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  • richardmitnick 2:53 pm on February 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "We Just Got The Most Precise Measurement of a Property of a Particle - Ever", , , , , , Science Alert (AU)   

    From Harvard University And From Northwestern UniversityVia “Science Alert (AU)” : “We Just Got The Most Precise Measurement of a Property of a Particle – Ever” 

    From Harvard University


    Northwestern U bloc

    From Northwestern University



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    David Nield

    (KTSDesign/Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

    The Standard Model of particle physics is our current best-guess on what the blue-prints for matter looks like.

    Of all of its predictions, none are as precise as the magnetic moment of the electron.

    Not only is it precisely predicted, it’s among the most accurately measured of any particle’s properties. And while these two values are close, they don’t overlap entirely, providing tantalizing hints of new physics.

    Getting closer to the exact value of the electron magnetic moment – simply put, how strongly an electron behaves like a tiny magnet – might one day unlock a greater understanding of the building blocks of physics and how they interact.

    Now physicists from Harvard University and Northwestern University have pushed the limits on that accuracy further still. Their recent experiments produced a value that’s precise to 0.13 out of 1 trillion.

    “The new value is 2.2 times more precise than, and consistent with, the one that stood for 14 years,” write the researchers in their published paper [Physical Review Letters (below)].

    “Our determination and the Standard Model calculation are precise enough for a test that is 10 times more precise.”

    To get the new electron magnetic moment value, the research team suspended a single electron in a highly controlled chamber known as a Penning trap.

    After chilling the chamber close to absolute zero, the team was able to use a magnetic field to measure the electron’s “quantum jumps” between energy levels, without interfering with its quantum state and spoiling the observations.

    The Standard Model’s equations provide a way to calculate something called the fine-structure constant. Roughly equivalent to 1/137, it is fundamental to the electromagnetic force that binds atoms, making it a pretty big deal in physics.

    These same equations predict the electron magnetic moment to such an impressive level of precision that its measure in the lab has become a defining test of the Standard Model’s ability to reflect reality.

    For some time, measurements of the electron magnetic moment have remained slightly larger than what the Standard Model predicts for a charged, point-like particle, producing an alluring anomaly begging to be resolved.

    These new results have an error margin that’s ten times smaller than this discrepancy, strongly hinting at unknown physics.

    PenningTrap. Part of the experimental setup. (Fan et al., Physical Review Letters, 2023)

    Fine tuning both predictions and experimental results could deliver values that hint at the existence of new particles or types of interactions we don’t yet know about.

    The researchers already have ideas for how to improve the measurement, represented as μ/μB (the comparison of a value to the Bohr magneton), even further. It gets us ever closer to finally completing the Standard Model of particle physics.

    “Much larger improvements in the precision of μ/μB now seem feasible given the demonstration of more stable apparatus, improved statistics, and better understood uncertainties,” write the researchers.

    Physical Review Letters

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Northwestern South Campus
    South Campus

    Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851 to serve the former Northwest Territory, the university is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference.

    On May 31, 1850, nine men gathered to begin planning a university that would serve the Northwest Territory.

    Given that they had little money, no land and limited higher education experience, their vision was ambitious. But through a combination of creative financing, shrewd politicking, religious inspiration and an abundance of hard work, the founders of Northwestern University were able to make that dream a reality.

    In 1853, the founders purchased a 379-acre tract of land on the shore of Lake Michigan 12 miles north of Chicago. They established a campus and developed the land near it, naming the surrounding town Evanston in honor of one of the University’s founders, John Evans. After completing its first building in 1855, Northwestern began classes that fall with two faculty members and 10 students.
    Twenty-one presidents have presided over Northwestern in the years since. The University has grown to include 12 schools and colleges, with additional campuses in Chicago and Doha, Qatar.

    Northwestern is known for its focus on interdisciplinary education, extensive research output, and student traditions. The university provides instruction in over 200 formal academic concentrations, including various dual degree programs. The university is composed of eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, which include the Kellogg School of Management, the Pritzker School of Law, the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Bienen School of Music, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Medill School of Journalism, the School of Communication, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Education and Social Policy, and The Graduate School. As of fall 2019, the university had 21,946 enrolled students, including 8,327 undergraduates and 13,619 graduate students.

    Valued at $12.2 billion, Northwestern’s endowment is among the largest university endowments in the United States. Its numerous research programs bring in nearly $900 million in sponsored research each year.

    Northwestern’s main 240-acre (97 ha) campus lies along the shores of Lake Michigan in Evanston, 12 miles north of Downtown Chicago. The university’s law, medical, and professional schools, along with its nationally ranked Northwestern Memorial Hospital, are located on a 25-acre (10 ha) campus in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. The university also maintains a campus in Doha, Qatar and locations in San Francisco, California, Washington, D.C. and Miami, Florida.

    As of October 2020, Northwestern’s faculty and alumni have included 1 Fields Medalist, 22 Nobel Prize laureates, 40 Pulitzer Prize winners, 6 MacArthur Fellows, 17 Rhodes Scholars, 27 Marshall Scholars, 23 National Medal of Science winners, 11 National Humanities Medal recipients, 84 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 10 living billionaires, 16 Olympic medalists, and 2 U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Northwestern alumni have founded notable companies and organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, The Blackstone Group, Kirkland & Ellis, U.S. Steel, Guggenheim Partners, Accenture, Aon Corporation, AQR Capital, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Melvin Capital.

    The foundation of Northwestern University can be traced to a meeting on May 31, 1850, of nine prominent Chicago businessmen, Methodist leaders, and attorneys who had formed the idea of establishing a university to serve what had been known from 1787 to 1803 as the Northwest Territory. On January 28, 1851, the Illinois General Assembly granted a charter to the Trustees of the North-Western University, making it the first chartered university in Illinois. The school’s nine founders, all of whom were Methodists (three of them ministers), knelt in prayer and worship before launching their first organizational meeting. Although they affiliated the university with the Methodist Episcopal Church, they favored a non-sectarian admissions policy, believing that Northwestern should serve all people in the newly developing territory by bettering the economy in Evanston.

    John Evans, for whom Evanston is named, bought 379 acres (153 ha) of land along Lake Michigan in 1853, and Philo Judson developed plans for what would become the city of Evanston, Illinois. The first building, Old College, opened on November 5, 1855. To raise funds for its construction, Northwestern sold $100 “perpetual scholarships” entitling the purchaser and his heirs to free tuition. Another building, University Hall, was built in 1869 of the same Joliet limestone as the Chicago Water Tower, also built in 1869, one of the few buildings in the heart of Chicago to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1873 the Evanston College for Ladies merged with Northwestern, and Frances Willard, who later gained fame as a suffragette and as one of the founders of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), became the school’s first dean of women (Willard Residential College, built in 1938, honors her name). Northwestern admitted its first female students in 1869, and the first woman was graduated in 1874.

    Northwestern fielded its first intercollegiate football team in 1882, later becoming a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. In the 1870s and 1880s, Northwestern affiliated itself with already existing schools of law, medicine, and dentistry in Chicago. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is the oldest law school in Chicago. As the university’s enrollments grew, these professional schools were integrated with the undergraduate college in Evanston; the result was a modern research university combining professional, graduate, and undergraduate programs, which gave equal weight to teaching and research. By the turn of the century, Northwestern had grown in stature to become the third largest university in the United States after Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

    Under Walter Dill Scott’s presidency from 1920 to 1939, Northwestern began construction of an integrated campus in Chicago designed by James Gamble Rogers, noted for his design of the Yale University campus, to house the professional schools. The university also established the Kellogg School of Management and built several prominent buildings on the Evanston campus, including Dyche Stadium, now named Ryan Field, and Deering Library among others. In the 1920s, Northwestern became one of the first six universities in the United States to establish a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). In 1939, Northwestern hosted the first-ever NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship game in the original Patten Gymnasium, which was later demolished and relocated farther north, along with the Dearborn Observatory, to make room for the Technological Institute.

    After the golden years of the 1920s, the Great Depression in the United States (1929–1941) had a severe impact on the university’s finances. Its annual income dropped 25 percent from $4.8 million in 1930-31 to $3.6 million in 1933-34. Investment income shrank, fewer people could pay full tuition, and annual giving from alumni and philanthropists fell from $870,000 in 1932 to a low of $331,000 in 1935. The university responded with two salary cuts of 10 percent each for all employees. It imposed hiring and building freezes and slashed appropriations for maintenance, books, and research. Having had a balanced budget in 1930-31, the university now faced deficits of roughly $100,000 for the next four years. Enrollments fell in most schools, with law and music suffering the biggest declines. However, the movement toward state certification of school teachers prompted Northwestern to start a new graduate program in education, thereby bringing in new students and much needed income. In June 1933, Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, proposed a merger of the two universities, estimating annual savings of $1.7 million. The two presidents were enthusiastic, and the faculty liked the idea; many Northwestern alumni, however, opposed it, fearing the loss of their Alma Mater and its many traditions that distinguished Northwestern from Chicago. The medical school, for example, was oriented toward training practitioners, and alumni feared it would lose its mission if it were merged into the more research-oriented University of Chicago Medical School. The merger plan was ultimately dropped. In 1935, the Deering family rescued the university budget with an unrestricted gift of $6 million, bringing the budget up to $5.4 million in 1938-39. This allowed many of the previous spending cuts to be restored, including half of the salary reductions.

