Collection Number C04001
Collection Date
Collection Type Outreach
Perimeter Public Lectures

The Fascinating, Weird World of Quantum Matter

In her December 2 Perimeter Public Lecture webcast, Hallberg will explore examples of emergent phenomena and demonstrate how we can tackle these problems using quantum information to filter the most relevant data. By advancing research in this field, we hope to seed advances with applications from medical equipment and new materials to efficient energy generation, transportation, and storage.

A physicist's adventures in virology

In her live Perimeter Public Lecture webcast on November 4, 2020, physicist Catherine Beauchemin used contemporary examples from COVID-19 and influenza to explain eroding public trust in health research – and why a dose of physics may be just the prescription we need. Beauchemin is a Professor of Physics at Ryerson University and a Deputy Program Director in the RIKEN Interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences Program in Japan.

Robert Spekkens and Elie Wolfe, Perimeter Institute

What do data science and the foundations of quantum theory have to do with one another?

A great deal, it turns out. The particular branch of data science known as causal inference focuses on a problem which is central to disciplines ranging from epidemiology to economics: that of disentangling correlation and causation in statistical data.

The End of the Universe: A Conversation with Katie Mack

Katherine Mack North Carolina State University

In a special live webcast with Perimeter Institute on May 6, 2020, theoretical cosmologist and science communicator Katie Mack — known to her many Twitter followers as @AstroKatie — answered questions about her favourite subject: the end of the universe. Mack is currently a Simons Emmy Noether Fellow at Perimeter and an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University.

Shohini Ghose, Wilfrid Laurier University

Shohini Ghose Wilfrid Laurier University

You’ve likely heard of quantum computing. Maybe you’re even familiar with the basic principles of how this emerging form of technology harnesses counter-intuitive properties of the subatomic realm to perform tasks that would overwhelm even today’s most powerful “classical” computers. But do you know what that will mean for the ways you work, communicate, play, and live?

Bryan Gaensler, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Bryan Gaensler University of Toronto

Science fiction and science both inspire wonder and awe, albeit in very different ways.

At its best, science fiction asks profound questions about the human condition. In contrast, science asks – and often answers – even more profound questions about the very nature of matter, space, and time.

Both science fiction and science fact explore the concept of journeying to other stars and finding life on other worlds. When it comes to interstellar travel, the truth may soon become stranger (and more amazing) than fiction.

Elizabeth Tasker, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Elizabeth Tasker Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Since the discovery of the first exoplanets in the early 1990s, we have detected more than 4,000 worlds beyond our solar system. Many of these are similar in size to our Earth, leading to an obvious question: could any be habitable?

For now, we typically only know the size and orbit of these planets, but nothing about their surface conditions. Although we cannot know for sure if these worlds could support life, we can use models to speculate on what we might find there.

Gabriela González, Louisiana State University

Gabriela Gonzalez Louisiana State University (LSU) - Department of Physics & Astronomy

Albert Einstein predicted a century ago the existence of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime moving at the speed of light. It was believed that these ripples were so faint that no experiment would ever be precise enough to detect them. But in September 2015, LIGO did exactly that. The teams working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Louisiana and Washington measured a loud gravitational wave signal as it traveled through the Earth after a billion-year journey from the violent merger of two black holes.

Sir Martin Rees, UK Astronomer Royal

Martin Rees The Royal Society

Advances in biotech, cyber-technology, robotics, and space exploration could, if applied wisely, allow a bright future – even for 10 billion people – by the end of this century.

But there are dystopian risks we ignore at our peril.

These risks are of two kinds: those stemming from our ever-greater collective “footprint” on the Earth, and those enabled by technologies so powerful that even small groups can, whether by error or design, cause global catastrophe.

Anne Andrews and Paul Weiss, University of California, Los Angeles

To make progress on serious problems in biology and medicine takes a combination of skills, tools, and approaches, often requiring collaboration across seemingly disparate fields. The trick to making breakthroughs often lies in learning to communicate across disciplines to identify existing technologies – and, crucially, the new tools that need to be invented.