CCA’s Brian Metzger Receives 2020 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists

Simons Foundation, July 2020

Astrophysicist Brian Metzger has been named the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards Laureate in Physical Sciences & Engineering by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The honor recognizes Metzger’s contributions to the discovery of the origins of gold and other heavy elements in the universe. The $250,000 prize is one of the largest for early-career scientists.

Quantum Physicists Crack Mystery of ‘Strange Metals,’ a New State of Matter

Simons Foundation, July 2020

Even by the standards of quantum physicists, strange metals are just plain odd. The materials are related to high-temperature superconductors and have surprising connections to the properties of black holes. Electrons in strange metals dissipate energy as fast as they’re allowed to under the laws of quantum mechanics, and the electrical resistivity of a strange metal, unlike that of ordinary metals, is proportional to the temperature.

New View of Nature’s Oldest Light Adds Fresh Twist to Debate Over Universe’s Age

Simons Foundation, July 2020

From a mountain high in Chile’s Atacama Desert, astronomers with the National Science Foundation’s Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) have taken a fresh look at the oldest light in the universe. Their new observations plus a bit of cosmic geometry suggest that the universe is 13.77 billion years old, give or take 40 million years.

Led media push for newest findings from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, coordinating with dozens of other institutions. Media coverage in New Scientist, Science News, BBC, Nature, USA Today, UPI and Express.

Making a Fast Computational Tool Even Faster

Simons Foundation, June 2020

Alex Barnett takes a small silver tuning fork from his backpack, thwacks it against his desk and holds it to a microphone. On his computer, the musical tone appears as a steady succession of identical sine waves.

“It’s an A4, or the A above middle C,” says Barnett, who plays classical and jazz piano in addition to serving as group leader for numerical analysis at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Mathematics (CCM). “That’s 440 hertz, or 440 oscillations per second.”

Machine Learning Cracks Quantum Chemistry Conundrum

Simons Foundation, May 2020

A new machine learning tool can calculate the energy required to make — or break — a molecule with higher accuracy than conventional methods. While the tool can currently only handle simple molecules, it paves the way for future insights in quantum chemistry.

CCQ Co-Director Andrew Millis and Simons-Supported Researchers Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Simons Foundation, April 2020

The National Academy of Sciences has announced the election of 146 new members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Among those honored are 12 Simons-supported scientists, including Andrew Millis, co-director of the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Quantum Physics (CCQ). The academy, established in 1863 by an act of Congress, provides independent, objective advice to the United States on matters related to science and technology.