News: Space, Earth and Environment, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Energi och miljö related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 24 Jun 2022 23:50:32 +0200 Sweden's climate goals in line with the Paris Agreement?<p><b>This issue has been debated lately in Sweden. The results depend on how the global emission budget is scaled down and distributed among countries. The choice of method comes down to ethical questions and is ultimately a political decision. Three researchers from Chalmers - Johannes Morfeldt, Christian Azar and Daniel Johansson - come to the following conclusions in a recent report: </b></p><ul><li>​​<span style="background-color:initial">Sweden's (territorial) emission target is compatible with the 1.5 degree target given that the global carbon dioxide emission space is distributed evenly per person and year.</span></li> <li>Sweden's (territorial) emissions target is compatible with the 1.5-degree target, even if we also take historical responsibility for our carbon dioxide emissions from sometime in the 1990s.</li> <li>If Sweden takes responsibility for emissions further back in time, we would need more ambitious goals (than the current ones).</li></ul> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/JohannesM-ChristianA-DanielJ-170x510.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />IP</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>CC has estimated</strong> the amount of carbon the world can emit in order to meet the 1,5 degree target (a carbon budget). In order to determine how much each country can emit within this global budget, i.e., to scale down the emission budget to a national level, various principles of equity may be applied. The choice of principle may have a significant impact on the results. </span><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial"><br /></strong></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Finally,</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><strong style="background-color:initial">the researchers address</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> the role of science in this debate. Science is central to calculating what global emission space is left to reach a certain temperature target. But science cannot determine which distribution principle is right. How the remaining emission space is to be distributed between countries is basically an ethical and political issue and not an issue that science can decide.</span><br /></div> <div><br /><strong>Dowload the report</strong> (Swedish): <a href="">Nationella utsläppsmål utifrån Parisavtalet och internationella rättviseprinciper – analys av Sveriges territoriella klimatmål</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""></a><div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/morfeldt.aspx">Johannes Morfeldt</a>, Researcher, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, <span style="background-color:initial">, Chalmers University of Technology</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/christian-azar.aspx">Christian Azar</a>, Professor of Energy and environment, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/daniel-johansson.aspx">Daniel Johansson​</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology.​</div> <br /><strong>Read More:<br /></strong><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Must-some-countries-do-more-than-others.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Must some countries do more than others?</a><br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/We-must-take-action-instead-of-arguing-how-costly-it-might-be.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />We must take action instead of arguing how costly it might be</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/History-fossil-dependence.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Can history teach us how to reduce fossil reliance?</a></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/production-gap.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />&quot;Do something constructive of the report's message&quot;​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Thu, 16 Jun 2022 07:00:00 +0200 emissions necessary to reach climate goals<p><b>In order to reverse the trend of increasing emissions and achieving the Paris Agreement's goal of a 1.5 degree increase in temperature, so-called negative emissions are a must. This according to researchers at Chalmers, who have invited the world's leading international experts on the subject to a conference on 14-17 June.- It is not possible underestimate the importance of negative emissions to meet the climate goals, says Anders Lyngfelt, one of the conference organizers.​​</b></p><div><div>Negative emissions is achieved by collecting and storing more carbon dioxide than is emitted into the atmosphere. One way is called BECCS - Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage - the process of extracting bioenergy by burning biomass and then capturing and storing the carbon, thereby removing it from the atmosphere. Since it is the same carbon dioxide that the forest has previously captured through photosynthesis, the result is a net reduction of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, or minus emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The first International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions was held at Chalmers in 2018 and a sequel was planned for 2020, if it had not been for the covid-19 pandemic. But now it's finally time for a conference that will deal with new technologies for negative emissions, what the latest data models say about how the climate is developing, and what policy instruments are relevant to speed up the work with negative emissions.</div> <div>How much more carbon dioxide can we emit?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It is the so-called carbon dioxide budget that indicates how much carbon dioxide we can emit without exceeding the climate goals. According to the best available calculations, the budget for the 1.5-degree goal is over in 2029, in just 7 years. </div> <div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/AndersLyngfelt_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>“If we are to meet this 1.5-degree target, all carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere after 2029 must be captured again, to acheive so-called negative emissions. We can't underestimate the importance of negative emissions in order to meet the climate goals, that is why Chalmers has gathered the world's leading researchers in the field for this conference, says Anders Lyngfelt, professor at Energy Technology at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The conference brings together more than 300 delegates and includes 140 scientific publications and more than 150 lectures, including 12 lectures on important aspects of negative emissions.</div></div> <div></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More information: </h3> <div><span></span><a href="">Official website for The second International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Download the program as a pdf</a>.</div>Mon, 13 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 biomass and less negative environmental impact<p><b>With a new way of modeling land use, research shows how changes in land use combined with multifunctional production systems ​can help agriculture deliver more biomass while at the same time reducing environmental problems. – Agriculture creates many values in addition to food supply today, but can also have a negative impact on the environment, for example by nitrogen from manure leaking into nearby drinking water, says Göran Berndes, expert on land use.</b></p><div>Increased demand for biofuels and bio-based materials increases the pressure on agriculture to produce biomass. Intensified land use can lead to more common negative effects such as erosion, nitrogen leakage, loss of soil carbon and floods.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The problem can be alleviated with the help of multifunctional production systems, which means that perennial crops are grown in a way and place that counteracts the negative environmental effects of intensive agriculture in the landscape. These systems provide society with double benefits: more biomass and reduced environmental problems. </span><span style="background-color:initial">They can also secure regulatory ecosystem services, such as pollination and protection against natural disasters such as droughts and floods.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Goran_Berndes_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></b></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial">- There are many different ways to reduce the environmental impact and the solutions we have investigated in this project have been the subject of several previous studies, also within our own research group. Such studies are often done on a fairly small scale, but here we have taken a larger approach and investigated how multifunctional cultivation systems could be introduced in Sweden and Europe to reduce the negative effects of current agriculture – and at the same time produce biofuels and other bio-based products, says Göran Berndes, professor at Chalmers (picture t h). He is the project leader in a research study, which includes researchers from Chalmers, Lund University and Mid Sweden University. Together, they have developed a new way of modeling land use systems.