Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
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Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is an independent research centre in foundational theoretical physics located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1999. The Institute's founding and major benefactor is Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Mike Lazaridis.
In addition to research, Perimeter also provides scientific training and educational outreach activities to the general public. This is done in part through Perimeter’s Educational Outreach team.
- 1 History
- 2 Research
- 3 Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA)
- 4 Educational Outreach
- 5 Training
- 6 Expansion
- 7 Past and present researchers
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Lazaridis' initial donation of $100 million was announced on October 23, 2000. A subsequent personal donation of $50 million was made on June 4, 2008.
Research operations began in 2001. Along with its research activities, Perimeter Institute operates an international outreach program. It hosts the International Summer School for Young Physicists every summer, which is a physics camp for high school students.
Under the stewardship of Howard Burton, the Institute's first Executive Director, PI initially operated out of Waterloo's historic post office on King Street. In October 2004, it moved into its custom-built facility on Caroline Street, across Silver Lake from Waterloo Park. The building was designed by Montreal architect firm Saucier + Perrotte, which received a Governor General's Medal for Architecture for the design in May 2006. The building next to PI, housing the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, won the same award for its architects in 1997. Perimeter Institute's building features an open glass facade along the north and west sides, contrasting with the slate-black metal walls of much of the rest of the building. Each researcher's office, as well as various lounge areas, features a full-wall blackboard for working out and theorizing in solo or group efforts.
The Ontario budget, announced in March 2006, included a commitment to provide $50 million in funding to PI from the Ministry of Research and Innovation.
Perimeter's research encompasses eight fields:
- Complex systems
- Cosmology and gravitation
- Particle physics
- String theory and quantum gravity
- Quantum foundations and quantum information
Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA)
An extensive, up-to-date archive of the Institute's varied research activities is readily available to the public via the internet. The Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA), is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars, conferences, workshops and outreach events. Seminars with video and timed presentation materials can be accessed on-demand in Windows and Flash formats together with MP3 audio files and PDFs of the supporting materials.
Perimeter’s Educational Outreach team’s activities include a monthly public lecture series, a two-week summer camp for the world’s top science students, a series of in-class resources, week-long professional development workshops for science teachers, cultural activities with local and international artists, an online archive of educational resources, an extensive network of science teachers to share content across Canada, and many other special events and science festivals contributing to physics outreach.
Public Lectures Series
Perimeter Institute has welcomed a number of very prominent scientists to deliver lectures on a wide variety of subjects. Lecturers have included: Freeman Dyson, Gerard ‘t Hooft, Jay Ingram, Seth Lloyd, Jay Melosh, Sir Roger Penrose, Michael Peskin, Leonard Susskind, Frank Wilczek and Anton Zeilinger.
The International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) brings approximately 40 Canadian and international students aged 16 – 18 to Perimeter for two weeks each year.
BrainSTEM: Your Future is Now
This festival connected technological innovations to the scientific breakthroughs that make them possible. The festival, held September 30 to October 6, 2013, featured science-centre styled exhibits, special presentations, public lectures, Science in the Club events and insider-tours of the Perimeter Institute. Webcast Public Lectures featured James Grime, Ray Laflamme and Lucy Hawking.
Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future festival
Held in October, 2009, the Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future festival (Q2C Festival) was a science outreach event held in Canada. The festival included events and activities spanning: lectures, panel discussions, pub talks, cultural activities, a PI documentary premiere (The Quantum Tamers: Revealing Our Weird and Wired Future), sci-fi film festival, an art exhibit and the hugely popular Physica Phantastica exhibit centre, a 460-square-metre (5,000 sq ft) space filled with demonstrations, hands-on activities, experiments and an immersive 3D tour of the universe narrated by Stephen Hawking.
The Q2C Festival attracted some 40,000 attendees (including over 6,000 in the secondary school program that brought students from Ontario and New York State and nearly one million viewers – and counting – through online streaming, video-on-demand services and special television broadcasts. Special editions of TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”, filmed live in PI’s Atrium in Waterloo attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers from across Canada with just five broadcasts.
Joint masters-level program
In partnership with the University of Waterloo, PI conducts the Perimeter Scholars International (PSI), a master's level course in theoretical physics. The 10-month course was inaugurated in August 2009, and admits 30 scholars per year. Students admitted (on average 8% of all applicants) receive full scholarships and living expenses. The master's degree itself is issued by the University of Waterloo.
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics also hosts PhD students wishing to pursue full-time graduate studies under the supervision of a PI faculty member. PhD students receive their doctoral degrees from a university partner, such as the University of Waterloo.
Perimeter Institute offers a number of planned courses each year, including cross-listed programs with universities and mini-courses given by PI faculty, associate faculty and visiting researchers. The courses are made available to all students enrolled in surrounding universities. The popular courses are attended by students from University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, University of Guelph, University of Toronto, York University, and other centres.
Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute
Designed by Teeple Architects, a new 5,000 m2 (55,000 sq ft) expansion, the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute, was completed in September 2011. The Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute was the first-ever Gold Seal-managed project in Ontario. It attained LEED Silver certification in 2015. The Centre's grand opening was in September 2011 and was attended by Stephen Hawking.