    Like other American research universities, Northwestern was transformed by World War II (1939–1945). Regular enrollment fell dramatically, but the school opened high-intensity, short-term programs that trained over 50,000 military personnel, including future president John F. Kennedy. Northwestern’s existing NROTC program proved to be a boon to the university as it trained over 36,000 sailors over the course of the war, leading Northwestern to be called the “Annapolis of the Midwest.” Franklyn B. Snyder led the university from 1939 to 1949, and after the war, surging enrollments under the G.I. Bill drove dramatic expansion of both campuses. In 1948, prominent anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits founded the Program of African Studies at Northwestern, the first center of its kind at an American academic institution. J. Roscoe Miller’s tenure as president from 1949 to 1970 saw an expansion of the Evanston campus, with the construction of the Lakefill on Lake Michigan, growth of the faculty and new academic programs, and polarizing Vietnam-era student protests. In 1978, the first and second Unabomber attacks occurred at Northwestern University. Relations between Evanston and Northwestern became strained throughout much of the post-war era because of episodes of disruptive student activism, disputes over municipal zoning, building codes, and law enforcement, as well as restrictions on the sale of alcohol near campus until 1972. Northwestern’s exemption from state and municipal property-tax obligations under its original charter has historically been a source of town-and-gown tension.

    Although government support for universities declined in the 1970s and 1980s, President Arnold R. Weber was able to stabilize university finances, leading to a revitalization of its campuses. As admissions to colleges and universities grew increasingly competitive in the 1990s and 2000s, President Henry S. Bienen’s tenure saw a notable increase in the number and quality of undergraduate applicants, continued expansion of the facilities and faculty, and renewed athletic competitiveness. In 1999, Northwestern student journalists uncovered information exonerating Illinois death-row inmate Anthony Porter two days before his scheduled execution. The Innocence Project has since exonerated 10 more men. On January 11, 2003, in a speech at Northwestern School of Law’s Lincoln Hall, then Governor of Illinois George Ryan announced that he would commute the sentences of more than 150 death-row inmates.

    In the 2010s, a 5-year capital campaign resulted in a new music center, a replacement building for the business school, and a $270 million athletic complex. In 2014, President Barack Obama delivered a seminal economics speech at the Evanston campus.

    Organization and administration


    Northwestern is privately owned and governed by an appointed Board of Trustees, which is composed of 70 members and, as of 2011, has been chaired by William A. Osborn ’69. The board delegates its power to an elected president who serves as the chief executive officer of the university. Northwestern has had sixteen presidents in its history (excluding interim presidents). The current president, economist Morton O. Schapiro, succeeded Henry Bienen whose 14-year tenure ended on August 31, 2009. The president maintains a staff of vice presidents, directors, and other assistants for administrative, financial, faculty, and student matters. Kathleen Haggerty assumed the role of interim provost for the university in April 2020.

    Students are formally involved in the university’s administration through the Associated Student Government, elected representatives of the undergraduate students, and the Graduate Student Association, which represents the university’s graduate students.

    The admission requirements, degree requirements, courses of study, and disciplinary and degree recommendations for each of Northwestern’s 12 schools are determined by the voting members of that school’s faculty (assistant professor and above).

    Undergraduate and graduate schools

    Evanston Campus:

    Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (1851)
    School of Communication (1878)
    Bienen School of Music (1895)
    McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (1909)
    Medill School of Journalism (1921)
    School of Education and Social Policy (1926)
    School of Professional Studies (1933)

    Graduate and professional

    Evanston Campus

    Kellogg School of Management (1908)
    The Graduate School

    Chicago Campus

    Feinberg School of Medicine (1859)
    Kellogg School of Management (1908)
    Pritzker School of Law (1859)
    School of Professional Studies (1933)

    Northwestern University had a dental school from 1891 to May 31, 2001, when it closed.


    In 1996, Princess Diana made a trip to Evanston to raise money for the university hospital’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at the invitation of then President Bienen. Her visit raised a total of $1.5 million for cancer research.

    In 2003, Northwestern finished a five-year capital campaign that raised $1.55 billion, exceeding its fundraising goal by $550 million.

    In 2014, Northwestern launched the “We Will” campaign with a fundraising goal of $3.75 billion. As of December 31, 2019, the university has received $4.78 billion from 164,026 donors.


    In January 2009, the Green Power Partnership (sponsored by the EPA) listed Northwestern as one of the top 10 universities in the country in purchasing energy from renewable sources. The university matches 74 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of its annual energy use with Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). This green power commitment represents 30 percent of the university’s total annual electricity use and places Northwestern in the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club. The Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), supporting research, teaching and outreach in these themes, was launched in 2008.

    Northwestern requires that all new buildings be LEED-certified. Silverman Hall on the Evanston campus was awarded Gold LEED Certification in 2010; Wieboldt Hall on the Chicago campus was awarded Gold LEED Certification in 2007, and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center on the Evanston campus was awarded Silver LEED Certification in 2006. New construction and renovation projects will be designed to provide at least a 20% improvement over energy code requirements where feasible. At the beginning of the 2008–09 academic year, the university also released the Evanston Campus Framework Plan, which outlines plans for future development of the university’s Evanston campus. The plan not only emphasizes sustainable building construction, but also focuses on reducing the energy costs of transportation by optimizing pedestrian and bicycle access. Northwestern has had a comprehensive recycling program in place since 1990. The university recycles over 1,500 tons of waste, or 30% of all waste produced on campus, each year. All landscape waste at the university is composted.


    Education and rankings

    Northwestern is a large, residential research university, and is frequently ranked among the top universities in the United States. The university is a leading institution in the fields of materials engineering, chemistry, business, economics, education, journalism, and communications. It is also prominent in law and medicine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the respective national professional organizations for chemistry, psychology, business, education, journalism, music, engineering, law, and medicine, the university offers 124 undergraduate programs and 145 graduate and professional programs. Northwestern conferred 2,190 bachelor’s degrees, 3,272 master’s degrees, 565 doctoral degrees, and 444 professional degrees in 2012–2013. Since 1951, Northwestern has awarded 520 honorary degrees. Northwestern also has chapters of academic honor societies such as Phi Beta Kappa (Alpha of Illinois), Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Sigma Phi (Beta Chapter), Lambda Pi Eta, and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Alpha Chapter).

    The four-year, full-time undergraduate program comprises the majority of enrollments at the university. Although there is no university-wide core curriculum, a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences is required for all majors; individual degree requirements are set by the faculty of each school. The university heavily emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, with 72% of undergrads combining two or more areas of study. Northwestern’s full-time undergraduate and graduate programs operate on an approximately 10-week academic quarter system with the academic year beginning in late September and ending in early June. Undergraduates typically take four courses each quarter and twelve courses in an academic year and are required to complete at least twelve quarters on campus to graduate. Northwestern offers honors, accelerated, and joint degree programs in medicine, science, mathematics, engineering, and journalism. The comprehensive doctoral graduate program has high coexistence with undergraduate programs.

    Despite being a mid-sized university, Northwestern maintains a relatively low student to faculty ratio of 6:1.


    Northwestern was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1917 and is classified as an R1 university, denoting “very high” research activity. Northwestern’s schools of management, engineering, and communication are among the most academically productive in the nation. The university received $887.3 million in research funding in 2019 and houses over 90 school-based and 40 university-wide research institutes and centers. Northwestern also supports nearly 1,500 research laboratories across two campuses, predominately in the medical and biological sciences.

    Northwestern is home to the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics, Northwestern Institute for Complex Systems, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, Materials Research Center, Center for Quantum Devices, Institute for Policy Research, International Institute for Nanotechnology, Center for Catalysis and Surface Science, Buffet Center for International and Comparative Studies, the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, and the Argonne/Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center among other centers for interdisciplinary research.

    Student body

    Northwestern enrolled 8,186 full-time undergraduate, 9,904 full-time graduate, and 3,856 part-time students in the 2019–2020 academic year. The freshman retention rate for that year was 98%. 86% of students graduated after four years and 92% graduated after five years. These numbers can largely be attributed to the university’s various specialized degree programs, such as those that allow students to earn master’s degrees with a one or two year extension of their undergraduate program.

    The undergraduate population is drawn from all 50 states and over 75 foreign countries. 20% of students in the Class of 2024 were Pell Grant recipients and 12.56% were first-generation college students. Northwestern also enrolls the 9th-most National Merit Scholars of any university in the nation.

    In Fall 2014, 40.6% of undergraduate students were enrolled in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 21.3% in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, 14.3% in the School of Communication, 11.7% in the Medill School of Journalism, 5.7% in the Bienen School of Music, and 6.4% in the School of Education and Social Policy. The five most commonly awarded undergraduate degrees are economics, journalism, communication studies, psychology, and political science. The Kellogg School of Management’s MBA, the School of Law’s JD, and the Feinberg School of Medicine’s MD are the three largest professional degree programs by enrollment. With 2,446 students enrolled in science, engineering, and health fields, the largest graduate programs by enrollment include chemistry, integrated biology, material sciences, electrical and computer engineering, neuroscience, and economics.


