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  • richardmitnick 12:33 pm on March 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The solar wind explained", , How was the solar wind discovered?, In 1859 a giant solar eruption known as the Carrington Event shut down telegraph and electrical systems for days., , Pioneering physicist Eugene Parker, Richard Carrington, The corona is so hot that the sun’s gravity can’t hold it so particles are flung off into space and travel throughout the solar system in every direction., These particles-mostly protons and electrons-are traveling about a million miles per hour as they pass Earth., This flow of particles called the “solar wind” has an enormous impact on our lives., University of Chicago, What is NASA’s Parker Probe?, What is the solar wind?, What mysteries remain about the solar wind?   

    From University of Chicago: “The solar wind explained” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Mar 10, 2021
    Louise Lerner

    1
    Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US).

    The solar wind is a flow of particles that comes off the sun at about one million miles per hour and travels throughout the entire solar system. First proposed in the 1950s by University of Chicago physicist Eugene Parker, the solar wind is visible in the halo around the sun during an eclipse and sometimes when the particles hit the Earth’s atmosphere—as the aurora borealis, or northern lights.

    While the solar wind protects Earth from other harmful particles coming from space, storms can also threaten our satellite and communications networks.

    What is the solar wind?

    The surface of the sun is blisteringly hot at 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit—but its atmosphere, called the corona, is more than a thousand times hotter. It is also incredibly active; those flares and loops are the halo you see around the sun when there’s an eclipse.

    1
    Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US).

    The corona is so hot that the sun’s gravity can’t hold it so particles are flung off into space and travel throughout the solar system in every direction. As the sun spins, burns and burps, it creates complex swirls and eddies of particles. These particles-mostly protons and electrons-are traveling about a million miles per hour as they pass Earth.

    This flow of particles called the “solar wind” has an enormous impact on our lives. It protects us from stray cosmic rays coming from elsewhere in the galaxy—but the effects of storms on the sun’s surface can also affect our telecommunications networks. The wind would also pose a threat to astronauts traveling through space, so NASA wants to get a better understanding of its properties.

    The science behind what is happening on the sun’s surface is enormously complex; read more about it at NASA.

    How was the solar wind discovered?

    In 1957, Eugene Parker was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago when he began looking into an open question in astrophysics: Are particles coming off of the sun? Such a phenomenon seemed unlikely; Earth’s atmosphere doesn’t flow out into space, and many experts presumed the same would be true for the sun. But scientists had noticed an odd phenomenon: The tails of comets, no matter which direction they traveled, always pointed away from the sun—almost as though something was blowing them away.

    Parker began to do the math. He calculated that if the sun’s corona was a million degrees, there had to be a flow of particles expanding away from its surface, eventually becoming extremely fast—faster than the speed of sound. He would later name the phenomenon the “solar wind.”

    “And that’s the end of the story, except it isn’t, because people immediately said, ‘I don’t believe it,’” Parker said.

    3
    Prof. Eugene Parker in his office, circa 1977. Credit: Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center.

    He wrote a paper and submitted it to The Astrophysical Journal; the response from scientific reviewers was swift and scathing.

    “You must understand how unbelievable this sounded when he proposed it,” said Fausto Cattaneo, a UChicago professor of astronomy and astrophysics. “That this wind not only exists, but is traveling at supersonic speed! It is extraordinarily difficult to accelerate anything to supersonic speeds in the laboratory, and there is no means of propulsion.”

    Luckily, the editor of the journal at the time was eminent astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Parker’s colleague at the University of Chicago. Chandrasekhar didn’t like the idea either, but the future Nobel laureate couldn’t find anything wrong with Parker’s math, so he overruled the reviewers and published the paper.

    Only three years later, when a NASA spacecraft called Mariner II took readings on its journey to Venus in 1962, the results were unambiguous.

    NASA Mariner 2 spacecraft.

    “There was the solar wind, blowing 24/7,” Parker said.

    How does the solar wind effect us?

    The breakthrough discovery reshaped our picture of space and the solar system. Scientists came to understand that the solar wind not only flows past Earth, but throughout the solar system and beyond. It also both protects and threatens us.

    “The solar wind magnetically blankets the solar system, protecting life on Earth from even higher-energy particles coming from elsewhere in the galaxy,” explained UChicago astrophysicist Angela Olinto. “But it also affects the sophisticated satellite communications we have today. So understanding the precise structure and dynamics and evolution of the solar wind is crucial for civilization as a whole.”

    3
    An artist’s rendering of the solar wind particles coming towards Earth. Credit: NASA.

    Normally, Earth’s magnetic field shields us from most of these particles.

    Magnetosphere of Earth, original bitmap from NASA. SVG rendering by Aaron Kaase.

    But sometimes, the sun “burps,” throwing a billion tons of material into space flying at several thousand kilometers per second. These are called coronal mass ejections—and if a big one happened to hit Earth, the shockwave could cause chaos and damage to our communication systems. “It can cause the magnetic field that surrounds Earth to ring like a struck bell,” said Prof. Justin Kasper, a UChicago alum now a physicist at the University of Michigan(US). Such a scenario would generate all kinds of disturbances: Aircraft would lose radio communication, GPS would be thrown off by up to miles, and banking, communications and electronic systems could be knocked out.

    This has actually happened before: In 1859 a giant solar eruption known as the Carrington Event shut down telegraph and electrical systems for days.

    4
    The 1859 Carrington Event. Credit: Dan Maloney
    Like many Victorian gentlemen of means, Richard Carrington did not need to sully himself with labor; instead, he turned his energies to the study of natural philosophy. It was the field of astronomy to which Carrington would apply himself, but unlike other gentlemen of similar inclination, he began his studies not as the sun set, but as it rose. Our star held great interest for Carrington, and what he saw on its face the morning of September 1, 1859, would astonish him. On that morning, as he sketched an unusual cluster of sunspots, the area erupted in a bright flash as an unfathomable amount of energy stored in the twisted ropes of the Sun’s magnetic field was released, propelling billions of tons of star-stuff on a collision course with Earth.

    Carrington had witnessed a solar flare, and the consequent coronal mass ejection that would hit Earth just 17 hours later would result in a geomagnetic storm of such strength that it would be worldwide news the next day, and would bear his name into the future. The Carrington Event of 1859 was a glimpse of what our star is capable of under the right circumstances, the implications of which are sobering indeed given the web of delicate connections we’ve woven around and above the planet.

