WORLD'S TOP PHYSICISTS UNITE TO TACKLE ONE OF SCIENCE'S GREATEST MYSTERIES – Canada NewsWire
Vancouver-based Quantum Gravity Society leads international quest to discover Theory of Quantum Gravity
VANCOUVER, BC, July 21, 2022 /CNW/ – More than two dozen of the world’s top physicists, including three Nobel Prize winners, will gather in Vancouver this August for a Quantum Gravity Conference that will host the launch a Vancouver-based Quantum Gravity Institute (QGI) and a new global research collaboration that could significantly advance our understanding of physics and gravity and profoundly change the world as we know it.
For roughly 100 years, the world’s understanding of physics has been based on Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (GR), which explored the theory of space, time and gravity, and quantum mechanics (QM), which focuses on the behaviour of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale. GR has given us a deep understanding of the cosmos, leading to space travel and technology like atomic clocks, which govern global GPS systems. QM is responsible for most of the equipment that runs our world today, including the electronics, lasers, computers, cell phones, plastics, and other technologies that support modern transportation, communications, medicine, agriculture, energy systems and more.
While each theory has led to countless scientific breakthroughs, in many cases, they are incompatible and seemingly contradictory. Discovering a unifying connection between these two fundamental theories, the elusive Theory of Quantum Gravity, could provide the world with a deeper understanding of time, gravity and matter and how to potentially control them. It could also lead to new technologies that would affect most aspects of daily life, including how we communicate, grow food, deliver health care, transport people and goods, and produce energy.
“Discovering the Theory of Quantum Gravity could lead to the possibility of time travel, new quantum devices, or even massive new energy resources that produce clean energy and help us address climate change,” said Philip Stamp, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, and Visiting Associate in Theoretical Astrophysics at Caltech. “The potential long-term ramifications of this discovery are so incredible that life on earth 100 years from now could look as miraculous to us now as today’s technology would have seemed to people living 100 years ago.”
The new Quantum Gravity Institute and the conference were founded by the Quantum Gravity Society, which was created in 2022 by a group of Canadian technology, business and community leaders, and leading physicists. Among its goals are to advance the science of physics and facilitate research on the Theory of Quantum Gravity through initiatives such as the conference and assembling the world’s leading archive of scientific papers and lectures associated with the attempts to reconcile these two theories over the past century.
Attending the Quantum Gravity Conference in Vancouver (August 15-19) will be two dozen of the world’s top physicists, including Nobel Laureates Kip Thorne, Jim Peebles and Sir Roger Penrose, as well as physicists Baron Martin Rees, Markus Aspelmeyer, Viatcheslav Mukhanov and Paul Steinhardt. On Wednesday, August 17, the conference will be open to the public, providing them with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend keynote addresses from the world’s pre-eminent physicists. (See schedule below.) A noon-hour discussion on the importance of the research will be delivered by Kip Thorne, the former Feynman Professor of physics at Caltech. Thorne is well known for his popular books, and for developing the original idea for the 2014 film Interstellar. He was also crucial to the development of the book Contact by Carl Sagan, which was also made into a motion picture.
“We look forward to welcoming many of the world’s brightest minds to Vancouver for our first Quantum Gravity Conference,” said Frank Giustra, CEO Fiore Group and Co-Founder, Quantum Gravity Society. “One of the goals of our Society will be to establish Vancouver as a supportive home base for research and facilitate the scientific collaboration that will be required to unlock this mystery that has eluded some of the world’s most brilliant physicists for so long.”
“The format is key,” explains Terry Hui, UC Berkley Physics alumnus and Co-Founder, Quantum Gravity Society. “Like the Solvay Conference nearly 100 years ago, the Quantum Gravity Conference will bring top scientists together in salon-style gatherings. The relaxed evening format following the conference will reduce barriers and allow these great minds to freely exchange ideas. I hope this hundred-year-old problem will be solved soon in relative terms.”