    Northwestern is a charter member of the Big Ten Conference. It is the conference’s only private university and possesses the smallest undergraduate enrollment (the next-smallest member, the University of Iowa, is roughly three times as large, with almost 22,000 undergraduates).

    Northwestern fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams (8 men’s and 11 women’s) in addition to numerous club sports. 12 of Northwestern’s varsity programs have had NCAA or bowl postseason appearances. Northwestern is one of five private AAU members to compete in NCAA Power Five conferences (the other four being Duke, Stanford, USC, and Vanderbilt) and maintains a 98% NCAA Graduation Success Rate, the highest among Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

    In 2018, the school opened the Walter Athletics Center, a $270 million state of the art lakefront facility for its athletics teams.

    Nickname and mascot

    Before 1924, Northwestern teams were known as “The Purple” and unofficially as “The Fighting Methodists.” The name Wildcats was bestowed upon the university in 1924 by Wallace Abbey, a writer for the Chicago Daily Tribune, who wrote that even in a loss to the University of Chicago, “Football players had not come down from Evanston; wildcats would be a name better suited to “[Coach Glenn] Thistletwaite’s boys.” The name was so popular that university board members made “Wildcats” the official nickname just months later. In 1972, the student body voted to change the official nickname to “Purple Haze,” but the new name never stuck.

    The mascot of Northwestern Athletics is “Willie the Wildcat”. Prior to Willie, the team mascot had been a live, caged bear cub from the Lincoln Park Zoo named Furpaw, who was brought to the playing field on game days to greet the fans. After a losing season however, the team decided that Furpaw was to blame for its misfortune and decided to select a new mascot. “Willie the Wildcat” made his debut in 1933, first as a logo and then in three dimensions in 1947, when members of the Alpha Delta fraternity dressed as wildcats during a Homecoming Parade.


    Northwestern’s official motto, “Quaecumque sunt vera,” was adopted by the university in 1890. The Latin phrase translates to “Whatsoever things are true” and comes from the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 4:8), in which St. Paul admonishes the Christians in the Greek city of Philippi. In addition to this motto, the university crest features a Greek phrase taken from the Gospel of John inscribed on the pages of an open book, ήρης χάριτος και αληθείας or “the word full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
    Alma Mater is the Northwestern Hymn. The original Latin version of the hymn was written in 1907 by Peter Christian Lutkin, the first dean of the School of Music from 1883 to 1931. In 1953, then Director-of-Bands John Paynter recruited an undergraduate music student, Thomas Tyra (’54), to write an English version of the song, which today is performed by the Marching Band during halftime at Wildcat football games and by the orchestra during ceremonies and other special occasions.
    Purple became Northwestern’s official color in 1892, replacing black and gold after a university committee concluded that too many other universities had used these colors. Today, Northwestern’s official color is purple, although white is something of an official color as well, being mentioned in both the university’s earliest song, Alma Mater (1907) (“Hail to purple, hail to white”) and in many university guidelines.
    The Rock, a 6-foot high quartzite boulder donated by the Class of 1902, originally served as a water fountain. It was painted over by students in the 1940s as a prank and has since become a popular vehicle of self-expression on campus.
    Armadillo Day, commonly known as Dillo Day, is the largest student-run music festival in the country. The festival is hosted every Spring on Northwestern’s Lakefront.
    Primal Scream is held every quarter at 9 p.m. on the Sunday before finals week. Students lean out of windows or gather in courtyards and scream to help relieve stress.
    In the past, students would throw marshmallows during football games, but this tradition has since been discontinued.


    One of Northwestern’s most notable student charity events is Dance Marathon, the most established and largest student-run philanthropy in the nation. The annual 30-hour event is among the most widely-attended events on campus. It has raised over $1 million for charity every year since 2011 and has donated a total of $13 million to children’s charities since its conception.

    The Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC) is a student-run organization that connects hundreds of student volunteers to community development projects in Evanston and Chicago throughout the year. The group also holds a number of annual community events, including Project Pumpkin, a Halloween celebration that provides over 800 local children with carnival events and a safe venue to trick-or-treat each year.

    Many Northwestern students participate in the Freshman Urban Program, an initiative for students interested in community service to work on addressing social issues facing the city of Chicago, and the university’s Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) programs, including group service-learning expeditions in Asia, Africa, or Latin America in conjunction with the Foundation for Sustainable Development.

    Several internationally recognized non-profit organizations were established at Northwestern, including the World Health Imaging, Informatics and Telemedicine Alliance, a spin-off from an engineering student’s honors thesis.


    Established in 1881, The Daily Northwestern is the university’s main student newspaper and is published on weekdays during the academic year. It is directed entirely by undergraduate students and owned by the Students Publishing Company. Although it serves the Northwestern community, the Daily has no business ties to the university and is supported wholly by advertisers.
    North by Northwestern is an online undergraduate magazine established in September 2006 by students at the Medill School of Journalism. Published on weekdays, it consists of updates on news stories and special events throughout the year. It also publishes a quarterly print magazine.
    Syllabus is the university’s undergraduate yearbook. It is distributed in late May and features a culmination of the year’s events at Northwestern. First published in 1885, the yearbook is published by Students Publishing Company and edited by Northwestern students.
    Northwestern Flipside is an undergraduate satirical magazine. Founded in 2009, it publishes a weekly issue both in print and online.
    Helicon is the university’s undergraduate literary magazine. Established in 1979, it is published twice a year: a web issue is released in the winter and a print issue with a web complement is released in the spring.
    The Protest is Northwestern’s quarterly social justice magazine.

    The Northwestern division of Student Multicultural Affairs supports a number of publications for particular cultural groups including Ahora, a magazine about Hispanic and Latino/a culture and campus life; Al Bayan, published by the Northwestern Muslim-cultural Student Association; BlackBoard Magazine, a magazine centered around African-American student life; and NUAsian, a magazine and blog on Asian and Asian-American culture and issues.
    The Northwestern University Law Review is a scholarly legal publication and student organization at Northwestern University School of Law. Its primary purpose is to publish a journal of broad legal scholarship. The Law Review publishes six issues each year. Student editors make the editorial and organizational decisions and select articles submitted by professors, judges, and practitioners, as well as student pieces. The Law Review also publishes scholarly pieces weekly on the Colloquy.
    The Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property is a law review published by an independent student organization at Northwestern University School of Law.
    The Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review is a scholarly legal publication published annually by an editorial board of Northwestern undergraduates. Its mission is to publish interdisciplinary legal research, drawing from fields such as history, literature, economics, philosophy, and art. Founded in 2008, the journal features articles by professors, law students, practitioners, and undergraduates. It is funded by the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and the Office of the Provost.


    Established in January 2011, Sherman Ave is a humor website that often publishes content on Northwestern student life. Most of its staff writers are current Northwestern undergraduates writing under various pseudonyms. The website is popular among students for its interviews of prominent campus figures, Freshman Guide, and live-tweeting coverage of football games. In Fall 2012, the website promoted a satiric campaign to end the Vanderbilt University football team’s custom of clubbing baby seals.
    Politics & Policy is dedicated to the analysis of current events and public policy. Established in 2010 by students at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, and Medill School of Journalism, the publication reaches students on more than 250 college campuses around the world. Run entirely by undergraduates, it is published several times a week and features material ranging from short summaries of events to extended research pieces. The publication is financed in part by the Buffett Center.
    Northwestern Business Review is a campus source for business news. Founded in 2005, it has an online presence as well as a quarterly print schedule.
    TriQuarterly Online (formerly TriQuarterly) is a literary magazine published twice a year featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, literary essays, reviews, blog posts, and art.
    The Queer Reader is Northwestern’s first radical feminist and LGBTQ+ publication.

    Radio, film, and television

    WNUR (89.3 FM) is a 7,200-watt radio station that broadcasts to the city of Chicago and its northern suburbs. WNUR’s programming consists of music (jazz, classical, and rock), literature, politics, current events, varsity sports (football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse), and breaking news on weekdays.
    Studio 22 is a student-run production company that produces roughly ten films each year. The organization financed the first film Zach Braff directed, and many of its films have featured students who would later go into professional acting, including Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights.
    Applause for a Cause is currently the only student-run production company in the nation to create feature-length films for charity. It was founded in 2010 and has raised over $5,000 to date for various local and national organizations across the United States.
    Northwestern News Network is a student television news and sports network, serving the Northwestern and Evanston communities. Its studios and newsroom are located on the fourth floor of the McCormick Tribune Center on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. NNN is funded by the Medill School of Journalism.

    Harvard University campus

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    19th century

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

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

    20th century

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

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

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

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

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

    21st century

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

  • richardmitnick 11:01 am on February 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Science Alert (AU), There Could Be Upward-Moving Silicon-Rich 'Snow' in Earth's Outer Core"   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “There Could Be Upward-Moving Silicon-Rich ‘Snow’ in Earth’s Outer Core” 


    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    David Nield

    An artist’s concept of Earth’s insides. (Yuri_Arcurs/E+/Getty Images)

    By listening to the echo of earthquakes bouncing about inside our planet, we can make a good guess at what’s inside Earth without slicing it up. Unfortunately seismic waves often have inconsistencies that scientists are yet to fully understand.

