Portrait de Colin Hunter

Convergence in Closing

By David Harris

The last day of Convergence had a lighter schedule but started off just as intensely as the rest of the meeting.

Portrait de Tenille Bonoguore

The biggest question: What next?

In fundamental research about the universe, “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer. In fact, it’s the most exciting answer. 
 
“I’ve never come across a group of people so excited about not knowing something,” said Ian O’Neill, Space producer at Discovery.com and moderator of the closing panel at Convergence. 
 
Portrait de Mike Brown

100 Years Later: The Theory of General Relativity

On the centenary of the publication of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Jürgen Renn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, delivered a public lecture that placed the luminary’s achievement in its proper historical context – one that clashes with the popular mythology.

“Einstein was not the lonely genius he is often portrayed to be,” said Renn. “Einstein had his collaborators, his frustrations with his colleagues, and his competitors.”

Portrait de Colin Hunter

Surprises from the quantum to the cosmos

By David Harris

From Quantum...

Over the past 20 years, the coldest material in the universe, Bose Einstein Condensates, have been used in the lab in increasingly sophisticated ways beyond just making them in the first place. Immanuel Bloch described how lattices of these globs of cold atoms can be used for a wide variety of applications, including the most precise clocks ever made, which are accurate to one second in the 13.7 billion year age of the universe. 

Portrait de Tenille Bonoguore

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Emmy Noether

One slide featuring six photographs stood as the ultimate testament to the ongoing legacy of pioneer mathematician Emmy Noether.

At the end of two talks that described Noether’s career, her groundbreaking theorems, and her work’s ongoing impact, cosmologist Ruth Gregory showed a slide featuring the six women who are mathematical physics faculty at the University of Durham.

“That is Noether’s legacy, and I think she would have been jazzed to see this slide,” Gregory said.

The public lecture about Emmy Noether ended the first day of Convergence.

Portrait de Colin Hunter

Beyond the Success of Simplicity

By David Harris

“These are amazing times for physics…. Many of us believe physics is poised for a new revolution.” With those words Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok officially opened the first Convergence conference.

Portrait de Colin Hunter

The Universe is So Simple, So Puzzling

The universe is confoundingly simple, but understanding it is nowhere near easy. From the smallest to the grandest scales, physics stands at a crossroads.
 
At the opening panel of Convergence on Monday morning, leading thinkers gave a glimpse into their slices of the scientific realm.
 
Cosmologist Paul Steinhardt said science is still searching for a “good story” that pulls together black holes, dark matter, and dark energy.
 
Portrait de Colin Hunter

Celebrating the Sixth Class of Perimeter Scholars International

In a ceremony filled with laughter and some tears, the 2015 class of Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) commemorated an intense year of physics, friendships, and plenty of coffee. 

Thirty-three students from more than a dozen countries participated in the program, which culminated in a bittersweet farewell during Convergence, with many PSI alumni in attendance. 

Portrait de Colin Hunter

Contemplating the most challenging questions in physics

By David Harris
 
What do you get when you bring a hundred or so theoretical physicists together to discuss the burning physics questions of the time? Some very spirited, intriguing, and entertaining conversation.
 
Portrait de Colin Hunter

A First Taste of Convergence

By David Harris
 
Physics conferences have a typical form and feeling. But this Convergence conference has a different sense to it. Arriving last night, I was prepped for science by the hotel restaurant and bar called “Proof” which is decorated with mathematics, including chalkboards drawn by Perimeter Institute scientists. Although not a part of the conference per se, it felt like an appropriate introduction to the meeting.