    The aurora borealis was so strong that people reported being able to read a newspaper by its light even at 1 o’clock in the morning. “There was a ghastly splendor over the horizon of the North, from which fantastic spires of light shot up, and a rosy glow extended, like a vapor tinged with fire, to the zenith,” wrote the Cincinnati Daily Commercial.

    But in 1859, we weren’t as reliant on electronics as we are today. A 2013 study by Lloyd’s of London estimated that a similar storm hitting Earth today could cause up to $2.6 trillion in damages to the United States alone, and would trigger widespread blackouts and damages to electrical grids.

    There are some precautions we could take if we had advance notice, which is why engineers want to know when a solar storm is incoming. Luckily, several spacecraft orbiting the sun take pictures and send them back to Earth so that NASA can monitor for eruptions. (You can see current space weather conditions here.) But analyzing these images still requires an eruption to first show up on the sun’s surface, which only provides minutes or hours of warning. As of now, there still isn’t way to predict such eruptions before they happen.

    A better understanding of the solar wind also factors into another human venture: space travel. Some solar wind particles are extremely energetic, and could poke tiny holes through important spacecraft equipment—not to mention human bodies. In order to protect astronauts, NASA needs to understand the components, characteristics, and frequencies of such particles, as well as how to forecast space weather in advance for safe journeys.

    What mysteries remain about the solar wind?

    One of the biggest problems facing space weather forecasters is that we still don’t know why the atmosphere of the sun is so much hotter than the surface.

    4
    This combination of three wavelengths of light from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory led to a series of slow coronal puffs on Jan. 17, 2013. Credit: NASA.

    NASA/SDO.

    In everyday life, you’d expect the temperature to decrease steadily as you get further away from a heat source, like moving your hand away from a fire. But that’s not what happens on the sun. In this case, the heat comes from fusion happening in the sun’s core, which gradually cools to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface—then shoots up again to millions of degrees in the corona.

    Many theories have been proposed. Scientists know that the entire surface of the sun is constantly churning and erupting; perhaps there are smaller “nanoflares” (each still packing the energy of a 10-megaton hydrogen bomb) constantly erupting all over the sun’s surface that carry heat to the atmosphere. There are also magnetic fields interacting at the sun’s surface; it’s possible these magnetic fields are hitting each other with explosive force billions of times per second—“canceling” each other out, but heating the atmosphere in the process.

    Questions that scientists would like to answer include:

    Why is the corona so much hotter than the surface of the sun? How does the solar wind accelerate away from the sun?
    How fast are the particles moving, and how hot are they getting?
    Are magnetic fields heating the particles, or are there mechanical waves coming from the surface of the sun? (or both?)

    A deeper understanding of these processes could help forecast space weather that affects life on Earth, reveal more about the conditions that astronauts in orbit above our world and journeying for long distances would face, and even provide clues about what kinds of star activity might favor habitability on distant planets.

    But to get answers, we need to get close to the sun itself.

    What is NASA’s Parker Probe?

    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering physicist Eugene Parker.

    Scientists have been eager for a mission to the sun since space travel first became possible. Not only is the sun vital to life on Earth, it is also by far the closest star we can study. But the extreme temperatures meant that scientists needed to wait for the development of technology that could shield the spacecraft from the intense heat and radiation of the sun.

    In 2018, this dream finally came true. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe—named for Eugene Parker in honor of his pioneering research—began a seven-year journey to the blisteringly hot corona of the sun on Aug. 12, 2018. The probe is the fastest-moving object built by humans, traveling at more than 150,000 miles per hour. It’s so fast that it’s already made several trips around the sun.

    5
    A year after the launch of Parker Solar Probe, NASA scientist Nicola Fox sits down with the mission’s namesake, Prof. Emeritus Eugene Parker, to discuss their findings so far. Credit U Chicago.

    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 11:54 am on March 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Aging stars provide a new cosmological yardstick", A current discrepancy in the measurement of the Hubble constant could be signaling a new physical property of the universe ., , , , , , J-region Asymptotic Giant Branch: JAGB method, One of the most exciting questions in cosmology today is whether there is new physics that is missing from our current understanding of how the universe is evolving., University of Chicago   

    University of Chicago: “Aging stars provide a new cosmological yardstick” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Mar 2, 2021
    Nora Bailey

    UChicago researchers verify a new method of measuring distances to faraway galaxies.

    1
    R Leporis, the bright orange-red star captured here, is an example of the type of stars located in the J-region Asymptotic Giant Branch. The striking color comes from the large amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Credit: Martin Pugh.

    Despite a century of measurements, astronomers can’t agree on the rate at which the universe is expanding. A technique that relies on measuring distances to a specific type of aging star in other galaxies—called the J-region Asymptotic Giant Branch: or JAGB method—might be able to help.

    Astrophysicist and University of Chicago(US) graduate student Abigail Lee is the lead author on a new paper that analyzed observations of light from a nearby galaxy to validate the JAGB method for measuring cosmological distances. This novel technique will allow future independent distance measurements that can help answer one of the biggest outstanding questions in cosmology: how fast is the universe expanding?

    “One of the most exciting questions in cosmology today is whether there is new physics that is missing from our current understanding of how the universe is evolving. A current discrepancy in the measurement of the Hubble constant could be signaling a new physical property of the universe or, more mundanely, unrecognized measurement uncertainties,” said Wendy L. Freedman, the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics and senior author on the paper. “There are very few methods for measuring distances that can deliver the required accuracy. Lee is developing this new JAGB method, which shows early promise for resolving this discrepancy.”

    A key to the history of the universe

    Back in 1920, Edwin Hubble, PhD’17, first noticed the relationship between a galaxy’s distance and how fast it was moving away from us. This value, now known as the Hubble Constant, is a key parameter in cosmological models.

    Edwin Hubble at Caltech Palomar Samuel Oschin 48 inch Telescope. Credit: Emilio Segre Visual Archives/AIP/SPL).


    Edwin Hubble looking through a 100-inch Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson in Southern California, 1929 discovers the Universe is Expanding. Credit: Margaret Bourke-White/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.

    Hubble first measured this constant by comparing galactic distance and velocity measurements derived from a specific kind of star that pulses regularly. Measurements using direct methods like Hubble’s have improved greatly over the decades, but they don’t agree with methods that extrapolate from the Cosmic Microwave Background [CMB]—light leftover from the very early universe.

