How do you advise a scientist who says she has information that could be vital to the event health but shes been told to keep it a secret? In this talk Dr. Shuchman will discuss the dramatic act of blowing the whistle in science. Drawing on the extensive information in her best-selling book including interviews with whistleblowers, surveys of scientists and public testimony - and adding new material that isnt in the book Shuchman will outline the benefits of scientific whistleblowing over the past 40 years. Then she will describe its aftermath. In case after case, Shuchman will give audience members the information and ask their opinions of what should have happened. Miriam Shuchman is a psychiatrist with a background in medical ethics, who teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her features on ethics and psychiatry have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Globe and Mail, as well as on CBC Radio and National Public Radio in the United States. Her articles on medical whistleblowers have appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Dr. Shuchman trained in psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and studied ethics at Dartmouth College. Her book, The Drug Trial, tells the full story of the Olivieri affair, Canadas biggest science scandal, and exposes problems that should concern us all in the systems of scientific research, corporate financing and peer review. Drug trial, Miriam Shuchman, whistle blowers, Sissela Bok, Nancy Olivieri, David Kern, Cesare Maltoni, Justine Sergent, moral, responsibility, indefensible, scientists
The origin of the chemical elements that make up our world is one of the oldest most fundamental scientific questions. The universe after the Big Bang consisted only of hydrogen and helium with traces of lithium. All the other elements, including the carbon in our bodies, the iron, silicon, and oxygen that makes up most of our earth, have been created later by nuclear reactions in stars. However, the origin of many elements beyond iron, including gold and uranium, is still a mystery. These elements are attributed to a process called the r-process (rapid neutron capture process) which is of fundamental importance in explaining the origin of stable nuclei and isotopes beyond the iron group (A>90-100). The site of the r process is not known but supernova explosions and/or colliding neutron stars are prime suspects. The problem is that none of the models (related to these sites) can produce r-process elements in the correct proportions as we find them, for example, in the solar system or in certain very old stars. I will discuss an exciting alternative related to quark stars, a new class of compact stars that contain matter at the highest densities. Proposed observational features of quark stars, the probability of their detection, as well as some interesting connections to r-process nucleosynthesis will be presented. I will focus on an alternative based on a dynamical picture of decompressing neutron matter from the surface of quark stars in the scenario termed the Quark-Nova, which is particularly effective for producing the r-process pattern of heavy elements.
Given the difficulty of studying time-dependent processes in string theory, closed string tachyon condensation problems are often modelled by the process of renormalization group flow on the world-sheet. But what is the quantitative relation between these two processes? In this talk I will give a partial answer to this question, and discuss what it teaches us about closed string tachyon dynamics.
will discuss how to realize, by means of non-abelian quantum holonomies, a set of universal quantum gates acting on decoherence-free subspaces and subsystems. In this manner the quantum coherence stabilization virtues of decoherence-free subspaces and the fault-tolerance of all-geometric holonomic control are brought together.
Bohrs Principle of Complementarity of wave and particle aspects of quantum systems has been a cornerstone of quantum mechanics since its inception. Einstein, Schrödinger and deBroglie vehemently disagreed with Bohr for decades, but were unable to point out the error in Bohrs arguments. I will report three recent experiments in which Complementarity fails, and argue that the results call for an upgrade of the Quantum Measurement theory. Finally, I will introduce the novel concept of Contextual Null Measurement (CNM) and discuss some of its surprising applications.
Web-page: users.rowan.edu/~afshar/ Preprint (published in Proc. SPIE 5866, 229-244, 2005): http://www.irims.org/quant-ph/030503/
In the standard cosmological model, galaxies and large-scale structure grew by a process of gravitational instability from initial perturbations which were of the simplest statistical form imaginable: a statistically homogeneous and isotropic Gaussian random field. One of the properties of such a field is that its Fourier transform has real and imaginary parts which are independently Gaussian and consequently the phases are uniformly random. The same thing applies to the phases of the spherical harmonic coefficients involved when observed fluctuations over the celestial sphere, such as in the cosmic microwave background. Defining anything other than random phases as "weird", I discuss various aspects of cosmic weirdness and the non-randomness they produce in harmonic space. I introduce some novel methods for visualizing weirdness in CMB data and elsewhere, and discuss their relationship to more conventional statistical analyses. If I have time I will also discuss a few other interest things to do with CMB fluctuations.