View Full Version : Stephen Hawking @ Perimeter Institute | Gone Until Spring 2011
02-09-2010, 05:27 PM
Stephen Hawking coming to Perimeter Institute
World renowned physicist will be coming to the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo in June and July 2010
02-09-2010, 05:28 PM
Hawking here in June, July
February 05, 2010
WATERLOO – The Perimeter Institute is getting ready for the summer of Stephen Hawking.
Hawking, perhaps the world’s most renowned physicist, has confirmed he will visit the local institute for theoretical physics in June and July. While here, he’ll focus on scientific research and collaborations with other physicists.
The retired professor is considered a hall-of-famer by his scientific peers.
“He really is an absolutely first-rate physicist. He’s made really big contributions understanding how the universe works at the most fundamental level,” said Damian Pope, who studies quantum computing and helps explain theoretical physics to the public.
“For him to come along and collaborate, get some back and forth in person, is a very exciting thing.”
Pope points to Hawking’s celebrated prediction that black holes in space should emit radiation. This theoretical insight helped bridge the gap between competing theories about how the universe works, for objects big and small.
“It was a huge achievement,” said Pope. Like an artist or a playwright, Hawking was able to “take two very different things and kind of combine them in a very clever way.”
Hawking will take part in a televised lecture as part of an outreach series broadcast across Canada on TVO. That presentation will air Sunday, June 20.
The physicist, 68, recently retired from England’s Cambridge University. He had planned an earlier visit to the Waterloo institute, but the trip was postponed due to illness.
Perimeter director Neil Turok hopes Hawking’s summer visit will be the first of many. Hawking holds a distinguished research chair at the institute, which is currently building a Stephen Hawking wing.
“He is an exceptional communicator, whether to other scientists or to the wider public,” Turok said in a statement.
05-09-2010, 10:02 AM
I Love Science Video Contest
About the Contest
Perimeter Institute wants to hear from Canadian highschool (CEGEP in Quebec) students who are passionate about science. Produce a 30 second or less video on why you love science. Then, submit your video and register online for a chance to win an all expenses paid round-trip to Hawking at the Perimeter (http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/News/In_The_Media/Perimeter_Institute_Launches_Youth_Video_Contest_f or_Chance_to_Attend_Hawking_at_the_Perimeter/)on June 20, 2010.
For full entry, eligibility, rules, and other details, see the Official Contest Rules (http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/Outreach/Students/Official_contest_rules/).
Check back here for contest updates, featured videos, and other news.
How To Enter (http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/Outreach/Students/how_to_enter/)
Who: The contest is open to all Canadian students in grades 9 through 12 (CEGEP in Quebec), who are between the ages of 14 and 19, and are enrolled full-time in a Canadian public, private or home school.. Students must be Canadian citizens or legal residents living within Canada or its territories.
When: Submit your entry for the contest between Saturday, April 10 and Monday, May 10, 2010.
05-09-2010, 10:05 AM
Hawking at the Perimeter – Special Broadcast for Canadians
Prof. Hawking’s upcoming research visit and numerous connections to PI were highlighted here (http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/News/In_The_Media/Prof._Stephen_Hawking_to_Visit_Perimeter_Institute _this_Summer) this past February. During his two month stay, Prof. Hawking will also provide a special outreach broadcast for Canadians in which he will share numerous insights on space, time, matter, and information – plus his views on how science might shape our world.
This televised address is made possible through partnership with TVO, which will air “Hawking at the Perimeter” on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm EDT. TVO is accessible across Canada on Bell TV channel 265 or Shaw Direct/Star Choice channel 353. You will also find TVO on channel 2 via cable or over-the-air in most areas of Ontario (check local listings).
05-09-2010, 10:46 AM
PI, as you probably know, holds monthly public lectures at Waterloo Collegiate. While these lectures are free, demand is so great that the tickets "sell out" within minutes of becoming available on the PI website and are always packed. I had expected Prof Hawking to be the featured speaker at the June lecture, however, as announced at May's lecture last week and confirmed in the link above, the public won't be invited to his June 20th lecture. I guess there will be too many VIPs, Youth Video Contest winners and such to fill the studio audience. Oh well...
BTW Prof Hawking has just completed a TV series called "Into The Universe (http://www.discoverychannel.ca/article.aspx?aid=26058)" that airs in Canada at the end of May. It's aired in the UK already and I couldn't wait ;) In episode 2, which is on time travel, watch for the invitation to attend a reception at "The University of Cambridge, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Location 52° 12' 29" N, 0° 7' 21" E." The coordinates are in Cambridge. I wonder if anyone has informed Mike Lazaridis ;)
05-13-2010, 08:35 AM
Plans on track for Stephen Hawking visit
May 12, 2010
By Brian Caldwell, Record staff
WATERLOO — The countdown is on for the man who wrote A Brief History of Time.
Stephen Hawking — bestselling author and renowned British physicist — is due to arrive in less than a month for his first visit to the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo.
“I know people are thrilled he’s going to be here and about the possibility of collaborating with him,” said John Matlock, spokesperson for the research centre. “It should be a fruitful period for everyone involved.”
Hawking, 68, is scheduled to spend June and July at the institute doing research, working with other scientists, attending a top-level conference and broadcasting a public lecture.
Officials hope it’ll be the first of many stays for Hawking, who holds a distinguished research chair at the institute and will have a new $30 million wing named after him.
Illness derailed an expected visit last summer and there has been speculation — all ruled out by the institute — that he might move to Waterloo permanently.
Hawking will be on hand when leading scientists gather for four days in mid-June for a private conference called Cosmological Frontiers in Fundamental Physics.
“There’ll be a lot of great minds from around the world here that same week,” Matlock said.
A few days later, on June 20, Hawking will broaden the audience base in a lecture on TVO about time, space and matter, and stressing the importance of pure science for the future.
The 90-minute presentation will be taped at the institute in the afternoon and shown on television starting at 8 p.m.
Hawking is esteemed for contributions in areas of physics including the properties of black holes and quantum gravity theories of the origin of the universe.