    CMB per ESA/Planck.

    This disagreement is called the Hubble Tension, and is one of the most prominent issues of modern cosmology.

    1
    NOIRLab Carnegie 6.5 meter Magellan Baade and Clay Telescopes located at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, taking data on the night sky. over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high. Credit: Jan Skowron / CC BY-SA 3.0.

    An independent measurement method could help bridge the gap between methods and lead to a more decisive view of the Hubble constant as measured directly from distances, the authors said.

    That’s where the JAGB method comes in. Stars in the J-region Asymptotic Giant Branch are a specific type of aging giants that contain a substantial amount of carbon in their atmospheres that is brought to the surface by convection currents, giving them a very distinct color and brightness that allows them to be identified in a set of stars within a galaxy.

    “We’ve observed empirically that these stars have a known intrinsic brightness from galaxy to galaxy,” Lee said.

    This makes them prime candidates for being what astronomers call standard candles. Because the apparent brightness of a star as observed depends on both its distance from the observer and its intrinsic brightness, knowing the intrinsic brightness of a star can allow astronomers to infer its distance.

    “Because this method is relatively new, the goal of this project was to see if it could rival other distance indicators in precision and accuracy,” Lee said.

    Going to the stars to check

    The team selected a galaxy on the outskirts of the nearest group of galaxies, called Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte or WLM, and used data taken from observations with the Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. By using a single object as the target and applying four different independent measurement methods, the team could compare the accuracy and precision of the JAGB method to previously established methods.

    After analyzing the data four different ways, researchers determined that the JAGB method is not only an independent check on other distance measurement methods, but that it requires less observing time—a scarce commodity among a community of astronomers competing for time on a limited number of powerful telescopes.

    Because JAGB stars are brighter than stars used in other distance measurements, they can also be seen further away, which will allow for more distant calibrations than are possible with other methods. Additionally, JAGB stars are found in all types of galaxies, as opposed to the pulsating stars used by Hubble, which are found only in the more limited subset of spiral galaxies and often suffer from crowding and significant interference from dust.

    “Ideally we’ll get observing time from the James Webb Space Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope to use this method to measure distances to galaxies hosting Type Ia supernovae,” Lee said. Type Ia supernovae are used to measure more distant galaxies, but they need to be calibrated by shorter range distance measurements using techniques like the JAGB method. “Once we do that, we can not only measure the Hubble constant but also compare these various distance methods to see if there are issues with any of them.”

    Whether that new, independent value for the Hubble constant agrees with other direct measurement methods or the early-universe measurements will shed light on this question that has long puzzled astronomers and cosmologists.

    “We don’t have a firm grasp on the value of the Hubble constant, so this is really important work to help address one of the biggest issues in cosmology right now,” Lee said.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Distance Scale. III. Distance to the Local Group Galaxy WLM Using Multiwavelength Observations of the Tip of the Red Giant Branch, Cepheids, and JAGB Stars.
    The Astrophysical Journal

    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 11:22 am on March 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "For first time researchers send entangled qubit states through a communication channel", Creating a scaled networked quantum computer, Entangled qubit states sent through a communication cable linking one quantum network node to a second node., , Sending entangled photons through a network, University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “For first time researchers send entangled qubit states through a communication channel” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Feb 26, 2021
    Emily Ayshford

    1
    Quantum engineer Youpeng Zhong works on a quantum assembly in the lab of Andrew Cleland at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering(US). Credit: Nancy Wong.

    In a breakthrough for quantum computing, University of Chicago researchers have sent entangled qubit states through a communication cable linking one quantum network node to a second node.

    The researchers, based in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering(US) at the University of Chicago(US), also amplified an entangled state via the same cable first by using the cable to entangle two qubits in each of two nodes, then entangling these qubits further with other qubits in the nodes.

    The results, published Feb. 24 in Nature, could help make quantum computing more feasible and could lay the groundwork for future quantum communication networks.

    “Developing methods that allow us to transfer entangled states will be essential to scaling quantum computing,” said Andrew Cleland, the John A. MacLean Sr. Professor of Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise, who led the research.

    Sending entangled photons through a network

    Qubits, or quantum bits, are the basic units of quantum information. By exploiting their quantum properties, like superposition, and their ability to be entangled together, scientists and engineers are creating next-generation quantum computers that will be able solve previously unsolvable problems.

    Cleland’s group uses superconducting qubits, tiny cryogenic circuits that can be manipulated electrically.

    To send the entangled states through the communication cable—a one-meter-long superconducting cable – the researchers created an experimental set-up with three superconducting qubits in each of two nodes. They connected one qubit in each node to the cable and then sent quantum states, in the form of microwave photons, through the cable with minimal loss of information. The fragile nature of quantum states makes this process quite challenging.

    Cleland’s former postdoctoral fellow, paper first author Youpeng Zhong, was able to develop a system in which the whole transfer process—node to cable to node—takes only a few tens of nanoseconds (a nanosecond is one billionth of a second). That allowed them to send entangled quantum states with very little information loss.

    The system also allowed them to “amplify” the entanglement of qubits. The researchers used one qubit in each node and entangled them together by essentially sending a half-photon through the cable. They then extended this entanglement to the other qubits in each node. When they were finished, all six qubits in two nodes were entangled in a single globally entangled state.

    Creating a scaled networked quantum computer

    In the future, quantum computers will likely be built out of modules where families of entangled qubits conduct a computation. These computers could ultimately be built from many such networked modules, similar to how supercomputers today conduct parallel computing on many central processing units connected to one another. The ability to remotely entangle qubits in different modules, or nodes, is a significant advance to enabling such modular approaches.

    “These modules will need to send complex quantum states to each other, and this is a big step toward that,” Cleland said. A quantum communication network could also potentially take advantage of this advance.

    Cleland and his group hope to next extend their system to three nodes to build three-way entanglement.

    “We want to show that superconducting qubits have a viable role going forward,” he said.

    Other authors on the paper include David Schuster, associate professor of physics and molecular engineering; graduate students Hung-Shen Chang, Ming-Han Chou, Christopher R. Conner, Joel Grebel, Rhys G. Povey, and Haoxiong Yan; and former postdoctoral researchers Étienne Dumur and Audrey Bienfait.

