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  • richardmitnick 4:52 pm on March 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Groundbreaking New Images of Cosmic Web Strands Revealed by Astronomers", ESO VLT MUSE MUSE Extremely Deep Field, Lyon Astrophysical Research Center [Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon], Science Alert(AU)   

    From Lyon Astrophysical Research Center [Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon] via Science Alert(AU): “Groundbreaking New Images of Cosmic Web Strands Revealed by Astronomers” 

    From Lyon Astrophysical Research Center [Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon]

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    18 MARCH 2021
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    Credit: Roland Bacon/David Mary/European Southern Observatory(EU)/National Aeronautics Space Agency(USA).

    Although the Universe is a large place, and all the stuff in it may seem just flung everywhere higgledy-piggledy, there’s rather more structure than we can see.

    According to our models of the Universe, and mounting evidence, filaments of dark matter connect massive objects such as galaxies and galaxy clusters in a vast, cosmic web.

    It’s along these filaments that hydrogen flows, feeding into the galaxies, but they’re not so easy to see – among all the brightly glowing stars and galaxies and galactic nuclei, the faint emission from diffuse hydrogen in intergalactic space is hard to see, never mind map.

    We just got a step closer, though. In the culmination of years of work, an international team of astronomers led by Roland Bacon of the Lyon Astrophysical Research Center [Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon](FR) in France has just directly imaged several filaments of the cosmic web in the early Universe, roughly 12 billion light-years away.

    2
    Hydrogen filaments (in blue). (Roland Bacon/David Mary/ESO/NASA)

    Their results are not just some of the strongest evidence yet for the cosmic web; they also found evidence that a large population of dwarf galaxies powers the hydrogen glow within the filaments. This discovery could dramatically alter our understanding of galaxy formation in the infancy of the Universe.

    Because the cosmic web is so hard to see, a lot of our evidence so far has been indirect. Some scientists have used the way mass bends space-time – gravitational lensing – to look for warps in the path of distant light, which suggest that a strand of the cosmic web is between its source and us.

    Other researchers use the light of quasars, extremely bright distant galaxies, to search for light absorbed by hydrogen along the filaments.

    3
    Cosmological simulation of the distant Universe, with light emitted by hydrogen atoms in the cosmic web in a region roughly 15 million light years across. Credit: Jeremy Blaizot/projet SPHINX.

    Bacon and his team took a different approach – staring at a teeny-tiny patch of the sky for a really, really long time, with a really awesome telescope. Using the MUSE instrument on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, the team took an incredible 140 hours of observations of a section of sky that also appeared in the Hubble Space Telescope’s Ultra-Deep Field.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert , •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo.

    3
    NASA/ESA Hubble Ultra Deep Field

    Similar research had been conducted, with astronomers looking for strands of light in a cluster of galaxies – threads of gas ionized by the galaxies themselves. Here, too, Bacon’s team’s work differs from previous efforts: the earlier research investigated an extreme environment, while the new research deliberately looked somewhere nondescript.

    Following the planning stage, the team’s observations took months to obtain, from August 2018 until January 2019. They had to be taken in blocks during the new Moon to minimize interference.

    4
    Cosmological simulation of a filament made up of hundreds of thousands of small galaxies (as seen in situ on left, as seen by MUSE on right).Credit: Thibault Garel/Roland Bacon.

    Then, the team had to process and analyze the data, which took another year. But it was worth it – not only were 40 percent of the galaxies in their data undetectable in the Ultra Deep Field, but the researchers had imaged glowing hydrogen in filaments of the cosmic web, spanning millions of light-years.

    Fascinatingly, the team’s analysis shows that the bulk of the hydrogen emission could be accounted for by a large population of star-forming dwarf galaxies, spread out along the filament. We can’t see them individually, of course – they’re way too far away to resolve – but future work could help confirm this discovery, with huge implications for our understanding of the Universe.

    If dwarf galaxies are also being channeled along cosmic web filaments, like drops of water down a piece of string, it could help explain how galaxies formed and grew – and grew to prodigious sizes in the early Universe, a question that has perplexed cosmologists.

    In addition, searching for the emission of star-forming dwarf galaxies could help us find more filaments of the cosmic web, and a deeper understanding of how everything in the Universe is connected.

    The research has been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CRAL is a laboratory working on fundamental research in astrophysics and in developing instrumentations for major observatories.

    CRAL has about 30 researchers, 20 engineers, technicians and administrative staff, and 30 doctoral, post-doctoral and fixed-term contracts.
    Main missions of the CRAL

    to conduct theoritical and observational researches in astrophysics and astronomy
    to manage and develop instrumental projects for the large observatories or space missions
    to ensure and to deploy its national observational services labelled in Astronomy-Astrophysics by the CNRS-INSU
    to ensure its teaching activities in physics and astrophysics

     
  • richardmitnick 9:38 am on March 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Origins of Mysterious Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua May Finally Be Explained", , , , , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Harvard Astronomy via Science Alert(AU): “Origins of Mysterious Interstellar Visitor ‘Oumuamua May Finally Be Explained” 

    Harvard Astronomy Banner

    From Harvard Astronomy

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    17 MARCH 2021
    AYLIN WOODWARD

    The origin and identity of a massive space object that careened past Earth in 2017 have remained a mystery ever since.

    The object, called ‘Oumuamua – a Hawaiian name meaning “scout” or “messenger” – traveled on a trajectory that strongly suggested it came from another star system. That made it the first interstellar object ever detected.

    1
    Artist’s impression of ‘Oumuamua. Credit: M. Kornmesser/European Southern Observatory(EU)/ .

    But what was it? A few researchers, including Harvard University astronomer Avi Loeb, posited the object was an alien spacecraft. Others suggested it was an asteroid, or perhaps an interstellar comet.

    Now, a pair of papers published in an American Geophysical Union journal offers another theory: that ‘Oumuamua was shrapnel from a tiny planet in a different Solar System.

    JGR PLanets

    JGR PLanets

    “We’ve probably resolved the mystery of what ‘Oumuamua is, and we can reasonably identify it as a chunk of an ‘exo-Pluto,’ a Pluto-like planet in another Solar System,” Steven Desch, an astrophysicist at Arizona State University(US) and a co-author of the new study, said in a press release.

    A planetary fragment made of frozen nitrogen

    Desch and his coauthors think that half a billion years ago, a space object struck ‘Oumuamua’s parent planet. That sent ‘Oumuamua careening towards our Solar System.

    Once it neared the Sun, their thinking goes, ‘Oumuamua sped up as Sunlight vaporized its icy body. Comets follow a similar movement pattern, known as the “rocket effect”.

    Because ‘Oumuamua’s makeup is unknown, the researchers calculated what kinds of ice would sublimate (change from solid to gas) at a rate that could account for ‘Oumuamua’s rocket effect. They concluded that the object is likely made of nitrogen ice, like the surface of Pluto and Neptune’s moon Triton.

    As it got approached our Solar System – and therefore the Sun – ‘Oumuamua started sloughing off frozen nitrogen layers. The object entered our Solar System in 1995, though we didn’t realize it at the time, then subsequently lost 95 percent of its mass and melted away to a sliver, according to the study authors.

    It’s a comet. It’s an asteroid. Nope, it’s neither.

    By the time astronomers became aware of ‘Oumuamua’s existence in 2017, it was already zipping away from Earth at 315,431 km/h (196,000 mph). So they had only a few weeks to study the strange, skyscraper-sized object.

    Several telescopes on the ground and one in space took limited observations as the object flew away, but astronomers were unable to examine it in full. ‘Oumuamua is now too far away and too dim to observe further with existing technologies.

