Recognition for their discoveries

first_imgHarvard’s Cumrun Vafa, the Donner Professor of Science, and Andrew Strominger, the Gwill E. York Professor of Physics, have been named winners of the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in recognition of their groundbreaking work in a number of areas, including black hole theory, quantum gravity, and string theory.“It is a great pleasure to have my work recognized by such an esteemed group of colleagues,” Vafa said of the prize. “I have had the good fortune to be at Harvard for over 30 years now, and I have had the privilege of discussing physics and mathematics with my first-rate colleagues as well as talented students here. They, as well as the welcoming atmosphere at Harvard, have played a key role in my research.”Strominger also pointed to the community of researchers he has collaborated with over his career, and expressed hope that others will continue to seek out answers to the fundamental questions of the universe.“There is a prevalent myth in science — perhaps especially in theoretical physics — that the real progress is made by lone geniuses in patent offices or under apple trees, while the rest of the community merely fills in the details,” he said. “The truth is in fact just the opposite. We all help and communicate with one another on many conscious and unconscious levels, and the real progress is made by the community of seekers as a whole.Andrew Strominger accepted his award with deep humility. “Those few who are recognized with prizes were merely the first to arrive — days, weeks, or at most a few years ahead of the others already well on their way.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“The physical truths about our universe are there waiting to be discovered,” he continued. “Those few who are recognized with prizes were merely the first to arrive — days, weeks, or at most a few years ahead of the others already well on their way. The selected prize winners have no irreplaceable role in the greater communal quest.”Vafa also credited at least part of his work to the many influential Persian scientists and mathematicians who came before him.“I was born in Iran, the home of many eminent scientists and mathematicians,” he said in accepting the award. “In my pursuit of science, I was inspired by their legacy. I view science as a timeless, borderless adventure where everyone can participate, and it can bring out the best in humanity.  This recognition is a pleasant contrast to times like ours where the value of science is sometimes challenged and the possibility of collaborations among people coming from different countries is put to question. I am fortunate to have worked alongside over 150 first-rate physicists and mathematicians from all over the world, and I view this award as a recognition of their work as much as mine. The support of my family, and in particular my wonderful wife Afarin has played a crucial role for me.  Also my three sons, Farzan ’15, Keyon ’16, and Neekon ’19 have given me much inspiration and joy throughout the years.”Both Vafa and Strominger have made critical contributions to the search for truths, particularly in the area of string theory.Cumrun Vafa was eager to share the credit. “I am fortunate to have worked alongside over 150 first-rate physicists and mathematicians from all over the world, and I view this award as a recognition of their work as much as mine.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerOne of the most promising candidates for uniting the four fundamental forces — electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak nuclear forces — string theory suggests that all particles actually consist of tiny, vibrating strings. Differences in those vibrations correspond to different particles, just as different vibrations of a guitar string correspond to different musical notes.Working together, Vafa and Strominger in 1995 made the first controlled calculation of black hole entropy — first theorized by Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein — using string theory, and demonstrating the connections between geometry and field theories that arise from string theory.Vafa and Strominger shared the $3 million award with Joseph Polchinski from the University of California.In addition, Harvard Physics Professor Xi Yin was among the recipients of the New Horizons in Physics Prize, which recognizes the work of early career physicists and mathematicians.Stephen J. Elledge, the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was also among the recipients of this year’s prize in the life sciences.Created in 2012 by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner to recognize paradigm-shifting research in a number of fields, the Breakthrough Prizes are intended to celebrate the achievements of the world’s top scientists and inspire the next generation of research.last_img read more

Is Augmented Reality Garbage or Golden?

first_imgWe’ve been writing a lot here about Augmented Reality (AR), technology that displays layers of data on top of our view of physical reality through mobile phone cameras, projected images and webcams. It seems like a red-hot field and something we should cover all the more. Some people think that’s not the case though; they say it’s just hype, a technology looking for applications or a recipe for disappointment.Below we offer you a chance to let us know what you think. Please take our poll and let us know if you think these services being heralded as Augmented Reality are the real deal or something not worth reading about. Just below the poll we offer some links to a few of our most important articles about AR and some opposing viewpoints from readers. Let us know what you think! marshall kirkpatrick 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Key posts from our past coverage include:Augmented Reality: A Human Interface for Ambient Intelligence (A good introduction)Augmented Reality: Five Barriers to a Web That’s EverywherePrepare Yourself: Augmented Reality Hype is on the RiseFirst iPhone Augmented Reality App Appears Live in App StoreHyperlinking the Real WorldTwo Opposing ViewsReaders have been debating the value of AR in comments on our past coverage. Here are two good ways of articulating opposing views on the subject:Former HP Labs team member turned tech consultant Gene Becker is optimistic.“In the same way that the web browser on a computer screen is a window into cyberspace, an augmented reality viewer is a window that looks out on the blended physical/digital landscape, the geoweb, the city as platform.We’re just at the beginning of a fifty year adventure where we will infuse the physical world with connected digital experience. AR browsers like Layar and Wikitude are like Gopher was in 1991 — early, geeky, not a lot of content, not a great experience…but watch what happens next.”An anonymous commenter left these critical thoughts:“I must thank MK for the app list. It confirms to me there are no useful AR apps right now, and also that the feasible apps are very limited, because they all seem kind of similar to one another.It’s just so much easier for me to use an ordinary browser map application and see all the locations of interest for any conceivable query than to mess around with a phone’s camera.AR seems kind of like voice recognition to me, in a way.Recall that some years ago there was a massive hype storm about how much better voice input would be than typing. But despite the general availability of a fairly decent program (Dragon), most people still use keyboards because keyboards just have more utility and usability combined. That’s how I feel about these crappy AR apps until there are some serious breakthroughs in both hardware and software.I mean, you really need a lightweight high-res infinite-battery HMD with meter-accuracy location for it to make much sense to me — snapping photos through a cellphone and looking at crappy low-res decorations on the result seems very weak to me, especially given the error scale of GPS. But no such HMD exists. Alternatively (as in Vinge’s novel) you need something like a long-range RFID on every object or location of interest, and that isn’t going to happen any time soon either.Like voice recognition, there may be some special purpose AR apps in the short term that are useful and effective for narrow uses. I’m sure Dragon is great for many disabled people, and for the few people who are really skilled at dictation, so perhaps the same kind of niches can be found for low-tech AR.But I don’t think it will be broadly useful in the near-term, so it seems to me to be an unworthy thing to spend so much time and effort hyping right now.”What do you think? Let us know by voting in the poll above and in the comments below. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Analysis#Augmented Reality#Features#web last_img read more

