stating that “Rice has some historical connections to that terrible part of American history and the segregation and racial disparities that resulted directly from it”.

    Campus

    Rice’s campus is a heavily wooded 285-acre (115-hectare) tract of land in the museum district of Houston, located close to the city of West University Place.

    Five streets demarcate the campus: Greenbriar Street, Rice Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Main Street, and University Boulevard. For most of its history, all of Rice’s buildings have been contained within this “outer loop”. In recent years, new facilities have been built close to campus, but the bulk of administrative, academic, and residential buildings are still located within the original pentagonal plot of land. The new Collaborative Research Center, all graduate student housing, the Greenbriar building, and the Wiess President’s House are located off-campus.

    Rice prides itself on the amount of green space available on campus; there are only about 50 buildings spread between the main entrance at its easternmost corner, and the parking lots and Rice Stadium at the West end. The Lynn R. Lowrey Arboretum, consisting of more than 4000 trees and shrubs (giving birth to the legend that Rice has a tree for every student), is spread throughout the campus.
    The university’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, intended for the campus to have a uniform architecture style to improve its aesthetic appeal. To that end, nearly every building on campus is noticeably Byzantine in style, with sand and pink-colored bricks, large archways and columns being a common theme among many campus buildings. Noteworthy exceptions include the glass-walled Brochstein Pavilion, Lovett College with its Brutalist-style concrete gratings, Moody Center for the Arts with its contemporary design, and the eclectic-Mediterranean Duncan Hall. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure listed Rice’s campus as one of the most beautiful in the United States.

    The university and Houston Independent School District jointly established The Rice School-a kindergarten through 8th grade public magnet school in Houston. The school opened in August 1994. Through Cy-Fair ISD Rice University offers a credit course based summer school for grades 8 through 12. They also have skills based classes during the summer in the Rice Summer School.

    Innovation District

    In early 2019 Rice announced the site where the abandoned Sears building in Midtown Houston stood along with its surrounding area would be transformed into the “The Ion” the hub of the 16-acre South Main Innovation District. President of Rice David Leebron stated “We chose the name Ion because it’s from the Greek ienai, which means ‘go’. We see it as embodying the ever-forward motion of discovery, the spark at the center of a truly original idea.”

    Students of Rice and other Houston-area colleges and universities making up the Student Coalition for a Just and Equitable Innovation Corridor are advocating for a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)-a contractual agreement between a developer and a community coalition. Residents of neighboring Third Ward and other members of the Houston Coalition for Equitable Development Without Displacement (HCEDD) have faced consistent opposition from the City of Houston and Rice Management Company to a CBA as traditionally defined in favor of an agreement between the latter two entities without a community coalition signatory.

    Organization

    Rice University is chartered as a non-profit organization and is governed by a privately appointed board of trustees. The board consists of a maximum of 25 voting members who serve four-year terms. The trustees serve without compensation and a simple majority of trustees must reside in Texas including at least four within the greater Houston area. The board of trustees delegates its power by appointing a president to serve as the chief executive of the university. David W. Leebron was appointed president in 2004 and succeeded Malcolm Gillis who served since 1993. The provost six vice presidents and other university officials report to the president. The president is advised by a University Council composed of the provost, eight members of the Faculty Council, two staff members, one graduate student, and two undergraduate students. The president presides over a Faculty Council which has the authority to alter curricular requirements, establish new degree programs, and approve candidates for degrees.

    The university’s academics are organized into several schools. Schools that have undergraduate and graduate programs include:

    The Rice University School of Architecture
    The George R. Brown School of Engineering
    The School of Humanities
    The Shepherd School of Music
    The Wiess School of Natural Sciences
    The Rice University School of Social Sciences

    Two schools have only graduate programs:

    The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management
    The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

    Rice’s undergraduate students benefit from a centralized admissions process which admits new students to the university as a whole, rather than a specific school (the schools of Music and Architecture are decentralized). Students are encouraged to select the major path that best suits their desires; a student can later decide that they would rather pursue study in another field or continue their current coursework and add a second or third major. These transitions are designed to be simple at Rice with students not required to decide on a specific major until their sophomore year of study.

    Rice’s academics are organized into six schools which offer courses of study at the graduate and undergraduate level, with two more being primarily focused on graduate education, while offering select opportunities for undergraduate students. Rice offers 360 degrees in over 60 departments. There are 40 undergraduate degree programs, 51 masters programs, and 29 doctoral programs.

    Faculty members of each of the departments elect chairs to represent the department to each School’s dean and the deans report to the Provost who serves as the chief officer for academic affairs.

    Rice Management Company

    The Rice Management Company manages the $6.5 billion Rice University endowment (June 2019) and $957 million debt. The endowment provides 40% of Rice’s operating revenues. Allison Thacker is the President and Chief Investment Officer of the Rice Management Company, having joined the university in 2011.

    Academics

    Rice is a medium-sized highly residential research university. The majority of enrollments are in the full-time four-year undergraduate program emphasizing arts & sciences and professions. There is a high graduate coexistence with the comprehensive graduate program and a very high level of research activity. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (US) as well as the professional accreditation agencies for engineering, management, and architecture.

    Each of Rice’s departments is organized into one of three distribution groups, and students whose major lies within the scope of one group must take at least 3 courses of at least 3 credit hours each of approved distribution classes in each of the other two groups, as well as completing one physical education course as part of the LPAP (Lifetime Physical Activity Program) requirement. All new students must take a Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar (FWIS) class, and for students who do not pass the university’s writing composition examination (administered during the summer before matriculation), FWIS 100, a writing class, becomes an additional requirement.