Past and present researchers
- Yakir Aharonov – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Wolf Prize (1998)
- Dorit Aharonov – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair
- Nima Arkani-Hamed – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Fundamental Physics Prize (2012)
- John H. Brodie – Former theoretical physicist for whom the annual John Brodie Memorial Award is named
- Freddy Cachazo – Faculty Member (superstring theory)
- Juan Ignacio Cirac – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Benjamin Franklin Medal (2010); founding figure in quantum computing
- David Cory – Associate Faculty Member (quantum information)
- Georgi Dvali – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair
- Laurent Freidel – Faculty Member (quantum gravity)
- Daniel Gottesman – Faculty Member (quantum information)
- Lucien Hardy - Faculty member (quantum foundations)
- Stephen Hawking – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Fundamental Physics Prize (special) (2012); Copley Medal (2006); Wolf Prize (1988); Dirac Medal and Prize (1987); Maxwell Medal and Prize (1976); Albert Einstein Medal (1979); Albert Einstein Award (1978); Eddington Medal (1975)
- Patrick Hayden – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair
- Chris Isham – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Paul Dirac Medal and Prize (2011)
- Leo Kadanoff – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Wolf Prize (1980); Lorentz Medal (2006); Boltzmann Medal (1989); Buckley Prize (1977)
- Raymond Laflamme – Associate Faculty Member (quantum information); founding figure in quantum information theory
- Renate Loll – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair
- Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara – Faculty Member (quantum gravity)
- John Moffat – Senior Researcher Affiliate(cosmology and gravitation/particle physics)
- Michele Mosca – Associate Faculty Member (quantum information)
- Robert Myers – Faculty Member (superstring theory)
- Malcolm Perry – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair
- Subir Sachdev – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair
- Ashoke Sen – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Fundamental Physics Prize (2012)
- Lee Smolin – Faculty Member (quantum gravity); founding figure in loop quantum gravity; Majorana Prize (2007)
- Rafael Sorkin – Senior Researcher (quantum foundations)
- Leonard Susskind – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Sakurai Prize (1998); founding figure in string theory
- Neil Turok – Executive Director (cosmology and gravitation); Maxwell Medal and Prize (1992)
- Bill Unruh – Distinguished Visiting Research Chair; Herzberg Medal (1983)
- Guifré Vidal – Faculty member (condensed matter)
- Antony Valentini – Faculty member
- Xiao-Gang Wen – BMO Newton Chair
- Mark Wise – Distinguished Research Chair; Sakurai Prize (2001)
Notable past and present members of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)
- Abhay Ashtekar
- Ganapathy Baskaran
- Sir Michael Berry
- Brian Greene
- Gerard 't Hooft
- Igor Klebanov
- Renate Loll
- Michael Peskin
- John Preskill
- David Spergel
- Erik Verlinde
- Artur Ekert
- Gerard J. Milburn
- James Hartle
- Chris Isham
- Sir Anthony Leggett
- Sir Roger Penrose
- Joe Polchinski
- Jorge Pullin
- Paul Steinhardt
- Scott Tremaine
- Neil Turok
- Frank Wilczek
- Mark Wise
Notable past and present Board Members
- Mike Lazaridis
- Nobel Laureate Arthur B. McDonald
- Joanne Cuthbertson
- Peter Godsoe
- Kevin G. Lynch
- Steven MacLean
- Michael Serbinis
- "Physics World: Neil Turok chosen to lead Perimeter Institute".
- "Physics in Canada – Mission: Outreach" (PDF). 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "RIM co-founder donates $50M to Waterloo physics centre". CBC News. CBC News. June 5, 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Governor General's Medals - Architecture". Governor General's Medals - Architecture - Past Winners. RAIC Architecture Canada. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
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- "TheStar.com | sciencetech | Physicist Stephen Hawking accepts post at Waterloo institute". Toronto: Thestar.com. 2008-11-27. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- Hand, Eric (23 September 2009). "The Edge of Physics". Nature. 461 (7263): 462–465. doi:10.1038/461462a. PMID 19779427. Retrieved 25 December 2009.
- "PI Outreach Continues to Grow Across Ontario, Canada and Beyond". 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Outreach Overview - Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics". Perimeterinstitute.ca. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- Butterworth, Jon (3 October 2015). "Perimeter Lecture: Neil Turok on "The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything"". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
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- "Perimeter Institute reaches out to young students with BrainSTEM". Waterloo Region Record. Waterloo Region Record. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Looking Back on Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future". Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Gionas, Sandra. "Quantum to Cosmos: The Science and Inspiration behind this Week's Programs". TVO. TVO. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Perimeter Scholars International Award". University of Waterloo Graduate Studies. University of Waterloo. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "About PSI".
- "Perimeter Scholars International Graduates Inaugural Class".
- Wells, Paul (8 September 2013). "Perimeter Institute: Jacob's classmates". Maclean's. Maclean's. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics / Teeple Architects". Arch Daily. Arch Daily. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- PI Expansion Achieves First Gold Seal Rating in Ontario 2010-07
- "Perimeter's Stephen Hawking Centre Gains LEED Silver Status". Perimeter Institute. Perimeter Institute. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Stephen Hawking to visit Canada in September". CBC News. 2011-07-27.
- "ALUMNI WINS PI'S JOHN BRODIE MEMORIAL AWARD". 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
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