    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 10:55 am on March 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists confirm third-nearest star with a planet—and it’s rocky like Earth", , , , , In the past two decades scientists have discovered more and more planets orbiting distant stars—but in some sense they’re still just dots on a map., MAROON-X Exoplanet hunter from Bean Exoplanet Group at U Chicago., New planet called Gliese 486 b., University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Scientists confirm third-nearest star with a planet—and it’s rocky like Earth” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Mar 4, 2021
    Louise Lerner

    MAROON-X instrument built by UChicago team measures its first planet.

    MAROON-X Exoplanet hunter on NSF’s NOIRLab Frederick C Gillett Gemini North Telescope Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft) from Bean Exoplanet Group at U Chicago.

    MAROON-X Exoplanet hunter on NSF’s NOIRLab Frederick C Gillett Gemini North Telescope Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft) from Bean Exoplanet Group at U Chicago.

    1
    An artist’s concept of the new planet, called Gliese 486 b, which is located just over two dozen light-years from Earth and is also made out of rock—though it is hotter and three times larger than our home.
    Credit: José A. Caballero and Javier Bollaín.

    In the past two decades scientists have discovered more and more planets orbiting distant stars—but in some sense they’re still just dots on a map.

    “It’s kind of like looking at a map of Europe and seeing the dot that’s labeled ‘Paris,’” said University of Chicago(US) astrophysicist Jacob Bean. “You know where it is, but there’s a whole lot that you’re missing about the city.”

    Scientists are developing new telescopes and instruments to fill in more and more of that picture. Bean led the creation of one such instrument called MAROON-X [above], which was installed at the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii last year.

    NSF’s NOIRLab Frederick C Gillett Gemini North Telescope Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    It allowed scientists to not only confirm the existence of the third-nearest star with a transiting exoplanet, but to take extraordinarily precise measurements of that planet and discover that it is rocky like Earth.

    The new planet, called Gliese 486 b, is located just over two dozen light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Virgo, and is also made out of rock—though it is hotter and three times larger than our home.

    “This is the third-nearest system with a transiting exoplanet, and it should be just the first in a long line of them for MAROON-X,” said Bean, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. “We’re really happy. We’re going to learn a lot about terrestrial exoplanets over the coming years.”

    Planet transit. NASA/Ames.

    For centuries, astronomers didn’t have powerful enough telescopes to find exoplanets, because they’re really, really hard to see next to the blinding light of their stars. Even with better equipment, attacking the problem with several different methods can still yield better results.

    Designed to work in partnership with other exoplanet-hunting instruments, MAROON-X catches tiny changes in the light spectrum of a star as an orbiting planet pulls it in a synchronized dance around the common center of mass. Using that information, scientists can calculate the mass of the unseen planet. They can then combine those calculations with readings from NASA’s TESS spacecraft—which measures the size of the planet—to find out whether the planet is dense and rocky, like Earth, or gaseous like Jupiter.

    NASA/MIT Tess

    NASA/MIT Tess in the building.


    NASA/MIT TESS replaced Kepler in search for exoplanets.

    TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Additional partners include Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia; NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley; the Center for Astrophysics – Harvard and Smithsonian in Cambridge; MIT Lincoln Laboratory; and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

    TESS had already registered the possible existence of a planet near the star Gliese 486, which the MAROON-X team identified as a good candidate for its first observational run.

    “Looking at the data, right away we realized that the star it orbits turned out to be remarkably quiet, compared to other stars that flare a lot,” Bean said. “Combined with our really sensitive instruments, we had a beautiful opportunity to make a really accurate mass measurement.”

    The planet Gl 486 b circles a red dwarf star, which is a little smaller than our sun, but is the most common kind of star in the galaxy. However, it’s so close to the star that the planet’s surface is probably about 800 degrees Fahrenheit (425 degrees Celsius)—not likely to be habitable, experts say.

    But the nearness and clearness of Gl 486 b makes it a perfect candidate to help scientists learn more about the compositions and atmospheres of other planets.

    “Just by looking at the planets in our own solar system, we can see a huge diversity,” Bean said. “For example, Venus and Mars are both rocky planets, but Venus has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere that keeps it extremely hot, whereas Mars lost its atmosphere and is cold and dry.

    “That tells us to suspect that there are a lot of very different atmospheres out there. Right now, we can’t predict them. This planet is going to be the key to understanding atmospheres in rocky exoplanets.”

    Bean’s team is hoping Gl 486 b will be one of the first planets observed by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Telescope due to be launched in late 2021.

    NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope annotated.

    Webb’s much larger mirror will enable it to detect light in the infrared range that will be particularly useful for exoplanet studies.

    “Webb will be so powerful that in just a few hours of looking at this planet, we’ll be able to tell if it has an atmosphere,” said Bean, who proposed a method in 2019 to use the Webb Telescope’s capabilities to detect exoplanet atmospheres much more easily than previous methods.

    In the meantime, the team will continue to improve the performance of MAROON-X, which was installed in late 2019. Although the Gemini Observatory was temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was able to resume taking data for several stretches in 2020—data which Bean and his fellow scientists were able to analyze in Chicago.

    “The nice thing is that the entire operation is already designed to be run remotely, because of the extreme conditions at the telescope,” Bean said; atop Mauna Kea at 14,000 feet above sea level, it’s difficult to breathe, let alone operate complicated equipment.

    Bean’s research group runs MAROON-X, but so many astronomers have requested to use it that the Gemini North facility has announced it will “adopt” the instrument as part of its permanent array. “We’re running it and analyzing the data, but we also have several ideas for improving it,” Bean said. “There’s so much more science to do.”

    Science paper:
    A nearby transiting rocky exoplanet that is suitable for atmospheric investigation
    Science

    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

    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 2:32 pm on January 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Navigating Startup Success Polsky Launches the ‘Compass’ a New Deep Tech Accelerator Program", , , The Polsky Center will select the most promising startups and technologies at University of Chicago; Argonne National Laboratory; and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and provide robust resources, The program’s first cohort included three teams:, The program’s second cohort kicked off this month and includes four teams:, University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Navigating Startup Success Polsky Launches the ‘Compass’ a New Deep Tech Accelerator Program” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    January 19, 2021

    1

    2

    The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recently launched the Compass – a first-of-its-kind deep tech accelerator program for early-stage startups and technologies.

