PI@Ten: Looking Ahead

Director Neil Turok comments on the upcoming 10th Anniversary of PI and looks ahead.

Comments from Director Neil Turok on PI’s 10th Anniversary and an invitation to join in online on October 17th at 4:00 pm for more news from Perimeter Institute.

We’re 10 years young!

Perimeter Institute began as the first attempt in history to invest strategically in foundational theoretical physics, whose discoveries have advanced all of the sciences, and seeded so many of the technologies upon which modern society depends.

In just a decade, the Institute has emerged as a highly regarded centre in the areas of quantum information, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, and string theory. It now hosts the world’s largest group of independent postdoctoral fellows in theoretical physics, and attracts outstanding graduate students. Its high quality, innovative educational outreach programs have reached and inspired tens of thousands of students, teachers and members of the public across Canada and beyond.

As the Institute begins its second decade, it has embarked upon an array of exciting initiatives, all aimed at creating an optimal environment for scientific enquiry and discovery, where researchers are given exceptional opportunities that challenge them to ask, and try to answer, some of the deepest questions about space, time, matter and information.

These initiatives include:

  • Widening the Institute’s fields of focus to encompass particle physics, cosmology, condensed matter and complex systems, in order to incorporate insights from the full spectrum of physics into research while retaining PI’s focus on quantum theory and spacetime, and their unification. 
  • Doubling the size of its permanent faculty by 2015.
  • Enhancing Perimeter Scholars International (PSI), our newly created Master’s level training course. PSI is a 10-month program that is recruiting outstanding graduates from Canada and around the world, and providing a unique research training program. The inaugural class of 28 students began in August; the program will ultimately build to 50 students each year.
  • Expanding the Distinguished Research Chair program, which is making Perimeter the second research home to many eminent international scientists, including Yakir Aharonov, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Neta Bahcall, Juan Ignacio Cirac, Gia Dvali, Stephen Hawking, Leo Kadanoff, Subir Sachdev, Ashoke Sen, Leonard Susskind, and Xiao-Gang Wen. A new round of appointments will be announced at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival.
  • Initiating the GO program, which will strengthen the interface between theory and experiment by connecting Perimeter Institute scientists with researchers at experimental and observational centres such as the Large Hadron Collider; the Planck satellite; VISTA, VLT, the SKA and other observatories; SNOlab and other astroparticle facilities; and LIGO, LISA and other gravitational wave detectors.
  • Establishing cooperative agreements with leading theoretical physics centres around the world to enable scientific exchange visits, research collaborations, and joint activities in order to accelerate progress in research areas of common interest.
  • Developing innovative new educational outreach programs to inspire and educate young people and the public at large on the substance and importance of basic science.
  • Commencing a global outreach effort to support the emergence of innovative centres of scientific excellence, and promoting high-level math and scientific skills across the developing world.

To accommodate all of these activities, in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, the Institute is adding 55,000 square feet of research space to its core building. Through wise stewardship of resources, the Institute is enhancing its research environment and community, in order to optimize the chances of achieving breakthroughs, while nurturing talent that will enrich science and society as a whole. I invite you to join us online for PI: Past, Present and Future during our upcoming 10th Anniversary celebrations to learn more about these exciting initiatives and to hear some very special announcements.

Perimeter Institute is a place with exceptional spirit—a 10-year old’s spirit—of excitement, intensity, and unconfined intellectual freedom. Join in the spirit during Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future. Explore, be amazed and inspired, and share in the fantastic voyage of scientific discovery.

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 


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