“As amazing as our journey of scientific discovery has been over the past century, we still have so much to learn about how the universe works on a macro, atomic and subatomic level,” added Paul Lee, Managing Partner, Vanedge Capital, and Co-Founder, Quantum Gravity Society. “New experiments and observations capable of advancing work on this scientific challenge are becoming increasingly possible in today’s physics labs and using new astronomical tools. The Quantum Gravity Society looks forward to leveraging that growing technical capacity with joint theory and experimental work that harnesses the collective expertise of the world’s great physicists.”
About Quantum Gravity Society
Quantum Gravity Society was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 2020 by a group of Canadian business, technology and community leaders, and leading international physicists. The Society’s founding members include Frank Giustra (Fiore Group), Terry Hui (Concord Pacific), Paul Lee and Moe Kermani (Vanedge Capital) and Markus Frind (Frind Estate Winery), along with renowned physicists Abhay Ashtekar, Sir Roger Penrose, Philip Stamp, Bill Unruh and Birgitta Whaley. For more information, visit Quantum Gravity Society.
About the Quantum Gravity Conference (Vancouver 2022)
The inaugural Quantum Gravity Conference (August 15-19) is presented by Quantum Gravity Society, Fiore Group, Vanedge Capital, Concord Pacific, The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver and Frind Estate Winery. For conference information, visit conference.quantumgravityinstitute.ca. To register to attend the conference, visit Eventbrite.com.
SOURCE Quantum Gravity Society
For further information: Media contact: Greg Descantes, [email protected], 604-417-1379
Planets on parade: 5 will be lined up in night sky this week – Ottawa.CityNews.ca
Keep an eye on the sky this week for a chance to see a planetary hangout.
Five planets — Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars — are scheduled to line up near the moon.
WHERE AND WHEN CAN YOU SEE THEM?
The best day to catch the whole group is Tuesday. You’ll want to look to the western horizon right after sunset, said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke.
The planets will stretch from the horizon line to around halfway up the night sky. But don’t be late: Mercury and Jupiter will quickly dip below the horizon around half an hour after sunset.
The five-planet spread can be seen anywhere on Earth, as long as you have clear skies and a west view.
“That’s the beauty of these planetary alignments. It doesn’t take much,” Cooke said.
DO I NEED BINOCULARS?
Maybe. Jupiter, Venus and Mars will all be pretty easy to see since they shine brightly, Cooke said. Venus will be one of the brightest things in the sky, and Mars will be hanging out near the moon with a reddish glow. Mercury and Uranus could be trickier to spot, since they will be dimmer. You’ll probably need to grab a pair of binoculars.
If you’re a “planet collector,” it’s a rare chance to spot Uranus, which usually isn’t visible, Cooke said. Look out for its green glow just above Venus.
DOES THIS HAPPEN OFTEN?
Different numbers and groups of planets line up in the sky from time to time. There was a five-planet lineup last summer and there’s another one in June, with a slightly different makeup.
This kind of alignment happens when the planets’ orbits line them up on one side of the sun from Earth’s perspective, Cooke said.
Joint NASA, CNES Water-Tracking Satellite Reveals First Stunning Views – Space Ref
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission offers the first taste of the detailed perspectives of Earth’s surface water that its cutting-edge instruments will be able to capture.
The international Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission – led by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) – has sent back some of its first glimpses of water on the planet’s surface, showing ocean currents like the Gulf Stream in unprecedented detail. SWOT is also capturing views of freshwater features such as lakes, rivers, and other water bodies down to about 300 feet (100 meters) wide.
The satellite will measure the elevation of nearly all the water on Earth’s surface and provide one of the most comprehensive surveys yet of our planet’s surface water. SWOT’s measurements of freshwater bodies and the ocean will provide insights into how the ocean influences climate change and the water cycle; how a warming world affects water storage in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs; and how communities can better manage their water resources and prepare for floods and other disasters.
“SWOT’s advanced imagery will empower researchers and advance the way we manage fresh water and the effects of sea level rise across the globe,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Water is one of our planet’s most important resources – and it’s proven to be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. SWOT will provide critical information that communities can use to prepare for the impacts of a warming climate.”
A Whole New View
As seen in these early images, on Jan. 21, 2023, SWOT measured sea level in a part of the Gulf Stream off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. The two antennas of SWOT’s Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument acquired data that was mapped as a pair of wide, colored strips spanning a total of 75 miles (120 kilometers) across. Red and orange areas in the images represent sea levels that are higher than the global average, while the shades of blue represent sea levels that are lower than average.