    The limited nature of the information gathered left room for scientists to offer guesses about what the object might be and where it came from. ‘Oumuamua was initially classified as a comet, but it didn’t appear to be made of ice, and it didn’t emit gases as a comet would.

    ‘Oumuamua’s spin, speed, and trajectory couldn’t be explained by gravity alone, which suggested it was not an asteroid either. And the object’s shape and profile – it’s about one-quarter of a mile long but only 34.75 meters (114 feet) wide – doesn’t match that of any comet or asteroid observed before.

    According to the authors of the new study, however, ‘Oumuamua’s frozen-nitrogen composition could explain that shape.

    “As the outer layers of nitrogen ice evaporated, the shape of the body would have become progressively more flattened, just like a bar of soap does as the outer layers get rubbed off through use,” Alan Jackson, another study co-author, said in the release.

    Some astronomers still think it was an alien ship.

    Unlike most space rocks, ‘Oumuamua seemed to be accelerating, rather than slowing down, in telescope observations.

    That is in part why Loeb thinks ‘Oumuamua was an alien spacecraft. In a book he published in January, titled Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, Loeb describes ‘Oumuamua as a defunct piece of alien technology.

    “The object has anomalies that merit some attention – things that do not line up in the ways we expected,” he told Insider in December.

    “Other people say, ‘Lets shove those anomalies under the rug of conservatism.’ I have a problem with that because when something doesn’t line up, you should say it.”

    Still, a 2019 study from an international group of astronomers analyzed all the ‘Oumuamua data available and concluded that Loeb’s theory was unlikely.

    “We find no compelling evidence to favor an alien explanation for ‘Oumuamua,” the astronomers wrote.

    Matthew Knight, a University of Maryland(US) astronomer who co-wrote the study, put it this way: “This thing is weird and admittedly hard to explain, but that doesn’t exclude other natural phenomena that could explain it.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Harvard Astronomy

    Although the Department of Astronomy came into existence in 1931, the first chair, Donald Menzel, wasn’t appointed until 1945. Menzel was subsequently named Director of the Harvard College Observatory(US) in 1952 and immediately set about to encourage the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) to relocate to Cambridge, which it did in 1955.

    Fred Whipple was appointed as Professor of Astronomy in 1950 and was the department’s second chair. In 1955 he assumed directorship of the SAO in its new location. In 1956 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin became the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and soon after was appointed the third chair, making her the first woman to head a department at Harvard University.

    George Field formalized the interactions between the two organizations by creating an administrative umbrella organization named the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics(US). The Department of Astronomy, under a Chair, continues as an autonomous unit under the direction of the Harvard University Faculty of Arts of Sciences but is housed at the CfA.

    The complement of approximately 60 PhD students, 25 undergraduate students and over 100 post-doctoral researchers enjoy access to the remarkable resources provided by both Harvard and Smithsonian faculties and facilities.

    Harvard 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.

    Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard’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 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.[10] 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’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 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.

    Colonial

    Harvard 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.[22] 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 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’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 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’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’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 professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard.

    21st century

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

     
  • richardmitnick 8:55 am on March 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Birth of Jupiter's Mysterious Auroral Storms Has Been Observed For The First Time", , , Science Alert(AU), University of Liege [Université de Liège](BE)   

    From University of Liege [Université de Liège](BE) via Science Alert(AU): “The Birth of Jupiter’s Mysterious Auroral Storms Has Been Observed For The First Time” 

    From University of Liege [Université de Liège](BE)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    17 MARCH 2021
    Michelle Starr

    1
    Credit: Bonfond/NASA/ESA Hubble/ULiège/ .

    Just as Earth has spectacular auroras, so too do other Solar System planets have their own versions of the atmospheric light show.

    Jupiter, in fact, has the most powerful auroras in the Solar System – invisible to our eyes, but glowing brilliantly in ultraviolet wavelengths.

    Because Jupiter is so wildly different from Earth, scientists are deeply invested in learning what drives these incredible atmospheric phenomena – and they just got a new clue. Thanks to the Juno orbiter, we’ve now observed for the first time the onset of Jupiter’s mysterious auroral dawn storm.

    Jupiter’s auroras are produced by a constant rain of high-energy electrons mostly stripped from Io’s atmosphere. These are accelerated along magnetic field lines to Jupiter’s poles, where they fall into the upper atmosphere and interact with the gases to produce a glow.

    This is unlike Earth’s auroras, which are produced by particles from the solar wind. Also unlike Earth’s auroras, Jupiter’s auroras are permanent, and can behave quite differently.

    One of these behaviors is the dawn storm – an intense brightening and broadening of the aurora at dawn, first observed in 1994. However, these dawn storms start on the night side of the pole, and we’d never been able to see them forming until NASA’s Juno probe arrived on the scene.

    “Observing Jupiter’s aurora from Earth does not allow you to see beyond the limb, into the night side of Jupiter’s poles,” explained astronomer Bertrand Bonfond of the University of Liège[Université de Liège](BE).

    “Explorations by other spacecraft – Voyager, Galileo, Cassini – happened from relatively large distances and did not fly over the poles, so they could not see the complete picture. That’s why the Juno data is a real game-changer, allowing us a better understanding of what is happening on the night side, where the dawn storms are born.”

    2
    The emergence of a dawn storm. (NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)/Southwest Research Institute(US)/UVS/ULiège/Bonfond)

    Dawn storms are really something. They start on the night side of the planet, rotating into view as dawn breaks, transforming Jupiter’s aurora into a blazing ultraviolet beacon, giving off hundreds to thousands of gigawatts of light – at least 10 times more energy than the usual Jovian aurora. They persist for a few hours before subsiding into more normal energy levels.

    Because the two planets have such differences between their auroras, the process that generates the dawn storm was expected to be unlike any processes seen in Earth’s auroras. Surprisingly, however, the data from Juno’s ultraviolet spectrograph looked oddly familiar.

    “When we looked at the whole dawn storm sequence, we couldn’t help but notice that the dawn storm auroras at Jupiter are very similar to a type of terrestrial auroras called substorms,” said astronomer Zhonghua Yao of the University of Liège.

    Earth’s auroral substorms are amazing to see. They occur when Earth’s magnetosphere is disturbed by electric currents, resulting in an explosive release of energy into the ionosphere. There, the energy is dissipated as a complex, dancing aurora that can last several hours.

    Substorms are strongly influenced by the solar wind and the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field. But Earth’s magnetosphere is dominated by interactions with the solar wind; Jupiter’s is filled with plasma stripped from Io, which is controlled by the planet’s location.

    According to the team’s analysis, Jupiter’s auroral dawn storms are influenced by an over-spill of plasma from Io, rather than the solar wind; but the result is the same, a disturbance of the magnetosphere resulting in an explosive release of energy.

    In both cases, a build-up of plasma and energy gradually increases instability in the system until boom – auroral storm.


    Evolution of a Dawn Storm in Jupiter’s Polar Auroras

    This can only increase our understanding of the auroral processes on both planets, and could help us better understand aurora on other bodies in the future – including brown dwarfs, which have strong enough auroras to detect across interstellar space, even when they are nowhere near a star.

    “Although the ‘engine’ of the auroras on Earth and Jupiter is very different, showing for the first time the links between the two systems allows us to identify universal phenomena and to distinguish them from the particularities relative to each planet,” Yao said.

    “The magnetospheres of the Earth and Jupiter store energy through very different mechanisms, but when this accumulation reaches a breaking point, the two systems release this energy explosively in a surprisingly similar way.”

    The research has been published in AGU Advances.