    “Backed by a 25-year history of launching successful ventures and leveraging business expertise from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Polsky Center has created the Compass to focus on launching new, innovative companies,” said Christine Karslake, PhD, MBA ’95, managing director, Polsky science ventures.

    “The Polsky Center will select the most promising startups and technologies out of the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and provide robust resources to help those companies get launched and be investor-ready in six months,” added Shyama Majumdar, senior manager, science ventures.

    Participants gain access to world-class resources over the six-month program with the goal of being investor-ready at the conclusion of participation in the program. Teams receive ecosystem introductions, mentorship, and educational training, and have the opportunity to access additional talent and funding for their ventures.

    “Deep tech, high-potential projects require a unique set of resources and support, and we are thrilled to be able to provide this through the Compass. The teams participating will gain access to expertise and training which are critical to launching a successful deep tech venture,” said Melissa Byrn, director, innovation programs.

    Teams are led by business development fellows who collaborates closely with the founding scientific team who have created these innovative technologies and who have set forth a vision for the company. Fellows are sourced from Chicago Booth, PhD programs in the sciences, and the College.

    The program’s first cohort included three teams:

    NetMicroscope // NetMicroscope is developing an edge analytics platform that enables ISPs to infer real-time Quality of Experience metrics while retaining the security that user’s value. The platform leverages machine learning techniques to identify where in the network stack issues have arisen, driving actionable insights.

    Team members:

    Nick Feamster, PI and cofounder, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science and director of the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC)
    Guilherme Martins, cofounder, senior programming specialist, CDAC

    ReAx Biotechnologies // ReAx is an early-stage venture developing chemical proteomic platform technologies to discover small molecule therapeutics targeting intractable protein families. The ReAx platform utilizes protein family-wide small molecule probes and a barcoded, amplifiable detection strategy to quantify the activity state of proteins, as well as their interaction with therapeutics, directly in biofluids, cells, and tissues. ReAx can perform multiplexed, high-throughput drug profiling experiments directly in cells, which represents a paradigm shift relative to traditional methods. ReAx is therefore uniquely positioned to discover novel therapeutics targeting proteins that have been resistant to traditional drug discovery approaches

    Team members:

    Ray Moellering, PI and cofounder, associate professor, Physical Sciences Division
    Jeff Montgomery, cofounder, PhD candidate, Physical Sciences Division
    Eric Chapman, business lead, Master’s student, Chicago Booth and computer science

    ReAx recently participated in the 2020 George Shultz Innovation Fund and received $150,000 to further commercialize its work.

    Zero Burden Labs // Zero Burden Labs aims to bring to market blood-work free diagnostic screening technology for complex diseases ranging from early screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder to Gestational Diabetes. Their technology is made possible by sophisticated IP-protected machine learning algorithms that learn deep temporal patterns from sparse, dirty, un-curated past diagnostic histories utilizing electronic medical records; making possible precision personalized healthcare improving patient outcomes, and ease the burden on healthcare providers and payers.

    Team members:

    Ishanu Chattopadhyay, PI and cofounder, assistant professor, Biological Sciences Division
    Dmytro Onishchenko, cofounder, post-doctoral researcher, Biological Sciences Division
    Jim Van Horne, business lead and cofounder, student, Chicago Booth

    The program’s second cohort kicked off this month and includes four teams:

    ElectroCorr // ElectroCorr is developing a toolkit that evaluates and qualifies corrosion of materials in a variety of substrates. Applications of this technology range from medical implants to the automotive and oil and gas industries.

    Team members:

    Vineeth Gattu, PI and founder, staff researcher, Argonne National Laboratory
    Khushboo Sharma, Business Development Fellow, student, Chicago Booth

    Heiothera // Heiothera is developing a therapeutic platform technology to treat autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

    Team members:

    Jeff Hubbell, PI and cofounder, Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering and deputy dean for development, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
    Jun Ishihara, PhD ’20, PI and cofounder, assistant professor, Imperial College London
    Carlo Passeri, Business Development Fellow, student, Chicago Booth

    Phlaxis // Phlaxis is developing a vaccine to treat and prevent peanut allergies in children.

    Team members:

    Jeff Hubbell, PI and cofounder, Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering and deputy dean for development, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
    Chitavi Maulloo, cofounder, student, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
    Shijie Cao, cofounder, post-doctoral scientist, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
    Hikaru Ihara, Business Development Fellow, student, Chicago Booth

    AddGraft Therapeutics // AddGraft Therapeutics is developing a CRISPR-based therapeutic technology using skin cells to treat cocaine addiction.

    Team members:

    Ming Xu, PI and cofounder, professor of anesthesia and critical care, Biological Sciences Division
    Xiaoyang Wu, PI and cofounder, associate professor, Biological Sciences Division
    Ryan Myers, Business Development Fellow, student, Chicago Booth

    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:52 pm on January 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "COOL-LAMPS" is short for ChicagO Optically-selected strong Lenses – Located At the Margins of Public Surveys., "UChicago undergrads discover bright lensed galaxy in the early universe", , , , , , University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “UChicago undergrads discover bright lensed galaxy in the early universe” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Jan 13, 2021
    Katrina Miller

    1
    A class of undergraduate astrophysics students at the University of Chicago helped discover a galaxy that dates back to a time when the universe was only 1.2 billion years old, about one-tenth of its current age.

    Class turned research collaboration uses ‘nature’s telescope’ to reach across cosmic time.

    The night sky is a natural time machine, used by cosmologists to explore the origins and evolution of the universe. Reaching into the depths of the past, a class of undergraduate students at the University of Chicago sought to do the same—and uncovered an extraordinarily distant galaxy in the early cosmos.

    Light emitted from faraway celestial objects takes a long time to reach Earth-side observers. That means the stars and galaxies we see in the sky appear to us as they would have existed millions, or even billions, of years ago.

    The discovered galaxy’s light comes from a time when the universe was only 1.2 billion years old, about one-tenth of its current age. By this point, the young galaxy had already accumulated a mass impressively comparable to the present-day version of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

    “This galaxy that we’ve observed, by looking out and back into the past, is already grown up. It’s already formed almost a Milky Way’s worth of stars,” said Michael Gladders, a professor in UChicago’s astronomy and astrophysics department. “It’s quite mature, but at a much earlier stage in the Universe.”