</span><br /></div> <br /></div> <div>The spatial models are based on high-resolution data and have been applied to 81,000 individual landscapes across the EU and the UK. This way, it is possible to identify individual landscapes where multifunctional systems can be particularly advantageous, while at the same time it is possible to study the effects of implementation at European level. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Our analyzes show that environmental problems related to nitrogen leakage to surface water and wind erosion can be significantly reduced through a strategic integration of multifunctional farming systems in agricultural landscapes that are currently dominated by annual crops, says Oskar Englund, associate professor at Mid Sweden University and one of the project participants.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the project <a href="">Mitigating environmental impacts from biomass production by producing more biomass​</a>. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b style="background-color:initial">More info:</b><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The project is part of the programme </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">Renewable transportation fuels and systems</a>, </span><span style="background-color:initial">A collaborative research program between the Swedish Energy Agency and f3 The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>Projektgrupp: </b><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/goran-berndes.aspx">Göran Berndes</a> (projectleader) and <a href="/sv/Personal/Sidor/christel-cederberg.aspx">Christel Cederberg</a>, Chalmers; <a href="">Oskar Englund</a>, Mid Sweden University/Englund GeoLab AB; <a href="">Pål Börjesson</a>, Lund University.</div> <div>The project also has links to <a href="">IEA Bioenergy Task 45 - Climate and sustainability effects of bioenergy within the broader bioeconomy.</a><span style="background-color:initial">​​</span></div> Mon, 06 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0200 climate benefits when ships “fly” over the surface<p><b>​Soon, electric passenger ferries skimming above the surface across the seas may become a reality. At Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, a research team has created a unique method for further developing hydrofoils that can significantly increase the range of electric vessels and reduce the fuel consumption of fossil-powered ships by up to 80 per cent.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">While the electrification of cars is well advanced, the world's passenger ferries are still powered almost exclusively by fossil fuels. The limiting factor is battery capacity, which is not enough to power ships and ferries across longer distances. But now researchers at <strong>Chalmers and the marine research facility SSPA</strong> have succeeded in developing a method that can make the shipping industry significantly greener in the future. The focus is on hydrofoils that, like wings, lift the boat’s hull above the surface of the water and allow the boat to travel with considerably less water resistance. A technology that in recent years has revolutionised sailing, by which hydrofoils make elite sailors' boats fly over the surface of the water at a very high speed. <br /></span><div>The researchers at Chalmers and SSPA now want to enable the sailboats' hydrofoil principle to be used on larger passenger ferries as well, resulting in enormous benefits for the climate. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Nyheter/Arash%20200x200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 15px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>&quot;</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>The electrification of ferries cannot be done</strong> without drastically reducing their water resistance. This method will allow the development of new foil designs that can reduce resistance by up to 80 per cent , which in turn would significantly increase the range of a battery powered ship. In this way, we could also use electric ferries on longer distances in the future,&quot; says research leader <strong>Arash Eslamdoost</strong>, Associate Professor in Applied Hydrodynamics at Chalmers and author of the study Fluid-Structure Interaction of a Foiling Craft published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Even for ships that today run on fossil fuels the climate benefit could be enormous, as similar hydrofoil technology could reduce fuel consumption by no less than 80 per cent. <br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Unique measurement method arouses broad interest </h2> <div>At the centre of the research project is a unique measurement technique that the researchers have put together in order to understand in detail how hydrofoils behave in the water when, for example, the load or speed increases or the positioning of the hydrofoil changes. Using the data collected from the experiments, the team has developed and validated a method to simulate and predict with great precision how the hydrofoil would behave under a variety of conditions. The method is unique of its kind and can now be used to develop the design of hydrofoils for electric powered hydrofoil ferries.<br /></div> <div><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Nyheter/Laura%20200x200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 15px" />The study was conducted in collaboration with the research facility SSPA – one of only a few of its kind in the world – where <strong>Laura Marimon Giovannetti</strong> works as a researcher and project manager. She is the lead author of the study and has herself competed at the elite level for both the British and Italian national sailing teams. Today she is a research and development adviser to Sweden's Olympic committee and the Swedish national team with her sights set on helping the team win more medals at the Olympics in 2024. Marimon Giovannetti sees many possibilities for the unique measurement method developed by the team: </div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>&quot;At the Americas Cup in San Francisco Bay in 2013</strong>, it was the first time we saw a 72-foot sailing boat learning how to “fly” using hydrofoils during the competition. And since then, we've seen a huge increase in sailing boats with hydrofoils. With this new method and knowledge we are able to bring together a range of different branches of engineering – naval architecture, advanced materials and aeronautics as well as renewable energy.&quot;</div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Paving the way for hydrofoils on electric ferries </h2> <div>Hydrofoil technology is not in itself a novelty, but was developed as early as the 60s and 70s. Back then the focus was on getting boats to travel at as fast as possible and the hydrofoils were made of steel, a heavy material with higher maintenance costs. Today's modern hydrofoils are made of carbon fibre, a much lighter and stiffer material that can maintain its rigidity even under high loads – and can be tailored to the expected loads. Part of the research project was therefore to fully understand how a carbon fibre structure behaves underwater during different operational conditions. The research team's method developed in association with modern technology is now paving the way for the use of carbon fibre hydrofoils on larger passenger ships that can travel in a safe, controlled and climate-friendly way even at low speeds. <br /><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;You want the foil to be as efficient as possible</strong>, which means carrying as much weight as possible at as low a speed as possible with the least resistance. Our next goal is to use this method when designing more efficient hydrofoils for ferries in the future,&quot; says Eslamdoost.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the scientific article </strong></div> <div>The study <a href="">&quot;Fluid-Structure Interaction of a Foiling Craft&quot;</a> has been published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. The authors are Laura Marimon Giovannetti, Ali Farousi, Fabian Ebbesson, Alois Thollot, Alex Shiri and Arash Eslamdoost. The researchers are active at SSPA and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and INP-ENSEEITH in France. <br /><br /></div> <div>Hugo Hammar’s funding from SSPA and Rolf Sörman’s funding from Chalmers University of Technology provided the financial support to run the experimental tests at SSPA. This study also received funding from the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation for the strategic research project Hydro- and Aerodynamics.