    The majority of Rice’s undergraduate degree programs grant B.S. or B.A. degrees. Rice has recently begun to offer minors in areas such as business, energy and water sustainability, and global health.

    Student body

    As of fall 2014, men make up 52% of the undergraduate body and 64% of the professional and post-graduate student body. The student body consists of students from all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, two U.S. Territories, and 83 foreign countries. Forty percent of degree-seeking students are from Texas.

    Research centers and resources

    Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing and space science.

    Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship – supports entrepreneurs and early-stage technology ventures in Houston and Texas through education, collaboration, and research, ranked No. 1 among university business incubators.
    Baker Institute for Public Policy – a leading nonpartisan public policy think-tank
    BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) – interdisciplinary, cross-campus, and inter-institutional resource between Rice University and Texas Medical Center
    Boniuk Institute – dedicated to religious tolerance and advancing religious literacy, respect and mutual understanding
    Center for African and African American Studies – fosters conversations on topics such as critical approaches to race and racism, the nature of diasporic histories and identities, and the complexity of Africa’s past, present and future
    Chao Center for Asian Studies – research hub for faculty, students and post-doctoral scholars working in Asian studies
    Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS) – interdisciplinary academic programs and research opportunities, including the journal Feminist Economics
    Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K) – campus hub for experiential learning in data science
    Digital Signal Processing (DSP) – center for education and research in the field of digital signal processing
    Ethernest Hackerspace – student-run hackerspace for undergraduate engineering students sponsored by the ECE department and the IEEE student chapter
    Humanities Research Center (HRC) – identifies, encourages, and funds innovative research projects by faculty, visiting scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students in the School of Humanities and beyond
    Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) – facilitates the translation of interdisciplinary research and education in biosciences and bioengineering
    Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology – advances applied interdisciplinary research in the areas of computation and information technology
    Kinder Institute for Urban Research – conducts the Houston Area Survey, “the nation’s longest running study of any metropolitan region’s economy, population, life experiences, beliefs and attitudes”
    Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) – a resource for education and research breakthroughs and advances in the broad, multidisciplinary field of nanophotonics
    Moody Center for the Arts – experimental arts space featuring studio classrooms, maker space, audiovisual editing booths, and a gallery and office space for visiting national and international artists
    OpenStax CNX (formerly Connexions) and OpenStax – an open source platform and open access publisher, respectively, of open educational resources
    Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) – space for undergraduate students to design, prototype and deploy solutions to real-world engineering challenges
    Rice Cinema – an independent theater run by the Visual and Dramatic Arts department at Rice which screens documentaries, foreign films, and experimental cinema and hosts film festivals and lectures since 1970
    Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) – inspires, educates, and develops ethical leaders in technology who will excel in research, industry, non-engineering career paths, or entrepreneurship
    Religion and Public Life Program (RPLP) – a research, training and outreach program working to advance understandings of the role of religion in public life
    Rice Design Alliance (RDA) – outreach and public programs of the Rice School of Architecture
    Rice Center for Quantum Materials (RCQM) – organization dedicated to research and higher education in areas relating to quantum phenomena
    Rice Neuroengineering Initiative (NEI) – fosters research collaborations in neural engineering topics
    Rice Space Institute (RSI) – fosters programs in all areas of space research
    Smalley-Curl Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (SCI) – the nation’s first nanotechnology center
    Welch Institute for Advanced Materials – collaborative research institute to support the foundational research for discoveries in materials science, similar to the model of Salk Institute and Broad Institute
    Woodson Research Center Special Collections & Archives – publisher of print and web-based materials highlighting the department’s primary source collections such as the Houston African American, Asian American, and Jewish History Archives, University Archives, rare books, and hip hop/rap music-related materials from the Swishahouse record label and Houston Folk Music Archive, etc.

    Residential colleges

    In 1957, Rice University implemented a residential college system, which was proposed by the university’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett. The system was inspired by existing systems in place at University of Oxford (UK) and University of Cambridge (UK) and at several other universities in the United States, most notably Yale University (US). The existing residences known as East, South, West, and Wiess Halls became Baker, Will Rice, Hanszen, and Wiess Colleges, respectively.

    Student-run media

    Rice has a weekly student newspaper (The Rice Thresher), a yearbook (The Campanile), college radio station (KTRU Rice Radio), and now defunct, campus-wide student television station (RTV5). They are based out of the RMC student center. In addition, Rice hosts several student magazines dedicated to a range of different topics; in fact, the spring semester of 2008 saw the birth of two such magazines, a literary sex journal called Open and an undergraduate science research magazine entitled Catalyst.

    The Rice Thresher is published every Wednesday and is ranked by Princeton Review as one of the top campus newspapers nationally for student readership. It is distributed around campus, and at a few other local businesses and has a website. The Thresher has a small, dedicated staff and is known for its coverage of campus news, open submission opinion page, and the satirical Backpage, which has often been the center of controversy. The newspaper has won several awards from the College Media Association, Associated Collegiate Press and Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.

    The Rice Campanile was first published in 1916 celebrating Rice’s first graduating class. It has published continuously since then, publishing two volumes in 1944 since the university had two graduating classes due to World War II. The website was created sometime in the early to mid 2000s. The 2015 won the first place Pinnacle for best yearbook from College Media Association.

