Simons Foundation Launches the Flatiron Institute Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advocacy (IDEA) Scholar Program

Simons Foundation, August 2020

The Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Flatiron Institute Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advocacy (IDEA) Scholar program. The program invites distinguished scientists with a particular interest in increasing diversity and improving equity and inclusion in the sciences for extended visits at the foundation’s intramural computational research division, the Flatiron Institute. The foundation regards diversity as having many dimensions, including but not limited to gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, race, faith, ethnicity, cultural heritage, disability and socioeconomic background. Visiting scholars can engage with any of these dimensions or suggest others.

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.”