Diagnosed with a degenerative disorder called ALS when he was 21, he is almost entirely paralyzed, but communicates using an electronic voice synthesizer.
Hawking made news recently by saying he believes there is intelligent extraterrestrial life and that aliens could be hostile if they ever came to Earth.
06-05-2010, 05:10 AM
Prof. Stephen Hawking to be Officially Welcomed at Perimeter Institute on June 20th, 2010
WATERLOO, ON | June 5, 2010 | CNW
Professor Stephen Hawking is a Distinguished Research Chair at Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) and, on Sunday June 20th, 2010, he will be officially welcomed to Canada by the Honourable Tony Clement, Industry Canada Minister, and to the province by the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. The greetings will be followed with a special presentation by Prof. Hawking. The activities will be broadcast on TVO that same evening.
Dr. Neil Turok, PI Director, said "We are very happy to have Stephen here doing science with other researchers at Perimeter Institute. On June 20th he will take time out to be welcomed by our many public and private partners, including the governments of Ontario and Canada, and to give a special broadcast lecture. Stephen is an exceptional communicator, and we are delighted to be able to share his talk on television. We are also looking forward to his impressions of the 'Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute' now under construction."
This past October, when the expansion to PI's facility was named in his honour, Professor Hawking said, "Our field of theoretical physics has been the most successful and cost-effective in all of science. Where would we be today without Newton, Maxwell and Einstein? Many great challenges lie ahead. Where this new understanding will lead, is impossible to say for sure. What we can say with confidence is that expanding the perimeter of our knowledge will be the key to our future."
About June 20th Events
Official greetings will take place on June 20, at 4:00pm at the Institute. Prof. Stephen Hawking will be met by the Honourable Tony Clement, Industry Canada Minister, and by the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario.
Also taking part will be Mike Lazaridis, PI Board Chair, and Dr. Neil Turok, PI Director, who will share news on the Expanding the Perimeter initiative and the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute. The formal greetings and information about PI will be followed by a special lecture from Prof. Hawking on topics involving space, time, matter and his life in science.
As Prof. Hawking will be conducting private research activities during his visit, the June 20th activity is his only scheduled appearance. Media members wishing to attend or seeking images of Prof. Hawking at Perimeter should contact Lisa Lambert, PI Communication's Coordinator (contact info below).
For further information: Lisa Lambert | email@example.com
06-05-2010, 09:07 AM
Mr. Universe: Stephen Hawking has arrived in Waterloo Region (http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/723119)
Most of us bet on such things as hockey or horses. Stephen Hawking bets on black holes, the Big Bang and the world's largest atom-smasher.
But Hawking of course, isn't like most of us. His 68-year-old mind is focused on infinitely bigger things, like where the universe came from, what time is and if the universe will ever come to an end.
That's why Hawking is the kind of person that physics institutes around the world would love to have criticizing the equations on their blackboards.
So you can wager his arrival in here by way of private jet Friday is a major coup for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, an institution that less than 10 years ago was based out of an old post office in downtown Waterloo...
06-05-2010, 05:17 PM
Hawking Night in Canada
Sunday June 20, 8pm • Bell TV channel 265 • Shaw Direct channel 353 • Channel 2 in most areas of Ontario (http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/News/In_The_Media/Special_Televised_Event_with_Prof._Stephen_Hawking _to_be_Seen_Across_Canada)
06-07-2010, 09:30 AM
Hawking’s first order of business in Waterloo: check his email
June 06, 2010
WATERLOO – It was straight to business for legendary British physicist Stephen Hawking as he started work alongside researchers studying in Canada.
“Stephen works all the time,” chuckled Neil Turok, the director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where Hawking will spend the next six weeks explaining and critiquing ideas.
Hawking arrived on Friday, but despite a long flight, Turok said the renowned physicist was itching to get to work.
“Just after he arrived, we were trying to get the wireless to work at home, he really wanted to check his email,” laughed Turok.
“He’s completely determined to work at all costs,” he added.
Hawking will be sharing ideas with the researchers at the institute for several weeks. This process will help refine understanding of important concepts.
While Hawking is known for his great discoveries and new insights, Turok was reluctant to put that kind pressure on his famous friend and colleague.
“He sets a standard of achieving breakthroughs that we want to live by,” said Turok.
Turok said he hopes Hawking’s presence will inspire the young researchers in Waterloo.
The institute says it will hold an official welcoming ceremony for Hawking on June 20, when he will be greeted by Premier Dalton McGuinty and others.
The ceremony will be followed by a special presentation by Hawking.
Hawking accepted a research post with the institute in 2008.
He was to have visited the southwestern Ontario institute last summer, but illness forced him to cancel.
Last October, the institute announced the establishment of the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute in his honour.
Hawking is best known for his work explaining the physics of black holes. In the 1960s, he developed a degenerative disease that has impaired his ability to move and speak. He retired from Cambridge University in England last year.
The Perimeter Institute is a research centre devoted to theoretical physics that was founded in 1999 by Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.
The Canadian Press
Great to see the Canadian Press following the story, should give some good press to Waterloo. Too bad not the Region as a whole though. Oh well.
06-11-2010, 02:13 AM
More positive press about the new man about town...
A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s time in Waterloo (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/a-brief-history-of-stephen-hawkings-time-in-waterloo/article1600096/")
Stephen Hawking, the world’s most recognizable scientist, is at Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics for the next six weeks to collaborate on research, but he’s also been spotted about town since his arrival on the weekend.
“Stephen is not a shrinking violet and he likes to lead a normal life,” said Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute, who worked closely with the famed physicist at Cambridge University...
The pair went out to dinner on Saturday, Dr. Hawking’s first full day in Canada, and when it came time to pay, discovered their tab had been picked up by a patron who did not leave his name. “That was really a wonderful welcome for Stephen,” Dr. Turok said. “This would not happen everywhere.”
When the two scientists went to a local park to look at the new wing of the Perimeter Institute named after the famous cosmologist, Dr. Hawking’s motorized wheelchair attracted the attention of children playing there. One boy, about six or seven, shouted out: “That’s Stephen Hawking,” Dr. Turok said. “They ran over and I think he really enjoyed that.”