    KTRU Rice Radio is the student-run radio station. Though most DJs are Rice students, anyone is allowed to apply. It is known for playing genres and artists of music and sound unavailable on other radio stations in Houston, and often, the US. The station takes requests over the phone or online. In 2000 and 2006, KTRU won Houston Press’ Best Radio Station in Houston. In 2003, Rice alum and active KTRU DJ DL’s hip-hip show won Houston PressBest Hip-hop Radio Show. On August 17, 2010, it was announced that Rice University had been in negotiations to sell the station’s broadcast tower, FM frequency and license to the University of Houston System to become a full-time classical music and fine arts programming station. The new station, KUHA, would be operated as a not-for-profit outlet with listener supporters. The FCC approved the sale and granted the transfer of license to the University of Houston System on April 15, 2011, however, KUHA proved to be an even larger failure and so after four and a half years of operation, The University of Houston System announced that KUHA’s broadcast tower, FM frequency and license were once again up for sale in August 2015. KTRU continued to operate much as it did previously, streaming live on the Internet, via apps, and on HD2 radio using the 90.1 signal. Under student leadership, KTRU explored the possibility of returning to FM radio for a number of years. In spring 2015, KTRU was granted permission by the FCC to begin development of a new broadcast signal via LPFM radio. On October 1, 2015, KTRU made its official return to FM radio on the 96.1 signal. While broadcasting on HD2 radio has been discontinued, KTRU continues to broadcast via internet in addition to its LPFM signal.

    RTV5 is a student-run television network available as channel 5 on campus. RTV5 was created initially as Rice Broadcast Television in 1997; RBT began to broadcast the following year in 1998, and aired its first live show across campus in 1999. It experienced much growth and exposure over the years with successful programs like Drinking with Phil, The Meg & Maggie Show, which was a variety and call-in show, a weekly news show, and extensive live coverage in December 2000 of the shut down of KTRU by the administration. In spring 2001, the Rice undergraduate community voted in the general elections to support RBT as a blanket tax organization, effectively providing a yearly income of $10,000 to purchase new equipment and provide the campus with a variety of new programming. In the spring of 2005, RBT members decided the station needed a new image and a new name: Rice Television 5. One of RTV5’s most popular shows was the 24-hour show, where a camera and couch placed in the RMC stayed on air for 24 hours. One such show is held in fall and another in spring, usually during a weekend allocated for visits by prospective students. RTV5 has a video on demand site at rtv5.rice.edu. The station went off the air in 2014 and changed its name to Rice Video Productions. In 2015 the group’s funding was threatened, but ultimately maintained. In 2016 the small student staff requested to no longer be a blanket-tax organization. In the fall of 2017, the club did not register as a club.

    The Rice Review, also known as R2, is a yearly student-run literary journal at Rice University that publishes prose, poetry, and creative nonfiction written by undergraduate students, as well as interviews. The journal was founded in 2004 by creative writing professor and author Justin Cronin.

    The Rice Standard was an independent, student-run variety magazine modeled after such publications as The New Yorker and Harper’s. Prior to fall 2009, it was regularly published three times a semester with a wide array of content, running from analyses of current events and philosophical pieces to personal essays, short fiction and poetry. In August 2009, The Standard transitioned to a completely online format with the launch of their redesigned website, http://www.ricestandard.org. The first website of its kind on Rice’s campus, The Standard featured blog-style content written by and for Rice students. The Rice Standard had around 20 regular contributors, and the site features new content every day (including holidays). In 2017 no one registered The Rice Standard as a club within the university.

    Open, a magazine dedicated to “literary sex content,” predictably caused a stir on campus with its initial publication in spring 2008. A mixture of essays, editorials, stories and artistic photography brought Open attention both on campus and in the Houston Chronicle. The third and last annual edition of Open was released in spring of 2010.

    Athletics

    Rice plays in NCAA Division I athletics and is part of Conference USA. Rice was a member of the Western Athletic Conference before joining Conference USA in 2005. Rice is the second-smallest school, measured by undergraduate enrollment, competing in NCAA Division I FBS football, only ahead of Tulsa.

    The Rice baseball team won the 2003 College World Series, defeating Stanford, giving Rice its only national championship in a team sport. The victory made Rice University the smallest school in 51 years to win a national championship at the highest collegiate level of the sport. The Rice baseball team has played on campus at Reckling Park since the 2000 season. As of 2010, the baseball team has won 14 consecutive conference championships in three different conferences: the final championship of the defunct Southwest Conference, all nine championships while a member of the Western Athletic Conference, and five more championships in its first five years as a member of Conference USA. Additionally, Rice’s baseball team has finished third in both the 2006 and 2007 College World Series tournaments. Rice now has made six trips to Omaha for the CWS. In 2004, Rice became the first school ever to have three players selected in the first eight picks of the MLB draft when Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Townsend were selected third, fourth, and eighth, respectively. In 2007, Joe Savery was selected as the 19th overall pick.

    Rice has been very successful in women’s sports in recent years. In 2004–05, Rice sent its women’s volleyball, soccer, and basketball teams to their respective NCAA tournaments. The women’s swim team has consistently brought at least one member of their team to the NCAA championships since 2013. In 2005–06, the women’s soccer, basketball, and tennis teams advanced, with five individuals competing in track and field. In 2006–07, the Rice women’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament, while again five Rice track and field athletes received individual NCAA berths. In 2008, the women’s volleyball team again made the NCAA tournament. In 2011 the Women’s Swim team won their first conference championship in the history of the university. This was an impressive feat considering they won without having a diving team. The team repeated their C-USA success in 2013 and 2014. In 2017, the women’s basketball team, led by second-year head coach Tina Langley, won the Women’s Basketball Invitational, defeating UNC-Greensboro 74–62 in the championship game at Tudor Fieldhouse. Though not a varsity sport, Rice’s ultimate frisbee women’s team, named Torque, won consecutive Division III national championships in 2014 and 2015.