    See the full article here.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Liège [Université de Liège] is a major public university of the French Community of Belgium based in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium. Its official language is French. As of 2020, ULiège is ranked in the 301–350 category worldwide according to Times Higher Education, 451st by QS World University Rankings, and between the 201th and 300th place by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. More than 2000 people, academics, scientists and technicians, are involved in research of a wide variety of subjects from basic research to applied research.

    The University was founded in 1817 by William I of the Netherlands, then King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and by his Minister of Education, Anton Reinhard Falck. The foundation of the university was the result of a long intellectual tradition which dates back to the origins of the Bishopric of Liège. Beginning in the eleventh century, the influence of the prince-bishops of Liège attracted students and prominent scientists and philosophers, such as Petrarch, to study in its libraries. The reputation of its medieval schools gave the city the reputation as a new Athens.

    A 17 March 1808 decree by Napoleon I concerning the organization of an imperial university indicated Liège as the site of a new academy to be composed of a Faculty of Arts and a Faculty of Science—the first university charter for Liège. Ultimately, Liège owes its university to William I of the Netherlands, who remembered the city’s prestigious legacy of teaching and culture when he decided to establish a new university on Walloon soil.

    Nearly 200 years later, settled to some extent in the Sart-Tilman [fr] district of Liège, the University of Liège belongs to the French community of Belgium. The University is located at the edge of the River Meuse, in the center of the Island, the Latin Quarter of Liège. In 2009, the Agronomical University of Gembloux (FUSAGx), based in Gembloux, in the Province of Namur, integrated ULiège. It has adopted a new name for academics as well as research, namely Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:14 am on March 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Giant Space Telescope Submerged Thousands of Feet Below World's Deepest Lake", Baikal Deep Underwater Neutrino Telescope (BDUNT) [Байкальский подводный нейтринный телескоп](RU), , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Science Alert(AU): “Giant Space Telescope Submerged Thousands of Feet Below World’s Deepest Lake” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    15 MARCH 2021
    Agence France Pressé

    Russian scientists on Saturday launched one of the world’s biggest underwater space telescopes to peer deep into the Universe from the pristine waters of Lake Baikal.

    The deep underwater telescope, which has been under construction since 2015, is designed to observe neutrinos, the smallest particles currently known.

    Dubbed Baikal-GVD, the telescope was submerged to a depth of 750-1,300 meters (2,500-4,300 feet), around four kilometers from the lake’s shore.

    1
    Baikal Deep Underwater Neutrino Telescope (BDUNT) [Байкальский подводный нейтринный телескоп] being lowered into the water. (Kirill Shipitsin/Sputnik Kirill Shipitsin/Sputnik/AFP)

    Neutrinos are very hard to detect and water is an effective medium for doing so.

    The floating observatory consists of strings with spherical glass and stainless steel modules attached to them.

    On Saturday, scientists observed the modules being carefully lowered into the freezing waters through a rectangular hole in the ice.

    “A neutrino telescope measuring half a cubic kilometer is situated right under our feet,” Dmitry Naumov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research told AFP while standing on the lake’s frozen surface.

    In several years the telescope will be expanded to measure one cubic kilometer, Naumov said.

    2
    (Bair Shaibonov/Institute for Nuclear Research[институт ядерных исследований institut yadernykh issledovaniy](RU)/Agence France Pressé.com(FR))

    The Baikal telescope will rival U Wisconsin IceCube Neutrino Observatory(US), a giant neutrino observatory buried under the Antarctic ice at a US research station at the South Pole, he added.

    Russian scientists say the telescope is the largest neutrino detector in the Northern Hemisphere and Lake Baikal – the largest freshwater lake in the world – is ideal for housing the floating observatory.

    “Of course, Lake Baikal is the only lake where you can deploy a neutrino telescope because of its depth,” Bair Shoibonov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research told AFP.

    “Fresh water is also important, water clarity too. And the fact that there is ice cover for two-two and a half months is also very important.”

    The telescope is the result of a collaboration between scientists from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 11:12 am on March 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Ancient Magma From Earth's Early Days Discovered in Rocks From Greenland", An analysis of rocks from a formation in Greenland reveals traces of a geological journey that took place at a time when our rocky world was little more than a molten ocean of magma., , Carleton University(CA), , , , Particular attention paid to signature levels of iron isotopes in a powdered sample of basalt taken from the northern parts of the Isua Greenland Belt (ISB)., Science Alert(AU),   

    From University of Chicago(US) and Carleton University(CA) via Science Alert(AU): “Ancient Magma From Earth’s Early Days Discovered in Rocks From Greenland” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago(US)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    12 MARCH 2021
    MIKE MCRAE

    1
    Isua Greenland Belt. Credit: Hanika Rizo.

    Our planet’s surface has seen a thing or two in its 4.5 billion-odd-years of existence. Weathered by ocean, corroded by wind, and remolded by the relentless turnover of plate tectonics, we might assume nothing remains of Earth in its most primitive state.

    Yet an analysis of rocks from a formation in Greenland reveals traces of a geological journey that took place at a time when our rocky world was little more than a molten ocean of magma, and it could fill in missing details on our ancient past.

    Researchers from the University of Cambridge(UK) and Carleton University(CA) paid particular attention to signature levels of iron isotopes in a powdered sample of basalt taken from the northern parts of the Isua Greenland Belt (ISB).

    Along with a study of its tungsten, the chemical signatures reflect the basalt’s birth from a mix of components from different parts of the mantle at a time when Earth’s entirely molten surface was hardening.

    The Isua belt is a strip of crust in Greenland’s southwest that has remained relatively unchanged for a mind-blowing 3.7 billion years, officially making them the oldest rocks on Earth.

    For more than half a century the ISB has been a regular haunt for planetary scientists and biologists keen to learn more about how our planet’s crust formed, and how its chemistry – including the earliest forms of life – might have emerged.

    As old as the belt might be, Earth had already been a planet of sorts for a good half a billion years prior to their formation. Not that we’d recognize it now.

    Heated by frequent collisions of new material raining down from space and radioactive materials that hadn’t yet sunk to the planet’s core, there was no crust yet as such – just a churning blob of mineral soup.

    We can work that much out by applying models of planetary formation, but many of the finer details of what went on below remain sketchy. What kinds of currents were rising and falling in our planet’s guts? How was energy transferred? What sorts of minerals might have crystallized out of solution as it cooled?

    These are questions that could be answered if we had pristine samples of that magma. Fortunately, that’s just what happens to be locked up in Isua.

    “There are few opportunities to get geological constraints on the events in the first billion years of Earth’s history,” says lead study author, Earth scientist Helen Williams from the University of Cambridge.

    “It’s astonishing that we can even hold these rocks in our hands – let alone get so much detail about the early history of our planet.”

    Previous research [Earth and Planetary Science Letters] on the sample’s recipe of hafnium and neodymium isotopes had already hinted at the rock’s origins spewing out of the planet’s mantle some 3.7 billion years ago, potentially preserving signatures of a time when the magma ocean was still crystallizing.

    Measuring a specific isotope of iron in the rock’s make-up cemented speculations that at least some of it had been flowing as a liquid just beneath ancient Earth’s first skin.

    Other measurements suggested there was more to the story, though, revealing a component made up of minerals that had risen from much deeper down.

    That deeper rock shows signs of spending time in the lower mantle, with evidence of being forged by dynamic processes that involved a cycle of melting and crystallization before being blended with material in the upper mantle.

    Fresh new volcanic rocks blasted onto the surface in other parts of the world today display similar signs of mixing, suggesting it’s possible ancient processes close to the planet’s core are still at work deep beneath our feet today.