Dr. Hawking, he said, has a “joke line,” preprogrammed into his computer that he uses sometimes when people ask if he is the famous scientist.
“I am frequently mistaken for him,” is the favourite comeback of the man who spends most of his time contemplating the beginning of the universe.
Since his arrival, Dr. Hawking also has made a trip to the bustling St. Jacob’s Market, a must-see attraction just outside town that is known for its Mennonite vendors and local crafts and produce.
“He has a van and he is running around and he will be seen all over the place,” Dr. Turok said. “He’s got a team of five people to look after him and they drive him around.”...
06-12-2010, 08:20 AM
We’re trying to figure out how the world works
June 12, 2010
By Greg Mercer, Record staff
WATERLOO — Rob Myers is sitting on a leather chair, talking about a holographic dimension where gravity doesn’t exist.
This could be a strange conversation, in any other setting. But this is the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, a place where black boards are covered in the mathematical language of the cosmos and people talk about time travel and alternate realities as if it were last night’s hockey game.
Down the hallway, you can hear the din of construction crews building the Stephen Hawking Centre, a 55,000-square foot addition that will make room for up to 250 researchers, tripling the institute’s size. As Myers goes on, the conversation turns to black holes and the search for one simple equation just might help unlock the secrets of the universe, like a key to a book that explains everything.
Soon you begin to think: what is this place? This, of course, is what they call Shangri-La for physicists. And Myers, one of the world’s most renowned experts in the work-in-progress science of string theory, has pretty much been here since the institution’s Big Bang back in 2000.
Back then, there wasn’t even a chair for him to sit in yet.
“When I got here, they said ‘we really don’t have an office for you. Could you go work at home?’” he said. “To go from an unknown entity in five or ten years to a place people talk about, it’s pretty exciting. It’s been quite a ride.”
Quite a ride indeed. When the Hawking wing is finished in the fall of 2011, there will be no other building in the world with so many theoretical physicists under one roof. Perimeter has put Waterloo on the map as a place for boundary-pushing physics, competing head-on with giants like Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge for some of the world’s most sought-after scientists.
It’s become the kind of place theoretical physicists love to be at and hate to leave — people like cosmologist Mark Wyman, 30, who knew from the moment he read Hawking’s seminal book, A Brief History of Time, that he wanted to study the universe. The Lake Charles, Louisiana native left Cornell University to pursue his post-doctoral research here, and was floored to find an institute that was built from the ground up to inspire deep-thinking physicists.
“I was like ‘is this place for real’? I was incredulous,” Wyman said. “It’s like a resort spa for physicists. But instead of a nice beach, there’s all these beautiful equations.”
Now he’s headed to the University of Chicago to continue his work in a few months, and will have to go “back to reality,” as he puts it. No more bistros and fireplace black boards and string quartets outside your door.
“I’m told this is a bad place to start your career because everything else just seems lame by comparison,” Wyman said.
The people working at Perimeter are a peculiar breed of scientist. Lights blink on at all hours of the night here as sleepless theorists plug away at their latest mathematical puzzle. Myers has had ‘Eureka’ moments while driving home on a sunny day after dropping his kids off at the pool. Wyman said it’s not uncommon to wake up at 2 a.m. with equations running through his head.
“Your mind gets obsessed with these questions,” Wyman said. “We all want to be a part those breakthroughs that change our understanding of everything. We want that very badly.”
What makes Perimeter unique is that it brings together specialists from different schools of thought in theoretical physics, and gets them sharing ideas. That’s led researchers to apply new approaches to their work, opening up new ways to solve theoretical problems, Myers said.
“In this building, you hear at the lunch table next to you words like ‘quantum entanglement.’ These ideas are always percolating around in your head, and there’s a real opportunity for a fertilization of ideas between fields,” Myers said. “Everyday you’re exposed to something foreign, you’re learning something new.”
There’s a still lot more questions than answers. No surprise, considering some 96 per cent of our universe is of unknown material — so called dark matter, said Damian Pope, senior manager of scientific outreach for Perimeter.
“To a physicist, that’s like a drug. It’s exciting. It’s why they get up in the morning,” Pope said. “Part of what it is to be human is to look up at the night’s sky and wonder and have curiosity.”
So the 90 researchers and graduate students here keep plugging away, quietly looking for physics’ Holy Grail hidden somewhere in the equations scrawled across their black boards. Another 1,000 visiting researchers pass through the institute every year, theorizing, testing, looking for answers.
They’ve been at it since 2000, but time is relative at Perimeter. That’s why some have wondered if the institute’s 100-year land lease from the City of Waterloo is long enough to make the big discovery they’re is after.
They spend weeks on a single equation that can stretch across two blackboards like hieroglyphics on an Egyptian tomb. It’s a language all its own, and it’s incredibly complicated, head-spinning stuff. But theorists like Wyman say it’s also beautifully simple.
“We’re trying to figure out how the world works,” he said.
Some people driving by the concrete and glass institute perched next to Silver Lake, a building so strange it looks like it fell right out of the sky, must ask: what exactly are they doing in there? And why do they need to spend so many millions doing it?
To answer those questions, the man who dreamt up the place, Mike Lazaridis, likes to look back at another era.
In the early 1900s, the father of modern physics, Albert Einstein, was trying to convince universities to hire him on and provide funding for his research. But they couldn’t see how Einstein’s weird ideas on space and time and light mattered to the bustling planet around them.
“At that time, people just like us couldn’t see how life could get any better. Things were going like crazy . . . they think they understand everything. And yet, there are these little cracks in the firmament,” Lazaridis, the RIM founder and co-CEO, told the crowd at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival last fall.
Einstein had to find a job in a patent office, and on his own time did his theoretical work that would change our perception of reality — and our world — dramatically. He’d eventually unlock the secrets of the atom bomb and the stars, of space warps, the Big Bang and black holes. He gave us a better understanding of the laws of nature and how the universe works, which set off a generation of scientists in new, incredible directions.