<br /></div> <a href=""><div><br /><br /></div> </a><div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div><strong>Arash Eslamdoost,</strong> Associate Professor in Applied Hydrodynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden</div> <div> +46 31 772 36 84<br /><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>Laura Marimon Giovannetti,</strong> Senior Researcher and Project Manager, SSPA, Sweden</div> <div>+46 730729182,</div> ​<div>Text: Lovisa Håkansson</div>Thu, 02 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 review Gothenburgs climate agenda<p><b>​Housing, transportation and public meals are all focus areas that are important for the City of Gothenburg to invest in to be able to meet its new ambitious climate goals. These are advice from three Chalmers researchers and members of the newly formed climate council who will follow and review the City of Gothenburg's work towards reducing the climate footprint by 2030.</b></p><div>The decision to establish at climate council in Gothenburg was made by the city's climate and environment committee, on May 24, 2022. The council will analyze how the climate goals in the city's environmental and climate program can be achieved in a cost-effective way, by proposing and evaluating various measures. The council has seven members, three of them from Chalmers. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> ​One of Gothenburg's major challenges is housing, and <strong>Holger Wallbaum</strong>, Professor in Sustainable Building at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, thinks that the City of Gothenburg needs to focus both on speeding up planning and construction processes to meet the demand for new housing for the growing population, and on a climate-friendly and economically sustainable renovation of the existing building stock. The latter is closely linked to his research group's work to find solutions to the housing challenges by providing data, tools, methods and innovations for a more sustainable built environment.    <br /><br />The building materials used have an environmental impact throughout their full life cycle, and Holger Wallbaum therefore believes that we must plan, build, operate and maintain our buildings differently to achieve the very ambitious goals of being fossil-free and carbon neutral in the near future.    <br /><br /><div>– Extra efforts need to be made to reduce the climate impact from the building methods used and from load-bearing structures and building materials. If we are to achieve the goals, efforts will be required from all actors involved, from academia to authorities and companies and also at the individual level. The challenges are great, but they come with many opportunities if we pursue the necessary transformation of the built environment in a holistic way, says Holger Wallbaum.   <br /><br /><strong>Frances Sprei</strong> is an Associate Professor at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory. Her research assesses different personal mobility options, such as alternative fueled vehicles and electric vehicles, as well as innovative mobility forms such as car sharing and ride sharing. She thinks that that there are many possibilities to decrease emissions from the transport sector.     <br /><br />– The transport sector accounts for a large part of emissions. This is also a sector where the city of Gothenburg has some control over both when it comes to promoting electrification and reducing car dependence, says Frances Sprei. <br /><br /><strong>Fredrik Hedenus</strong>, Professor, also at the Physical Resource Theory at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, researches strategies to reduce the climate impact of energy and food production. The research focuses on both policy instruments and the effects of various technical and behavioral measures. Within his areas of research he identifies public meals as an important factor to focus on in Gothenburg:<br /><br />– Public meals are an important part of reducing the climate footprint, and there are also important and interesting goal conflicts regarding public meals, says Fredrik Hedenus.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span class="VIiyi" lang="en"><span class="JLqJ4b ChMk0b"><span class="Q4iAWc">In their respective research areas, the trio studies issues that are central to both the city and the people of Gothenburg.</span></span> <span class="JLqJ4b ChMk0b"><span class="Q4iAWc">This makes Chalmers researchers well suited to review as well as contribute their expertise to the city's climate work.<br /></span></span></span></div>  <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Delegates in the Municipality of Gothenburg Climate Council<br /></h2> <div> </div> <div><span class="VIiyi" lang="en"><span class="JLqJ4b ChMk0b"><span class="Q4iAWc"></span></span></span></div></div> <div><strong>Frances Sprei</strong>, Associate Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment   <br />+46 31 772 21 46  <br /><a href=""></a>  <br /><em>Frances has just finished a project together with IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, which has studied how parking can be used as a policy measure for more sustainable mobility, and is finishing another project that look into how limited parking and access to mobility services affect residents. She also leads a current project on electric scooters to yield insights into the role of micromobility in cities. Frances is also involved in projects concerning electrification of both passenger transport and freight transport. </em>      <br /><br /><strong>Fredrik Hedenus</strong>, Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment  <br />+46 31 772 34 53   <br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a>  <br /><em>Fredrik is currently researching what a renewable electricity system could look like. This connects in several ways to municipalities like the city of Gothenburg, from the location of wind turbines to coordination with electrification of the transport sector. </em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Holger Wallbaum</strong>, Professor, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering<br />+46 31 772 19 94  <br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a> <br /></div> <div><em>An ongoing project together with Göteborg Energi with the development of a digital twin of all residential and non-residential buildings in the city. The model will help to understand the changing and geographically localized energy needs for today's buildings as well as the buildings to be built in the coming decades. Two newly started projects are dedicated to exploring the environmental and business potential of a circular economy in the built environment.</em><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Other delegates in the climate council:</h3> <ul><li>Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Gothenburg </li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Petra Svensson, Senior Lecturer in political science, Halmstad University</span> </li> <li>Andreas Nilsson, Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg </li> <li>Ebba Brink, Researcher at Center for Sustainability Studies, <span>Lund University<span style="display:inline-block"> </span></span></li></ul></div> </div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 24 May 2022 17:00:00 +0200 researchers join Young Academy of Sweden <p><b>Two researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are amongst the six new members of the Young Academy of Sweden presented today. Jessica Jewell, whose research focuses on the transition to a fossil free energy system, and Adel Daoud, who uses AI to study measures to end poverty in African communities.  </b></p><div><div>The Young Academy of Sweden The Academy was founded in 2011 at the initiative of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Each member elected for a period of five years. Those who wish to apply should have taken their PhD degree no more than ten years ago. </div></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Jessica Jewell</h3> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Jessica-Jewell-200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>Jessica Jewell is Associate professor in energy transformation at the division of Physical Resource Theory, the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology:</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Scientists have figured out how to save the climate in mathematical models but can we do it in the real world? My research group investigates this question by examining change and continuity in energy systems. I use energy system models, technological innovation and diffusion theories, and analysis from political science and history. We zoom in on cases where change has been rapid and profound such as the response to the 1970s oil crises and the growth of solar and wind power in recent years to understand what enabled such rapid change and how they can be scaled up and replicated in different countries. By identifying historical precedents of rapid transitions and comparing these to the scale and speed of changes society needs to meet climate targets, we are able to identify the areas where change is most feasible. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I applied to the Young Academy of Sweden because I want to develop Sweden's system for attracting research talent and developing science by identifying the areas where we are already world leaders, as well as those where we can learn from other countries. I am particularly interested in strengthening international mobility and transparency in funding to ensure that Swedish institutions constitute strong growth environments for young researchers&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">.  </span></div></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Adel Daoud</h3> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/AdelDaoud-200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div><span style="background-color:initial">Adel Daoud Associate professor in analytical sociology at Linköping University, and, Affiliated associate professor in data science and AI at Chalmers University of Technology:</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;About 300 million people in Africa live in extreme poverty. Given that living in impoverished communities can trap people in cycles of deprivation (‘poverty traps’), major development actors such as China and the World Bank have deployed a stream of projects to break these cycles (‘poverty targeting’). However, as scholars are held back by a data challenge, research has up until now been unable to answer fundamental questions such as whether poverty traps exist, and to evaluate what extent interventions can release communities from such traps </div> <div><br /></div> <div>I am leading the <a href="">AI and Global Development Lab​</a> to identify to what extent African communities are trapped in poverty and examine how competing development programs can alter these communities’ prospects to free themselves from deprivation. Our Lab has the following objectives: (i) train image recognition algorithms—a form of AI—to identify local poverty from satellite images, 1984-2020; (ii) use these data to analyze how development actors affect African communities; (iii) use mixed methods to develop theories of the varieties of poverty traps; (iv), develop an R package, PovertyMachine, that will produce poverty estimates from new satellite images—ensuring that our innovations will benefit poverty research. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>I want to be a part of the Young Academy of Sweden <span style="background-color:initial">Because the academy offers a unique opportunity to change, improve, and refine Swedish universities and their position globally”</span><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">About the Young Academy of Sweden  </h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div>The Young Academy of Sweden is a multidisciplinary academy, comprising a selection of the best young researchers in Sweden – an independent platform that gives young researchers a strong voice in the research policy debate and is working on raising the profile of research for young people. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Young academies exist in over 30 countries and Sweden's Young Academy works with the other young academies at Nordic, European and global levels. </span><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><a href="">Read more about the Young Academy of Sweden and its new members</a>. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#1166aa"><b><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/The-Young-Academy-of-Sweden.aspx">Find all Chalmers researchers who are or have been members of the Young Academy of Sweden</a></b></font></span>.</div></span></div>Tue, 24 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 reveal the efficiency of star factories<p><b>​Astronomers solve the mystery of the different star formation activities of two similar-looking dust clouds by reconstructing their 3D shapes​.</b></p>​Using tens of thousands of stars observed by the <a href="">Gaia space telescope</a>, astronomers from Max Planck Institute of Astronomy and Chalmers University of Technology have revealed the 3D shapes of two large star-forming molecular clouds, the California Cloud and the Orion A Cloud. In conventional 2D images, they appear similarly structured, containing filaments – streaks of denser dust and gas – with seemingly comparable densities. In 3D, however, they look quite distinct. In fact, their densities are much more different than their images projected on the plane of the sky would suggest. This result solves the long-standing mystery of why these two clouds form stars at different rates.​<div><br /></div> <div>Cosmic clouds of gas and dust are the birthplaces of stars. More specifically, stars form in the densest pockets of such material. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Density, the amount of matter compressed into a given volume, is one of the crucial properties that determine star formation efficiency,” says Sara Rezaei Khoshbakht. She is an astronomer at Max Planck Insitute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany and Chalmers University of Technology. She is the main author of a new article published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters today:<span style="background-color:initial"> </span><a href="">Three-dimensional Shape Explains Star Formation Mystery of California and Orion A​</a><span style="background-color:initial">.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div>In a pilot study portrayed in the article, Sara Rezaei Khoshbakht and co-author Jouni Kainulainen of Chalmers have applied a method which allows them to reconstruct 3D morphologies of molecular clouds to two giant star-forming clouds – their targets were the Orion A Cloud and the California Cloud.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Usually, measuring the density within clouds is hard. </div> <div>“Everything we see when we observe objects in space is their two-dimensional projection on an imaginary celestial sphere. Conventional observations lack the necessary depth for us to see the whole cloud” explains Jouni Kainulainen, an expert on interpreting the influence of cosmic matter on stellar light and calculating densities from such data. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;If the two clouds look the same from our point of view, our 3D models show that they have completely different shapes. It is a almost like they are a pencil and a pancake, seen from the side in our viewpoint in space. On average, the Orion A - the pencil - is much denser than California, which explains its more pronounced star formation activity&quot;, says Jouni Kainulainen.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">This study proves its potential to improve star formation research in the Milky Way by adding a third dimension, and the work now published is only </span><span style="background-color:initial">the first step of what the astronomers want to achieve. Sara Rezaei Khoshbakht pursues a project now that ultimately will produce the spatial distribution of dust in the entire Milky Way, and uncover its connection to star formation.​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Read m​ore:</span></h3> <div>The text above is based on a press release from MPIA. <a href="">Read the full press release, with more info about the images and animations at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy​</a><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Image​s: </span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Image 1: This image from the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile covers the Orion A molecular cloud, the nearest known massive star factory. Lying about 1350 light-years from Earth, it reveals many young stars and other objects normally buried deep inside the dusty clouds.</span><span style="background-color:initial">. </span><span style="background-color:initial">ESO/VISION survey</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><a href="">Full scale photo with more information is available at the ESO website</a><span style="background-color:initial">. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>The other image details the shapes of the California and Orion A Clouds from two different perspectives. The colours indicate density, with red colours representing higher values. The images are based on the 3D reconstruction by Sara Rezaei Khoshbakht and Jouni Kainulainen.<span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div></span></div>Wed, 18 May 2022 12:00:00 +0200 image of the black hole in our galaxy's centre<p><b>Astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes.</b></p><div>The science team includes three astronomers from Chalmers’ Department of Space, Earth and Environment: John Conway and Michael Lindqvist, both at Onsala Space Observatory, and Chiara Ceccobello, working in Astronomy and Plasma Physics at the time of the research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Now for the first time we can see the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. That’s much closer to us than its counterpart in M 87, which we were able to see in the first image from the Event Horizon Telescope in 2019. We also know more about it than any other black hole. This image is putting theories about the nature of space and time to the test. It’s an exciting time to be working in science, says Michael Lindqvist.