Perimeter Public Lectures

Perimeter Public Lectures

 

Wednesday Oct 23, 2019
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Albert Einstein predicted a century ago the existence of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime moving at the speed of light. It was believed that these ripples were so faint that no experiment would ever be precise enough to detect them. But in September 2015, LIGO did exactly that. The teams working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Louisiana and Washington measured a loud gravitational wave signal as it traveled through the Earth after a billion-year journey from the violent merger of two black holes.

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Wednesday Oct 02, 2019
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Advances in biotech, cyber-technology, robotics, and space exploration could, if applied wisely, allow a bright future – even for 10 billion people – by the end of this century.

But there are dystopian risks we ignore at our peril.

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Wednesday May 01, 2019

To make progress on serious problems in biology and medicine takes a combination of skills, tools, and approaches, often requiring collaboration across seemingly disparate fields. The trick to making breakthroughs often lies in learning to communicate across disciplines to identify existing technologies – and, crucially, the new tools that need to be invented.
 

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Wednesday Apr 17, 2019
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Quantum physics is the golden child of modern science. It is the basis of our understanding of atoms, radiation, and so much else - from elementary particles and basic forces to the behaviour of materials. But for a century it has also been the problem child of science: it has been plagued by intense disagreements among its inventors, strange paradoxes, and implications that seem like the stuff of fantasy.
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Wednesday Mar 06, 2019

The 21st century may come to be known as the Age of Photonics, as we exploit our ability to make and manipulate light as an amazing carrier of energy and information. From quantum computing and entanglement to eye surgery and solar energy, humans are already reaping the benefits of our own endeavours to understand and control light.

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Wednesday Feb 06, 2019
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Clifford V. Johnson is a theoretical physicist passionate about sharing science with the public. He resolved to write a book explaining physics to a lay audience, but he felt that words on a printed page did not fully convey the dynamic, collaborative nature of fundamental research.

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Wednesday Nov 07, 2018
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More than 99% of the visible matter in the universe is built from protons and neutrons and the nuclei that they form. This rich structure emerges dynamically from the complex interactions of quarks and gluons, the most elementary particles that have been discovered. Understanding how nuclear physics arises from the underlying quark and gluon dynamics is a computational challenge that pushes the capabilities of the world’s largest supercomputers.

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Thursday Oct 25, 2018

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, winner of the 2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, is an accomplished scientist and champion for women in physics. As a graduate student in 1967, she co-discovered pulsars, a breakthrough widely considered one of the most important scientific advances of the 20th century. When the discovery of pulsars was recognized with the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, the award went to her graduate advisor.

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Wednesday Oct 03, 2018
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Dr. Avery Broderick will provide a highly accessible and interesting lecture on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and international efforts to interpret horizon-resolving images of numerous supermassive black holes. Black holes are among the most powerful and mysterious phenomena in the universe. Almost every galaxy has at its core a supermassive black hole, millions or even billions of times more massive than our sun. Despite composing a small fraction of the galactic mass budgets, they set the stage for astrophysical dramas that dictate the fates of their hosts.

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Wednesday May 02, 2018
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Can computers think? They can certainly calculate - with staggering speed and ever-increasing power - and they have driven scientific and technological advances that would have been impossible without them. Even so, we would like to believe that, for some puzzles, there's no substitute for old-fashioned human intuition. But this view may be changing.

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