    One source of variability occurs in low-density pockets of material some 3,000 kilometers (just under 1,900 miles) below the surface, between the liquid iron alloy outer core and the mantle.

    A new study proposes a silicon-rich ‘snow’ that rises from the outer core could help explain some of the anomalies in observations. Since silicon would make the particles lighter than the surrounding liquid iron, the material could flow out towards the mantle and settle in drifts that cause sound waves to distort in unpredictable ways.

    How silicon-rich ‘snow’ forms. (Arizona State University)

    “If silicon and hydrogen are the two main light elements in the outermost core with appropriate abundances, such a rising silicon-rich snow can occur,” says geoscientist Suyu Fu from the University of Tokyo in Japan.

    To test this, the team recreated conditions inside Earth’s outer core in a laboratory. An iron-silicon alloy was loaded inside a hydrogen-argon gas before being ultra-compressed inside a diamond anvil cell.

    These devices are often used by geologists to achieve levels of compression comparable to those inside planets like our own. Samples are compressed via mechanical force between two diamonds (hence the name) and studied for changes.

    In this case the sample was heated using lasers and monitored via X-rays. The scientists were able to overcome a problem with previous experiments where high temperatures would cause the hydrogen containing the iron alloy to diffuse into the diamond.

    “Our team developed a new method where hydrogen is mixed with argon in diamond anvil cells,” says geoscientist Sang-Heon Dan Shim, from Arizona State University.

    “Argon does not react with the sample but suppresses hydrogen diffusion into diamond anvils, enabling us to achieve the extreme conditions in the laboratory.”

    Under these similar pressure and temperature conditions to Earth’s outer core, the researchers found that silicon-rich crystallites ‘snow’ could form and rise through the denser liquid iron to accumulate at the border of the mantle and the outer core, possibly causing some of the anomalies noticed by scientists as they scan the deepest parts of the planet.

    While you may think that none of this matters too much to us up on Earth’s surface, the movement of the outer core drives our planet’s magnetic field, which in turn protects us against the wearing effects of outer space and solar weather.

    Gaining a better understanding of what’s in the outer core, how it’s moving, and how that might affect its interaction with the mantle, is crucial in predicting how Earth’s magnetic field might continue to operate in the future.

    “The silicon-rich alloy crystallization was found during our experiments in snowy winter days at Chicago during the pandemic,” says Shim.

    “It is interesting that such crystallization behavior can lead to rising silicon-rich snow in the outer core.”

    The research has been published in Nature.
    3 above from Core origin of seismic velocity anomalies at Earth’s core–mantle boundary

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 2:13 pm on February 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A Fleeing Black Hole Was Found Leaving a Trail of Newborn Stars in Its Wake", , , , , , Science Alert (AU),   

    From Yale University via “Science Alert (AU)” : “A Fleeing Black Hole Was Found Leaving a Trail of Newborn Stars in Its Wake” 

    From Yale University



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    Michelle Starr

    A strange streak emerging from a distant galaxy. The galaxy is on the left; the streak is at its brightest at the farthest distance from the galaxy. (van Dokkum et al.)

    A trail found in the gas surrounding a distant galaxy could be the smoking gun pointing to a runaway supermassive black hole.

    Based on an analysis of light that has traveled for more than 7.5 billion years to reach us, a team of astronomers has presented evidence of a colossal object ejected from its host galaxy 39 million years ago, which is now speeding across intergalactic space at 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) per second.

    Although the black hole itself is invisible, its wake is not: shocks left in the tenuous intergalactic medium leave behind a trail of star formation in the compressed gas. The team’s work shows one way we could identify quiescent supermassive black holes ejected from their galaxies to zoom, invisible and untethered, through intergalactic space.

    The research, led by astrophysicist Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University, has been accepted into The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below].

    The idea that a supermassive black hole could be ejected from its galaxy isn’t actually that strange. In fact, astronomers have already identified what they think might be multiple supermassive black holes ejected from the centers of their galaxies (although none yet crossing into intergalactic space), and even one galaxy that appears to be missing its supermassive black hole altogether.

    But those supermassive black holes all had one thing in common: they’re active, which means they’re surrounded by a cloud of material that’s falling into their gaping mouths of doom. This process generates insane amounts of heat and light, which makes them much easier to spot.

    But not all black holes are active. And those that are quietly minding their business between snacks, just hanging out doing their thing, emit no light we can detect and are therefore essentially invisible to our technology.

    However, something as weighty as a supermassive black hole – millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun – might still leave behind tracks we can spot. This is what van Dokkum and his colleagues proposed: that the trail of an ejected supermassive black hole might be detected in the gas that surrounds a galaxy, known as the circumgalactic medium.

    The discovery was made in the course of other investigations. The researchers were using Hubble to study a much closer dwarf galaxy called RCP 28. It was in that image that they discovered something that might just be the trail of a runaway supermassive black hole.

    The image revealed a bright streak pointing straight at the center of an irregular galaxy. Initially, the researchers thought it was a cosmic ray, but it showed up in both the filters used to process the images. So, in October 2022, they took follow-up images using the Keck Observatory, to calculate the redshift of the galaxy and streak. This gave them a size: the streak measures over 200,000 light-years in length.

    Analysis showed that the galaxy and the streak have the same redshift, meaning that they are likely associated with each other, and the streak and galaxy have the same color. The team had never seen anything like it.

    Looking more closely, they found that the streak was not uniform in color or brightness. It also shows signs of strong ionization, and shock regions. Some of the ionization could be explained by the presence of very young, hot, massive stars; that’s consistent with astrophysical shocks, which tend to compress gas and cause clumps of it to collapse under gravity, forming baby stars.

    Streaks of light emerging from the centers of galaxies are not uncommon; these are usually astrophysical jets, powerful, narrow streams of plasma traveling at near light speeds, launched from the polar regions of active supermassive black holes. The streak the team found shows none of the hallmarks of an astrophysical jet, though.

    It’s possible, the team speculated, that the passage of a jet could have left a trail of star formation in its wake; but the streak in the images doesn’t match any observed or simulated instance of jet-induced star formation on record.

    In fact, the observed streak happens to be the very opposite of what astronomers would expect of a jet of gas; strongest at the farthest point from the galaxy, where there is less material, and narrower at greater distance, rather than spreading out like a jet.

    The team believes that the best explanation is a runaway supermassive black hole, perturbing and compressing the circumgalactic medium as it travels through, leaving star formation behind.

    The Astrophysical Journal Letters

    These images from the Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys show the linear feature that may result from a rogue SMBH. Image Credit: van Dokkum et al. 2023.

    This figure from the research shows the morphology of the galaxy in F606W and F814W (Hubble filters.) The arrow indicates the direction of the linear feature. The galaxy is compact and shows irregular features, possibly indicating a recent merger and/or a connection to the linear feature. Image Credit: van Dokkum et al. 2023.

    See the science paper for further images.

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.


    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton.

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

  • richardmitnick 9:57 am on February 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "But Wait - What if The Hypothetical Planet Nine Has Moons?", , Science Alert (AU), The Education University of Hong Kong   

    From The Education University of Hong Kong Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “But Wait – What if The Hypothetical Planet Nine Has Moons?” 


    From The Education University of Hong Kong



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    Michelle Starr

    In recent years, evidence suggests that there might be something lurking on the outskirts of the Solar System – something large, and possibly very dark.

    That large, dark thing has been named Planet Nine, its presence inferred by some peculiarly clustered orbits detected in small objects in the outer Solar System’s Kuiper Belt.

    Something, some scientists believe, has caused a gravitational disruption that created these orbits.

    Their calculations suggest that, whatever it is, the object is between 5 and 10 times the mass of Earth.

    However, the outer Solar System is very far away, and objects in it are very hard to detect. Planet Nine, if it exists, should be orbiting the Sun somewhere between 400 and 800 times the distance of Earth from the Sun. So, although scientists have been searching for Planet Nine, so far, it’s eluded everyone.

    One possible reason for this could be if Planet Nine is a dark object; like, for example, a black hole. Not only would such a black hole not emit any light, it would be extremely small – practically impossible to spot even if it could reflect light.

    But astronomer Man Ho Chan of The Education University of Hong Kong in China believes that we might still be able to locate it anyway.

    The smoking gun, he lays out in a paper uploaded to preprint server arXiv, and in press at The Astrophysical Journal, could be a bevy of moons attendant on the mysterious chunk of something.

    “In this article, we show that the probability of capturing large trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) by Planet Nine to form a satellite system in the scattered disk region (between the inner Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt) is large,” Chan writes in his paper.

    “By adopting a benchmark model of Planet Nine, we show that the tidal effect can heat up the satellites significantly, which can give sufficient thermal radio flux for observations, even if Planet Nine is a dark object.”

    Almost every planet in the Solar System has at least one moon. In fact, most have more than one. Mercury and Venus are moon-free, and Earth is the only planet with just one satellite. Some non-planetary bodies have moons, too. There’s Pluto, of course, with its moons. Some asteroids even have moons.

