This animation tracks several gamma rays through space and time, from their emission in the jet of a distant blazar to their arrival in Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT). During their journey, the number of randomly moving ultraviolet and optical photons (blue) increases as more and more stars are born in the universe. Eventually, one of the gamma rays encounters a photon of starlight and the gamma ray transforms into an electron and a positron. The remaining gamma-ray photons arrive at Fermi, interact with tungsten plates in the LAT, and produce the electrons and positrons whose paths through the detector allows astronomers to backtrack the gamma rays to their source. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Cruz deWilde.
Astronomers using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have made the most accurate measurement of starlight in the universe and used it to establish the total amount of light from all of the stars that have ever shone, accomplishing a primary mission goal. "The optical and ultraviolet light from stars continues to travel throughout the universe even after the stars cease to shine, and this creates a fossil radiation field we can explore using gamma rays from distant sources," said lead scientist Marco Ajello, a postdoctoral researcher at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University in California and the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley. Gamma rays are the most energetic form of light. Since Fermi's launch in 2008, its Large Area Telescope (LAT) observes the entire sky in high-energy gamma rays every three hours, creating the most detailed map of the universe ever known at these energies.The total sum of starlight in the cosmos is known to astronomers as the extragalactic background light (EBL). To gamma rays, the EBL functions as a kind of cosmic fog. Ajello and his team investigated the EBL by studying gamma rays from 150 blazars, or galaxies powered by black holes, that were strongly detected at energies greater than 3 billion electron volts (GeV), or more than a billion times the energy of visible light. "With more than a thousand detected so far, blazars are the most common sources detected by Fermi, but gamma rays at these energies are few and far between, which is why it took four years of data to make this analysis," said team member Justin Finke, an astrophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.As matter falls toward a galaxy's supermassive black hole, some of it is accelerated outward at almost the speed of light in jets pointed in opposite directions. When one of the jets happens to be aimed in the direction of Earth, the galaxy appears especially bright and is classified as a blazar. Gamma rays produced in blazar jets travel across billions of light-years to Earth. During their journey, the gamma rays pass through an increasing fog of visible and ultraviolet light emitted by stars that formed throughout the history of the universe. Occasionally, a gamma ray collides with starlight and transforms into a pair of particles -- an electron and its antimatter counterpart, a positron. Once this occurs, the gamma ray light is lost. In effect, the process dampens the gamma ray signal in much the same way as fog dims a distant lighthouse. From studies of nearby blazars, scientists have determined how many gamma rays should be emitted at different energies. More distant blazars show fewer gamma rays at higher energies -- especially above 25 GeV -- thanks to absorption by the cosmic fog. The farthest blazars are missing most of their higher-energy gamma rays.The researchers then determined the average gamma-ray attenuation across three distance ranges between 9.6 billion years ago and today. From this measurement, the scientists were able to estimate the fog's thickness. To account for the observations, the average stellar density in the cosmos is about 1.4 stars per 100 billion cubic light-years, which means the average distance between stars in the universe is about 4,150 light-years."The Fermi result opens up the exciting possibility of constraining the earliest period of cosmic star formation, thus setting the stage for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope," said Volker Bromm, an astronomer at the University of Texas, Austin, who commented on the findings. "In simple terms, Fermi is providing us with a shadow image of the first stars, whereas Webb will directly detect them." Measuring the extragalactic background light was one of the primary mission goals for Fermi. "We're very excited about the prospect of extending this measurement even farther," said Julie McEnery, the mission's project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
NASA'S Fermi Measures Cosmic 'Fog' Produced by Ancient Starlight. Explores the Early Universe http://WWW.GOODNEWS.WS
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In its current form, architecture is still a product of the Industrial Age, as is the idea that underpins it, namely that every change is an improvement. No profession is so imbued with the soap powder advertising optimism of ‘now better than ever’. But buildings also belong to the category of products on which financial capitalism thrived. Just as the millions of unpaid Facebook users ensure that Mark Zuckerberg is on his way to becoming the richest man in the universe, so all the (in this case paid) parties who make buildings, starting with architects, ensure that those who own the buildings become wealthier from it. At least, that’s how things worked until the recession. Because construction alone will not make you seriously rich.