The point, Lazaridis says, is we can’t fathom today how theoretical physics can form the foundation for new technologies that benefit society tomorrow. It’s already been at the root of inventions from lasers to transistors to magnetic resonance imaging and countless others, all things that no one thought possible 100 years ago.
It’s this deep faith in the power of theoretical physics that led Lazaridis to an Italian restaurant in a Toronto strip mall in 1999, where he met a young physicist named Howard Burton. At that meeting, he told Burton, who would become Perimeter’s founding director, about this wild idea he had: he wanted to create an institute where really smart people would gather and ponder the universe. And he wanted them to do it in Waterloo, of all places.
“The more I listened, the more confused I became. Some of what he said struck me as naďve, some of it perhaps just plain crazy. But other parts were eminently reasonable, even insightful,” Burton recalled in his memoir, First Principles: The Crazy Business of Doing Serious Science.
Burton didn’t know what to think. Lazaridis was talking feverishly about building a place where physicists, cosmologists, string theorists and other sages could be free to pursue pure research into the minute mysteries of the laws of nature. A place where they’d spend all their time thinking about the fundamental underpinnings of physics — things like time, gravity, space, light and matter.
That may sound pretty esoteric, but Lazaridis wasn’t planning to hand over $100-million from his personal wealth so a bunch of geeks could play with blackboards all day. He sincerely believes the research going on inside the strange building on Caroline Street can lead to revolutionary discoveries that can change our world. That’s why his contribution to the institute he created has swollen to $170 million in the past decade.
And though taxpayers have kicked in another $175 million through their provincial and federal governments, Perimeter officials like to stress that their kind of research is relativity low-cost. Most physicists here just need some chalk, a computer and space to think.
Still, Lazaridis wants real, mind-bending breakthroughs. Discoveries like those in the 1870s, which found that combining magnetism and electricity could produce radio waves and power generation. Or Einstein’s combination of mass and energy to unlock the secrets of nuclear power. Or discovering that light can be both a wave and a particle, leading to the semiconductor revolution, which is the foundation for everything computerized we use today.
“All of these practical technologies, where did they come from? They came from a bunch of impractical people coming up with all these crazy new theories,” Pope said.
What many of the physicists at Perimeter are really after is the same thing Einstein tried to find but couldn’t: the so-called Holy Grail, a single “theory of everything” that can explain how and why the universe began. Right now, much of their time is spent trying to unify the two dominant theories in physics of the past century — relativity, which predicts how big objects like planets interact, and quantum theory, which explains the bizarre behaviour of particles at the atomic and subatomic level.
A single theory of all physical things would allow us to “read the mind of God,” says cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who just happens to be working at the institute this summer. He’s already on record predicting “exciting discoveries will be made” at Perimeter. That’s pretty heady stuff, especially for an institute that only existed in Lazaridis’ mind until little over 10 years ago.
The only thing Perimeter may need is time. It has the money. It has the brains, lured from some of the most prestigious institutes in the world. Thanks to Hawking, it has the star power. But for now, that magical, big breakthrough remains elusive.
06-21-2010, 02:42 AM
The Record: Hawking predicts ‘grand things’ from Perimeter (http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/732373)
British cosmologist Stephen Hawking thinks the Perimeter Institute is on a crash-course with history, as its scientists work on some of the greatest mysteries of our universe.
Hawking, a man Premier Dalton McGuinty said was “drawing a picture of God,” gave Perimeter Institute a ringing endorsement in the race to better understand the laws of nature, as part of a Sunday broadcast that reached Canadians coast to coast.
The visiting scientist said he believes the ten-year-old institute is on the cusp of revolutionary discoveries in theoretical physics that could change the world as we know it.
“Perimeter is a great experiment in theoretical physics,” Hawking said Sunday during his first public speech in Canada. “I am hoping and expecting that grand things will happen here.”
Hawking’s talk, taped for a broadcast later that night on TVOntario, spanned his professional career and work in things like black holes, the Big Bang and far-out concepts such as “imaginary time.”
He talked about thinking he’d never live long enough to finish his PhD, and about the idea our universe and everything in it is as spontaneous as air bubbles forming in boiling water. Sitting in his wheelchair with his hands folded on his lap, Hawking received a standing ovation from a crowd that included business leaders, cabinet ministers and municipal politicians.
The world’s “most famous living scientist” is in the middle of a six-week stay at Perimeter, where he’s working closely with other cosmologists and theoretical physicists. He’s spent his days working out equations and ideas in front of black boards, and is said to be enjoying the institute’s relaxed atmosphere.
He thinks Perimeter has assembled a network of scientists that just might make that elusive breakthrough. The great eras of theoretical physics, like the 1920s in Germany or the 1960s at Cambridge, had all the parts that Perimeter seems to have in place — great minds given time to think and explore, he said.
“The recipe is simple,” he told the high-powered crowd. “It seems to me the same ingredients are being assembled here at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo.”
Those kind of statements put heavy expectations on Perimeter’s researchers, and that’s a good thing, said institute director Neil Turok.
“It’ll make our researchers realize the spotlight is on them. It puts the pressure on,” he said. “It’s an endorsement that we’re doing the right things.”
Hawking’s talk gave the audience a glimpse into the challenges caused by his advanced motor neuron disease, which makes communication very difficult. Hawking uses a sensor that reads twitches in his cheek to choose words from a screen in front of him.
That process can cause long pauses in his delivery, and at one point during his talk the software program that he uses to operate his voice synthesizer crashed and had to be rebooted on stage. But his aide said Hawking refuses to do pre-recorded lectures because “it would be a mime, he would be cheating.”
“He doesn’t see himself as a disabled person. He sees himself as a cosmologist,” explained his graduate assistant, Sam Blackburn. “Stephen does a lot of things because they’re not easy.”
RIM boss Mike Lazaridis sat in the front row during the talk, beaming. He said Hawking’s stay at the institute he created and funded to the tune of $170 million is an endorsement of Perimeter’s original vision.
“This is just the beginning,” Lazaridis declared after the lecture. “The goal from the very start was to create a world class institution that would attract world class people, and we’ve done that.”