    In the mid to outer Solar System, moons are pretty much all the rage. Some, like Earth’s Moon, could have been formed from material from the parent body itself. In many other cases, the planet’s gravity snared passing rocks and kept them, like weird little rock-collecting goblins.

    Where Planet Nine is predicted to be, as it turns out, should be ripe for the moon-picking: the region between the rock-filled Kuiper Belt and the rock-filled Oort Cloud.

    This region, known as the scattered disk, should be filled with trans-Neptunian objects; basically, rocks that have an orbit at a greater average distance than Neptune.

    Chan calculated the probability that the putative planet could have picked up some satellites, and found that it would be more peculiar if it hadn’t. According to his calculations, on average, an object the mass of Planet Nine should capture 20 trans-Neptunian objects as large as or larger than 140 kilometers (87 miles) across.

    On their own, these pieces of icy rock wouldn’t be detectable, but a gravitational interaction with a more massive body could change that, if the moon was big enough; say, larger than 100 kilometers across.

    Satellites that are captured by a planet tend to have irregular, elliptical orbits. This means that the gravitational stresses placed on the moon change as it moves closer to and farther away from the planet, stretching it out where the gravitational pull is strongest.

    These constantly changing stresses heat the moon from the inside. And heat is dissipated as thermal radiation. This should be detectable as a radio signal; and it’s something we can look for now, Chan says.

    “If P9 is a dark object and it has a satellite system, our proposal can directly observe the potential thermal signals emitted by the satellites now,” he writes.

    “Therefore, this would be a timely and effective method to confirm the Planet Nine hypothesis and verify whether Planet Nine is a dark object or not.”

    Well, it’s as good a thing to try as any.

    What if planet 9 has satellites?

    Schultz and Unwin, arXiv, 2019


    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 10:16 am on January 24, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Have a Plan to Turn Earth Into a Giant Observatory", , , , , It's all made possible through a setup known as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and a device called an interrogator. Fiber-optic cable detects and precisely measures any flexing., Monitoring would be done via acoustic sensing capabilities of fiber-optic cables. Any flexes in the cabling caused by sound waves or actual waves can be picked up and interpreted to measure movement., Now we are able to use this to monitor and measure acoustic signals over distances up to 100 to 200 kilometers. That's the new thing.", Observing Earth's surface from below using Fiber-optic cables that stretch across oceans and wind their way underground to handle our communications systems., Science Alert (AU), Storms and earthquakes could be tracked in this way the team behind the idea suggests as well as ships and whales passing through the seas., The 1.2 million kilometers (more than 745000 miles) of existing fiber-optic cable could be combined with satellites and other remote sensing instruments to monitor the entire globe in real time., The network might even have the potential to be used to spot broken pipelines., The Norwegian University of Science and Technology [Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet](NO), The team is also eager to emphasize that its worldwide observation network would act as a complement to other systems and not a replacement., There are limitations: the results produced by the system contain a lot of noise. it's more difficult to pick out signals than it is with seismometers. This is where other sensing devices like satelli   

    From The Norwegian University of Science and Technology [Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet](NO) Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Scientists Have a Plan to Turn Earth Into a Giant Observatory” 

    From The Norwegian University of Science and Technology [Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet](NO)



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    David Nield

    (Flavio Coelho/Getty Images)

    Fiber-optic cables stretch across oceans and wind their way underground to handle our communications systems, and scientists think that this vast network of infrastructure could be put to another use: observing Earth’s surface from below.

    Specifically, the 1.2 million kilometers (more than 745,000 miles) of existing fiber-optic cable could be combined with satellites and other remote sensing instruments to monitor the entire globe in real time.

    Storms and earthquakes could be tracked in this way the team behind the idea suggests as well as ships and whales passing through the seas. The network might even have the potential to be used to spot broken pipelines.

    “This could be a game-changing global observatory for Ocean-Earth sciences,” says geophysicist Martin Landrø, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

    The monitoring would be done through the acoustic sensing capabilities of fiber-optic cables. Any flexes in the cabling caused by sound waves or actual waves can be picked up and interpreted to measure movement.

    This was demonstrated by some of the same team last year through the tracking of whales across the Arctic. Across the course of 44 days in 2020, the scientists were able to detect more than 800 whale vocalizations through an underwater cable measuring 120 kilometers (75 miles). They also detected a big storm 13,000 kilometers (8,078 miles) away.

    It’s all made possible through a setup known as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and a device called an interrogator. The interrogator sends a pulse of light down the fiber-optic cable, which then detects and precisely measures any flexing.

    The system would combine cables with other sensors and instruments. (Landrø et al, Scientific Reports 2022)

    “It has been around for a long time, this technology,” says Landrø. “But it has made a huge step forward in the last five years.”

    “So now we are able to use this to monitor and measure acoustic signals over distances up to 100 to 200 kilometers. So that’s the new thing.”

    There are limitations: the results produced by the system contain a lot of noise, and that means it’s more difficult to pick out signals than it is with, say, seismometers. This is where other sensing devices like satellites come in, to add extra context.

    This is a technology that’s constantly being upgraded too. Right now the DAS interrogators aren’t able to ‘see’ past components inside the optic-fiber cables used to extend signals, but the researchers are working hard to overcome this limitation.

    And the team is also eager to emphasize that its worldwide observation network would act as a complement to other systems and not a replacement. Because this cabling is so extensive, the potential number of findings could be huge.

    “The DAS sensing and whale observation experiment shows a completely new use of this kind of fiber-optic infrastructure, resulting in excellent, unique science,” says Landrø.

    The research has been published in Scientific Reports.
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Digital StillCamera

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology [Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet](NO) is a public research university in Norway with the main campus in Trondheim and smaller campuses in Gjøvik and Ålesund. The largest university in Norway, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has over 8,000 employees and over 40,000 students. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its current form was established by the King-in-Council in 1996 by the merger of the former University of Trondheim and other university-level institutions, with roots dating back to 1760, and has later also incorporated some former university colleges. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is consistently ranked in the top one percentage among the world’s universities, usually in the 400–600 range depending on ranking.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has the main national responsibility for education and research in engineering and technology, and is the successor of Norway’s preeminent engineering university, the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), established by Parliament in 1910 as Norway’s national engineering university. In addition to engineering and natural sciences, the university offers higher education in other academic disciplines ranging from medicine, psychology, social sciences, the arts, teacher education, architecture and fine art. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is well known for its close collaboration with industry, and particularly with its R&D partner SINTEF, which provided it with the biggest industrial link among all the technical universities in the world The university’s academics include three Nobel laureates in physiology or medicine: Edvard Moser, May-Britt Moser and John O’Keefe.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s history of research in engineering goes back to the early 20th century, when Norway’s first electric railway, known as Thamshavn Line, was developed and constructed in Trondheim as an AC powered tramway, with Trondheim-based technologies. The tramway was launched in 1908 and remained in operation until 1974.

    Now, research is part of the ongoing activities at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology faculties as well as the University Museum. The university has 4377 scientific staff who conduct research in more than 120 laboratories, and are at any time running more than 2,000 research projects. Students and staff can take advantage of roughly 300 research agreements or exchange programs with 58 institutions worldwide.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has identified four Strategic Research Areas for 2014–2023: Energy, Health, NTNU Oceans and Sustainability, which were chosen on the basis of social relevance, professional quality and the potential for interdisciplinary cooperation.

    The university hosts six National Centres of Excellence (SFF), 12 Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI), and three Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME), which are mainly funded by The Research Council of Norway. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is also a partner in several centres with SINTEF.

    The Trøndelag Health Study, with the HUNT Research Centre and HUNT Biobank located in Levanger, is organized under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

    The fifteenth Kavli Institute was inaugurated at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2007, as the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, which was the fourth Kavli Institute in neuroscience in the world and the first Kavli Institute in Northern Europe. In 2012, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg opened the Norwegian Brain Centre as an outgrowth of NTNU’s Kavli Institute. It is one of the largest research laboratories of its kind in the world.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology Research Excellence is an initiative to develop elite researchers and research groups in international class, which was launched in 2013, and includes established and new initiatives. The established initiatives are financed by the Research Council of Norway, the EU, and private-sectors (R&D), while the new initiatives are funded by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s own funds in light of strategic prioritization of The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s resources. These cover a number of research funding schemes including Outstanding Academic Fellows Programme, Onsager Fellowship Programme, K.G. Jebsen Centres, EU projects, and ERC grants. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology participates in about 218 projects in the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Program.

    According to Times Higher Education World University Rankings published in March 2017, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is ranked first in the world ranking of universities with the biggest corporate links, due to its research collaboration with SINTEF. Statistically, 9.1 percent of The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s total research output is generated in collaboration with SINTEF, which is the largest academic-industry partnership in the world.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology was ranked 176th in the world 26 April 2022 in the CWUR World University Rankings, which is based on education, employability, faculty, and research.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology was ranked 199th in the world 22 June 2022 in the CWTS Leiden Ranking, which is based on bibliometric indicators.[40]

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology was ranked 59th in Europe and 202nd in the World in July 2022 in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities for its presence on the web.