    Tying together the evidence to show exactly how our adolescent Earth chilled out and crusted up will take a lot more evidence.

    Ancient records of Earth’s distant past will continue to erode away slowly. Fortunately we’re quickly learning how to unravel the clues they contain.

    “The evidence is often altered by the course of time,” says Williams.

    “But the fact we found what we did suggests that the chemistry of other ancient rocks may yield further insights into the Earth’s formation and evolution – and that’s immensely exciting.”

    This research was published in Science Advances.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts. The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including 6,286 undergraduates and 10,159 graduate students. The University of Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications, and it is among the most selective in the United States.

    The university is composed of one undergraduate college and five graduate research divisions, which contain all of the university’s graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees. Chicago has eight professional schools: the Law School, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Divinity School, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.

    University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of many academic disciplines, including economics, law, literary criticism, mathematics, religion, sociology, and the behavioralism school of political science, establishing the Chicago schools in various fields. Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory produced the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction in Chicago Pile-1 beneath the viewing stands of the university’s Stagg Field. Advances in chemistry led to the “radiocarbon revolution” in the carbon-14 dating of ancient life and objects. The university research efforts include administration of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US), as well as the U Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (MBL)(US). The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The Barack Obama Presidential Center is expected to be housed at the university and will include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

    The University of Chicago’s students, faculty, and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates as of 2020, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university in the world. The university’s faculty members and alumni also include 10 Fields Medalists, 4 Turing Award winners, 52 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Marshall Scholars, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 20 National Humanities Medalists, 29 living billionaire graduates, and have won eight Olympic medals.

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics; establishing revolutionary theories of economics; and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:43 am on March 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An Underwater Revolution Millions of Years Ago Rewrote The Script of The Ocean", An epic sequence of life and death etched into the skeletons of the last 500 million years., , Mesozoic Marine Revolution, Phanerozoic Eon, Powerful forces-capable of shaping macroevolutionary processes with planetary implications-don't always require asteroids or supervolcanoes., Science Alert(AU), ,   

    From University of Chicago(US) via Science Alert(AU): “An Underwater Revolution Millions of Years Ago Rewrote The Script of The Ocean” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago(US)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    13 MARCH 2021
    PETER DOCKRILL

    1
    Illustration of the marine arthropod Sanctacaris. Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Getty Images.

    Look far enough back in time, and a pattern may emerge. After studying thousands of ancient fossils, paleontologist Jack Sepkoski identified just such a thing in 1981: an epic sequence of life and death etched into the skeletons of the last 500 million years.

    The late Sepkoski, a professor at the University of Chicago, discovered what became known as the three great evolutionary faunas of marine animals – a trio of successive explosions in biodiversity in the ocean over the course of the Phanerozoic Eon.

    These giant bloomings of marine life were bookended by catastrophes of world-changing scale: extinction-level events precipitating mass animal die-offs – simultaneously clearing the stage for new creatures to emerge and prosper in the spaces they left behind.

    But it doesn’t have to happen that way, a new study suggests. Equally powerful forces-capable of shaping macroevolutionary processes with planetary implications-don’t always require asteroids or supervolcanoes.

    Sometimes the fire comes from within.

    “The fossil record tells us that some of the key transitions in the history of life were rapid changes triggered by abrupt external factors,” explains paleontologist Michal Kowalewski from the University of Florida.

    “But this study shows that some of those major transitions were more gradual and may have been driven by biological interactions between organisms.”

    The case in this point is what’s known as the Mesozoic Marine Revolution. Commencing roughly 150-200 million years ago, this transition represents all the macroevolutionary changes that took place as marine predators like bony fish, crustaceans, and predatory snails increased in numbers, forcing their invertebrate prey, such as mollusks, to adapt defenses against boring and shell-crushing attacks.

    In the new research, which used modeling to demonstrate the network of relationships between giant assemblages of prehistoric marine lifeforms, the team found that the Mesozoic Marine Revolution effectively represents a fourth, unrecognized chapter of surging biodiversity within the Phanerozoic – equal in its power to the three great evolutionary faunas Sepkoski identified decades ago.

    “We are integrating the two hypotheses – the Mesozoic Marine Revolution and the three great evolutionary faunas into a single story,” explains first author and paleontologist Alexis Rojas from Umeå University(SE).

    “Instead of three phases of life, the model shows four.”

    Ultimately, although the Mesozoic Marine Revolution was characterized by gradual ecological changes produced by marine life interactions over millions of years, the researchers say it nonetheless triggered a prolonged biotic transition comparable in magnitude to the end-Permian transition.

    This episode, often called the “Great Dying”, occurred approximately 250 million years ago and was Earth’s most severe mass extinction event, wiping out approximately 80 percent of all marine species (and 70 percent of terrestrial vertebrates).

    In the aftermath, life rebounded with the third great evolutionary fauna, known as the Modern fauna period, per Sepkoski’s framework.

    But according to Rojas, Kowalewski, and their team, the Modern period intersected with the Mesozoic Marine Revolution, contributing to a recognizable transition in biodiversity in Earth’s marine life during the mid-Cretaceous period, about 129 million years ago.

    “What we actually built is an abstracted fossil record that provides a unique perspective of the organization of marine life,” Rojas says.

    “At the most basic levels, this map shows ocean regions with particular animals,” he adds. “The building blocks of our study are the individual animals themselves.”

    The findings are reported in Communications Biology.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts. The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including 6,286 undergraduates and 10,159 graduate students. The University of Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications, and it is among the most selective in the United States.

    The university is composed of one undergraduate college and five graduate research divisions, which contain all of the university’s graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees. Chicago has eight professional schools: the Law School, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Divinity School, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.

    University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of many academic disciplines, including economics, law, literary criticism, mathematics, religion, sociology, and the behavioralism school of political science, establishing the Chicago schools in various fields. Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory produced the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction in Chicago Pile-1 beneath the viewing stands of the university’s Stagg Field. Advances in chemistry led to the “radiocarbon revolution” in the carbon-14 dating of ancient life and objects. The university research efforts include administration of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US), as well as the U Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (MBL)(US). The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The Barack Obama Presidential Center is expected to be housed at the university and will include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

    The University of Chicago’s students, faculty, and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates as of 2020, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university in the world. The university’s faculty members and alumni also include 10 Fields Medalists, 4 Turing Award winners, 52 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Marshall Scholars, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 20 National Humanities Medalists, 29 living billionaire graduates, and have won eight Olympic medals.

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics; establishing revolutionary theories of economics; and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:58 pm on March 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Ancient Earth Really Was a Serene Water World New Evidence Confirms", According to a new analysis of the features of Earth's mantle over its long history our whole world was once engulfed by a vast ocean with very few or no land masses at all., According to a team of researchers led by planetary scientist Junjie Dong of Harvard University minerals deep inside the mantle slowly drunk up ancient Earth's oceans to leave what we have today., , , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Harvard University via Science Alert(AU): “Ancient Earth Really Was a Serene Water World New Evidence Confirms” 

    From Harvard University

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    11 MARCH 2021
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    Credit: WIN-Initiative/Getty Images.

    It’s tricky to figure out what Earth might have looked like in the early years before life emerged. Geological detectives have now obtained more evidence that it was rather different to the planet we live on today.

    According to a new analysis of the features of Earth’s mantle over its long history our whole world was once engulfed by a vast ocean with very few or no land masses at all. It was an extremely soggy space rock.

    So where the heck did all the water go? According to a team of researchers led by planetary scientist Junjie Dong of Harvard University minerals deep inside the mantle slowly drunk up ancient Earth’s oceans to leave what we have today.