    In 2006, the football team qualified for its first bowl game since 1961, ending the second-longest bowl drought in the country at the time. On December 22, 2006, Rice played in the New Orleans Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana against the Sun Belt Conference champion, Troy. The Owls lost 41–17. The bowl appearance came after Rice had a 14-game losing streak from 2004–05 and went 1–10 in 2005. The streak followed an internally authorized 2003 McKinsey report that stated football alone was responsible for a $4 million deficit in 2002. Tensions remained high between the athletic department and faculty, as a few professors who chose to voice their opinion were in favor of abandoning the football program. The program success in 2006, the Rice Renaissance, proved to be a revival of the Owl football program, quelling those tensions. David Bailiff took over the program in 2007 and has remained head coach. Jarett Dillard set an NCAA record in 2006 by catching a touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games and took a 15-game overall streak into the 2007 season.

    In 2008, the football team posted a 9-3 regular season, capping off the year with a 38–14 victory over Western Michigan University (US) in the Texas Bowl. The win over Western Michigan marked the Owls’ first bowl win in 45 years.

    Rice Stadium also serves as the performance venue for the university’s Marching Owl Band, or “MOB.” Despite its name, the MOB is a scatter band that focuses on performing humorous skits and routines rather than traditional formation marching.

    Rice Owls men’s basketball won 10 conference titles in the former Southwest Conference (1918, 1935*, 1940, 1942*, 1943*, 1944*, 1945, 1949*, 1954*, 1970; * denotes shared title). Most recently, guard Morris Almond was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Rice named former Cal Bears head coach Ben Braun as head basketball coach to succeed Willis Wilson, fired after Rice finished the 2007–2008 season with a winless (0-16) conference record and overall record of 3-27.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:38 pm on January 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Controlling how 'odd couple' surfaces and liquids interact", A new process enables control over liquid-solid interfaces even with the most unlikely pairs of materials., , , , Physics, , The new method is based on texturing the surface-regardless of its composition-with closely spaced indentations that have “reentrant openings”., The wettability of a surface is a crucial factor in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications., This textured surface is pretreated with a liquid that fills all of these cavities leaving exposed areas of liquid in these openings across the surface which alter the surface’s properties.   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US): “Controlling how ‘odd couple’ surfaces and liquids interact” 

    MIT News

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    January 17, 2022
    David Chandler

    Spread out or bead up? A new process enables control over liquid-solid interfaces even with the most unlikely pairs of materials.

    1
    Researchers can now treat a surface so that a droplet of mercury spreads out on it, instead of beading up. Image: Courtesy of the researchers.

    The wettability of a surface — whether drops of water or another liquid bead up or spread out when they come into contact with it — is a crucial factor in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, such as how efficiently boilers and condensers work in power plants or how heat pipes funnel heat away in industrial processes. This characteristic has long been seen as a fixed property of a given pair of liquid and solid materials, but now MIT researchers have developed a way of making even the most unlikely pairings of materials take on a desired level of wettability.

    The new process is described this week in the journal PNAS, in a paper by MIT postdocs Kyle Wilke, Zhengmao Lu, and Youngsop Song and professor of mechanical engineering Evelyn Wang.

    Wettability is usually closely linked to the surface tension properties of a liquid — the higher the surface tension, the more likely the liquid is to form beads on a surface rather than spreading out to wet the surface. Mercury has exceptionally high surface tension and is therefore considered highly nonwetting, and so the team chose this notoriously difficult liquid for one of their demonstrations. They were able to produce a surface, made from a typically nonwetting material, that caused mercury to spread across it without a chemical reaction, something never before demonstrated.

    The new method is based on texturing the surface, regardless of its composition, with closely spaced indentations that have “reentrant openings” — that is, the opening at the top is narrower than the rest of the cavity, rather like a jar with a narrow mouth. This textured surface is pretreated with a liquid that fills all of these cavities, leaving exposed areas of liquid in these openings across the surface, which alter the surface’s properties. When another liquid is added, which depending on the application may be the same or different from the one preloaded into the surface, its response to the surface is changed from nonwetting to wetting.

    Surfaces that have a high wettability for water are known as hydrophilic, and those that are nonwetting for water are known as hydrophobic. Wettability or nonwettability is the generic term for such behavior regardless of the particular liquid involved.

    While reentrant surfaces have been demonstrated before for other purposes, this work is the first to show that they can be used to alter the surface to produce “wetting regimes that have not been demonstrated before,” says Wang, who is the Ford Professor of Engineering and head of MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

    The findings are so new there may be many real-world applications that the team hasn’t thought of yet, says Wilke: “That’s something that we’re really excited about starting to explore,” he says. But thermal management in various industrial processes is likely to be among the first practical uses. The way water or another working fluid spreads, or fails to spread, across condenser surfaces can have a major influence on the efficiency of many processes that involve evaporation and condensation, including electric power plants and chemical processing plants.

    “We’ve now taken a nonwetting surface and made it wetting,” Wilke says. “People have previously done the opposite case, of taking something that’s wetting and making it nonwetting.” Thus, this new work opens the door to being able to exercise near-total control of wettability for different combinations of surface materials and liquids.

    “We can now create surfaces that have most conceivable combinations of wettability,” Wilke says. “I think this can definitely open up some really intriguing applications that we’re looking to explore.”

    One area that’s promising is in protective coatings. Many materials used to protect surfaces from harsh chemicals are fluorinated compounds that are strongly nonwetting, which may make them unsuitable for many applications. Making those surfaces wetting could open up many new potential uses for such coatings.