    Rankings by ARWU Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021:

    Engineering – Marine/Ocean Engineering: 2
    Engineering – Chemical Engineering: 76–100
    Engineering – Metallurgical Engineering: 40
    Engineering – Automation & Control: 101–150

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is governed by a board of 11 members, in accordance with the provisions of the Norwegian Act relating to universities and university colleges. Two of the members are elected by and from the students.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s overall budget in 2017 was 8.19 billion NOK, most of which came from the Norwegian Ministry of Education.

    As a result of the university merger in 2016, the number of NTNU faculties increased from seven to nine – including the University Museum – with approximately 39,000 students and approximately 2,500 PhD students. The nine Norwegian University of Science and Technology faculties are organized in 65 departments:

    Faculty of Engineering

    The Faculty of Engineering has eight departments:

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Department of Energy and Process Engineering
    Department of Geoscience and Petroleum
    Department of Marine Technology
    Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
    Department of Structural Engineering
    Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering (in Gjøvik)
    Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering (in Ålesund)

    Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

    The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering has eight departments:

    Department of Computer Science
    Department of Electric Power Engineering
    Department of Electronic Systems
    Department of Engineering Cybernetics
    Department of General Science
    Department of Information Security and Communication Technology
    Department of Mathematical Sciences
    Department of ICT and Natural Sciences (in Ålesund)
    Department of Software Engineering in masters
    Department of Graphics Design

    Faculty of Natural Sciences

    The Faculty of Natural Sciences has eight departments:

    Department of Biology
    Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science
    Department of Biotechnology and Food Science
    Department of Chemical Engineering
    Department of Chemistry
    Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Department of Physics
    Department of Biological Sciences Ålesund

    Faculty of Architecture and Design

    The Faculty of Architecture and Design has four departments:

    Department of Architecture and Planning
    Department of Architecture and Technology
    Department of Design
    Trondheim Academy of Fine Art

    Faculty of Economics and Management

    The Faculty of Economics and Management has four departments:

    Department of Economics
    Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management
    Department of International Business
    NTNU Business School

    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

    The Faculty is integrated with St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, and is located in Campus Øya in Trondheim. Its main areas of research are translational research, medical technology and health surveys, biobanks and registers. In 2016 the faculty had about 350 master’s degree students, 250 bachelor’s degree students, 720 medical students and more than 500 students attending other courses.[citation needed]

    The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has eight departments:

    Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine
    Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging
    Department of Mental Health
    Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science
    Department of Public Health and Nursing
    Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience
    Department of Health Sciences in Gjøvik
    Department of Health Sciences in Ålesund

    Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences

    The Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences has seven departments:

    Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
    Department of Geography
    Department of Psychology
    Department of Social Anthropology
    Department of Social Work
    Department of Sociology and Political Science
    Department of Teacher Education

    Faculty of Humanities

    The Faculty of Humanities has six departments:

    Department of Art and Media Studies
    Department of Historical Studies
    Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture
    Department of Language and Literature
    Department of Music
    Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

    University Museum

    The NTNU University Museum forms part of the university at the same organizational level as the faculties. It has two departments:

    Department of Archaeology and Cultural History
    Department of Natural History

  • richardmitnick 11:42 am on January 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Genius Strategy That Made 'OpenAI' The Hottest Startup in Tech", A rare tech-world success when major players such as Amazon and Meta and Twitter are cutting costs and laying off staff., , ChatGPT, Dall-E 2-software that creates digital images with a simple instruction., If agreed the cash injection by the Windows-maker would value OpenAI at a whopping $29 billion., Science Alert (AU)   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “The Genius Strategy That Made ‘OpenAI’ The Hottest Startup in Tech” 


    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    Daniel Hoffman | Agence France-Presse


    The hottest startup in Silicon Valley right now is “OpenAI“, the Microsoft-backed developer of ChatGPT, a much-hyped chatbot that can write a poem, college essay, or even a line of software code.

    Tesla tycoon Elon Musk was an early investor in OpenAI and Microsoft is reported to be in talks to up an initial investment of $1 billion to $10 billion in a goal to challenge Google’s world-dominating search engine.

    If agreed, the cash injection by the Windows-maker would value OpenAI at a whopping $29 billion, making it a rare tech-world success when major players such as Amazon, Meta, and Twitter are cutting costs and laying off staff.

    “Microsoft is clearly being aggressive on this front and not going to be left behind on what could be a potential game-changing AI investment,” said analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities.

    Before the release of ChatGPT, OpenAI had wowed tech geeks with Dall-E 2-software that creates digital images with a simple instruction.

    Microsoft, which makes no secret of its AI ambitions, has integrated Dall-E 2 into several of its applications and now, according to a report in Bloomberg, the tech giant wants to graft ChatGPT to its Bing search engine to take on Google.

    Since ChatGPT was introduced in November, the prowess of this chatbot has aroused the curiosity and fascination of internet users.

    It is capable of formulating detailed and human-like answers on a wide range of subjects in a few seconds, raising fears that it is vulnerable to misuse by school cheats or for disinformation.

    ‘Not cheap’

    The dizzying success is due in part to OpenAI’s clever marketing strategy in which it made its research accessible to non-experts, said AI specialist Robb Wilson, founder of OneReach.ai, a software company.

    “Having this technology available to technologists was one thing. Offering it in a chat user interface and allowing non-developers to start playing with it ignited a conversation,” he said.

    Founded in late 2015, OpenAI is led by Sam Altman, a 37-year-old entrepreneur and former president of startup incubator Y Combinator.

    The company has counted on the financial support of prestigious contributors from the start, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, investor Peter Thiel, and Musk.

    The multi-billionaire served on OpenAI’s board until 2018, but left to focus on Tesla, the electric vehicle company.

    The startup also relies on a team of computer scientists and researchers led by Ilya Sutskever, a former Google executive who specializes in machine learning.

    OpenAI, which did not respond to AFP’s inquiries, had about 200 employees by 2021, according to a query made directly on ChatGPT.

    For now, despite the excitement generated by ChatGPT, the company has yet to find a path to financial independence.

    Founded as a nonprofit, the startup became a “capped for-profit” company in 2019 to attract more investors and this week co-founder Greg Brockman said that a paid version of ChatGPT was in the works.

    The search for funding seems necessary for a company with exorbitant expenses.

    In a Twitter exchange with Musk in early December, Altman acknowledged that each conversation on ChatGPT costs OpenAI several US cents.

    According to estimates by Tom Goldstein, an associate professor in the University of Maryland’s computer science department, the company is shelling out $100,000 a day for its bot, or about $3 million a month.

    Partnering with Microsoft, which provides the startup with its remote computing services, could cut costs, but “either way, it’s not cheap,” Goldstein said.

    “Some say it’s wasteful to pour these kinds of resources… into a demo,” he added.

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 10:33 am on January 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "GRBs":gamma-ray bursts, "These Massive Neutron Stars Existed For Less Than The Blink of an Eye", , , , , , , Science Alert (AU),   

    From The University of Maryland Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “These Massive Neutron Stars Existed For Less Than The Blink of an Eye” 

    From The University of Maryland



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    A neutron star spinning in the center of a disk of gas. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab)

    Not much can be accomplished in a few hundred milliseconds. Yet for the neutron stars seen in the glints of two gamma-ray bursts, it’s more than enough time to teach us a thing or two about life, death, and the birth of black holes.

    Sifting through an archive of high-energy flashes in the night sky, astronomers recently uncovered patterns in the oscillations of light left by two different sets of colliding stars, indicating a pause on their journey from super-dense object to infinite pit of darkness.

    That pause – somewhere between 10 and 300 milliseconds – technically equates to two newly formed, mega-sized neutron stars, which researchers suspect were each spinning fast enough to briefly hold off their inevitable fates as black holes.

    “We know that short GRBs form when orbiting neutron stars crash together, and we know they eventually collapse into a black hole, but the precise sequence of events is not well understood,” says Cole Miller, an astronomer at the University of Maryland, College Park.

    “We found these gamma-ray patterns in two bursts observed by Compton in the early 1990s.”

    For nearly 30 years, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory circled Earth and collected the shine of X-rays and gamma rays that spilled from distant cataclysmic events.

    That archive of high energy photons contains a trove of data on things like colliding neutron stars, which release powerful pulses of radiation known as gamma-ray bursts.

    Neutron stars are true beasts of the cosmos. They pack double the mass of our Sun inside a volume of space roughly the size of a small city. Not only does this do weird things to matter, forcing electrons into protons to turn them into a heavy dusting of neutrons, it can generate magnetic fields unlike anything else in the Universe.

    Spun into high rotation, these fields can accelerate particles to ridiculously high velocities, forming polar jets that appear to ‘pulse’ like supercharged lighthouses.

    Neutron stars are formed as more ordinary stars (around 8 to 30 times the mass of our Sun) burn off the last of their fuel, leaving a core of around 1.1 to 2.3 solar masses, too cold to resist the squeeze of its own gravity.

    Add a little more mass – such as by cramming two neutron stars together – and not even the lackluster jiggling of its own quantum fields can resist gravity’s urge to crush the living physics out of the dead star. From a dense blob of particles we get, well, whatever the unspeakable horror is that happens to be the heart of a black hole.