    “We calculated the water storage capacity in Earth’s solid mantle as a function of mantle temperature,” the researchers wrote in their paper [below].

    “The mantle’s water storage capacity today is 1.86 to 4.41 times the modern surface ocean mass.”

    If the water stored in the mantle today is greater than its storage capacity in the Archean Eon, between 2.5 and 4 billion years ago, it’s possible that the world was flooded and the continents swamped, the researchers found.

    This finding is in agreement with a previous study [Nature Geoscience] that found, based on an abundance of certain isotopes of oxygen preserved in a geological record of the early ocean, that Earth 3.2 billion years ago had way less land than it does today.

    If this is the case, it could help us answer burning questions about other aspects of Earth’s history, such as where life emerged around 3.5 billion years ago. There’s an ongoing debate over whether life first formed in saltwater oceans or freshwater ponds on land masses; if the entire planet was engulfed by oceans, that would solve that mystery.

    Furthermore, the findings could also help us in the search for extraterrestrial life. Evidence suggests that ocean worlds are abundant in our Universe, so looking for signatures of these soggy planets could help us identify potentially hospitable worlds. And it could strengthen the case for looking for life on ocean worlds in our own Solar System, such as Europa and Enceladus.

    Not least, it helps us better understand the delicate evolution of our planet, and the strange, often seemingly inhospitable turns along the way that eventually led to the emergence of humanity.

    The research has been published in AGU Advances.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard’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 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.[10] 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’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 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.

    Colonial

    Harvard 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.[22] 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 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’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 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’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’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 professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard.

    21st century

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

     
  • richardmitnick 9:14 pm on March 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Faster-Than-Light Travel Is Possible Within Einstein's Physics Astrophysicist Shows", Science Alert(AU), , While pushing matter past the speed of light will always be a big no-no spacetime itself has no such rule.   

    From University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen] via Science Alert(AU): “Faster-Than-Light Travel Is Possible Within Einstein’s Physics Astrophysicist Shows” 

    From University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen]

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    11 MARCH 2021
    PETER DOCKRILL

    1
    Credit: dani3315/Getty Images.

    For decades, we’ve dreamed of visiting other star systems. There’s just one problem – they’re so far away, with conventional spaceflight it would take tens of thousands of years to reach even the closest one.

    Physicists are not the kind of people who give up easily, though. Give them an impossible dream, and they’ll give you an incredible, hypothetical way of making it a reality. Maybe.

    In a new study [Classical and Quantum Gravity]by physicist Erik Lentz from University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen](DE), we may have a viable solution to the dilemma, and it’s one that could turn out to be more feasible than other would-be warp drives.

    This is an area that attracts plenty of bright ideas, each offering a different approach to solving the puzzle of faster-than-light travel: achieving a means of sending something across space at superluminal speeds.

    2
    Hypothetical travel times to Proxima Centauri, the nearest-known star to the Sun. Credit: E. Lentz.

    There are some problems with this notion, however. Within conventional physics, in accordance with Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, there’s no real way to reach or exceed the speed of light, which is something we’d need for any journey measured in light-years.

    That hasn’t stopped physicists from trying to break this universal speed limit, though.

    While pushing matter past the speed of light will always be a big no-no spacetime itself has no such rule. In fact, the far reaches of the Universe are already stretching away faster than its light could ever hope to match.

    To bend a small bubble of space in a similar fashion for transport purposes, we’d need to solve relativity’s equations to create a density of energy that’s lower than the emptiness of space. While this kind of negative energy happens on a quantum scale, piling up enough in the form of ‘negative mass’ is still a realm for exotic physics.

    In addition to facilitating other kinds of abstract possibilities, such as wormholes and time travel, negative energy could help power what’s known as the Alcubierre warp drive.

    This speculative concept would make use of negative energy principles to warp space around a hypothetical spacecraft, enabling it to effectively travel faster than light without challenging traditional physical laws, except for the reasons explained above, we can’t hope to provide such a fantastical fuel source to begin with.

    But what if it were possible to somehow achieve faster-than-light travel that keeps faith with Einstein’s relativity without requiring any kinds of exotic physics that physicists have never seen?

    3
    Artistic impression of different spacecraft designs in ‘warp bubbles’. Credit:E. Lentz.

    In the new work, Lentz proposes one such way we might be able to do this, thanks to what he calls a new class of hyper-fast solitons – a kind of wave that maintains its shape and energy while moving at a constant velocity (and in this case, a velocity faster than light).

    According to Lentz’s theoretical calculations, these hyper-fast soliton solutions can exist within general relativity, and are sourced purely from positive energy densities, meaning there’s no need to consider exotic negative-energy-density sources that haven’t yet been verified.

    With sufficient energy, configurations of these solitons could function as ‘warp bubbles’, capable of superluminal motion, and theoretically enabling an object to pass through space-time while shielded from extreme tidal forces.

    It’s an impressive feat of theoretical gymnastics, although the amount of energy needed means this warp drive is only a hypothetical possibility for now.

    “The energy required for this drive traveling at light speed encompassing a spacecraft of 100 meters in radius is on the order of hundreds of times of the mass of the planet Jupiter,” Lentz says.

    “The energy savings would need to be drastic, of approximately 30 orders of magnitude to be in range of modern nuclear fission reactors.”

    While Lentz’s study claims to be the first known solution of its kind, his paper has arrived at almost exactly the same time as another recent analysis, published only this month [Classical and Quantum Gravity*], which also proposes an alternative model for a physically possible warp drive that doesn’t require negative energy to function.

    Both teams are now in contact, Lentz says, and the researcher intends to share his data further so other scientists can explore his figures. In addition, Lentz will be explaining his research in a week’s time – in a live YouTube presentation on March 19.


    Science Speaker Series: Dr. Erik Lentz. Scheduled for Mar 18, 2021.

    There are still plenty of puzzles to solve, but the free-flow of these kinds of ideas remains our best hope of ever getting a chance to visit those distant, twinkling stars.

    “This work has moved the problem of faster-than-light travel one step away from theoretical research in fundamental physics and closer to engineering,” Lentz says.

    “The next step is to figure out how to bring down the astronomical amount of energy needed to within the range of today’s technologies, such as a large modern nuclear fission power plant. Then we can talk about building the first prototypes.”

    The findings are reported in Classical and Quantum Gravity [*above] .

    See the full article here.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen], is a public research university in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and starting classes in 1737, the Georgia Augusta was conceived to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is the oldest university in the state of Lower Saxony and the largest in student enrollment, which stands at around 31,600.

    Home to many noted figures, it represents one of Germany’s historic and traditional institutions. As of October 2020, 44 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the University of Göttingen as alumni, faculty members or researchers.

    The University of Göttingen was previously supported by the German Universities Excellence Initiative, holds memberships to the U15 Group of major German research universities and to the Coimbra Group of major European research universities. Furthermore, the university maintains strong connections with major research institutes based in Göttingen, such as those of the Max Planck Society and the Leibniz Association. With approximately 9 million media units, the Göttingen State and University Library ranks among the largest libraries in Germany.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:52 am on March 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "We've Found The Best Time And Place to Live in The Milky Way... And It's Not Here", , , , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Science Alert(AU): “We’ve Found The Best Time And Place to Live in The Milky Way… And It’s Not Here” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    8 MARCH 2021
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    Artist’s impression of the Milky Way. (European Southern Obersvatory(EU)/NASA JPL-Caltech(US)/M. Kornmesser/R. Hurt)

    More and more, it seems that the existence and persistence of life on Earth is the result of sheer luck. According to a new analysis of the history of the Milky Way, the best time and place for the emergence of life isn’t here, or now, but over 6 billion years ago on the galaxy’s outskirts.