    High-temperature heat pipes, used to conduct heat from one place to another, such as for cooling machinery or electronics, are another promising application. “A lot of those working fluids are liquid metal, and those are known to have very high surface tension,” Lu says. That drastically limits the choice of such fluids, and this new approach could open up possible material choices.

    While the complex surface indentations for this research were fabricated using semiconductor manufacturing processes, the team is exploring other ways of achieving the same kind of texturing using 3D printing or some other process that could more easily be scaled up for real-world applications.

    The team is also exploring variations in the sizes and shapes of these reentrant openings. For example, Lu says, while it’s the surface area and spacing of these openings that mostly determines their wettability behavior, their depth can influence how stable this behavior is, because deeper holes are more resistant to evaporation that could undermine the wettability improvements. “The distance to the bottom of the channel is a critical dimension that may affect the wetting behavior,” he says. Those variations are being explored in followup work.

    By using mercury, Lu says, the team “chose our geometry set based on this most difficult case,” and were still able to demonstrate high wettability. “So, for less difficult combinations, you have more flexibility to choose probably easier to make geometries.”

    “There are probably many industries that will benefit,” Wang says, “whether it’s a chemical processing industry or a water treatment industry or a thermal products industry.” One of the next steps the team will take, she says, is “talking with these various industries to identify where is the nearest-term opportunity.”

    The work was supported by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Nanoscale systems, by the MIT and Masdar Institute Cooperative Program, and by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

    See the full article here .

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    MIT Campus

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

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

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

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

    Foundation and vision

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

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

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

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

    Early developments

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

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

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

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

    Curricular reforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Recent history

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 4:45 pm on January 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Any Single Galaxy Reveals the Composition of an Entire Universe", A group of scientists may have stumbled upon a radical new way to do cosmology., , Cosmic density of matter, , , , , , Physics, , The Cosmology and Astrophysics with Machine Learning Simulations (CAMELS) project, Theoretical Astrophysics   

    From Quanta Magazine (US): “Any Single Galaxy Reveals the Composition of an Entire Universe” 

    From Quanta Magazine (US)

    January 20, 2022
    Charlie Wood

    1
    Credit: Kaze Wong / CAMELS collaboration.


    In the CAMELS project, coders simulated thousands of universes with diverse compositions, arrayed at the end of this video as cubes.

    A group of scientists may have stumbled upon a radical new way to do cosmology.

    Cosmologists usually determine the composition of the universe by observing as much of it as possible. But these researchers have found that a machine learning algorithm can scrutinize a single simulated galaxy and predict the overall makeup of the digital universe in which it exists — a feat analogous to analyzing a random grain of sand under a microscope and working out the mass of Eurasia. The machines appear to have found a pattern that might someday allow astronomers to draw sweeping conclusions about the real cosmos merely by studying its elemental building blocks.

    “This is a completely different idea,” said Francisco Villaescusa-Navarro, a theoretical astrophysicist at The Flatiron Institute Center for Computational Astrophysics (US) and lead author of the work. “Instead of measuring these millions of galaxies, you can just take one. It’s really amazing that this works.”

    It wasn’t supposed to. The improbable find grew out of an exercise Villaescusa-Navarro gave to Jupiter Ding, a Princeton University(US) undergraduate: Build a neural network that, knowing a galaxy’s properties, can estimate a couple of cosmological attributes. The assignment was meant merely to familiarize Ding with machine learning. Then they noticed that the computer was nailing the overall density of matter.

    “I thought the student made a mistake,” Villaescusa-Navarro said. “It was a little bit hard for me to believe, to be honest.”

    The results of the investigation that followed appeared on January 6 submitted for publication. The researchers analyzed 2,000 digital universes generated by The Cosmology and Astrophysics with Machine Learning Simulations (CAMELS) project [The Astrophysical Journal]. These universes had a range of compositions, containing between 10% and 50% matter with the rest made up of Dark Energy, which drives the universe to expand faster and faster. (Our actual cosmos consists of roughly one-third Dark Matter and visible matter and two-thirds Dark Energy.) As the simulations ran, Dark Matter and visible matter swirled together into galaxies. The simulations also included rough treatments of complicated events like supernovas and jets that erupt from supermassive black holes.

    Ding’s neural network studied nearly 1 million simulated galaxies within these diverse digital universes. From its godlike perspective, it knew each galaxy’s size, composition, mass, and more than a dozen other characteristics. It sought to relate this list of numbers to the density of matter in the parent universe.

    It succeeded. When tested on thousands of fresh galaxies from dozens of universes it hadn’t previously examined, the neural network was able to predict the cosmic density of matter to within 10%. “It doesn’t matter which galaxy you are considering,” Villaescusa-Navarro said. “No one imagined this would be possible.”

    “That one galaxy can get [the density to] 10% or so, that was very surprising to me,” said Volker Springel, an expert in simulating galaxy formation at The MPG Institute for Astrophysics [MPG Institut für Astrophysik](DE) who was not involved in the research.

    The algorithm’s performance astonished researchers because galaxies are inherently chaotic objects. Some form all in one go, and others grow by eating their neighbors. Giant galaxies tend to hold onto their matter, while supernovas and black holes in dwarf galaxies might eject most of their visible matter. Still, every galaxy had somehow managed to keep close tabs on the overall density of matter in its universe.

    One interpretation is “that the universe and/or galaxies are in some ways much simpler than we had imagined,” said Pauline Barmby, an astronomer at The Western University (CA). Another is that the simulations have unrecognized flaws.

    The team spent half a year trying to understand how the neural network had gotten so wise. They checked to make sure the algorithm hadn’t just found some way to infer the density from the coding of the simulation rather than the galaxies themselves. “Neural networks are very powerful, but they are super lazy,” Villaescusa-Navarro said.