- Hans Ibelings, SHIFTS
Nanne de Ru of Powerhouse Company and Hans Ibelings explore the themes of the exhibition in a far-reaching discussion with leading UK based practioners, at the forefront of conversations around global change and new economies, including worldwide urban development perspectives from Christopher Choa (AECOM) and fresh research on alternative economies and their implications for architecture, from Alice Fung (00:/, Hub Westminster). The conversation will be chaired by Peter Buchanan, author of the Architecture Review's recent 12 part series of essays exploring the future of architecture, The Big Rethink.
Are we now seeing the formal end of the Industrial Revolution, the tipping point from which the East takes the reins from the West? What have de-regulation and the changing role of credit done to the world’s built environment? Through exploration of these vital questions, the evening will also launch a new publication resulting from Ibelings and Powerhouse's research.
Hans Ibelings (b. Rotterdam, 1963) is an architectural historian and critic. From 1989 to 2000 he was a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute; from 2004 to 2012 he was editor-in-chief of A10; in 2005 and 2006 he was a visiting professor at the EPFL (Lausanne). Ibelings is the author of several books including Supermodernism: Architecture in the age of globalization and European architecture since 1890. Since 2012 he is editor of The Architecture Observer, which employs a variety of old and new media in the pursuit of architectural criticism.
Nanne de Ru (1976, the Netherlands) received the Master of Excellence in Architecture from the Berlage Institute, Postgraduate Laboratory of Architecture, Rotterdam (2002), a Bachelor of Architectural engineering from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam in (1998) and won the Vitae Bouwaward for best Dutch Architectural Engineering graduation project (1999). From 1998 to 1999 de Ru worked as a project leader at One Architecture in Amsterdam. During the years 2002-2004 de Ru worked at Rem Koolhaas' think tank AMO in Rotterdam as a lead researcher and designer on numerous large scale regional planning projects including Ruhrgebiet (a study for a new identity for the Ruhrvalley in Germany); Eurocore (a study into new forms of urbanity in Europe); Beijing Olympic conference center competition; Beijing preservation strategies; and The Image of Europe – a joint commission of the Dutch presidency and the European Commission. In 2005 he co-founded Powerhouse Company, an office for architecture, urbanism and research, with branches in Rotterdam and Copenhagen. Powerhouse Company employs 15 people and is working throughout Europe and Asia on design and research projects. Nanne de Ru teaches regularly at the Academy of Architecture in Rotterdam and has been guest professorships at various institutions including Aarhus University (DK), TU Delft (NL), Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) and AHO Oslo School of Architecture (NO). Nanne de Ru is member of the research board of the Berlage Institute.
Christopher Choa is a Principal with AECOM, the international land development and infrastructure consultancy. He focuses on urban regeneration, sustainable strategies for new development, and enhancing regional competitiveness. A prize-winning architect and native New Yorker, he is based in London and leads the firm’s urban development studio. Christopher served as co-chair of New York New Visions - the design coalition for the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Some of his ongoing or completed projects include the planning of Cairo Airport City, the regeneration of Sao Paolo’s Nova Luz district, the Saadiyat Island Masterplan in Abu Dhabi, the masterplan of Shanghai's North Bund, and the Zeitinburnu Seaport in Istanbul. A graduate of both Harvard and Yale, he has been a visiting critic at the Harvard School of Design, Columbia University, and UCL/Bartlett. His work, citations, and professional columns have been published in a wide range of journals, including World Architecture, Architectural Review, The Shanghai Daily, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
Alice Fung trained as an architect and is co-founder of 00:/, a strategic development and design practice, and of Hub Westminster, an incubator for 1000 startups. She has experience in the strategic development of place design projects that focus on delivering social institutions and places. Alice's recent roles include project architect of Hub Kings Cross and the development and operational delivery of Hub Westminster. Her previous experiences include an institutional development strategy for Somerset House, affordable housing schemes, innovative workspace environments and urban regeneration projects. Alice was the lead designer on the Compendium for the Civic Economy, a collection of 25 civic enterprises showcasing more sustainable routes to a different economy in our cities, towns and neighbourhoods, commissioned by CABE and NESTA. She is a Future 100 Award winner for entrepreneurial flair and innovation in progressing a responsible business venture. Alice is a fellow of the RSA, has tutored at the University of Bath and served as a member of the RIBA Validation Panel visiting architecture schools in the UK.