    Milky Way NASA/JPL-Caltech /ESO R. Hurt. The bar is visible in this image.

    That specific location in space and time would have afforded a habitable world the best protection against the gamma-ray bursts and supernovae that blasted space with deadly radiation.

    As of about 4 billion years ago, the central regions of the galaxy (which include the Solar System) became safer than the outskirts – safe enough for life to emerge, if not quite as safe as the outskirts had been.

    “Our work shows that, until 6 billion years ago, excluding the peripheral regions of the Milky Way, which had relatively few planets, due to high star formation and low metallicity, planets were subject to many explosive events able to trigger a mass extinction,” explained astronomer Riccardo Spinelli of the University of Insubria [Università degli Studi dell’Insubria](IT) and the INAF Italian National Institute for Astrophysics(IT).

    Cosmic explosions are no joke. Incredibly energetic events such as gamma-ray bursts and supernovae send cosmic radiation flying through space; so intense is the output that it can be deadly to life.

    Earth hasn’t been immune, either. Mass extinctions throughout our history have been linked to supernovae, including the end-Pliocene extinction 2.6 million years ago and the Late Devonian extinction 359 million years ago. Gamma-ray bursts, which are far more rare but much more powerful than supernovae, would be likewise devastating.

    This new version of Chandra’s image of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant has been specially processed to show with better clarity the appearance of Cas A in different bands of X-rays. This will aid astronomers in their efforts to reconstruct details of the supernova process such as the size of the star, its chemical makeup, and the explosion mechanism. The color scheme used in this image is the following: low-energy X-rays are red, medium-energy ones are green, and the highest-energy X-rays detected by Chandra are colored blue.

    Gamma ray burst artist depiction Credit NASA Swift; Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith; and John Jones.

    NASA Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.

    Both events are linked to the life cycles of stars. Supernovae occur when a massive star reaches the end of its main sequence lifespan, or a white dwarf accreting material becomes unstable, reignites and kicks over into runaway fusion. Both scenarios result in a massive explosion of stellar material into space.

    Gamma-ray bursts are thought to be spewed out from stars collapsing into neutron stars or black holes, and we know they can occur when neutron stars merge.

    Messier 87*, The first image of the event horizon of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released on 10 April 2019.

    We’ve never actually seen one in the Milky Way; the ones we detect come from other galaxies millions of light-years away – the most energetic electromagnetic events in the Universe.

    Scientists believe that a gamma-ray burst 450 million years ago could have triggered the Ordovician mass extinction, before the age of the dinosaurs.

    “Supernovae are more frequent in star-forming regions, where massive stars are formed,” said astronomer Giancarlo Ghirlanda of the INAF.

    “Gamma-ray bursts, on the other hand, prefer star-forming regions that are still poorly engulfed by heavy elements. In these regions, massive stars that are formed by metal-poor gas lose less mass during their life due to stellar winds. Therefore, these stars are able to keep themselves in rapid rotation, a necessary condition to be able to launch, once a black hole has formed, a powerful jet.”

    To figure out the safest places for life, the research team carefully modelled the evolutionary history of the Milky Way, paying attention to the emergence of regions most likely to harbour supernova or gamma-ray burst activity.

    Their model predicted that the inner regions of the galaxy would have formed more quickly than the outskirts; therefore, the inner Milky Way would have been much more active in both star formation and cosmic explosions. Over time, the star formation rate in the inner region slowed, but increased in the outer regions of the galaxy.

    When the Universe was young, it was mainly filled with hydrogen and helium – the gases the first stars were made of. Heavier elements were built from the stellar fusion of nuclei; and heavier elements still from supernova explosions.

    ALMA Schematic diagram of the history of the Universe. The Universe is in a neutral state at 400 thousand years after the Big Bang, until light from the first generation of stars starts to ionise the hydrogen. After several hundred million years, the gas in the Universe is completely ionised. Credit. National Astronomy Observatory of Japan(JP).

    As stars lived and died, the central region of the Milky Way became richer in heavier elements and metals.

    In turn, this would have reduced the frequency of gamma-ray bursts, making the central region – between about 6,500 and 26,000 light-years from the galactic centre – safer than it had been.

    “Excluding the very central regions, less than 6,500 light-years from the galactic centre, where supernova explosions are more frequent, our study suggests that evolutionary pressure in each epoch is determined by GRBs mainly,” Spinelli said.

    “Although they are much rarer events than supernovae, GRBs are able to cause a mass extinction from larger distances: being the most energetic events, they are the bazookas with the longest range.”

    Although the Milky Ways’ outskirts were safer once than the middle regions are now, the news does get better – for us, anyway. According to the team’s analysis, in the last 500 million years the Milky Way’s outskirts would likely have been sterilised by two to five long gamma-ray bursts. Our Solar System’s location, on the other hand, became safer than it has ever been.

    But even the relative danger and repeated exposure to cosmic explosions could have been fortuitous for us.

    “We note that the very existence of life on planet Earth today demonstrates that mass extinctions do not necessarily preclude the possibility of complex life development,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

    “On the contrary, mass extinctions occurring at the right pace could have played a pivotal role in the evolution of complex life forms on our home planet.”

    So maybe “safety” needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    The research has been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 11:56 am on March 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists Just Found 4 New Subatomic Particles That May Test The Laws of Nature", , , , , CERN(CH), , Hadrons, , Mesons, , , , Protons and neutrons, , Quarks and antiquarks, Science Alert(AU), , , Tetraquarks and pentaquarks, The four new particles we've discovered recently are all tetraquarks with a charm quark pair and two other quarks., The standard model is certainly not the last word in the understanding of particles., These models are crucial to achieve the ultimate goal of the LHC: find physics beyond the standard model.   

    From CERN(CH) via Science Alert(AU): “Physicists Just Found 4 New Subatomic Particles That May Test The Laws of Nature” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN(CH)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    5 MARCH 2021
    PATRICK KOPPENBURG
    Research Fellow in Particle Physics
    Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics, Dutch Research Council (NWO – Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek)(NL)

    Harry Cliff
    Particle physicist
    University of Cambridge(UK).

    1
    The Large Hadron Collider. Credit: CERN.

    This month is a time to celebrate. CERN has just announced the discovery of four brand new particles [3 March 2021: Observation of two ccus tetraquarks and two ccss tetraquarks.] at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva.

    This means that the LHC has now found a total of 59 new particles, in addition to the Nobel prize-winning Higgs boson, since it started colliding protons – particles that make up the atomic nucleus along with neutrons – in 2009.

    Excitingly, while some of these new particles were expected based on our established theories, some were altogether more surprising.

    The LHC’s goal is to explore the structure of matter at the shortest distances and highest energies ever probed in the lab – testing our current best theory of nature: the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics (LATHAM BOYLE AND MARDUS OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS).

    And the LHC has delivered the goods – it enabled scientists to discover the Higgs boson [below], the last missing piece of the model. That said, the theory is still far from being fully understood.

    One of its most troublesome features is its description of the strong interaction which holds the atomic nucleus together. The nucleus is made up of protons and neutrons, which are in turn each composed of three tiny particles called quarks (there are six different kinds of quarks: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom).

    If we switched the strong force off for a second, all matter would immediately disintegrate into a soup of loose quarks – a state that existed for a fleeting instant at the beginning of the universe.