The theorists, he said, need steady investment and patience. Perimeter, meanwhile, continues to grow. It’s doubling the size of its masters program and working on an additional that will triple the number of researchers.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said it’s important Canadians support this kind of expansion. Though they may work in very abstract concepts, theoretical physicists have helped the foundation of many modern technologies, from medical imaging scanners to microwaves.
“People like microwaves. And we wouldn’t have them in our homes today if it weren’t for the big theoretical thinkers,” Flaherty said. “For Perimeter to attract someone like (Stephen Hawking) here is a great honour for Canada, and it wouldn’t have happened if the people of Canada didn’t invest in this.”
Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran said Hawking’s predictions only help the belief that Waterloo has become a global centre for knowledge. And that’s an exciting thing, she said.
“You’re standing here in Waterloo, on what used to be an old arena, and there’s a feeling they’re on the cusp profound and far reaching things that are going to change people’s lives,” she said. “There’s a feeling of breathless anticipation of what’s going to come from here.”
In case you missed it, the Hawking lecture will be rebroadcast on TVO later this summer. Visit www.tvo.org for details.
06-21-2010, 02:43 AM
G&M: Stephen Hawking gets rock-star welcome at Canadian think-tank (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/stephen-hawking-gets-rock-star-welcome-at-canadian-think-tank/article1611058/)
They arrived in limos, luxury cars and even a helicopter – a line of cabinet ministers, a premier, local politicians and several millionaires who packed Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Sunday to hear firsthand what the world’s best-known living scientist had to say.
What they witnessed was an hour-long display of determination as much as it was a lecture on science as Stephen Hawking painstakingly worked the computer that gives voice to his thoughts in recounting his research, life and times.
“We don’t know why we can do it, but we know how to do it,” Prof. Hawking said of efforts to understand the facts that explain the universe. It was a comment that also summed up his own drive to continue his work in the face of a debilitating disease.
Prof. Hawking was first diagnosed with a motor-neuron condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, as a graduate student at Cambridge, and he told his Waterloo audience at first he did not expect to have enough time to finish his PhD.
More than four decades later, he uses a wheelchair and must rely on his cheek muscles to send commands to the computer that works a speech synthesizer.
His talk, before an invitation-only crowd of about 200 and televised later Sunday evening, is his only public appearance during his six-week stay in Waterloo.
The event also was a chance for the Perimeter Institute to show off its accomplishments to a high-powered crowd. Perimeter was created more than a decade ago by BlackBerry founder Michael Lazaridis as an independent centre devoted to the study of fundamental questions in science involving space and time, as well as quantum physics. Prof. Hawking, a close colleague of the centre’s director Neil Turok, used his talk to endorse its work.
“I am hoping and expecting great things will happen here,” he said. The combination of brilliant people and a free intellectual environment is creating a special place and time where “magical progress can happen.”
A beaming Mr. Lazaridis, who has given $150-million to Perimeter over the years, said such progress always takes more time and money than people expect. Still, he said, the accomplishments at Perimeter, which now has the world’s largest postdoctoral program in theoretical physics and a growing community of leading scholars, shows the importance of investing in science, even during difficult economic times. “It is so tempting to cut back on things you don’t understand,” he said. “This shows not only what we can do in Canada, but in Waterloo.”
Prof. Turok said Perimeter is going for one goal only – a major breakthrough in human understanding of the laws of physics. “I believe we will be judged on the success of one individual and we don’t know who that will be,” he said. Such a person, he said, has the potential to be another Stephen Hawking.
In his lecture, Prof. Hawking recounted how he by chance ended up studying under cosmologist Dennis Sciama and began to consider a question that has occupied much of his time since – the beginning of the universe.
He also spoke of his important work on black holes and his formula that proved they have emissions – “I would like [the formula] to be on my tombstone,” he said.
“He is my hero,” said Allison Carter, one of two Grade 11 students that won a seat at the lecture in a science video contest. “He is discovering the answers to the questions we all ask.”
06-21-2010, 02:45 AM
TorStar: Stephen Hawking expecting 'great things' at Waterloo (http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/826253--stephen-hawking-expecting-great-things-at-waterloo?bn=1)
“Can you hear me?” asked the now famous electronic voice with its flat delivery, its incongruous American accent, and its inexplicable lisp.
And it seemed that everyone could hear, although sometimes with difficulty.
The man behind the computerized voice was renowned British cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who made his long-awaited and much delayed Ontario debut on Sunday, putting theoretical physics squarely on the Canadian map.
An audience sprinkled with luminaries from politics, academia, and business – including Premier Dalton McGuinty, federal Transport Minister Tony Clement, and federal Finance Minister James Flaherty — listened intently as the 68-year-old theoretician chronicled his life in science, using a computerized voice system he controls by slight movement of his right cheek.
The voice was difficult to make out at times, and there were several glitches with the machinery, but those problems only seemed to add to the intensity of Hawking’s address, delivered from the wheelchair where he has long spent most of his waking hours.
“The first thing he brings is his endorsement,” said Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, where Hawking now holds a distinguished research chair. “That means a lot to us. He is an example of what a person can achieve in science.”
Best known for his groundbreaking work on the nature of black holes, Hawking has also made important advances in ongoing but so far unsuccessful efforts to combine the behaviour of large objects like stars and small objects like subatomic particles into a single unified theory.
Hawking has done as much as any living scientist to explain the secrets of the universe in a way that non-scientists can understand.
More or less.
Hawking tried to do more of the same Sunday, cracking jokes about the cosmos, including a jibe at his own discovery that black holes eventually evaporate.
Or, as he put it: “Black holes are out of sight.”
But his speech — largely prepared in advance although delivered according to his physical commands — also proved something of a challenge in places, dotted as it was by such phrases as these:
“A static remnant has a naked singularity unless it is exactly spherical.”
“The singularities of gravity collapse are not visible to outside observers.”
Generally recognized as one of the leading theoretical physicists of recent decades, Hawking has suffered since his twenties from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS, a degenerative condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The affliction has left him almost completely paralyzed, but has not affected his mental powers.