    The discovery was a climactic milestone in the first iteration of a field course developed for the new astrophysics major offered by UChicago. Students in the two-quarter class formed a new research collaboration, COOL-LAMPS, and surveyed public imaging databases in search of lensed galaxies. The remarkable find was confirmed by observations from ground-based instruments: the Magellan Telescopes in Chile and the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii.

    Carnegie 6.5 meter Magellan Baade and Clay Telescopes located at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    NSF’s NOIRLab Frederick C Gillett Gemini North Telescope Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    ‘Nature’s telescope’

    A lensed galaxy is one whose emitted light has been bent by the gravity of a massive object lying between the galaxy and the point of observation. This effect, known as gravitational lensing, creates a distorted, arc-like image of the galaxy with an intensely magnified brightness.

    Gravitational Lensing

    Gravitational Lensing NASA/ESA.

    2
    COOL-LAMPS I. An Extraordinarily Bright Lensed Galaxy at Redshift 5.04∗
    An effect called gravitational lensing creates a distorted, arc-like image of a galaxy behind it that may not have been visible otherwise-such as this extremely ancient galaxy. Credit: Khullar et al.

    Gladders, who taught the field course in the first half of 2020, calls gravitational lensing ‘nature’s telescope.’ “It’s a rare, peculiar form of focusing and magnification that allows us to study galaxies with much greater detail than we ever normally could,” he said.

    Light from the discovered galaxy was so strongly magnified by a cluster of other galaxies in its foreground that it rivaled images of the sky taken from space.

    “This was a ground-based telescope taking data of this absolutely beautiful arc,” said Gourav Khullar, a UChicago PhD candidate who served as teaching assistant for the field course and is first author of the paper describing the findings. “It’s approximately a hundred times brighter than classical images of similarly distant galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope!”

    A comprehensive study of the stellar populations of this galaxy, undertaken by the student collaborators, concluded in the realization that this was the brightest lensed galaxy ever observed in this time period of the early universe.

    Without gravitational lensing, though, the distant galaxy would appear much dimmer, if visible at all.

    “The arc has been magnified by the intermediate lens in such a way that it’s extremely bright,” said Khullar. “But an un-lensed version of the galaxy wouldn’t look like this; it would be much fainter and not at all detectable by current ground-based facilities.”

    Pushing through the pandemic

    The field course was designed to provide astrophysics majors with a real-life, cutting-edge research opportunity. Originally modest in ambition, Gladders convinced the department and the College to invest in a complete field experience, including a visit to the Magellan Telescopes to participate in astronomical observing time over spring break.

    But the coronavirus pandemic thwarted those plans, ripping away what was intended to be the core experience of the class.

    “Everything was booked,” said Gladders. “I’d already arranged trips to other observatory sites, construction sites to see telescopes that were currently being built, and to see Chile itself.”

    In the midst of dark times, the COOL-LAMPS students pushed on with the scan of public sky data, eventually reaching their illuminating galactic discovery.

    “For me, it was a shock that we had found something so important,” said Emily Sisco, a fourth-year astrophysics major who participated in the field course during the last academic year. “All of the work we had been doing was leading up to that moment, but I was still shocked!”

    Intriguing first results have encouraged the COOL-LAMPS collaboration to pursue observation time for a second wave of study. Plans are set to observe the galaxy using ground-based telescopes in New Mexico and Europe, as well as two of NASA’s orbiting space telescopes, Hubble and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope.

    NASA Chandra X-ray Space Telescope

    “With higher resolution imaging from space, astronomers will be able to resolve the structure of this galaxy,” said Ezra Sukay, who joined the COOL-LAMPS collaboration as a third-year student in the College. “This will reveal details about star formation in very massive galaxies early in the Universe.”

    Gladders expected the class to be successful in some way, but did not anticipate a galaxy so exceptionally bright, far back in time, or mature as what was discovered. “It’s just absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I’m so proud of them—they’ve done really great work.”

    In January, Gladders will begin teaching a second version of the field course, adding new students to COOL-LAMPS who will continue to probe the formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time.

    “One of the great goals in studying the cosmos is answering the fundamental question of where we come from,” said Gladders. “Us as a species, but also the planet we live on, the solar system that planet is in, and the galaxy that our solar system is in.

    “We’re addressing this deep yearning to understand where it all comes from and ultimately, how do we fit in?”

    COOL-LAMPS is short for ChicagO Optically-selected strong Lenses – Located At the Margins of Public Surveys. The UChicago undergraduate authors of the paper are Katya Gozman, Jason J. Lin, Michael N. Martinez, Owen S. Matthews Acuña, Elisabeth Medina, Kaiya Merz, Jorge A. Sanchez, Emily E. Sisco, Daniel J. Kavin Stein, Ezra O. Sukay and Kiyan Tavangar.

    The study also includes co-authors from the University of Michigan, the University of Cincinnati, Argonne National Laboratory, Harvard University, the University of Oslo, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for 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

    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:13 pm on December 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Ripples in space-time could provide clues to missing components of the universe", , , , , , , , , University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Ripples in space-time could provide clues to missing components of the universe” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Dec 24, 2020
    Louise Lerner

    1
    Credit: Chris Henze/NASA.

    UChicago scientist lays out how LIGO gravitational waves could be scrambled, yielding information.

    There’s something a little off about our theory of the universe. Almost everything fits, but there’s a fly in the cosmic ointment, a particle of sand in the infinite sandwich. Some scientists think the culprit might be gravity—and that subtle ripples in the fabric of space-time could help us find the missing piece.

    A new paper co-authored by a University of Chicago scientist lays out how this might work. Published Dec. 21 in Physical Review D, the method depends on finding such ripples that have been bent by traveling through supermassive black holes or large galaxies on their way to Earth.

    The trouble is that something is making the universe not only expand, but expand faster and faster over time—and no one knows what it is. (The search for the exact rate is an ongoing debate in cosmology).

    Scientists have proposed all kinds of theories for what the missing piece might be. “Many of these rely on changing the way gravity works over large scales,” said paper co-author Jose María Ezquiaga, a NASA Einstein postdoctoral fellow in the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the UChicago. “So gravitational waves are the perfect messenger to see these possible modifications of gravity, if they exist.”

    Gravitational waves. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/Werner Benger

    Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time itself; since 2015, humanity has been able to pick up these ripples using the LIGO observatories.

    MIT /Caltech Advanced aLigo .

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA.

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Hanford, WA, USA.