    Through a series of experiments, the researchers got a sense of how the algorithm was divining the cosmic density. By repeatedly retraining the network while systematically obscuring different galactic properties, they zeroed in on the attributes that mattered most.

    Near the top of the list was a property related to a galaxy’s rotation speed, which corresponds to how much matter (dark and otherwise) sits in the galaxy’s central zone. The finding matches physical intuition, according to Springel. In a universe overflowing with Dark Matter, you’d expect galaxies to grow heavier and spin faster. So you might guess that rotation speed would correlate with the cosmic matter density, although that relationship alone is too rough to have much predictive power.

    The neural network found a much more precise and complicated relationship between 17 or so galactic properties and the matter density. This relationship persists despite galactic mergers, stellar explosions and black hole eruptions. “Once you get to more than [two properties], you can’t plot it and squint at it by eye and see the trend, but a neural network can,” said Shaun Hotchkiss, a cosmologist at The University of Auckland (NZ).

    While the algorithm’s success raises the question of how many of the universe’s traits might be extracted from a thorough study of just one galaxy, cosmologists suspect that real-world applications will be limited. When Villaescusa-Navarro’s group tested their neural network on a different property — cosmic clumpiness — it found no pattern. And Springel expects that other cosmological attributes, such as the accelerating expansion of the universe due to Dark Energy, have little effect on individual galaxies.

    The research does suggest that, in theory, an exhaustive study of the Milky Way and perhaps a few other nearby galaxies could enable an exquisitely precise measurement of our universe’s matter. Such an experiment, Villaescusa-Navarro said, could give clues to other numbers of cosmic import such as the sum of the unknown masses of the universe’s three types of neutrinos.

    3
    Neutrinos- Universe Today

    But in practice, the technique would have to first overcome a major weakness. The CAMELS collaboration cooks up its universes using two different recipes. A neural network trained on one of the recipes makes bad density guesses when given galaxies that were baked according to the other. The cross-prediction failure indicates that the neural network is finding solutions unique to the rules of each recipe. It certainly wouldn’t know what to do with the Milky Way, a galaxy shaped by the real laws of physics. Before applying the technique to the real world, researchers will need to either make the simulations more realistic or adopt more general machine learning techniques — a tall order.

    “I’m very impressed by the possibilities, but one needs to avoid being too carried away,” Springel said.

    But Villaescusa-Navarro takes heart that the neural network was able to find patterns in the messy galaxies of two independent simulations. The digital discovery raises the odds that the real cosmos may be hiding a similar link between the large and the small.

    “It’s a very beautiful thing,” he said. “It establishes a connection between the whole universe and a single galaxy.”

    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    The Dark Energy Survey

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

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

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

    Timeline of the Inflationary Universe WMAP.

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

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

    Saul Perlmutter (center) [The Supernova Cosmology Project] shared the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with Brian P. Schmidt (right) and Adam Riess (left) [The High-z Supernova Search Team] for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

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

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

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

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

    Fritz Zwicky.
    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble, the original example of Dark Matter discovered during observations by Fritz Zwicky and confirmed 30 years later by Vera Rubin.
    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

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

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.
    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

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

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

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

    Lamda Cold Dark Matter Accerated Expansion of The universe http scinotions.com the-cosmic-inflation-suggests-the-existence-of-parallel-universes. Credit: Alex Mittelmann.

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

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

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

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment (US) Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA.

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

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

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

    Inside the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment U Washington (US) Credit : Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.
    ______________________________________________________

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

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

     
  • richardmitnick 2:35 pm on January 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "In a Numerical Coincidence Some See Evidence for String Theory", "Massive Gravity", "String universality": a monopoly of string theories among viable fundamental theories of nature, , Asymptotically safe quantum gravity, , Graviton: A graviton is a closed string-or loop-in its lowest-energy vibration mode in which an equal number of waves travel clockwise and counterclockwise around the loop., Lorentz invariance: the same laws of physics must hold from all vantage points., , Physics, , , , ,   

    From Quanta Magazine (US): “In a Numerical Coincidence Some See Evidence for String Theory” 

    From Quanta Magazine (US)

    January 21, 2022
    Natalie Wolchover

    1
    Dorine Leenders for Quanta Magazine.

    In a quest to map out a quantum theory of gravity, researchers have used logical rules to calculate how much Einstein’s theory must change. The result matches string theory perfectly.

    Quantum gravity researchers use “α” to denote the size of the biggest quantum correction to Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

    Recently, three physicists calculated a number pertaining to the quantum nature of gravity. When they saw the value, “we couldn’t believe it,” said Pedro Vieira, one of the three.

    Gravity’s quantum-scale details are not something physicists usually know how to quantify, but the trio attacked the problem using an approach that has lately been racking up stunners in other areas of physics. It’s called the bootstrap.

    To bootstrap is to deduce new facts about the world by figuring out what’s compatible with known facts — science’s version of picking yourself up by your own bootstraps. With this method, the trio found a surprising coincidence: Their bootstrapped number closely matched the prediction for the number made by string theory. The leading candidate for the fundamental theory of gravity and everything else, string theory holds that all elementary particles are, close-up, vibrating loops and strings.

    Vieira, Andrea Guerrieri of The Tel Aviv University (IL), and João Penedones of The EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH) reported their number and the match with string theory’s prediction in Physical Review Letters in August 2021. Quantum gravity theorists have been reading the tea leaves ever since.

    Some interpret the result as a new kind of evidence for string theory, a framework that sorely lacks even the prospect of experimental confirmation, due to the pointlike minuteness of the postulated strings.