“New ideas are needed if we are to secure our future,” said Mike Lazaridis, co-founder of Research in Motion, the Waterloo-based company that produces BlackBerry smart phones. “I’m convinced great ideas will lead to solutions.”
Lazaridis established the Perimeter Institute in 1999 and has lured Hawking here, along with a host of other internationally recognized researchers, in hopes of making further breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe.
The institute is now being expanded — doubling its physical facilities and trebling its researchers — with the addition of a new wing, named for Hawking.
Although scientists tend to do their best work while young, Turok insisted in an interview that Hawking is still doing cutting edge work.
“I think Stephen is constantly looking for new ideas,” said Turok. “He’s a real, live scientist. He’s still productive.”
Hawking was supposed to journey to Canada last summer to take up his part-time research post in Waterloo, but was forced to postpone the trip for medical reasons.
“Perimeter is a grand experiment in theoretical physics,” Hawking told his audience on Sunday. “I am hoping, and expecting, great things will happen here.”
06-21-2010, 05:43 AM
Stephen Hawking on Perimeter Institute and Special Places & Times for Scientific Progress
PI's Public-Private Partners Welcome Prof. Hawking
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | June 20, 2010 | http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/News/In_The_Media/Stephen_Hawking_on_Perimeter_Institute_and_Special _Places_&_Times_for_Scientific_Progress/
Prof. Hawking addresses a packed theatre.
Minister of Industry Tony Clement welcomes Prof. Hawking to Canada.
Premier Dalton McGuinty welcomes Prof. Hawking to Ontario.
In a public address before a packed audience at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI), Prof. Stephen Hawking, PI Distinguished Research Chair, recounted his research, life and times, saying that it has been a glorious period to contribute to our picture of the universe. Prof. Hawking is conducting private research activities at PI this summer, in what is expected to be the first of many visits.
Hawking at the Perimeter
The celebration of science, being televised across Canada on TVO, kicked off with Mike Lazaridis, PI founder and Board Chair, sharing reasons why basic research, particularly theoretical physics, is not only crucial to understanding how the universe behaves at a fundamental level, but also drives the building of knowledge-based nations, paves the way for new and transformative technologies and creates long term value throughout society.
PI Director Neil Turok elaborated on how theoretical physics “is one of the lowest-cost, highest-impact scientific disciplines,” contributing key concepts to fields ranging from astronomy to neuroscience, pure mathematics to computer science and beyond. Dr. Turok also provided an exciting update on the institute and shared, “Stephen joins us at a particularly special moment for PI, as the research centre expansion named in his honour progresses rapidly toward completion. The Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute will increase research capacity and provide an exceptional environment for physicists to conceive, visualize and gain an improved understanding of the nature of physical reality.”
Expanding the Perimeter
The new construction is part of an overall ‘Expanding the Perimeter’ advancement initiative, in which public and private partners come together to invest in cutting-edge research, training of next generation scientists and educational outreach activities. The Honourable Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, spoke about the great value Canadians place on scientific achievement and how “the federal government has had a strong and successful relationship with Perimeter Institute” which he further described as “the formidable science community that Mike Lazaridis, Neil Turok, the faculty, researchers, and staff have built here in the past ten years.”
In his official welcome to Prof. Hawking, the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, said, "Stephen Hawking is passionate about helping humanity understand the complexity of the universe. We're honoured to welcome him to Ontario and Perimeter Institute, where we are pushing the boundaries of our shared knowledge even further."
In communicating his excitement and enthusiasm for scientific progress, Prof. Hawking said, “The recipe is simple: Bring brilliant people together, in an inspiring and free intellectual environment, where they are encouraged to pursue ambitious and timely research. The importance of special places and special times, where magical progress can happen, cannot be overstated… It seems to me, the same ingredients are being assembled here, at Perimeter Institute. Perimeter's chosen scientific focus, connecting quantum theory and spacetime, is central to new insights, which are emerging, concerning not only black holes and the beginning of the universe, but also nuclear and particle physics, quantum computers, and the science of new materials. Perimeter is a grand experiment in theoretical physics. I am hoping, and expecting, great things will happen here.”
Hawking at the Perimeter will air on TVO on:
Sunday, June 20 at 8:00 pm and 12:30 am EDT
Saturday, June 26 at 6:00 pm EDT
Sunday, June 27 at 5:00 pm EDT
Tuesday, July 6 at 10:00 pm EDT
Minister of Industry and Minister of State for Science and Technology Welcome Stephen Hawking to Canada
OTTAWA | June 20, 2010 | http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic1.nsf/eng/05663.html
The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today issued the following statement:
“We are honoured to welcome to Canada one of the world’s greatest scientists, Dr. Stephen Hawking, as he begins his six-week residency at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario.
“Dr. Hawking has made extraordinary contributions to theoretical physics during his long and remarkable career, and his presence here in Canada is a testament to the formidable science community that Perimeter Institute has built in the past ten years. During that time, the Government of Canada has been a proud partner of the Institute.
“We wish Dr. Hawking and his colleagues well as they begin a summer of collaboration.”
Through Industry Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the federal government has been a strong supporter of Perimeter Institute. This support includes $50 million announced in Budget 2007 that supports the Institute’s leading research, education and public outreach activities.
The attraction and retention of the world’s top research talent is a major thrust of Canada’s Science and Technology Strategy.
Minister Clement and Minister of State Goodyear met privately with Dr. Hawking before his presentation at Perimeter Institute. Minister of State Goodyear will also attend a dinner with the professor tonight.
06-21-2010, 04:51 PM
Anyone catch the TVO show? Clement's speech went way too long and really bogged things down, unfortunately.
But once the big man himself got going you could see the crowd hanging on his every word, even if his theory got very dense in spots and likely lost a lot of the non-science types. In the end, it was just the thrill of seeing a man so challenged by circumstance, challenging the universe in return by doing his best to find out how it ticks. Great stuff.
06-21-2010, 07:00 PM
Anyone catch the TVO show?
TVO is doing an Encore Presentation of the show on June 26th at 6pm. I'm going to set my PVR to record, it looks interesting! Here are a few of the trailers.
