Quantum to Cosmos Festival - 2009

Quantum to Cosmos Festival

 

Sunday Oct 25, 2009

In this closing session, festival panelists will look back over the preceding ten days to review what we've learned about the Quantum, the Cosmos, and Ideas for the Future.

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Sunday Oct 25, 2009
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Our understanding of the physical world at the most fundamental level is based on two theories: quantum theory and general relativity. They are impressively successful when each is considered on its own, but in situations where both play a role, we are reduced to puzzles and absurdity. To the great frustration of researchers, candidate theories of quantum gravity produce more puzzles than answers. We shall tour of some of the problems, focusing on the role of spacetime and causality.

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Sunday Oct 25, 2009
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The mysteries of quantum theory run deep. Despite 80 years of research, there is still no consensus on its interpretation. This talk will explore some of the important issues in the foundations of quantum theory, from the idea that we have only a limited knowledge of a deeper reality, like the prisoner in Plato’s cave who sees only the shadows of objects and never the objects themselves, to John Bell’s famous discovery of the difference between quantum correlations and Dr.

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Sunday Oct 25, 2009
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Where does technology come from? Physics! Exploring basic mysteries such as "What is light?", "How can atoms exist?", and "What is space and time?" led to computers, wireless communication, mp3 players, lasers, medical imaging - indeed, virtually every "high tech" device on the planet. Join us in a celebration of the immense power of theoretical physics to transform our world for the betterment of humanity, and learn how current theoretical explorations may hold potential for even more fantastic innovations in the future.

 

Saturday Oct 24, 2009

Science journalism is the essential glue connecting science to society. Looking around the world, how is science journalism changing? Is science journalism even essential to good science communication? How else might scientists come to understand the relationship between new technologies and the products of research and the public who will ultimately use them?

 

Saturday Oct 24, 2009

It has taken thousands of generations and countless migrations to explore our own small planet. Now, in less than one lifetime, our robot surrogates have ventured to nearly every significant object in the solar system. Vast new territories and landscapes have opened up before our eyes. The experience has transformed the way we understand our species and its place in the universe. It may yet uncover alien life. Join scientists in a discussion of what we are learning today from worlds beyond Earth and find out where this effort is likely to lead us next.

 

Saturday Oct 24, 2009
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Three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization—half the world’s population now lives in cities, and eighty percent will by midcentury—is altering humanity’s land impact and wealth. And biotechnology is becoming the world’s dominant engineering tool. In light of these changes, environmentalists are going to have to reverse some longheld opinions and embrace tools that they have traditionally distrusted.

 

Saturday Oct 24, 2009
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From prehistoric times onward, people have always found ways to incorporate mathematical thinking into art. Today, we have sophisticated mathematical machinery that we can use both to understand the rules that underlie historical patterns and to describe new designs of great beauty and originality. Better yet, computers can serve as a powerful artistic tool, helping make these mathematical visions a reality. This talk will explore some of the exciting contemporary work that lies in the intersection of mathematics and art.

 

Saturday Oct 24, 2009
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Quantum Physics. Along with neuroscience and rocket science, it has a reputation of being abstract, inpenetrable and horrendously complicated. Even Einstein himself struggled to get his head around it. But, there’s hope! Using references from movies, books and art, this presentation will guide you through the quantum world and give an overview of science’s best theory of the subatomic world to date. Prepare yourself for a mind-bending journey.

 

Friday Oct 23, 2009

From the Enlightenment onward, science gained our trust and we followed its logic readily. But in an increasingly complex and skeptical world, will advancements in genetics, Artificial Intelligence, and countless other endeavours keep us believing, or will we lose the taste for a life shaped by science and technology? Be part of the live studio audience for this special edition of TVO's Agenda with Steve Paikin.

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