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy.

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy.

    Whenever two massively heavy objects collide elsewhere in the universe, they create a ripple that travels across space, carrying the signature of whatever made it—perhaps two black holes or two neutron stars colliding.

    Artist’s iconic conception of two merging black holes similar to those detected by LIGO Credit LIGO-Caltech/MIT/Sonoma State /Aurore Simonnet.

    Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time itself; since 2015, humanity has been able to pick up these ripples using the LIGO observatories. Whenever two massively heavy objects collide elsewhere in the universe, they create a ripple that travels across space, carrying the signature of whatever made it—perhaps two black holes or two neutron stars colliding.

    In the paper, Ezquiaga and co-author Miguel Zumalácarregui argue that if such waves hit a supermassive black hole or cluster of galaxies on their way to Earth, the signature of the ripple would change. If there were a difference in gravity compared to Einstein’s theory, the evidence would be embedded in that signature.

    For example, one theory for the missing piece of the universe is the existence of an extra particle. Such a particle would, among other effects, generate a kind of background or “medium” around large objects. If a traveling gravitational wave hit a supermassive black hole, it would generate waves that would get mixed up with the gravitational wave itself. Depending on what it encountered, the gravitational wave signature could carry an “echo,” or show up scrambled.

    “This is a new way to probe scenarios that couldn’t be tested before,” Ezquiaga said.

    Their paper lays out the conditions for how to find such effects in future data. The next LIGO run is scheduled to begin in 2022, with an upgrade to make the detectors even more sensitive than they already are.

    “In our last observing run with LIGO, we were seeing a new gravitational wave reading every six days, which is amazing. But in the entire universe, we think they’re actually happening once every five minutes,” Ezquiaga said. “In the next upgrade, we could see so many of those—hundreds of events per year.”

    The increased numbers, he said, make it more likely that one or more wave will have traveled through a massive object, and that scientists will be able to analyze them for clues to the missing components.

    Zumalácarregui, the other author on the paper, is a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Germany as well as the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley.

    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:54 pm on December 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UChicago scientists pioneer new method of measuring electricity in cells", , , , Electricity is a key ingredient in living bodies., , The Krishnan lab at UChicago specializes in building tiny sensors to travel inside cells and report back on what’s happening., The researchers’ new tool called Voltair makes it possible to explore this question further., University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “UChicago scientists pioneer new method of measuring electricity in cells” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Dec 23, 2020
    Sheila Evans

    1
    The complex dance of electrical signals inside a cell holds the key to many questions about diseases and disorders, but has been difficult to understand—so a team of UChicago scientists invented a way to listen in. Credit: Christoph Burgstedt/Shutterstock.

    New technology peers inside cells, may inspire new fields of research.

    Electricity is a key ingredient in living bodies. We know that voltage differences are important in biological systems; they drive the beating of the heart and allow neurons to communicate with one another. But for decades, it wasn’t possible to measure voltage differences between organelles—the membrane-wrapped structures inside the cell—and the rest of the cell.

    A pioneering technology created by UChicago scientists, however, allows researchers to peer into cells to see how many different organelles use voltages to carry out functions.

    “Scientists had noticed for a long time that charged dyes used for staining cells would get stuck in the mitochondria,” explained graduate student Anand Saminathan, the first author for the paper, which was published in Nature Nanotechnology. “But little work has been done to investigate the membrane potential of other organelles in live cells.”

    The Krishnan lab at UChicago specializes in building tiny sensors to travel inside cells and report back on what’s happening, so that researchers can understand how cells work—and how they break down in disease or disorders. Previously, they have built such machines to study neurons and lysosomes, among others.

    In this case, they decided to use the technique to investigate the electric activities of the organelles inside live cells.

    In the membranes of neurons, there are proteins called ion channels which act as gateways for charged ions to enter and exit the cell. These channels are essential for neurons to communicate. Previous research had shown that organelles have similar ion channels, but we weren’t sure what roles they played.

    The researchers’ new tool, called Voltair, makes it possible to explore this question further. It works as a voltmeter measuring the voltage difference of two different areas inside a cell. Voltair is constructed out of DNA, which means it can go directly into the cell and access deeper structures.

    In their initial studies, the researchers looked for membrane potentials—a difference in voltage inside an organelle versus outside. They found evidence for such potentials in several organelles, such as trans-Golgi networks and recycling endosomes, that were previously thought not to have membrane potentials at all.

    “So I think the membrane potential in organelles could play a larger role—maybe it helps organelles communicate,” said Prof. Yamuna Krishnan, an expert in nucleic acid-based molecular devices.

    Their studies are only the beginning, the authors said; Voltair offers a way for researchers in many fields to answer questions they’ve never even been able to ask. It can even be used in plants.

    “This new development will at least start conversations, and may even inspire a new field of research,” said Saminathan.

    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:25 pm on November 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Search of a lifetime’ for supersymmetric particles at CERN", , , , , , University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Search of a lifetime’ for supersymmetric particles at CERN” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Nov 19, 2020
    Katrina Miller

    UChicago researchers hunt for proposed particles that could explain quirks of the universe.

    1
    Inside of the ATLAS detector with UChicago researcher Lesya Horyn, who recently completed her dissertation on the search for long-lived sleptons, supersymmetric partners of the existing electron, muon, and tau leptons.

    A team of researchers at the University of Chicago recently embarked on the search of a lifetime—or rather, a search for the lifetime of long-lived supersymmetric particles.

    Supersymmetry is a proposed theory to expand the Standard Model of particle physics.

    Standard Model of Supersymmetry via DESY (DE).

    Akin to the periodic table of elements, the Standard Model is the best description we have for subatomic particles in nature and the forces acting on them.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics via http://www.plus.maths.org .

    But physicists know this model is incomplete—it doesn’t make room for gravity or dark matter, for example. Supersymmetry aims to complete the picture by pairing each Standard Model particle with a supersymmetric partner, opening up a new class of hypothetical particles to detect and discover. In a new study, UChicago physicists have uncovered limitations for what properties these superpartners, if they exist, could have.

    2
    Physicist Tova Holmes in the ATLAS counting room, where much of the data acquisition and trigger infrastructure lives. At some point in the next decade, these systems will be upgraded for improvements to next-generation supersymmetry searches.