    The basic theory on the process is pretty clear, setting general limits on just how heavy a neutron star can be before it collapses. For cold, non-rotating balls of matter, this upper boundary is just under three solar masses, but that also implies complications that just might make the journey from neutron star to black hole less than straightforward.

    For example, earlier last year physicists announced the observation of a burst of gamma-rays dubbed GRB 180618A, detected back in 2018. In the afterglow of the burst they detected the signature of a magnetically-charged neutron star called a magnetar, one with a mass close to that of the two colliding stars.

    Barely a day later this heavyweight neutron star was no more, no doubt succumbing to its extraordinary mass and transforming into something not even light can escape from.

    How it managed to resist gravity for as long as it did is a mystery, though its magnetic fields may have played a role.

    These two new discoveries could also provide a few clues.

    The more accurate term for the pattern observed in the gamma-ray bursts recorded by Compton in the early 1990s is a quasiperiodic oscillation. The mix of frequencies that rise and fall in the signal can be deciphered to describe the final moments of massive objects as they circle one another and then collide.

    From what the researchers can tell, the collisions each produced an object around 20 percent larger than the current record-holder heavyweight neutron star – a pulsar calculated at 2.14 times the mass of our Sun. They were also twice the diameter of a typical neutron star.

    Interestingly, the objects were rotating at an extraordinary pace of nearly 78,000 times a minute, far faster than the record-holding pulsar J1748–2446ad, which manages a mere 707 turns a second.

    The few rotations each neutron star managed to pull off in its brief lifetime of a fraction of a second could have been powered by just enough angular momentum to combat their gravitational implosion.

    How this may apply to other neutron star mergers, further blurring the boundaries of stellar collapse and black hole generation, is a question for future research.

    This research was published in Nature [ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05497-0 ].

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Maryland Campus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • richardmitnick 8:17 am on January 14, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Science Alert (AU), , The celestial object TOI 700 e   

    From NASA JPL-Caltech Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “NASA Just Discovered a Rare Earth-Sized Planet in a Habitable Zone” 

    From NASA JPL-Caltech



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    David Nield

    Exoplanet TOI 700 e An illustration of how exoplanet TOI 700 e might look (Robert Hurt/NASA/JPL-Caltech.)

    When it comes to finding life outside of our Solar System, planets that closely resemble Earth seem like a good place to start. We can now welcome celestial object TOI 700 e to that group of promising leads.

    TOI 700 e has been confirmed orbiting inside the habitable zone of its star, TOI 700. That’s the region of space where significant quantities of water on its surface would be at a temperature suitable for a liquid form. Too warm for a blanket of ice, yet still cool enough for vapor to condense, these kinds of planets are considered ‘just right’ for life as we know it.

    We can thank NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, for finding TOI 700 e, and for giving it its name (TOI means TESS Object of Interest).

    It is the second planet in the habitable zone in this system, joining TOI 700 d that was spotted in 2020.

    “This is one of only a few systems with multiple, small, habitable-zone planets that we know of,” says planetary scientist Emily Gilbert, from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.

    “That makes the TOI 700 system an exciting prospect for additional follow up. Planet e is about 10 percent smaller than planet d, so the system also shows how additional TESS observations help us find smaller and smaller worlds.”

    TOI 700 is a small, cool star (known as an M dwarf star), located around 100 light-years away from us in the Dorado constellation. These stars are nowhere near as big or as hot as our own Sun, so planets need to be closer to them for conditions to be warm enough for water to avoid freezing.

    As for TOI 700 e, it is believed to be 95 percent the size of Earth and mainly rocky. It sits in the ‘optimistic’ habitable zone – a zone where water may have existed at some point in time. TOI 700 d is in the narrower ‘conservative’ habitable zone, which is where astronomers think liquid water might exist for the majority of a planet’s existence.

    Telescopes see these exoplanets (planets outside our Solar System) as regular blips in the light of their parent stars as they pass in front of it, in what’s known as a transit. With more surface blocking the star’s light, larger planets present easier opportunities to be seen than small, rocky worlds, making Earth-like discoveries like this one a rare treat.

    TOI 700 e takes 28 days to do a single orbit, whereas TOI 700 d – which is a little further out than its neighbor – takes 37 days. As TOI 700 e is smaller than TOI 700 d, it took more data to confirm the silhouette really did represent a new planet.

    “If the star was a little closer or the planet a little bigger, we might have been able to spot TOI 700 e in the first year of TESS data,” says astrophysicist Ben Hord from the University of Maryland. “But the signal was so faint that we needed the additional year of transit observations to identify it.”

    TESS is monitoring around 100 million stars, and so any way we can find to narrow down the search for life is going to be useful. Finding exoplanets in their respective habitable zones is one of the best ways we’ve got of doing that.

    Both TOI 700 e and TOI 700 d are thought to be tidally locked: in other words, one side of the planet is always facing its star (in the same way that the same side of the Moon is always visible from Earth). Having one side of a planet constantly baking in the sunlight does reduce the likelihood of complex life getting off to a smooth start, admittedly.

    Even if these ‘just right’ planets aren’t exactly perfect for life, they do tell us a thing or two about finding solar systems that might be better suited for it. By studying star systems like the one we’re in, astronomers can also better understand the evolution of our home and how neighboring planets came to their current orbits.

    “Even with more than 5,000 exoplanets discovered to date, TOI 700 e is a key example that we have a lot more to learn,” says astronomer Joey Rodriguez from Michigan State University.

    The research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters [ https://arxiv.org/pdf/2301.03617.pdf ].

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NASA JPL-Caltech Campus

    NASA JPL-Caltech is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

    NASA Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA.

    NASA Deep Space Network Station 56 Madrid Spain added in early 2021.

    NASA Deep Space Network Station 14 at Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA

    NASA Deep Space Network Madrid Spain. Credit: NASA.

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

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

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

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the[JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

  • richardmitnick 8:59 am on January 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Warn oceans Broke Yet Another Heat Record in 2022", , , , , In 2022 an international team of scientists measured the hottest global ocean temperatures in human history., Layers of ocean water are not mixing like they used to and this disrupts the natural circulation of heat and carbon and oxygen from the atmosphere above., Ocean waters reaching up to 2000 meters (about 6600 feet) deep are now absorbing 10 zettajoules (ZJ) more heat than they were in 2021., , Science Alert (AU), That makes 2022 the seventh year in a row that ocean temperatures have hit new peaks., The 'Blob': a vast and persistent pool of warm water in the Pacific northwest that began circulating in 2013 devastating bird and marine life for years to come., The Pacific Ocean and East Indian Ocean is growing much fresher. But in the midlatitude Atlantic Ocean the Mediterranean Sea and the West Indian Ocean seawater is growing much saltier., The world's oceans absorb 90 percent of the excess heat in our atmosphere., There is a risk that the ocean may not be able to absorb as much carbon as it used to. Greenhouse gases would concentrate in the atmosphere causing severe climate effects., Warmer or saltier waters could strongly influence global weather patterns and sea level rise.   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “Scientists Warn oceans Broke Yet Another Heat Record in 2022” 


    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    Carly Cassella

    (Paul Souders/Getty Images)

    Another year, another climate record broken. In 2022 an international team of scientists measured the hottest global ocean temperatures in human history.

    That makes 2022 the seventh year in a row that ocean temperatures have hit new peaks.

    The record is based on two international timelines of ocean heat data stretching back to the 1950s: one conducted by government researchers in the United States and the other by government researchers in China.

    Both datasets show that ocean waters reaching up to 2000 meters (about 6600 feet) deep are now absorbing 10 zettajoules (ZJ) more heat than they were in 2021. That’s a hundred times more energy than the world’s electricity bill each year.

    Having what’s known as a high specific heat capacity, water is exceptionally good at absorbing huge amounts of heat energy without rising quickly in temperature. What’s more, the oceans contain a lot of water. But storing 10 ZJs in an oceanic bank isn’t without consequences.

    On Earth, the world’s oceans absorb 90 percent of the excess heat in our atmosphere, and like a sponge absorbs water, the effect is fundamentally changing the density, dynamics, and structure of the sea.

    Today, the contrast in ocean salinity has reached an all-time high. In the Pacific Ocean and East Indian Ocean, scientists say seawater is growing much fresher. But in the midlatitude Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the West Indian Ocean, seawater is growing much saltier.

    “Salty areas get saltier, and fresh areas get fresher, and so there is a continuing increase in intensity of the hydrological cycle,” explains climate scientists Lijing Cheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    In basic terms that means layers of ocean water are not mixing like they used to and this disrupts the natural circulation of heat and carbon and oxygen from the atmosphere above.

    In 2022, for instance, the heat content in the upper 2000 meters of the Pacific ocean reached a record level “by a large margin,” researchers say, “which supports the extreme events witnessed, such as intensive heat waves and deoxygenation, and poses a substantial risk to marine life in this region.”

    A reduction in mixing most likely triggered an event known as the ‘Blob’; a vast and persistent pool of warm water in the Pacific northwest that began circulating in 2013, devastating bird and marine life for years to come.

    In 2022, this region’s ocean heat content reached its third highest level on record, which means we probably haven’t seen the last of the Blob.

