The discovery of a gravitational wave caused by the merger of two neutron stars, reported today by a collaboration of scientists from around the world, opens a new era in astronomy. It marks the first time that scientists have been able to observe a cosmic event with both light waves -- the basis of traditional astronomy -- and gravitational waves, the ripples in space-time predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was divided, one half awarded to Rainer Weiss, the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves". (Nobel Prize)
It’s 'Back to the Future' day: “In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015, to save his children, yet to be born in Back to the Future's 1985.” (Source: CNN)
Journalists looking for comments can talk to Alex Maloney, professor of physics at McGill:
“Back to the Future was a great movie which brings up many interesting scientific issues. Although Einstein's theory of general relativity seems to allow time travel under very special circumstances, it appears that the effects of quantum mechanics make time travel impossible.”
- Alex Maloney
Alex Maloney, Associate Professor of Physics & William Dawson Scholar, Department of Physics, McGill University
Expertise: Black holes, string theory, particle physics, cosmology and the emergence of space-time in quantum gravity.
Contact: Maloney [at] physics [dot] mcgill [dot] ca
Weather, which changes day-to-day due to constant fluctuations in the atmosphere, and climate, which varies over decades, are familiar. More recently, a third regime, called “macroweather,” has been used to describe the relatively stable regime between weather and climate.
McGill University physicist Aashish Clerk and epidemiologist Madhukar Pai are among the inaugural members named today to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
A new network that is bringing together expertise from universities, government and industry is implementing a new vision for training the next generation of medical physicists. Ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs and nuclear medicine are only a few examples of the essential contributions of medical physicists. The field of medical physics applies the principles of physics to medicine, from diagnosis to treatment, and seeks to quickly transform scientific discovery into clinical applications. Medical physicists are also clinical health care professionals providing service in fields such as radiation therapy, medical imaging, nuclear medicine or radiation protection, to name a few.
While short-term weather is notoriously volatile, climate is thought to represent a kind of average weather pattern over a long period of time. This dichotomy provides the analytical framework for scientific thinking about atmospheric variability, including climate change.
How do embryos measure time?
To build the computer chips of the future, designers will need to understand how an electrical charge behaves when it is confined to metal wires only a few atom-widths in diameter.
A research team led by McGill University Physics Prof. Alexander Maloney is among the winners of the New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology International Grant and Essay Competition who will present their winning proposals and essays in a joint conference Oct. 12 and 13 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.