    Don’t get us wrong: the theory of the strong interaction, pretentiously called Quantum Chromodynamics, is on very solid footing. It describes how quarks interact through the strong interaction by exchanging particles called gluons. You can think of gluons as analogues of the more familiar photon, the particle of light and carrier of the electromagnetic interaction.

    However, the way gluons interact with quarks makes the strong interaction behave very differently from electromagnetism. While the electromagnetic interaction gets weaker as you pull two charged particles apart, the strong interaction actually gets stronger as you pull two quarks apart.

    As a result, quarks are forever locked up inside particles called hadrons – particles made of two or more quarks – which includes protons and neutrons. Unless, of course, you smash them open at incredible speeds, as we are doing at Cern.

    To complicate matters further, all the particles in the standard model have antiparticles which are nearly identical to themselves but with the opposite charge (or other quantum property). If you pull a quark out of a proton, the force will eventually be strong enough to create a quark-antiquark pair, with the newly created quark going into the proton.

    You end up with a proton and a brand new “meson”, a particle made of a quark and an antiquark. This may sound weird but according to quantum mechanics, which rules the universe on the smallest of scales, particles can pop out of empty space.

    This has been shown repeatedly by experiments – we have never seen a lone quark. An unpleasant feature of the theory of the strong interaction is that calculations of what would be a simple process in electromagnetism can end up being impossibly complicated. We therefore cannot (yet) prove theoretically that quarks can’t exist on their own.

    Worse still, we can’t even calculate which combinations of quarks would be viable in nature and which would not.

    2
    Illustration of a tetraquark. Credit: CERN.

    When quarks were first discovered, scientists realized that several combinations should be possible in theory. This included pairs of quarks and antiquarks (mesons); three quarks (baryons); three antiquarks (antibaryons); two quarks and two antiquarks (tetraquarks); and four quarks and one antiquark (pentaquarks) – as long as the number of quarks minus antiquarks in each combination was a multiple of three.

    For a long time, only baryons and mesons were seen in experiments. But in 2003, the Belle experiment in Japan discovered a particle that didn’t fit in anywhere.

    KEK Belle detector, at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

    Belle II KEK High Energy Accelerator Research Organization Tsukuba, Japan.

    It turned out to be the first of a long series of tetraquarks.

    In 2015, the LHCb experiment [below] at the LHC discovered two pentaquarks.

    3
    Is a pentaquark tightly (above) or weakly bound (see image below)? Credit: CERN.

    The four new particles we’ve discovered recently are all tetraquarks with a charm quark pair and two other quarks. All these objects are particles in the same way as the proton and the neutron are particles. But they are not fundamental particles: quarks and electrons are the true building blocks of matter.

    Charming new particles

    The LHC has now discovered 59 new hadrons. These include the tetraquarks most recently discovered, but also new mesons and baryons. All these new particles contain heavy quarks such as “charm” and “bottom”.

    These hadrons are interesting to study. They tell us what nature considers acceptable as a bound combination of quarks, even if only for very short times.

    They also tell us what nature does not like. For example, why do all tetra- and pentaquarks contain a charm-quark pair (with just one exception)? And why are there no corresponding particles with strange-quark pairs? There is currently no explanation.

    4
    Is a pentaquark a molecule? A meson (left) interacting with a proton (right). Credit: CERN.

    Another mystery is how these particles are bound together by the strong interaction. One school of theorists considers them to be compact objects, like the proton or the neutron.

    Others claim they are akin to “molecules” formed by two loosely bound hadrons. Each newly found hadron allows experiments to measure its mass and other properties, which tell us something about how the strong interaction behaves. This helps bridge the gap between experiment and theory. The more hadrons we can find, the better we can tune the models to the experimental facts.

    These models are crucial to achieve the ultimate goal of the LHC: find physics beyond the standard model. Despite its successes, the standard model is certainly not the last word in the understanding of particles. It is for instance inconsistent with cosmological models describing the formation of the universe.

    The LHC is searching for new fundamental particles that could explain these discrepancies. These particles could be visible at the LHC, but hidden in the background of particle interactions. Or they could show up as small quantum mechanical effects in known processes.

    In either case, a better understanding of the strong interaction is needed to find them. With each new hadron, we improve our knowledge of nature’s laws, leading us to a better description of the most fundamental properties of matter.

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Meet CERN(CH) in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier(CH)

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS

    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni CERN/ATLAS


    ALICE

    CERN/ALICE Detector


    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN map

    CERN LHC Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan.


    SixTRack CERN LHC particles

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire)(EU), known as CERN, is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 23 member states. Israel is the only non-European country granted full membership. CERN is an official United Nations Observer.

    The acronym CERN is also used to refer to the laboratory, which in 2019 had 2,660 scientific, technical, and administrative staff members, and hosted about 12,400 users from institutions in more than 70 countries. In 2016 CERN generated 49 petabytes of data.

    CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research – as a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN through international collaborations. The main site at Meyrin hosts a large computing facility, which is primarily used to store and analyse data from experiments, as well as simulate events. Researchers need remote access to these facilities, so the lab has historically been a major wide area network hub. CERN is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.

    The convention establishing CERN was ratified on 29 September 1954 by 12 countries in Western Europe. The acronym CERN originally represented the French words for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Council for Nuclear Research), which was a provisional council for building the laboratory, established by 12 European governments in 1952. The acronym was retained for the new laboratory after the provisional council was dissolved, even though the name changed to the current Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Organization for Nuclear Research)(EU) in 1954. According to Lew Kowarski, a former director of CERN, when the name was changed, the abbreviation could have become the awkward OERN, and Werner Heisenberg said that this could “still be CERN even if the name is [not]”.

    CERN’s first president was Sir Benjamin Lockspeiser. Edoardo Amaldi was the general secretary of CERN at its early stages when operations were still provisional, while the first Director-General (1954) was Felix Bloch.

    The laboratory was originally devoted to the study of atomic nuclei, but was soon applied to higher-energy physics, concerned mainly with the study of interactions between subatomic particles. Therefore, the laboratory operated by CERN is commonly referred to as the European laboratory for particle physics (Laboratoire européen pour la physique des particules), which better describes the research being performed there.

    Founding members

    At the sixth session of the CERN Council, which took place in Paris from 29 June – 1 July 1953, the convention establishing the organization was signed, subject to ratification, by 12 states. The convention was gradually ratified by the 12 founding Member States: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and “Yugoslavia”.

    Scientific achievements

    Several important achievements in particle physics have been made through experiments at CERN. They include:

    1973: The discovery of neutral currents in the Gargamelle bubble chamber.
    1983: The discovery of W and Z bosons in the UA1 and UA2 experiments.
    1989: The determination of the number of light neutrino families at the Large Electron–Positron Collider (LEP) operating on the Z boson peak.
    1995: The first creation of antihydrogen atoms in the PS210 experiment.
    1999: The discovery of direct CP violation in the NA48 experiment.
    2010: The isolation of 38 atoms of antihydrogen.
    2011: Maintaining antihydrogen for over 15 minutes.
    2012: A boson with mass around 125 GeV/c2 consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson.

    In September 2011, CERN attracted media attention when the OPERA Collaboration reported the detection of possibly faster-than-light neutrinos. Further tests showed that the results were flawed due to an incorrectly connected GPS synchronization cable.

    The 1984 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer for the developments that resulted in the discoveries of the W and Z bosons. The 1992 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to CERN staff researcher Georges Charpak “for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber”. The 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to François Englert and Peter Higgs for the theoretical description of the Higgs mechanism in the year after the Higgs boson was found by CERN experiments.