Lego Sport Champions, Spurs v Chelsea and the story of Bodacious

first_imgTopics Share on Pinterest Facebook 5) The darts season is hotting up; last week saw a thrilling Grand Slam, and in less than a month, the World Championship starts. All of which is more than enough excuse to enjoy the consensus greatest match ever played, the 2013 Grand Slam final between Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis; the consensus greatest leg ever played, between Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson in the 2018 Premier League; and this astounding tussle between Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld at the 2015-16 Worlds. But there is no getting around the biggest darts story of the week – here’s Gary Anderson on that smell and here’s the incident itself, including highlights of the controversial PDC title match.6) And finally, the story of Bodacious, the hardest bull that ever did live.Our favourites from last week’s blog1) Australian Open golf: Jake McLeod’s putt sits on the edge of the cup for 35 seconds … and then drops in. Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Twitter Share via Email Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Pinterest center_img Share on Facebook Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn 2) Habib Habibou breaks off from helping an injured team-mate to score for Maccabi Petah Tivka against Maccabi Netanya.3) Everyone has their favourite “this country” moment; here’s It’s a Royal Knockout from 1987.4) Unofficial rules of F1: the best ofSpotters’ badges: BlackCaeser, GrahamClayton, M_T_Wallet.Guardian YouTube football channelDo subscribe if you fancy.Guardian YouTube football channelDo subscribe if you fancy.Guardian YouTube sport channelDo subscribe if you fancy. Sport 1) The original brick-by-brick: Lego Sport Champions, the 1980s Hungarian animated series. Behold Soccer to ’Em, Ice Pup, Pitstop Picnic, Gym Dandies and Heavyweight Ape, Waltz of the Walrus and Rare-Ski Bear-Ski. For further detail, click here.2) This weekend sees the continuation of one of English football’s most enduring rivalries, when Chelsea visit Wembley to play Tottenham. The teams first met there in 1967 when they contested the FA Cup final – a match that Spurs won 2-1, as they did the 2008 League Cup final. As for White Hart Lane encounters, in April 1975, Spurs won a relegation battle that helped them survive and Chelsea go down, a development which prompted spirited, on-pitch discussions between supporters of both sides; and for balance, here are two wins for Chelsea, 4-1 in September 1989 and 3-1 in August 1991.3) Wolves are going well in the Premier League now, but in 1985, the team were in the process of finishing bottom of the old Division Two. The BBC, though, were undeterred, filming the Moment of Truth documentary which focused on two apprentices: Derek Ryan, a young Irish winger, and Steve Blackwell, a striker.4) There might be things in the world more affirming than der ausraster des Lothar Matthäus, but if there are, Classic YouTube is yet to experience them. Meanwhile, is this the most underwhelming goal from a halfway line? features YouTube archive Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Chetwynd Fire Department respond to collision and trailer fire

first_imgLater that evening at about 7:30 pm, a fifth wheel parked near the former China Wok restaurant was destroyed by fire as the tenant of the trailer was changing propane bottles.Firefighters quickly extinguished the fully engulfed trailer fire. There were no injuries, and the fire was contained to its site. CHETWYND, B.C. – The Chetwynd Volunteer Fire Department had a busy Saturday responding to a fire and collision.The Chetwynd Volunteer Fire Department responded to a semi-truck striking a B.C. Hydro pole on the South Access Road near Tim Horton’s at 2:30 pm on Saturday, September 22.The power line was snagged on the truck and was dragged for about 30 meters alongside the road. The fire department kept the scene safe from motorists and pedestrians. BC Hydro attended promptly to repair the downed wires. RCMP are investigating and interviewing the driver.last_img read more