Friday, June 12, 2009

Quantum To Cosmos

Today Perimeter Institute announced the “Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future” festival that will take place October 15 to 25. And I'm so sorry I can't be here because it sounds tremendously exciting! The most important thing first: there is a website where you can find a lot of information

This afternoon in the Theater of Ideas, after a welcome by our director Neil Turok, John Matlock (Director of Communications) and Richard Epp (Scientific Outreach) briefly outlined the event, followed by several VIPs in suits who said a lot of nice words, including the mayor of Waterloo, two guys who are ministers of something, a women from TVO, and Mike Lazaridis himself.

The Quantum to Cosmos festival will celebrate the 10th anniversary of PI’s inception, and simultaneously contribute to Canada’s National Science & Technology week, and be part of the International Year of Astronomy. As Mike added later, it isn't only PI's 10th anniversary, but also the 10th anniversary of the BlackBerry.

There are more than 50 events planned, including exhibits, cultural performances and film screenings, plus there will be quite an effort be made to allow a larger online community to take part in the festival by providing podcasts, live streaming and live blogging, supported by the media partner TVO. The festival is on Facebook, on Twitter on MySpace and on Friendfeed. A lot of interesting speakers will be here for the event, including Larry Abbott, Sean Carroll and Katherine Freese.

After the announcement we had a reception in the atrium. The guy with the camera has been sneaking around


and I took a couple of photos. Here is Neil waving with his arms


Robin Blume-Kohout and Achim Kempf


And here you can make a little bit of crowd-spotting. In the picture: two of our faculty members, Rob Spekkens and Rob Myers, Jon Henson, Dario Benedetti, the mayor of Waterloo, Simone Speziale, Constantinos Skordis, Samuel Vazquez, Nicolas Menicucci, and, so I belive, Jon Walgate.


(Close-up of the two Robs here). And here is the charme of the Institute, Sarah Croke, who is presently also our Postdoc Representative


I am afraid I will miss them all.

With that, I wish you all a great weekend!

26 comments:

Uncle Al said...

After ten years of process, what is the empirical product? That is what fails physics and all of contemporary science. Ten years ought to have produced something.

Discovery does not appear on schedule like an assembly line and W. Edwards Deming. If it doesn't appear at all lots of somebodies are not doing enough outwardly insubordinate, heterodox, stooopid things. Not enough people are bored. Too many people are statisfied and elated.

Immortality has no incentive to improve.

Bee said...

You got the timescale off by 2 Pi. It will take at least half a century before one can tell whether PI was a success or not. If you think more short-term, the outcome will just be a place like one of the other hundreds of physics institutes and departments.

Tkk said...

Thanks Bee for reporting on this very exciting festival. Good to see PI is being active, initiative, making things happen. And yes, one is hard pressed to identify key discoveries that have come out of PI, yet. I know, if even one major theoretical discovery happened in PI within 10 years of its founding, that would be almost shocking. Such is the challenge theoretical physicists face. At this stage of history, not only physicists need major discoveries, the world needs it.

BTW, since you appear to like taking pictures you should help yourself with a decent camera like a DSLR and more refined techniques. The shots are awful. Fortunately, your papers are not.

You expressed disappointment for missing this big festival. Well then, do well in your new job in Stockholm and maybe you will be invited back to PI as full faculty! And speak at the next big festival.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Within the last few weeks with this event and the conferences you’ve attended it must all seem as one big blur. The more you write and expand upon it all it’s hard to imagine how you maintain such a pace. One thing though I think you will be able isolate and to look back on your experience at Perimeter as being a time when you participated in the beginnings of something unique and one that you’ve had some personal and professional impact in both describing and defining. So as you prepare yourself for continuance in Stockholm somehow I’m lead to believe that Perimeter will remain always as one of a few places you will consider as being your home. .
Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Tkk,

Indeed, I've thought for a while I should get a better camera and learn how to take photos. Just that I never seem to have the time. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Best,

B.

Plato said...

Yes, thanks most certainly, for you have become our eyes and ears to events before the media gets hold of it.

Best,

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

I noticed the discussion between you and Tkk concerning your thoughts of getting a better camera. The photos you’ve taken here are primarily to document as to record something, for which to me seem to be more then adequate. There is another aspect to photography being that it sometimes encompasses being art, which is entirely different. In reading your exchange I was reminded of a book I read years ago (and still have) when I was learning about how to take and process photographs in the more conventional ,old way (with film) in the reading a book by David Vestal entitled ‘The Craft of Photography’ , where he made the distinction when in the first chapter when he said:

“ This Book is for anyone who wants to learn the craft of making first-class black and white photographs. Photography is an art as well, but is not teachable. If you want art, you must bring your own.”

Now I’ve looked upon other photos and paintings that you have done and I’m convinced that for this part you already have what’s required, along with some of the craft. The craft is simply technical in nature, which is thus the easy part, for it can be simply learned and purchased.