    Computer science

    The World Wide Web began as a CERN project named ENQUIRE, initiated by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 and Robert Cailliau in 1990. Berners-Lee and Cailliau were jointly honoured by the Association for Computing Machinery in 1995 for their contributions to the development of the World Wide Web.

    Current complex

    CERN operates a network of six accelerators and a decelerator. Each machine in the chain increases the energy of particle beams before delivering them to experiments or to the next more powerful accelerator. Currently (as of 2019) active machines are:

    The LINAC 3 linear accelerator generating low energy particles. It provides heavy ions at 4.2 MeV/u for injection into the Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR).
    The Proton Synchrotron Booster increases the energy of particles generated by the proton linear accelerator before they are transferred to the other accelerators.
    The Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR) accelerates the ions from the ion linear accelerator LINAC 3, before transferring them to the Proton Synchrotron (PS). This accelerator was commissioned in 2005, after having been reconfigured from the previous Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR).
    The 28 GeV Proton Synchrotron (PS), built during 1954—1959 and still operating as a feeder to the more powerful SPS.
    The Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), a circular accelerator with a diameter of 2 kilometres built in a tunnel, which started operation in 1976. It was designed to deliver an energy of 300 GeV and was gradually upgraded to 450 GeV. As well as having its own beamlines for fixed-target experiments (currently COMPASS and NA62), it has been operated as a proton–antiproton collider (the SppS collider), and for accelerating high energy electrons and positrons which were injected into the Large Electron–Positron Collider (LEP). Since 2008, it has been used to inject protons and heavy ions into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
    The On-Line Isotope Mass Separator (ISOLDE), which is used to study unstable nuclei. The radioactive ions are produced by the impact of protons at an energy of 1.0–1.4 GeV from the Proton Synchrotron Booster. It was first commissioned in 1967 and was rebuilt with major upgrades in 1974 and 1992.
    The Antiproton Decelerator (AD), which reduces the velocity of antiprotons to about 10% of the speed of light for research of antimatter.[50] The AD machine was reconfigured from the previous Antiproton Collector (AC) machine.
    The AWAKE experiment, which is a proof-of-principle plasma wakefield accelerator.
    The CERN Linear Electron Accelerator for Research (CLEAR) accelerator research and development facility.

    Large Hadron Collider

    Many activities at CERN currently involve operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the experiments for it. The LHC represents a large-scale, worldwide scientific cooperation project.

    The LHC tunnel is located 100 metres underground, in the region between the Geneva International Airport and the nearby Jura mountains. The majority of its length is on the French side of the border. It uses the 27 km circumference circular tunnel previously occupied by the Large Electron–Positron Collider (LEP), which was shut down in November 2000. CERN’s existing PS/SPS accelerator complexes are used to pre-accelerate protons and lead ions which are then injected into the LHC.

    Eight experiments (CMS, ATLAS, LHCb, MoEDAL, TOTEM, LHCf, FASER and ALICE) are located along the collider; each of them studies particle collisions from a different aspect, and with different technologies. Construction for these experiments required an extraordinary engineering effort. For example, a special crane was rented from Belgium to lower pieces of the CMS detector into its cavern, since each piece weighed nearly 2,000 tons. The first of the approximately 5,000 magnets necessary for construction was lowered down a special shaft at 13:00 GMT on 7 March 2005.

    The LHC has begun to generate vast quantities of data, which CERN streams to laboratories around the world for distributed processing (making use of a specialized grid infrastructure, the LHC Computing Grid). During April 2005, a trial successfully streamed 600 MB/s to seven different sites across the world.

    The initial particle beams were injected into the LHC August 2008. The first beam was circulated through the entire LHC on 10 September 2008, but the system failed 10 days later because of a faulty magnet connection, and it was stopped for repairs on 19 September 2008.

    The LHC resumed operation on 20 November 2009 by successfully circulating two beams, each with an energy of 3.5 teraelectronvolts (TeV). The challenge for the engineers was then to try to line up the two beams so that they smashed into each other. This is like “firing two needles across the Atlantic and getting them to hit each other” according to Steve Myers, director for accelerators and technology.

    On 30 March 2010, the LHC successfully collided two proton beams with 3.5 TeV of energy per proton, resulting in a 7 TeV collision energy. However, this was just the start of what was needed for the expected discovery of the Higgs boson. When the 7 TeV experimental period ended, the LHC revved to 8 TeV (4 TeV per proton) starting March 2012, and soon began particle collisions at that energy. In July 2012, CERN scientists announced the discovery of a new sub-atomic particle that was later confirmed to be the Higgs boson.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event May 27, 2012.


    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event
    June 12, 2012.


    Peter Higgs

    In March 2013, CERN announced that the measurements performed on the newly found particle allowed it to conclude that this is a Higgs boson. In early 2013, the LHC was deactivated for a two-year maintenance period, to strengthen the electrical connections between magnets inside the accelerator and for other upgrades.

    On 5 April 2015, after two years of maintenance and consolidation, the LHC restarted for a second run. The first ramp to the record-breaking energy of 6.5 TeV was performed on 10 April 2015. In 2016, the design collision rate was exceeded for the first time. A second two-year period of shutdown begun at the end of 2018.

    Accelerators under construction

    As of October 2019, the construction is on-going to upgrade the LHC’s luminosity in a project called High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC).

    This project should see the LHC accelerator upgraded by 2026 to an order of magnitude higher luminosity.

    As part of the HL-LHC upgrade project, also other CERN accelerators and their subsystems are receiving upgrades. Among other work, the LINAC 2 linear accelerator injector was decommissioned, to be replaced by a new injector accelerator, the LINAC4 in 2020.

    Possible future accelerators

    CERN, in collaboration with groups worldwide, is investigating two main concepts for future accelerators: A linear electron-positron collider with a new acceleration concept to increase the energy (CLIC) and a larger version of the LHC, a project currently named Future Circular Collider.

    CLIC collider

    CERN FCC Future Circular Collider details of proposed 100km-diameter successor to LHC.

    Not discussed or described, but worthy of consideration is the ILC, International Linear Collider in the planning stages for construction in Japan.

    ILC schematic, being planned for the Kitakami highland, in the Iwate prefecture of northern Japan.

    Participation

    Since its foundation by 12 members in 1954, CERN regularly accepted new members. All new members have remained in the organization continuously since their accession, except Spain and Yugoslavia. Spain first joined CERN in 1961, withdrew in 1969, and rejoined in 1983. Yugoslavia was a founding member of CERN but quit in 1961. Of the 23 members, Israel joined CERN as a full member on 6 January 2014, becoming the first (and currently only) non-European full member.

    Enlargement

    Associate Members, Candidates:

    Turkey signed an association agreement on 12 May 2014 and became an associate member on 6 May 2015.
    Pakistan signed an association agreement on 19 December 2014 and became an associate member on 31 July 2015.
    Cyprus signed an association agreement on 5 October 2012 and became an associate Member in the pre-stage to membership on 1 April 2016.
    Ukraine signed an association agreement on 3 October 2013. The agreement was ratified on 5 October 2016.
    India signed an association agreement on 21 November 2016. The agreement was ratified on 16 January 2017.
    Slovenia was approved for admission as an Associate Member state in the pre-stage to membership on 16 December 2016. The agreement was ratified on 4 July 2017.
    Lithuania was approved for admission as an Associate Member state on 16 June 2017. The association agreement was signed on 27 June 2017 and ratified on 8 January 2018.
    Croatia was approved for admission as an Associate Member state on 28 February 2019. The agreement was ratified on 10 October 2019.
    Estonia was approved for admission as an Associate Member in the pre-stage to membership state on 19 June 2020. The agreement was ratified on 1 February 2021.

     
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