    “Supersymmetry really is the most promising theory we have for solving as many problems as possible in the Standard Model,” said Tova Holmes, assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who worked on the experiment as a postdoctoral researcher at UChicago. “Our work fits into a larger effort at the Large Hadron Collider to reconsider how we search for new physics.”

    The Large Hadron Collider, located in Europe at CERN, accelerates protons to nearly the speed of light before forcing them to collide. These proton-proton collisions produce a slew of additional particles where researchers hope to find new physics.

    LHC

    CERN map


    CERN LHC Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan


    CERN LHC particles

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS

    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni CERN/ATLAS

    ALICE

    CERN/ALICE Detector


    CMS

    CERN/CMS


    LHCb

    CERN/LHCb detector

    “But at the Large Hadron Collider, new physics events are extremely rare and difficult to identify in the debris of colliding particles,” said Prof. Young-Kee Kim, chair of the UChicago physics department and co-author of the study, an effort led entirely by women.

    The UChicago team searched for the production of sleptons—hypothesized superpartners of the existing electron, muon, and tau leptons—using data collected in ATLAS [below], a particle detector at CERN. In the tested supersymmetry model, sleptons are theorized to have long lifetimes, meaning they can travel far before decaying into something detectable by ATLAS.

    “One of the ways we can miss new physics is if the particle doesn’t decay promptly when it’s produced,” said Holmes. “Typically, we’re blind to long-lived particles in our searches, because we basically cut out anything that doesn’t look like a standard prompt decay in our detector.”

    Sleptons are expected to eventually decay into their regular lepton partners. But unlike conventional decays, these leptons will be displaced, meaning they won’t point back to the original proton-proton collision point. It was this unique feature that physicists were hunting for.

    In four years of collected ATLAS data, however, UChicago researchers found no displaced lepton events. That lack of discovery allowed them to set what is called a limit, ruling out a range of masses and lifetimes that long-lived sleptons might have.

    “We are at least 95% sure that, should a slepton in this model exist, it doesn’t have the masses and lifetimes in the shaded portions of this plot,” said Lesya Horyn, newly minted PhD from UChicago who recently completed her dissertation on this measurement.

    Does a null result disappoint the team? Not at all.

    “Finding nothing tells you so much,” Horyn said. Knowing that long-lived sleptons don’t have certain masses and lifetimes informs researchers on where to focus future searches.

    “From my point of view, this search was the number one thing theorists were calling out to have covered,” Holmes said. “It seemed like we could do it—and we did!”

    The outcome has energized the team to push the boundaries even further. At some point in the next decade, the Large Hadron Collider will enter its periodic shutdown, leaving ample time for ATLAS hardware to be upgraded.

    “This was a first pass at the analysis, so there are definitely places to improve,” Horyn said.

    One pressing upgrade will be a revamp of the trigger system, which selects whether events should be saved or thrown away. The trigger is currently optimized to store decays from short-lived particles, not the long-lived sleptons central to this supersymmetry search.

    More immediate improvements can be made without waiting for the shutdown.

    “Future steps might include searching for the same model using more robust data from the next runs of the Large Hadron Collider,” said Xiaohe Jia, a graduate student at Harvard who worked on the experiment as a UChicago undergrad. Another route to explore, she said, could be using similar techniques to expand the long-lived particle search beyond just sleptons.

    For now, the completion of the Standard Model remains a mystery, but the team is proud to have led a first search for this supersymmetry model in ATLAS.

    “Discovering new physics is like finding a needle in a haystack,” Kim said. “Although we did not see anything in the current data, there is great opportunity for the future!”

    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:51 pm on November 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Analysis paves way for more sensitive quantum sensors", , Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Analysis paves way for more sensitive quantum sensors” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    November 16, 2020
    Emily Ayshford

    1

    2
    New research at PME has the potential to make quantum sensors that are exponentially more powerful. Credit: Adobe Stock.

    3
    Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

    Quantum sensors can measure extremely small changes in an environment by taking advantage of quantum phenomena like entanglement, where entangled particles can affect each other, even when separated by great distances.

    Researchers ultimately hope to create and use these sensors to detect and diagnose disease, predict volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, or explore underground without digging.

    In pursuit of that goal, theoretical researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have found a way to make quantum sensors exponentially more sensitive.

    By harnessing a unique physics phenomenon, the researchers have calculated a way to develop a sensor that has a sensitivity that increases exponentially as it grows, without using more energy. The results were published October 23 in Nature Communications.

    “This could even help improve classical sensors,” said Prof. Aashish Clerk, co-author of the paper. “It’s a way to build more efficient, powerful sensors for all kinds of applications.”

    Harnessing physics phenomena

    Quantum sensors use atoms and photons as measurement probes by manipulating their quantum state. Increasing the sensitivity of these sensors—and traditional sensors—often means developing a bigger sensor or using more sensing particles. Even so, such moves only increase the sensitivity of quantum sensors equal to the number of particles that are added.

    But the researchers, led by graduate student Alexander McDonald, wondered if there was a way to increase the sensitivity even more. They imagined creating a string of photonic cavities, where photons can be transported to adjacent cavities. Such a string could be used as a quantum sensor, but the researchers wanted to know: If they created a longer and longer chain of cavities, would the sensitivity of the sensor be greater?

    In systems like this, photons could dissipate—leak out of the cavities and disappear. But by harnessing a physics phenomenon called non-Hermitian dynamics, where dissipation leads to interesting consequences, the researchers were able to calculate that a string of these cavities would increase the sensitivity of the sensor much more than the number of cavities added. In fact, it would increase the sensitivity exponentially in system size.

    Not only that, it would do so without using any extra energy and without increasing the inevitable noise from quantum fluctuations. That would be a huge win for quantum sensors, Clerk said.

    “This is the first example of a scheme like this—that by stringing these cavities together in the right way, we can gain an enormous amount of sensitivity,” Clerk said.

    Improving all kinds of quantum sensors

    To prove the theory, Clerk is working with a group of researchers who are building a network of superconducting circuits. These circuits could move photons between cavities in the same manner Clerk described in the research paper. That could create a sensor that could improve how quantum information is read out from quantum bits, or qubits.

    Clerk also hopes to examine how to construct analogous quantum sensing platforms by coupling spins instead of photonic cavities, with possible implementations based on arrays of quantum bits.

    “We want to know if we can use this physics to improve all kinds of quantum sensors,” Clerk said.

    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.

     
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