<br /></div> <div><div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very centre of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the centre of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object — known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced &quot;sadge-ay-star&quot;) — is a black hole, and today’s image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.  </span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Four million times more massive than the sun</h3> <div>Although we cannot see the black hole itself, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a shadow) surrounded by a bright ring-like structure. The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity,&quot; said EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei. &quot;These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings.&quot; The EHT team's results are being published today in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Because the black hole is about 27 000 light-years away from Earth, it appears to us to have about the same size in the sky as a doughnut on the Moon. To image it, the team created the powerful EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope. The EHT observed Sgr A* on multiple nights in 2017, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure time on a camera. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">In addition to other facilities, the EHT network of radio observatories includes the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) in the Atacama Desert in Chile, two telescopes that Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory have been a part of for a long time.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>&quot;We can study this wonderful image thanks to long-term investments in science infrastructure in Sweden and around the world. At Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory, we are proud to have delivered instruments and expertise to the APEX and ALMA telescopes, without which this image would not have been possible&quot;, says John Conway.​<span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>APEX is a collaborative project between Onsala Space Observatory, ESO (European Southern Observatory) and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy. Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers have been involved in the ALMA project since its inception, and Chalmers has delivered receivers for both telescopes.<br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Similar to the ​image, despite very different black holes</span><br /></div> <div>The EHT achievement follows the collaboration’s 2019 release of the first image of a black hole, called M87*, at the centre of the more distant Messier 87 galaxy. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The two black holes look remarkably similar, even though our galaxy’s black hole is more than a thousand times smaller and less massive than M87* [3]. &quot;We have two completely different types of galaxies and two very different black hole masses, but close to the edge of these black holes they look amazingly similar,” says Sera Markoff, Co-Chair of the EHT Science Council and a professor of theoretical astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. &quot;This tells us that General Relativity governs these objects up close, and any differences we see further away must be due to differences in the material that surrounds the black holes.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This achievement was considerably more difficult than for M87*, even though Sgr A* is much closer to us. EHT scientist Chi-kwan (‘CK’) Chan, from Steward Observatory and Department of Astronomy and the Data Science Institute of the University of Arizona, USA, explains: “The gas in the vicinity of the black holes moves at the same speed — nearly as fast as light — around both Sgr A* and M87*. But where gas takes days to weeks to orbit the larger M87*, in the much smaller Sgr A* it completes an orbit in mere minutes. This means the brightness and pattern of the gas around Sgr A* were changing rapidly as the EHT Collaboration was observing it — a bit like trying to take a clear picture of a puppy quickly chasing its tail.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers had to develop sophisticated new tools that accounted for the gas movement around Sgr A*. While M87* was an easier, steadier target, with nearly all images looking the same, that was not the case for Sgr A*. The image of the Sgr A* black hole is an average of the different images the team extracted, finally revealing the giant lurking at the centre of our galaxy for the first time.  </div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">300 researchers involved​</h3> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/EHT_PR_Secondary_Image_72dpi_340x425.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The effort was made possible through the ingenuity of more than 300 researchers from 80 institutes around the world that together make up the EHT Collaboration. In addition to developing complex tools to overcome the challenges of imaging Sgr A*, the team worked rigorously for five years, using supercomputers to combine and analyse their data, all while compiling an unprecedented library of simulated black holes to compare with the observations.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists are particularly excited to finally have images of two black holes of very different sizes, which offers the opportunity to understand how they compare and contrast. They have also begun to use the new data to test theories and models of how gas behaves around supermassive black holes. This process is not yet fully understood but is thought to play a key role in shaping the formation and evolution of galaxies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Now we can study the differences between these two supermassive black holes to gain valuable new clues about how this important process works,” said EHT scientist Keiichi Asada from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei. “We have images for two black holes — one at the large end and one at the small end of supermassive black holes in the Universe — so we can go a lot further in testing how gravity behaves in these extreme environments than ever before.”  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Progress on the EHT continues: a major observation campaign in March 2022 included more telescopes than ever before. The ongoing expansion of the EHT network and significant technological upgrades will allow scientists to share even more impressive images as well as movies of black holes in the near future. </div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read more: </h3> <div><i style="background-color:initial">The results were presented on May 12, 2022 in six articles in Astrophysical Journal Letters.<a href=""> Link to the research articles​</a>. </i></div> <div><i style="background-color:initial">For high resolution images, please visit <a href=""></a></i></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><a href=""></a><span>For more information, contact: ​</span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><span style="background-color:initial">Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala rymdobservatorium, 070 4933114,</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Michael Lindqvist, astronomer, Onsala Space Observatory,</div></div>Thu, 12 May 2022 15:00:00 +0200 exoplanet in unique planetary system<p><b>Astronomers have discovered a unique planetary system around the star TOI 500, 155 light years from Earth. The innermost of the four planets is similar to Earth in several ways, but has an orbiting period of just 13 hours and a temperature of over 1300 degrees Celsius. It is believed to have formed further out, and then migrated close to the star in a slow and &quot;quiet&quot; process, lasting billions of years. Until now, it has never been shown that such a scenario could expain the existence and architecture of such a peculiar planetary system​</b></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Judith Korth, one of four Chalmers astronomers involved in the study, recently published in Nature Astronomy, explains why this planetary system is of particular interest:</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Judith_Korth_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“Its architecture is unique. TOI-500 hosts four low-mass planets where the innermost planet has an orbital period of around 13 hours (TOI-500b). Such ultra-short-period planets (USPs) usually show a particular architecture of high-inclined orbits with respect to the outer planets in the system and are thought to be the outcome of so called high-eccentricity migration, where very elliptical orbits gradually become more and more circular from the star’s tidal forces”, says Judith.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“The planets in the TOI-500 system, however, show orbits on a similar plane, and thus, TOI-500 is the first system that could have formed via a different formation scenario, namely the low-eccentricity migration described in the article”.