Stephen Hawking at Perimeter Institute TVO Promo's
06-25-2010, 05:42 PM
The smartest guy in the room - Paul Wells - Macleans.ca (http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/06/25/the-smartest-guy-in-the-room/?om_rid=Ay6DOX&utm_source=_BMJMh7B8MikRec&utm_content=ml46&utm_medium=email)
Last Sunday an array of VIPs—Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Kevin O’Leary, the angry guy on the CBC reality show Dragons’ Den—convened in a theatre at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo to pay tribute to Stephen Hawking. The British astrophysicist sat in his wheelchair while the politicians buttered him up. Then he delivered a lecture through his speech synthesizer about his early years in physics.
The next day a bunch of physicists took a lunch break from a conference where they were discussing what happens when black holes of various sizes orbit each other. A caregiver pushed Hawking to a place at one of the cafeteria tables, where he ate some lunch and listened to the chatter and gossip among his colleagues.
There were no cameras or dignitaries at the lunch. I was there only by chance. But in some ways this was more significant than the previous day’s pomp. Hawking didn’t become the world’s most famous physicist by giving lectures, after all, but by thinking and working, and he is at Perimeter to think and work.
He is one of 10 Distinguished Research Chairs, leading international scholars who will camp out periodically at Perimeter and work with its faculty and students. He’s about halfway through his first six-week visit. On evenings and weekends he gets out to sight-see. So far he’s gone to African Lion Safari and enjoyed the ribs at Ethel’s Lounge.
Days are for discussion and calculation. Motor neuron disease slows him but doesn’t stop him. He controls his computer by twitching his cheek to control the cursor on a computer screen. It works best if you frame questions to him as a yes or a no. Neil Turok, Perimeter’s director, is an old Cambridge colleague of Hawking’s. He admitted after Sunday’s big televised show that he was impatient for the fancy business to be done “so we can get back to work.”
Of course in its own way, Sunday’s glamour was work too. A lot of taxpayer money has gone into Perimeter, about $90 million from the feds and as much from the Ontario government since 1999. That’s on top of $170 million from Research in Motion founder Mike Lazaridis. The physics that goes on there is so hard to explain (quantum foundations, anyone? Superstring theory?) that constant effort goes into underlining its importance. The man in the wheelchair is handy to that effort. After his speech, Hawking joined Turok and Lazaridis at dinner with two federal ministers, Flaherty and Gary Goodyear, both plainly starstruck.
O’Leary also became part of the sales pitch. “Imagine in 1905,” Lazaridis told the audience, “if Albert Einstein had stood in the Dragons’ Den.” Would the business geniuses have funded his crazy ideas? Not likely. But that’s what’s needed today, Lazaridis argued.
That’s the point Hawking wanted to make too, as it turned out. Sort of. Mostly he used his own life to show that you can never know what you’ll need to know. Governments spend a lot of time trying to pick winners in science. Hawking, the greatest winner of his lifetime, has never even bothered to try. He just followed his heart.
He showed up at Cambridge in 1962 hoping to study the nature of the universe with Dennis Hoyle. “Cosmology was at that time hardly recognized as a legitimate field. Yet that was where I wanted to do my research.” Hoyle was too busy so Hawking fetched up with a lesser-known prof, which came in handy when Hoyle’s defence of a steady-state universe fell into dispute soon after.
All the action was in elementary particle physics, where you could design experiments to peck away at electrons and nucleii and eke out their secrets. Cosmology was mere guesswork. Hawking quoted a colleague who considered attendees at a 1962 Warsaw conference on general relativity to be “hosts of dopes.”
Hawking’s instincts ran all the other way. Elementary particles? “Too like botany.” Hushed admiration for odd species of quarks and gluons. “Cosmology and gravitation, on the other hand, were neglected fields that were ripe for development.”
By the late 1960s, data from radio telescopes had driven a stake through Hoyle’s steady-state hypothesis. With Roger Penrose and other colleagues, Hawking was hot on the trail of proof that the universe began with a big bang. “It was a glorious feeling, having a whole field virtually to ourselves. How unlike particle physics, where people were falling over themselves to latch onto the latest idea. They still are.”
A single-minded focus on pursuing the latest trends would never have got him where he wound up. “The importance of special places and special times cannot be overstated,” Hawking said. “That happened in Berlin, Germany, in the 1920s when quantum mechanics was born, and again in Cambridge in the 1960s. It seems to me that the same ingredients are being assembled here,” at Perimeter. “I am hoping and expecting great things will happen here.”
What’s important is not that Hawking said these nice things but that he was in Waterloo to say them. And with that, it was back to work.
07-05-2010, 08:23 PM
Public events for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Tuesday July 6, 2010
3:00 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make an announcement. He will be joined by Professor Stephen Hawking and Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science & Technology).
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Atrium
31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo
* Open to media
07-06-2010, 04:48 PM
PM announces Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, support for Next Einstein Initiative
Fellowships will establish Canada as a global leader in research; Next Einstein Initiative to help best young minds in Africa
6 July 2010 | Waterloo, Ontario | http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=1&featureId=6&pageId=26&id=3529
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the establishment of the Government of Canada’s Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, a prestigious new program to attract and develop the world’s best and brightest postdoctoral researchers in Canada. The Prime Minister also announced support for the Next Einstein Initiative to encourage and develop the best young minds in Africa.
“To remain at the forefront of the global economy, we must invest in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow’s breakthroughs," said Prime Minister Harper. “The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships will give scholars in research institutions across the country the support they need to explore and develop their ideas to their fullest potential.”
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are the latest initiative under the Government of Canada’s comprehensive, long-term National Science and Technology Strategy. The new program will establish Canada as a global leader in higher learning, research and science and technology development. Under the program, 70 new fellowships will be awarded each year, with funding provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
The Prime Minister also announced the Government’s support for the Next Einstein Initiative, which will create a network of 15 centres of academic excellence across Africa in fields related to science and technology.