Peter Buchanan is a writer, critic, consultant and curator. He was born in Malawi, schooled in Zimbabwe and graduated B.Arch from the University of Cape Town in 1968. Peter worked as an architect and urban designer/planner in various parts of Africa, Europe and the Middle East before joining the Architect’s Journal and The Architectural Review in 1979, becoming Deputy Editor of the latter in 1982. As a freelance since 1992, he has curated the travelling exhibitions Renzo Piano Building Workshop: Selected Projects and Ten Shades of Green for The Architectural League of New York, written books and served as a consultant on urban design projects and publications. He has published copiously in journals from many countries, and lectured and taught summer schools and master classes in a similarly wide range of places and universities. His many books include the five volumes of Renzo Piano Building Workshop: Complete Works (Phaidon Press) and Ten Shades of Green (WW Norton).# vimeo.com/43281796 Uploaded 1,428 Plays 11 Likes 0 Comments
Speakers: Jonathan Grudin and Umer Farooq
Title: Where to Go After Grad School: A Discussion about Jobs and Careers
Both of us have academic and industry research laboratory experience. We also both worked in industry product development groups after getting our PhDs, Jonathan as a software engineer at Wang Laboratories in the 1980s and Umer as a user experience researcher in the Server & Tools Division at Microsoft where he is now. The viability of academic and research lab paths is quite evident, although students often have questions about their relative merits and drawbacks, and we will spend some time on this facet. Less clear to many students today are the possibilities for staying active in research while working in non-research jobs, as we did. This does not preclude an eventual return to research; in fact, it can be a less stressful and a more impactful and successful path in the long run, if undertaken thoughtfully by someone with appropriate interests and skills. It is also possible that changes in the field make this especially attractive at this time.
We will describe some merits and drawbacks of academic, industry research, and industry development paths, illustrated with brief biographical sketches of graduates from the 80s, 90s, and 00s (not only our own). We’ll also leave time for discussion.
Bio: Jonathan Grudin
After getting a PhD in cognitive psychology with Don Norman, Jonathan did a postdoc in a government research lab, then spent three years as a software engineer. He subsequently drifted back into research, eventually becoming Professor of Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine. He is now a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Affiliate Professor at the Information School. He was Editor in Chief of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, is co-chairing iConference 2011 with Harry Bruce (and a superlative committee doing most of the work), and is co-program chair for CSCW 2012. Both conferences will be in Seattle.
Bio: Umer Farooq
With a background in computer science, Umer finished his PhD in information sciences and technology with John M. Carroll from Penn State. During his graduate work, Umer did summer stints at IBM T.J. Watson Researcher Center and SRI International. He is now a User Experience Researcher at Microsoft. For the products Umer works on, his end users are highly technical developers, which presents a unique user experience dilemma: Do developers really care about usability, given that they are so tech savvy? While shipping Visual Studio 2010, Umer actively worked with product teams to convey that developers are in fact human and they too prefer a usable product.# vimeo.com/16296017 Uploaded 341 Plays 3 Likes 0 Comments
The AstraZeneca Research Centre was established in Australia in 2000. This is a rare inside look at what happens behind the scenes of a research laboratory, told by the clinical researchers themselves.# vimeo.com/9541289 Uploaded 75 Plays 1 Like 1 Comment
During a week in august 2011, 100 designers from all over the world, curators, experts and students have been working together on the theme of water : how to preserve it, how to transport it, how to purify it or package it... selected teams run for the "Art_science" prize in Boston, where the film was shown. The workshop took place at Le laboratoire in Paris, an Art & Science foundation in the network of "Art science labs" founded and animated by researcher David Edwards.# vimeo.com/48125297 Uploaded
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