</span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Slow and steady migration towards the star​</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">The scientific community unanimously agre</span><span style="background-color:initial">es that a planet like TOI-500b could not have formed in its current position, but that it must have originated in a more external area of ​​the protoplanetary disk, and then migrated much closer to its star. However, there is still a lot of debate on the migration process, but it is common opinion that it usually takes place in a violent way, a process that can involves collisions between planets which set the planets on non-circular and inclined orbits, migrating towards smaller orbits that become increasingly circular.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">In the recent article, however, the authors present simulations with which they demonstrate that the planets around TOI-500 may have formed on almost circular orbits further out in the system, and then performed a slow and steady migration during 2 billions years, in which the planets, without colliding with each other, move along orbits that remain almost circular but gradually smaller and smaller.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The research, published in the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy was led by Luisa Maria Serrano and Davide Gandolfi of the Physics Department of the University and featured Chalmers astronomers Judith Korth, Carina Persson, Iskra Georgieva and Malcolm Fridlund. </span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span lang="EN-US">TOI similar to Earth - and also very different</span></h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The planet closest to the star, named TOI-500b, is a so called Ultra-Short Period (USP) planet , as its orbital period is just 13 hours . It is also considered an Earth analogue, that is, a rocky planet similar to the Earth in radius, mass and density. However, its proximity to the star makes it so hot (around 1350 degrees Celsius) that its surface is most likely an immense expanse of lava.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“TOI-500b has a size and mass similar to Earth but in reality, it is very different from Earth due to its short orbital period. It is called an Earth-analog, meaning that it has a similar bulk density as our Earth. This does not mean that the planet is also as habitable as our Earth. It is quite the opposite, due to its vicinity to the star the planet is very hot and its surface consists most likely of a lava ocean”, says Judith Korth and continues.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“However, another similarity to our own Earth could exist for TOI-500b. It could have a secondary atmosphere. I think this will trigger further atmospheric studies in the future which may also give us information about our own atmosphere”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">TOI-500b was initially identified by NASA 's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) space telescope which searches for exoplanets using the so called transit method. This method identifies planets that periodically obscure their home star, causing a decrease in the light received on Earth. The planet was subsequently confirmed thanks to an intense observation campaign conducted by European Southern Observatory (ESO). The data cover an entire year and their analysis, combined with that of the TESS data, made it possible to measure the mass, radius, and orbital parameters of the inner planet.</span></p> <p></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">An extraordinary planetary system ​​</h3> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“The same measurements also made it possible to discover 3 additional planets, with orbital periods of 6.6, 26.2 and 61.3 days. TOI-500 is an extraordinary planetary system for understanding the dynamic evolution of planets”, says project leader Davide Gandolfi, University of Turin.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Judith Korth, of the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers, was involved in the dynamical studies: </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“I studied if the system shows transit timing variations that could help us to constrain the planetary and orbital parameters. Unfortunately, this was not the case since the dynamics of the system are dominated by the secular dynamics rather than the resonant dynamics. Furthermore, I studied the long-term stability of the system and tested if we could refine the upper mass limits of the outer planets since we have only the Msini (minimum mass) from the radial velocities. Since the system could have formed via low-eccentricity migration, I also studied the dynamics within a smaller range of mutual inclinations but for a longer time span.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The article demonstrates the importance of combining the discovery of systems hosting close USP-type planets with numerical simulations to test the possible migratory processes that may have brought them to the current configuration.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Acquiring data over long periods of time allows us to study the internal architecture of systems similar to TOI-500 and to understand how the planets settled on their orbits”, concludes Davide Gandolfi, University of Turin.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Read the article <a href="">A low-eccentricity migration pathway for a 13-h-period Earth analoguein a four-planet system in Nature Astronomy</a>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Images from <a href="">Nasas exoplanet catalog</a>. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The text is written by Christian Löwhagen, Chalmers, based on the press release from the University of Turin: <a href="">Dalla missione della NASA alle osservazioni UniTo: TOI-500, un sistema planetario di quattro pianeti con un processo di migrazione peculiare - Il pianeta più vicino alla stella è molto simile alla Terra...</a> </span></p>Fri, 06 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 of changes essential to save the climate<p><b>​​Extensive technological developments, a ban on fossil fuels, less construction, fewer flights, fewer car journeys and lower levels of beef and dairy consumption. Only by taking all these measures in combination can Sweden get closer to emission levels in line with the Paris Agreement, according to a new research report commissioned by the Swedish Parliament.</b></p><div>On April 7, 2022, the Swedish Cross-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives is suggesting a new consumption-based climate target, as a complement to the existing territorial climate targets. As a basis for this, a group of Swedish researchers, from organisations including Chalmers University of Technology, have produced a comprehensive report analysing how consumption patterns need to change for Sweden to reach emission levels in line with the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping the global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers' conclusion is that while extensive technological developments are essential, consumption habits must also change – only by combining these two approaches do we stand a chance of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The premise in the calculations is that the remaining future emissions are distributed globally evenly per person.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If we are to achieve really low emission levels, we need to both invest heavily in new climate-smart technologies, as well as make significant changes to our behaviour when it comes to the goods and services with the highest carbon footprints,” says Jörgen Larsson, Associate Professor in sustainable consumption at Chalmers University of Technology, and project manager for the report.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Without behavioural changes, emissions will remain high</h3> <div><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial">The report &quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">Consumption based scenarios for Sweden - a basis for discussing new climate targets&quot;</span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">is based on analyses of different scenarios and shows t</span><span style="background-color:initial">hat if we rely only on technological developments – measures such as eliminating fossil-fuel vehicles, producing fossil-free steel and fossil-free commercial fertiliser – emissions will still be too high. Only when these technological developments are combined with significant changes in behaviour does the outlook improve – particularly if the changes are substantial.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>When combined with fewer flights, less car travel, significantly reduced consumption of beef and dairy products, and radically reduced construction of roads and housing – for example by converting office blocks to residential buildings – emissions could sink by up to 90 per cent by 2050, compared with today's level. This reduction of emissions is based on the assumption that the rest of the world also enacts climate change mitigation measures to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, thereby reducing the carbon footprints of imported goods.