    “The hope is that you could prove the inevitability of string theory using these ‘bootstrap’ methods,” said David Simmons-Duffin, a theoretical physicist at The California Institute of Technology (US). “And I think this is a great first step towards that.”

    2
    From left: Pedro Vieira, Andrea Guerrieri and João Penedones.
    Credit: Gabriela Secara / The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (CA); Courtesy of Andrea Guerrieri; The Swiss National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) [Pôle national suisse de recherche en recherche][Schweizerisches Nationales Kompetenzzentrum für Forschung](CH) SwissMAP (CH)

    Irene Valenzuela, a theoretical physicist at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at The Autonomous University of Madrid [Universidad Autónoma de Madrid](ES), agreed. “One of the questions is if string theory is the unique theory of quantum gravity or not,” she said. “This goes along the lines that string theory is unique.”

    Other commentators saw that as too bold a leap, pointing to caveats about the way the calculation was done.

    Einstein, Corrected

    The number that Vieira, Guerrieri and Penedones calculated is the minimum possible value of “α” (alpha). Roughly, “α” is the size of the first and largest mathematical term that you have to add to Albert Einstein’s gravity equations in order to describe, say, an interaction between two gravitons — the presumed quantum units of gravity.

    Albert Einstein’s 1915 Theory of General Relativity paints gravity as curves in the space-time continuum created by matter and energy. It perfectly describes large-scale behavior such as a planet orbiting a star. But when matter is packed into too-small spaces, General Relativity short-circuits. “Some correction to Einsteinian gravity has to be there,” said Simon Caron-Huot, a theoretical physicist at McGill University (CA).

    Physicists can tidily organize their lack of knowledge of gravity’s microscopic nature using a scheme devised in the 1960s by Kenneth Wilson and Steven Weinberg: They simply add a series of possible “corrections” to General Relativity that might become important at short distances. Say you want to predict the chance that two gravitons will interact in a certain way. You start with the standard mathematical term from Relativity, then add new terms (using any and all relevant variables as building blocks) that matter more as distances get smaller. These mocked-up terms are fronted by unknown numbers labeled “α”, “β”, “γ” and so on, which set their sizes. “Different theories of quantum gravity will lead to different such corrections,” said Vieira, who has joint appointments at The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (CA), and The International Centre for Theoretical Physics at The South American Institute for Fundamental Research [Instituto sul-Americano de Pesquisa Fundamental] (BR). “So these corrections are our first way to tell such possibilities apart.”

    In practice, “α” has only been explicitly calculated in string theory, and even then only for highly symmetric 10-dimensional universes. The English string theorist Michael Green and colleagues determined in the 1990s that in such worlds “α” must be at least 0.1389. In a given stringy universe it might be higher; how much higher depends on the string coupling constant, or a string’s propensity to spontaneously split into two. (This coupling constant varies between versions of string theory, but all versions unite in a master framework called “M-theory”, where string coupling constants correspond to different positions in an extra 11th dimension.)

    Meanwhile, alternative quantum gravity ideas remain unable to make predictions about “α”. And since physicists can’t actually detect gravitons — the force of gravity is too weak — they haven’t been able to directly measure “α” as a way of investigating and testing quantum gravity theories.

    Then a few years ago, Penedones, Vieira and Guerrieri started talking about using the bootstrap method to constrain what can happen during particle interactions. They first successfully applied the approach to particles called pions. “We said, OK, here it’s working very well, so why not go for gravity?” Guerrieri said.

    Bootstrapping the Bound

    The trick of using accepted truths to constrain unknown possibilities was devised by particle physicists in the 1960s, then forgotten, then revived to fantastic effect over the past decade by researchers with supercomputers, which can solve the formidable formulas that bootstrapping tends to produce.

    Guerrieri, Vieira and Penedones set out to determine what “α” has to be in order to satisfy two consistency conditions. The first, known as unitarity, states that the probabilities of different outcomes must always add up to 100%. The second, known as Lorentz invariance, says that the same laws of physics must hold from all vantage points.

    The trio specifically considered the range of values of “α” permitted by those two principles in supersymmetric 10D universes. Not only is the calculation simple enough to pull off in that setting (not so, currently, for “α” in 4D universes like our own), but it also allowed them to compare their bootstrapped range to string theory’s prediction that “α” in that 10D setting is 0.1389 or higher.

    Unitarity and Lorentz invariance impose constraints on what can happen in a two-graviton interaction in the following way: When the gravitons approach and scatter off each other, they might fly apart as two gravitons, or morph into three gravitons or any number of other particles. As you crank up the energies of the approaching gravitons, the chance they’ll emerge from the encounter as two gravitons changes — but unitarity demands that this probability never surpass 100%. Lorentz invariance means the probability can’t depend on how an observer is moving relative to the gravitons, restricting the form of the equations. Together the rules yield a complicated bootstrapped expression that “α” must satisfy. Guerrieri, Penedones and Vieira programmed the Perimeter Institute’s computer clusters to solve for values that make the two-graviton interactions unitary and Lorentz-invariant.

    The computer spit out its lower bound for “α”: 0.14, give or take a hundredth — an extremely close and potentially exact match with string theory’s lower bound of 0.1389. In other words, string theory seems to span the whole space of allowed “α” values — at least in the 10D place where the researchers checked. “That was a huge surprise,” Vieira said.

    10-Dimensional Coincidence

    What might the numerical coincidence mean? According to Simmons-Duffin, whose work a few years ago helped drive the bootstrap’s resurgence, “they’re trying to tackle a question [that’s] fundamental and important. Which is: To what extent does string theory as we know it cover the space of all possible theories of quantum gravity?”