    It’s not just sea life that’s suffering, either.

    The ocean and atmosphere are closely interconnected, which means that warmer or saltier waters could strongly influence global weather patterns and sea level rise.

    If warmer waters and saltier waters become too stratified in the ocean, there is a risk the ocean may not be able to absorb as much carbon as it used to. Greenhouse gases would concentrate in the atmosphere, causing severe climate effects.

    Earth’s salty bodies of water have been called ‘the greatest ally against climate change’ because they serve as a bulletproof vest against the worst climate blows. But there are only so many hits the ocean can take before it, too, falls.

    Despite warning after warning, very little action has been taken to curb the persistent rise of greenhouse gas emissions, which means oceans have continued to absorb our worsening pollution.

    Since the 1980s, researchers have found a three- to four-fold increase in the rate of ocean warming. In 2022, the level of stratification measured in ocean waters was among the top seven on record.

    “Until we reach net zero emissions, that heating will continue, and we’ll continue to break ocean heat content records, as we did this year,” says climate scientist Michael Mann from the University of Pennsylvania.

    “Better awareness and understanding of the oceans are a basis for the actions to combat climate change.”

    An extreme climate is our reality and our future. How extreme is up to us.

    The study was published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.

    See the full article here .

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 10:33 am on January 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Study Shows How The Universe Would Look if You Broke The Speed of Light And It's Weird", , , , , , Science Alert (AU), ,   

    From The University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) And The National University of Singapore [新加坡国立大学](SG) Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Study Shows How The Universe Would Look if You Broke The Speed of Light And It’s Weird” 

    From The University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL)


    The National University of Singapore [新加坡国立大学](SG)



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    David Nield

    (Omar Jabri/EyeEm/Getty Images)

    Nothing can go faster than light [in a vacuum]. It’s a rule of physics woven into the very fabric of Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. The faster something goes, the closer it gets to its perspective of time freezing to a standstill.

    Go faster still, and you run into issues of time reversing, messing with notions of causality.

    But researchers from the University of Warsaw in Poland and the National University of Singapore have now pushed the limits of relativity to come up with a system that doesn’t run afoul of existing physics, and might even point the way to new theories.

    What they’ve come up with is an “extension of special relativity” that combines three time dimensions with a single space dimension (“1+3 space-time”), as opposed to the three spatial dimensions and one time dimension that we’re all used to.

    From phys.org

    Three time dimensions, one space dimension: Relativity of superluminal observers in 1+3 spacetime

    Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

    Rather than creating any major logical inconsistencies, this new study adds more evidence to back up the idea that objects might well be able to go faster than light without completely breaking our current laws of physics.

    “There is no fundamental reason why observers moving in relation to the described physical systems with speeds greater than the speed of light should not be subject to it,” says physicist Andrzej Dragan, from the University of Warsaw in Poland.

    Classical and Quantum Gravity [below]

    This new study builds on previous work by some of the same researchers which posits that superluminal perspectives could help tie together quantum mechanics with Einstein’s special theory of relativity – two branches of physics that currently can’t be reconciled into a single overarching theory that describes gravity in the same way we explain other forces.

    Particles can no longer be modeled as point-like objects under this framework, as we might in the more mundane 3D (plus time) perspective of the Universe.

    Instead, to make sense of what observers might see and how a superluminal particle might behave, we’d need to turn to the kinds of field theories that underpin quantum physics.

    Based on this new model, superluminal objects would look like a particle expanding like a bubble through space – not unlike a wave through a field. The high-speed object, on the other hand, would ‘experience’ several different timelines.

    Even so, the speed of light in a vacuum would remain constant even for those observers going faster than it, which preserves one of Einstein’s fundamental principles – a principle that has previously only been thought about in relation to observers going slower than the speed of light (like all of us).

    “This new definition preserves Einstein’s postulate of constancy of the speed of light in vacuum even for superluminal observers,” says Dragan.

    “Therefore, our extended special relativity does not seem like a particularly extravagant idea.”

    However, the researchers acknowledge that switching to a 1+3 space-time model does raise some new questions, even while it answers others. They suggest that extending the theory of special relativity to incorporate faster-than-light frames of reference is needed.

    That may well involve borrowing from quantum field theory: a combination of concepts from special relativity, quantum mechanics, and classical field theory (which aims to predict how physical fields are going to interact with each other).

    If the physicists are right, the particles of the Universe would all have extraordinary properties in extended special relativity.

    One of the questions raised by the research is whether or not we would ever be able to observe this extended behavior – but answering that is going to require a lot more time and a lot more scientists.

    “The mere experimental discovery of a new fundamental particle is a feat worthy of the Nobel Prize and feasible in a large research team using the latest experimental techniques,” says physicist Krzysztof Turzyński, from the University of Warsaw.

    “However, we hope to apply our results to a better understanding of the phenomenon of spontaneous symmetry breaking associated with the mass of the Higgs particle and other particles in the Standard Model, especially in the early Universe.”

    The research has been published in Classical and Quantum Gravity.

    See the full article here.

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


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The The National University of Singapore (SG) is the national research university of Singapore. Founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, NUS is the oldest higher education institution in Singapore. According to a number of surveys, it is consistently ranked within the top 20 universities in the world and is considered to be the best university in the Asia-Pacific by the QS ranking. NUS is a comprehensive research university, offering a wide range of disciplines, including the sciences, medicine and dentistry, design and environment, law, arts and social sciences, engineering, business, computing and music at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

    NUS’s main campus is located in the southwestern part of Singapore, adjacent to Kent Ridge, accommodating an area of 150 ha (0.58 sq mi); the Duke-NUS Medical School, a postgraduate medical school jointly established with Duke University, is located at the Outram campus; its Bukit Timah campus houses the Faculty of Law and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; the Yale-NUS College, a liberal arts college established in collaboration with Yale University, is located at University Town (commonly known as UTown). NUS has one Nobel laureate, Konstantin Novoselov, as a professor among its faculty.


    Among the major research focuses at NUS are biomedical and life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, nanoscience and nanotechnology, materials science and engineering, infocommunication and infotechnology, humanities and social sciences, and defence-related research.

    One of several niche research areas of strategic importance to Singapore being undertaken at NUS is bioengineering. Initiatives in this area include bioimaging, tissue engineering and tissue modulation. Another new field which holds much promise is nanoscience and nanotechnology. Apart from higher-performance but lower-maintenance materials for manufacturing, defence, transportation, space and environmental applications, this field also heralds the development of accelerated biotechnical applications in medicine, health care and agriculture.

    Research institutes and centres

    Currently, NUS hosts 21 university-level research institutes and centres (RICs) in various fields such as research on Asia, risk management, logistics, engineering sciences, mathematical sciences, biomedical and life sciences, nanotechnology to marine studies. Besides that, NUS also hosts three Research Centres of Excellence, namely, the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, Centre for Quantum Technologies and Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore – a partner in Singapore’s fifth Research Centre of Excellence. Besides university-level RICs, NUS also has close affiliation with many national research centres and institutes. A special mention is required for The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, which is a collaborative effort between NUS and the Georgia Institute of Technology for research and education programmes in logistics. NUS announced its most recent research institute, the Next Age Institute, a partnership with Washington University in St. Louis, in February 2015.

    The University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL), established in 1816, is the largest university in Poland. It employs over 6,000 staff including over 3,100 academic educators. It provides graduate courses for 53,000 students (on top of over 9,200 postgraduate and doctoral candidates). The University offers some 37 different fields of study, 18 faculties and over 100 specializations in Humanities, technical as well as Natural Sciences.

    It was founded as a Royal University on 19 November 1816, when the Partitions of Poland separated Warsaw from the oldest and most influential University of Kraków. Alexander I granted permission for the establishment of five faculties – law and political science, medicine, philosophy, theology and the humanities. The university expanded rapidly but was closed during November Uprising in 1830. It was reopened in 1857 as the Warsaw Academy of Medicine, which was now based in the nearby Staszic Palace with only medical and pharmaceutical faculties. All Polish-language campuses were closed in 1869 after the failed January Uprising, but the university managed to train 3,000 students, many of whom were important part of the Polish intelligentsia; meanwhile the Main Building was reopened for training military personnel. The university was resurrected during the First World War and the number of students reached 4,500 in 1918. After Poland’s independence the new government focused on improving the university, and in the early 1930s it became the country’s largest. New faculties were established and the curriculum was extended. Following the Second World War and the devastation of Warsaw, the University successfully reopened in 1945.

    Today, University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) consists of 126 buildings and educational complexes with over 18 faculties: biology, chemistry, journalism and political science, philosophy and sociology, physics, geography and regional studies, geology, history, applied linguistics and Slavic philology, economics, philology, pedagogy, Polish language, law and public administration, psychology, applied social sciences, management and mathematics, computer science and mechanics.

    The University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) is one of the top Polish universities. It was ranked by Perspektywy magazine as best Polish university in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016. International rankings such as ARWU and University Web Ranking rank the university as the best Polish higher level institution. On the list of 100 best European universities compiled by University Web Ranking, the University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) was placed as 61st. QS World University Rankings previously positioned the University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) as the best higher level institution among the world’s top 400.

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