“Canada will make a substantial contribution to scientific and technological development in Africa by supporting the unique public-private partnership known as the Next Einstein Initiative,” the Prime Minister said. “This is a revolutionary approach to development. It aims to nurture the brightest minds in Africa so they can take a leading role in solving the complex challenges the continent faces in areas such as agriculture, health and finance.”
Canada’s contribution to the Next Einstein Initiative will help build long-term capacity in research in Africa, and encourage talented students to reach and fulfill their potential in math, science and technology.
Backgrounder: Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
6 July 2010 | Ottawa, Ontario | http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=3531
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships is a prestigious new program designed to attract and retain in Canada the best researchers in the world. The program will award 70 new fellowships a year valued at $70,000 annually for two years, totalling $45 million over five years. The value of these awards is competitive internationally and represents the same international calibre and prestige offered by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships ($50,000 annually for three years).
Fellowships under the program will be provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Fellowships will be open to both domestic and international applicants to support universities and research institutions in attracting and retaining top talent from within Canada around the world. Up to 25 per cent of Canadian awardees will be eligible to go to a foreign research institution for their postdoctoral placements, helping them establish worldwide networks, and raising awareness of Canadian research excellence.
The new postdoctoral fellowships will advance one of the main goals of the federal Science and Technology Strategy, which is to build an economic and competitive advantage for Canada by attracting and training highly qualified, innovative people. This new program is part of a full suite of Canadian funding programs to support top-tier researchers at every stage of their careers. The new program will help establish Canada as a global leader in higher learning, research, and science and technology development. Canada’s universities and all Canadians will benefit from greater international partnerships, and Canadian university students will be given enhanced learning opportunities.
The fellowships will be known as the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, in memory of Sir Frederick Banting, the Canadian physician, researcher, Nobel laureate and war hero who, together with his assistant Dr. Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin.
Backgrounder: The Next Einstein Initiative
6 July 2010 | Ottawa, Ontario | http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=3530
The Next Einstein Initiative (NEI) aims to create a Pan-African network of 15 centres of excellence in mathematics, technology and science over the next decade. The initiative seeks to build upon the success of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) established in 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa. Canada’s $20 million contribution to NEI will support the establishment of five AIMS centres across Africa by 2015. These centres will graduate at least 500 students each year in fields related to science, math and technology.
AIMS attracts leading scholars to train young bright African graduates to use mathematical thinking to address complex challenges in agriculture, health, finance, and other areas of development. A second centre opened in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2008 and plans are underway to establish centres in Senegal, Ethiopia and Ghana, which are all Government of Canada countries of focus.
Supporting talented individuals in math, technology and science through the Next Einstein Initiative will help build self-sufficiency and strengthen the ability of African countries to seek local solutions to local development challenges.
The NEI will help to deliver on Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda and international assistance priorities. Improving the quality of higher education and fostering a more productive and innovative workforce will also contribute to two of Canada’s five international assistance priorities: Sustainable Economic Growth and Children and Youth.
I noticed a bunch of black vehicles parked on the Perimeter lawn and cops standing around today, and remembered that the PM was supposed to be in town.
70k is extremely well-paid for a postdoc; the standard NSERC postdoc is 40k. (Under some circumstances, it used to be tax-free, but I hear that they changed that). However, I don't think that allocating funding reserved for postdocs is the way to improve Canadian research. The problem with postdocs is that they mean that it takes longer to get a "real job", and if everyone else has a postdoc, then it's hard to be competitive for a job without a postdoc. Some fields today, like Computer Science and many engineering fields, do not require postdocs to get a job, and I hope that the unwritten requirement for a postdoc doesn't continue to propagate.
07-06-2010, 11:32 PM
Some fields today, like Computer Science and many engineering fields, do not require postdocs to get a job, and I hope that the unwritten requirement for a postdoc doesn't continue to propagate.
I can't speak for other fields, but it's been my experience that if you have/are eligible to to get your engineering license (Bachelors required), you'll be qualified for the educational requirements of about 90% of the engineering jobs out there. The relatively few jobs that I've noticed that required a Masters or Doctorate tend to be more R & D type jobs.
I can't speak for other fields, but it's been my experience that if you have/are eligible to to get your engineering license (Bachelors required), you'll be qualified for the educational requirements of about 90% of the engineering jobs out there. The relatively few jobs that I've noticed that required a Masters or Doctorate tend to be more R & D type jobs.
I was talking about research jobs (PhD+).
Mind you, I was just chatting with a CS student yesterday who wanted to do a master's because he figured it would lead to more interesting work. Also, I understand that a lot of Google employees have higher degrees.
In terms of getting jobs, though, yes, bachelor's degrees in engineering tend to be sufficient, from my understanding, to get a lot of jobs, but perhaps not the super interesting ones.
11-28-2010, 05:29 PM
Not really on-topic as such, but this is the closest thread that fit.
The BBC has a long-running science program called Horizon (its version of PBS' Nova or CBC's Nature of Things), now in its 45th season. An episode that aired in early October discusses big questions about the Big Bang's role in cosmology, whether anything happened before that, and if so, what.
A good quarter of the documentary footage was shot in and around Perimiter, and interviews feature Neil Turok, Param Singh and Lee Smolin. They even have some scenes of Singh playing cricket at the Waterloo Park pitch (as elements of his theories involve a 'bounce' on a cosmic scale). Hawking only appears in a brief shot in a montage of Perimiter goings-on, taking in a lecture.
I have no idea if this will ever air in Canada or even North America (it was brought to my attention by less-than-kosher methods), but the beautiful BBC camera work really helps sell the place to an unfamiliar audience, I think. Very cool stuff.
11-28-2010, 08:12 PM
An episode that aired in early October discusses big questions about the Big Bang's role in cosmology, whether anything happened before that, and if so, what... (it was brought to my attention by less-than-kosher methods)...
Yup. I also saw it a month or so ago, probably by the same less-than-kosher means ;)
I was miffed, however, when they introduced the Perimeter Institute as "near Toronto" rather than in Waterloo. That's like saying Cambridge University is "near London."
For those who prefer to watch by more kosher means. Well worth watching!
11-28-2010, 09:06 PM
Well, YouTube's better than nothing! Thanks for embedding those.
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