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Very rubin observatory, Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Generational waves: young physicists on the big questions that drive their scientific journeys, live from Perimeter Institute

The late astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan once said: “The great discoveries are almost entirely made by youngsters.” Sagan understood the power of youthful awe and curiosity, unbounded by established ways of thinking.

On Wednesday April 2, 2014, Perimeter Institute’s Public Lecture Series presented by Sun Life Financial will explore ground-breaking science through the experiences of four exceptional young physicists. What drew them to the field? Was it a “calling,” or can they identify a pivotal moment? Why is this an exciting time to pursue big questions, and where do they see themselves in the future?

This special panel discussion, broadcast live online, will be moderated by journalist Kate Lunau of Maclean’s magazine. As an award-winning Canadian science and health journalist, Lunau has trained with astronaut Chris Hadfield at NASA, written about the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN, and covered a wide array of exciting development in fields ranging from regenerative medicine to robotics. She will guide discussion among the panelists about their early-stage careers – from what a “typical” day of a theoretical physicist is like, to the unprecedented challenges and opportunities that face the next generations of scientists.

The panel will include:

Nima Doroud is a PhD student investigating gauge theory – a class of theories describing particle interactions – under the supervision of Perimeter Faculty members Jaume Gomis and Lee Smolin. He was a member of the first class of Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) in 2009 after completing an undergraduate degree in his native Iran.

Lauren Hayward received her Master's degree in physics in 2012 through the PSI program, and is currently studying computational condensed matter theory as a PhD student under the supervision of Roger Melko, a Canada Research Chair with positions at the University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute. A native of Winnipeg, she completed her undergraduate degree in physics and computer science in 2011 at the University of Manitoba.

Jacob Barnett, at 15 years old, is Perimeter’s youngest-ever emerging scientist. He began auditing university physics courses at age eight, and was fully enrolled at an Indiana university by 12. He visited renowned universities across North America in his search for a place to pursue his Master’s and PhD degrees, and joined the PSI program in 2013. His scientific interests range from quantum gravity to string theory to particle physics.

Andres Felipe Schlief Carvajal is a current student in the PSI program, in which he studies the intersections of condensed matter, field theory, and quantum information. A native of Bogota, Colombia, Andres is determined to use the ideas and principles he learns to expand his own understanding of the world and for the betterment of his home country.

The interactive live webcast, titled “The Future of Physics: Kate Lunau of Maclean’s Magazine in Conversation with Emerging Talent at Perimeter Institute” will be streamed on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm ET from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on Perimeter’s website. The webcast will also be archived online for later on-demand viewing.

Click here to sign up to receive an email reminder about the live webcast. Online viewers can pose questions to the panel by tweeting @Perimeter using the hashtag #piLIVE.

You can view past Perimeter Public Lectures and events online, and find further details about Perimeter’s research, training, and outreach activities at



Perimeter has developed innovative and highly sought-after research training programs that help emerging scientists refine their own ideas and interests through lively academic and research interactions. Among the training programs is Perimeter Scholars International (PSI), a 10-month intensive coursework Master’s-level program that takes place from August to June each year. The program is designed to expose outstanding students to the full spectrum of theoretical physics, taught by a stellar array of international lecturers and dedicated professional tutors. Students take all their courses at Perimeter Institute, and receive an M.Sc. from the University of Waterloo upon graduation.

À propos de l’IP

L'Institut Périmètre est le plus grand centre de recherche en physique théorique au monde. Fondé en 1999, cet institut indépendant vise à favoriser les percées dans la compréhension fondamentale de notre univers, des plus infimes particules au cosmos tout entier. Les recherches effectuées à l’Institut Périmètre reposent sur l'idée que la science fondamentale fait progresser le savoir humain et catalyse l'innovation, et que la physique théorique d'aujourd'hui est la technologie de demain. Situé dans la région de Waterloo, cet établissement sans but lucratif met de l'avant un partenariat public-privé unique en son genre avec entre autres les gouvernements de l'Ontario et du Canada. Il facilite la recherche de pointe, forme la prochaine génération de pionniers de la science et communique le pouvoir de la physique grâce à des programmes primés d'éducation et de vulgarisation.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez vous adresser à :
Mike Brown
Gestionnaire, Communications et médias
519-569-7600 x5131