For comparison, the new data is shown alongside sea surface height data taken by space-based instruments called altimeters. The instruments – widely used to measure sea level – also bounce radar signals off of Earth’s surface to collect their measurements. But traditional altimeters are able to look only at a narrow beam of Earth directly beneath them, unlike KaRIn’s two wide-swath strips that observe sea level as a two-dimensional map.
The spatial resolution of SWOT ocean measurements is 10 times greater than the composite of sea surface height data gathered over the same area by seven other satellites: Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, Jason-3, Sentinel-3A and 3B, Cryosat-2, Altika, and Hai Yang 2B. The composite image was created using information from the Copernicus Marine Service of ESA (European Space Agency) and shows the same day as the SWOT data.
KaRIn also measured the elevation of water features on Long Island – shown as bright pink splotches nestled within the landscape. (Purple, yellow, green, and blue shades represent different land elevations.)
“Our ability to measure freshwater resources on a global scale through satellite data is of prime importance as we seek to adjust to a changing climate,” said CNES Chairman and CEO Philippe Baptiste. “In this respect, the first views from SWOT give us a clearer picture than ever before. These data will prove highly valuable for the international scientific community in the fields of hydrology, oceanography, and coastal studies.”
This initial inland image is a tantalizing indication of how SWOT can measure details of smaller lakes, ponds, and rivers in ways that satellites could not before. Such data will be used to produce an extraordinary accounting of the freshwater on Earth’s surface in ways useful to researchers, policymakers, and water resource managers.
“The KaRIn instrument took years to develop and build, and it will collect information on bodies of water across the globe – data that will be freely and openly available to everybody who needs it,” said Parag Vaze, SWOT project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
More About the Mission
Launched on Dec. 16, 2022, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in central California, SWOT is now in a period of commissioning, calibration, and validation. Engineers are checking out the performance of the satellite’s systems and science instruments before the planned start of science operations in summer 2023.
The data for these first images was collected by SWOT’s KaRIn instrument, the scientific heart of the satellite. KaRIn has one antenna at each end of a boom that’s 33 feet (10 meters) long. This enables the instrument to look off to either side of a center line directly below the satellite as it bounces microwave signals off Earth’s surface. The returning radar signals arrive at each antenna slightly out of sync, or phase, from one another. When these signals are combined with other information about the antennas and the satellite’s altitude, scientists will be able to map the height of water on Earth’s surface with never-before-seen clarity. KaRIn encountered an issue earlier this year with one of its subsystems; engineers have now resolved the situation, and the instrument is up and running.
SWOT was jointly developed by NASA and CNES, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the UK Space Agency. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, leads the U.S. component of the project. For the flight system payload, NASA provided the KaRIn instrument, a GPS science receiver, a laser retroreflector, a two-beam microwave radiometer, and NASA instrument operations. CNES provided the Doppler Orbitography and Radioposition Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) system, the dual frequency Poseidon altimeter (developed by Thales Alenia Space), the KaRIn radio-frequency subsystem (together with Thales Alenia Space and with support from the UK Space Agency), the satellite platform, and ground operations. CSA provided the KaRIn high-power transmitter assembly. NASA provided the launch vehicle and the agency’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center, managed the associated launch services.
To learn more about SWOT, visit: https://swot.jpl.nasa.gov/
Severe solar storm hits Earth, strongest in past 6 years – Indiatimes.com
The Earth witnessed a powerful solar storm in nearly six years, causing auroras all over the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. NOAA had earlier announced moderate G2 storm and G3 conditions between March 23 and 25, but updated it to G4. A severe G4 storm can affect the power grid system with possible widespread voltage control problems; and spacecraft operations with increased possibility of surface charging, and atmospheric drag risk on Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites.
The 100 most popular art museums in the world—who has recovered and who is still struggling? – Art Newspaper
Commercial real estate is in trouble. Why you should be paying attention – CNN
Planets on parade: 5 will be lined up in night sky this week – Ottawa.CityNews.ca
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