    String theory emerged in the 1960s as a putative picture of the stringy glue that binds composite particles called mesons. A different description ended up prevailing for that purpose, but years later people realized that string theory could set its sights higher: If strings are small — so small they look like points — they could serve as nature’s elementary building blocks. Electrons, photons and so on would all be the same kind of fundamental string strummed in different ways. The theory’s selling point is that it gives a quantum description of gravity: A graviton is a closed string, or loop, in its lowest-energy vibration mode, in which an equal number of waves travel clockwise and counterclockwise around the loop. This feature would underlie macroscopic properties of gravity like the corkscrew-patterned polarization of gravitational waves.

    But matching the theory to all other aspects of reality takes some fiddling. To get rid of negative energies that would correspond to unphysical, faster-than-light particles, string theory needs a property called “Supersymmetry”, which doubles the number of its string vibration modes. Every vibration mode corresponding to a matter particle must come with another mode signifying a force particle. String theory also requires the existence of 10 space-time dimensions for the strings to wiggle around in. Yet we haven’t found any supersymmetric partner particles, and our universe looks 4D, with three dimensions of space and one of time.

    Standard Model of Supersymmetry

    Both of these data points present something of a problem.

    If string theory describes our world, Supersymmetry must be broken here. That means the partner particles, if they exist, must be far heavier than the known set of particles — too heavy to muster in experiments. And if there really are 10 dimensions, six must be curled up so small they’re imperceptible to us — tight little knots of extra directions you can go in at any point in space. These “compactified” dimensions in a 4D-looking universe could have countless possible arrangements, all affecting strings (and numbers like “α”) differently.

    Broken Supersymmetry and invisible dimensions have led many quantum gravity researchers to seek or prefer alternative, non-stringy ideas.

    Mordehai Milgrom, MOND theorist, is an Israeli physicist and professor in the department of Condensed Matter Physics at The Weizmann Institute of Science (IL) in Rehovot, Israel http://cosmos.nautil.us

    MOND Rotation Curves with MOND Tully-Fisher

    MOND 1

    But so far the rival approaches have struggled to produce the kind of concrete calculations about things like graviton interactions that string theory can.

    Some physicists hope to see string theory win hearts and minds by default, by being the only microscopic description of gravity that’s logically consistent. If researchers can prove “string universality,” as this is sometimes called — a monopoly of string theories among viable fundamental theories of nature — we’ll have no choice but to believe in hidden dimensions and an inaudible orchestra of strings.

    To string theory sympathizers, the new bootstrap calculation opens a route to eventually proving string universality, and it gets the journey off to a rip-roaring start.

    Other researchers disagree with those implications. Astrid Eichhorn, a theoretical physicist at The South Danish University [Syddansk Universitet](DK) and The Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg [Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg](DE) who specializes in a non-stringy approach called asymptotically safe quantum gravity, told me, “I would consider the relevant setting to collect evidence for or against a given quantum theory of gravity to be four-dimensional and non-supersymmetric” universes, since this “best describes our world, at least so far.”

    Eichhorn pointed out that there might be unitary, Lorentz-invariant descriptions of gravitons in 4D that don’t make any sense in 10D. “Simply by this choice of setting one might have ruled out alternative quantum gravity approaches” that are viable, she said.

    Vieira acknowledged that string universality might hold only in 10 dimensions, saying, “It could be that in 10D with supersymmetry, there’s only string theory, and when you go to 4D, there are many theories.” But, he said, “I doubt it.”

    Another critique, though, is that even if string theory saturates the range of allowed “α” values in the 10-dimensional setting the researchers probed, that doesn’t stop other theories from lying in the permitted range. “I don’t see any practical way we’re going to conclude that string theory is the only answer,” said Andrew Tolley of Imperial College London (UK).

    Just the Beginning

    Assessing the meaning of the coincidence will become easier if bootstrappers can generalize and extend similar results to more settings. “At the moment, many, many people are pursuing these ideas in various variations,” said Alexander Zhiboedov, a theoretical physicist at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN], Europe’s particle physics laboratory.

    Guerrieri, Penedones and Vieira have already completed a “dual” bootstrap calculation, which bounds “α” from below by ruling out solutions less than the minimum rather than solving for viable “α” values above the bound, as they did previously. This dual calculation shows that their computer clusters didn’t simply miss smaller allowed “α” values, which would correspond to additional viable quantum gravity theories outside string theory’s range.

    They also plan to bootstrap the lower bound for worlds with nine large dimensions, where string theory calculations are still under some control (since only one dimension is curled up), to look for more evidence of a correlation. Aside from “α”, bootstrappers also aim to calculate “β” and “γ” — the allowed sizes of the second- and third-biggest quantum gravity corrections— and they have ideas for how to approach harder calculations about worlds where supersymmetry is broken or nonexistent, as it appears to be in reality. In this way they’ll try to carve out the space of allowed quantum gravity theories, and test string universality in the process.

    Claudia de Rham, a theorist at Imperial College, emphasized the need to be “agnostic,” noting that bootstrap principles are useful for exploring more ideas than just string theory. She and Tolley have used positivity — the rule that probabilities are always positive — to constrain a theory called “Massive Gravity”, which may or may not be a realization of string theory. They discovered potentially testable consequences, showing that massive gravity only satisfies positivity if certain exotic particles exist. De Rham sees bootstrap principles and positivity bounds as “one of the most exciting research developments at the moment” in fundamental physics.

    “No one has done this job of taking everything we know and taking consistency and putting it together,” said Zhiboedov. It’s “exciting,” he added, that theorists have work to do “at a very basic level.”

    See the full article here .


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

     
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