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The scenario with extensive behavioral changes is a theoretical thought experiment, which aims to show the lowest levels we could reach with the help of both technological and radical social changes and still live a modern life.” says Johannes Morfeldt, researcher at the Division of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Analyses based on five distinct scenario​s </h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The report, which is based on Swedish</span><span style="background-color:initial"> conditions, outlines scenarios with varying degrees of technological development and behavioural changes.</span><br /></div> <div><ul><li>The Reference scenario foresees behaviours and technology evolving according to current trends.</li> <li>The Territorial climate target scenario – Sweden’s climate targets are achieved mainly through technological changes.</li> <li>Behaviour and technology scenario – in addition to the technological changes in the previous scenario, further measures are implemented (both technical and behavioural) to lower Swedish consumption impacts outside of Sweden's borders as well. (not shown in the figure) </li> <li>Comprehensive behaviour and technology scenario – extensive reductions in flying, driving, consumption of beef and dairy products, as well as in the construction of new roads and housing.</li> <li>Reference scenario with comprehensive behaviour change – the same reductions in consumption as in the previous scenario, but without the introduction of advanced technologies, both in Sweden and abroad.</li></ul> <div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Konsumtionsvanor-klimatmalen_diagram-750px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><i>The figure shows the emission levels and reduction potentials for different scenarios in 2050 compared to 2019 for emissions related to transportation, food, buildings and infrastructure. Current trends and policies shows the results for Swedish consumption-based emissions if other countries develop in line with current climate policy. Global climate transition shows results for Swedish consumption-based emissions if other countries develop in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.</i></span><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(0, 0, 0)"> </span></p></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">This study outlines a method for scenario analysis based on bottom-up simulations of pathways for consumption sectors with the largest climate impact – passenger car travel, air travel, construction and housing, and food. The study extends previous research by analysing the impact of lifestyle and technological changes at the national level on consumption-based emissions. The analysis merges methods developed in separate sectoral studies and places them in a prospective lifecycle assessment framework. Assumptions are harmonised for two background scenarios – a current trends and policies scenario and a global climate transition scenario in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals – to illustrate the strong influence of technological developments in the rest of the world when estimating consumption-based emissions (indicated by a range).</span></div> <div>The report has been prepared on behalf of the Swedish Cross-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives, whose final report will be presented on April 7. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The assignment was led by <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/jorgen-larsson.aspx">Jörgen Larsson</a> and <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/morfeldt.aspx">Johannes Morfeldt</a> (Chalmers University of Technology) who worked with all parts of the analysis. Other participating researchers: </div> <div><ul><li>Jonas Åkerman (PhD, KTH Royal Institute of Technology)</li> <li>Jonas Nässén (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Daniel Johansson (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Frances Sprei (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Cecilia Hult (doctoral student, Chalmers)</li> <li>Johan Rootzén (PhD, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute)</li> <li>Ida Karlsson (doctoral student, Chalmers)</li> <li>Stefan Wirsenius (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Fredrik Hedenus (professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Erik André (doctoral student, Chalmers)</li> <li>Markus Millinger (PhD, Chalmers).</li></ul></div> ​Thu, 07 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0200 – "We are in the middle of the transition"<p><b>​“The IPCC collects and reports about the state of knowledge in science, technical and socio-economic assessments on climate change. Everything we write in the report is not new scientific discoveries. The main aim is to bring this knowledge to policymakers and the general public in a comprehensive, clear and accessible way”, says Sonia Yeh, who contributed to UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change´s (IPCC) report, which was presented on the 4th of April.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">WG III, is the final part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and it focuses on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. </span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>“So the main challenge for us as scientific contributors</strong> is the writing. How do you communicate in a clear and unbiased way, what information to include or to exclude, how do we coordinate across chapters so there is consistent and no overlapping messages, etc.”, says Sonia Yeh, Professor of energy and transport systems at Chalmers University of Technology. </div> <div>Her expertise is in energy economics and energy system modelling, alternative transportation fuels, sustainability standards, technological change, and consumer behavior and mobility. She has contributed to IPPC report, Working Group III Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 10 Transport in the subchapter “Scenarios from Integrated, Sectoral and Regional Models”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is it that makes you take on such a big assignment like this?</strong></div> <div>“On one hand, it is indeed a huge time commitment. So, one must decide beforehand how much time one can spare to be involved in such a big effort. On the other hand, it is a huge honor as a scientist to be selected to represent your country to co-produce such an important document. The document is the most comprehensive assessment effort roughly every 6 years providing an update on climate mitigations options. It has tremendous societal values to both policymakers and all concerned citizens around the world”, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Her path to be selected</strong> as an IPCC contributing author was a bit unconventional. The typical path for being an IPCC author was for one to first self-nominate, then being selected for nomination by your country. <br /><br /></div> <div>“I joined the IPCC process in the middle as I received a phone call one day by the lead author of the chapter on transport scenario asking if they can rely on my competence in the long-term projections of transport scenarios. That’s how I joined in the middle of the process. So there is a separate path to be asked to join as an contributing author if the lead authors consider your technical expertise is critical for part of the report”, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What sets this report apart from previous reports?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I cannot talk about any specific details before the release. But certainly, one of the most interesting things writing up this report is to observe how things have changed from this report from the last (5th Assessment Report), which directions and how fast the changes were. Lots of things have changed: technology costs and their commercial availability, demand growth, new technology, system level interactions, etc. As someone said, around the time of the last report, we were talking about the transitions. At the time of the writing of this report, we are right in the middle of the transitions. So we are certainly seeing lots of changes (both expected and unexpected) so that would be something interesting to watch out for when the report is released&quot;. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the biggest challenge for you as a researcher working on the report?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The IPCC collects and reports about the state of knowledge in science, technical and socio-economic assessments on climate change. Everything we write in the report is not new scientific discoveries. The main aim is to bring this knowledge to policymakers and the general public in a comprehensive, clear and accessible way. So the main challenge for us as scientific contributors is the writing. How do you communicate in a clear and unbiased way, what information to include or to exclude, how do we coordinate across chapters so there is consistent and no overlapping messages, etc.