Best,

Phil

nige said...

Wish I could attend the October festival, Quantum to Cosmos! Good luck.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Simply as one last observation, as it relates to the spirit of the place, is to note as you have two Bob’s (as faculty) should you not also have two Alices, so that Perimeter is able to maintain it’s equilibrium :-)

Best,

Phil

SD Scientist said...

Is this mainly an "outreach" event or would it also be interesting for a physics grad student?

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Well, I've never put very much effort into making photos. While I appreciate good photos, I use my own mostly for memories. Or, occasionally, as motives for paintings. I am probably more one of these digital age persons who takes a thousand photos from which 99.9% are just crap and can be deleted immediately. I guess though if I'd take the time to learn some basics I could significantly increase the quality and lower the fraction of crappy shots. Either way, the reason why the above photos are so bad is that I took them over a distance too large for my small camera which otherwise makes pretty decent shots. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi SD,

I think it's mainly an outreach event, but I think there will be something interesting for everybody. Just browse through the website. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Even with professional photographers unless careful setup and planning is involved the crap to good ratio is fairly high, so that’s not that unusual. When the new digital format was introduced I rushed out and got one. It now is a dinosaur of course. The thing is I never did like much the digital revolution, since the aim of the technology itself was to mimic the eye in normal circumstances as much as possible. I could go on talking much about this point, yet what it boils down to is you are then looking through the eyes of another, rather than creating the eye as part of the process. . With you having an artistic bend you would know the craft part comes with the control of the media and I find with digital you are often restricted somewhat in this regard, which is resultant of the built in logic with such cameras.

Best,

Phil

Anonymous said...

While I agree that it takes descent time before an institution can be evaluated, the PI has quickly managed to make a name for itself.

It a place where some people discuss theories with two metric tensors and their peers write nice papers showing that this is inconsistent ***clasically*** http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.4305

And there are many other examples like that :)

Bee said...

Anonymous: Had you read more than the title of my paper that indeed contains the word 'bimetric' you might have noticed that the two spin-2 fields don't interact.

Anonymous said...

Well, they must interact, by the equivalence principle. (Whatever has energy gravitates) The other option is to have two separate diff symmetries, which is inconsistent with having one
space-time manifold. So whatever way you choose to spin the yarn this is inconsistent.

It is like having two gauge fields for one gauge symmetry. Of course, there are the bestest reasons ever not to do it.

Bee said...

Anonymous: The whole point of the model is that the equivalence principle is violated. And yes, you are right that it's like having two gauge fields for one symmetry. You are wrong though that you need two manifolds for it. Best,

B.

Tkk said...

Anonymous: Be careful talking shop with Bee. She knows her stuff. Just read her papers!

Bee: "Indeed, I've thought for a while I should get a better camera and learn how to take photos. .. Any advice is greatly appreciated!"

May I recommend Nikon's brand new all-in-one do-everything consumer DSLR - the Nikon D5000 with 18~105mm zoom lens with VR (vibration reduction).

See official description:
http://www.nikon.ca/en/Product.aspx?m=17500

See an in-depth review:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5000/

This is a SLR that produces fantastic quality for both photo and video. Easy to use. Has a Live View mode which makes it work like your point-and-shoot. The high zoom lens with stabilization means no more fuzzy pictures even zoomed to the max. Learn a few compositional tricks and you're all set.

Giotis said...

Bee, BTW what is your opinion about Horava gravity? There is a lot of activity around it and I have the impression that generally you are interested in theories that violate Lorentz invariance. Maybe you should post something whenever you find the time.

Bee said...

Hi Giotis:

I'm not sure why you think I'm interested in theories that violate Lorentz Invariance. To my best knowledge, I've never written or spoken about such, neither here nor elsewhere. Yes, I've noticed too there's a lot of activity around it. I haven't really made up my mind what to think about it. If I've had the time to look into it, I might write some words about it. Thanks for the suggestion. Best,

B.

Giotis said...

I really don't know it was just a general impression. Maybe because of DSR and the modifications of lorentz transformations but it's not the same thing.

Arun said...

Nikon is good; Canon is better.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea why, but crackpots always try to violate the best measured symmetries and principles of nature: Gauge invariance, Equivalence Principle, Lorentz.

If they only discussed less well established pieces of our current knowledge, like EWSB, neutrinos, GUT, maybe somebody would actually pay attention.

Maybe these problems are too mundane and boring for them.

Anonymous said...

be careful anonymous, you just called bee a crackpot - she poses some theory that advocates violation of equivalence principle. Why she doesn't reply?

A

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw - to bee: has there been any talk about "Information loss problem" gibberish.

Yes, here I say that "Information loss problem" is utter gibberish.

best,
A.

Bee said...

She doesn't reply because she has frankly better things to do than deal with comments of people who hide behind anonymity to state their disliking of my papers from which they evidently didn't read as much as the abstract.

Can't recall any news about the bh information loss. Best,

B.