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What are the most important conclusions you can draw from your work, on a purely personal level?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The main thing I learned is the self-reflective part that I mentioned above regarding what sets this report apart from the previous reports. In a way we are asking on behalf of the public, How has science changed in this report compared to the last, how things have changed, are the challenges we face today different from the challenges we faced 4 years ago? Unfortunately IPCC mainly addresses the question of “what do we know today” rather than the question of “what has changed compared to the last assessment.” This is understandable. To answer the latter question comprehensively, it requires greater efforts conducting rigorous studies and IPCC is not set up to do that. Nevertheless it is a question I ask myself frequently while writing for the report, and I am sure that you will see a lot of discussions in the blog posts, tweets, and news columns on this later question a lot. One should be careful and take these discussions with a grain of salt though since most of them are produced quickly to provide discussion points in the news media and for the public discussion. Therefore they are good food for thoughts but one must understand that IPCC does not formally analyze such a question&quot;, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>When it comes to the most important </strong>measures to reduce the climate impact of the transport sector, Sonia Yeh recommends the seminar, <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/calendar/Pages/IPCC-WG3-Where-are-we-in-the-transitions.aspx">IPCC Sixth Assessment Working Group III report on Climate Mitigation: Where are we in the transitions?</a> It´s a public online seminar and several of the authors of the report will participate.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The important thing to know is that there is no silver bullet. Reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector cannot rely on a single technology, one behavioral change or a single policy measure. Exactly how much a role different measures can contribute will depend on the region, time frame, the commitments of the governments and individual actions. The chairman of the IPCC says that IPCC is policy relevant, but not policy descriptive. IPCC does not tell policymakers or the citizens what they should do, but what they could do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the impacts of different actions in terms of potential for emissions reductions”, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>When do you think the energy will be fossil free for all transports?</strong></div> <div>“My personal reflection is that the transport energy will not be fossil free without strong policy measures. Meaning, policymakers will need to take actions to introduce policies such as carbon tax or carbon caps, incentives, standards and regulations, investments in low-carbon technology and transport infrastructure that supports zero-carbon fuels and vehicles, charging infrastructure for electric buses, cars, trucks, ferries, etc. So there is a lot to be done. But it is like “The Little Engine That Could”, we can do it! And I believe that we have the momentum. It is just a matter of how fast we want to do this”, says Sonia and highlights an <span style="background-color:initial">exampl</span><span style="background-color:initial">e</span><span style="background-color:initial"> of how fast things have changed in the last few years:<br />&quot;A few years back, most people think the only viable ways to decarbonize long-haul trucks are biofuels and hydrogen. But as the price of batteries falling faster than expected, electrifying long-haul trucks are becoming real and attractive possibilities. The only hinder is the build-up of the charging infrastructure, which of course is an intensive research area that we at our group are also working actively with many European partners. Many excellent research groups at Chalmers are also studying this from many angles including materials, batteries to system level integration like the grid impacts in Sweden and in Europe”.</span></div> <div><br /><strong>Related:<br /></strong><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />IPCC, <span style="background-color:initial">The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change </span></a></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/edit/Pages/sonia-yeh.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sonia Yeh, Chalmers University of Technology</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/IPCC-reports-spread-knowledge-effectively.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />IPCC reports spread knowledge effectively​</a><br /></div> <div><span></span><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/calendar/Pages/IPCC-WG3-Where-are-we-in-the-transitions.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />IPCC Webinar – Where are we in the transitions?</a><br /><br />Text: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> ​​Sun, 03 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0200 – Apply for funding for interdisciplinary research ideas within all energy fields<p><b>​Call: Invitation to apply for funding from Energy Area of Advance, for interdisciplinary research ideas within all energy fields. Chalmers Energy Area of Advance allocates 12 MSEK per year over 2023 and 2024 for interdisciplinary projects in the size of 1.25 - 2.5 MSEK/year for two years). The call is open for base funded faculty, externally funded faculty, and assistant professors.</b></p><strong>​</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>The projects must focus on </strong><strong>aspects </strong>connected to a future sustainable energy system. It should be interdisciplinary and include expertise from at least two different research groups or two different research approaches or analyse the same question from two different angles. <br /><br /><strong>Example of two different approaches </strong>could be: theory + experiment, technology + behaviour, component + system, interviews + model, any method 1 + method 2. <br /><br /><strong>Collaboration with external partners</strong> is positive but remember that AoA-funding only can be used by employees at Chalmers, for details see below. It is also possible to form projects as a complement to already ongoing projects to add additional aspects.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>For instructions, see the template.</strong></div> <div>Special considerations will be given to projects that are connected to the following themes:</div> <div><strong>1.)</strong><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Collaboration projects where scientists with projects further away from implementation collaborate with those that are close to implementation.</div> <div>If advice is needed, please contact Chalmers innovation office where Anne Alsholm, <a href="">​</a>, is the contact person for energy related questions.</div> <div><strong>2.)</strong><span style="white-space:pre"><strong> </strong></span>Research supporting resilient energy systems and European energy and energy technology autonomy.</div> <div>Evaluation criteria:</div> <div><ul><li>Relevance for the energy research field.</li> <li>Interdisciplinary (include expertise from at least two different research groups or two different research approaches, or analyse the same question from two different angles, see examples above).</li> <li>Scientific quality.</li> <li>Potential for successful implementation (competence, project- and time- plan etc).</li> <li>Potential for continuation in future externally funded projects is welcome but not mandatory.</li> <li>Also consider criteria as gender and the UN sustainability goals.</li></ul></div> <div>Costs that can be covered by AoA funding:</div> <div><ul><li>Salary for senior researchers including assistant professors (max 25% of full time, exceptions need to be motivated, names should be listed).</li> <li>Postdocs – full cost coverage (list name if already known. Write “to be announced” if so).</li> <li>S<span style="background-color:initial">alary for already employed postdocs must be motivated and the employees name should be listed.</span></li> <li>AoA funding cannot be used to recruit PhD students. However, PhD students already employed at Chalmers can work in the project (name should be listed).</li> <li>Relevant experiment or lab costs (max. 20% of total budget and costs should be specified).</li> <li>T<span style="background-color:initial">r</span><span style="background-color:initial">avel costs.</span></li></ul></div> <div><strong>Funds should be used</strong> during each budget-year as presented in your budget. Delays caused by legal rights of staff maybe accepted, but not delays caused by project management issues.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>The project proposal,</strong> of max. 4 A4 pages, should be sent to the Energy Area of Advance <a href=""></a> <strong>no later than 13th May 2022.</strong> <br /><br /><strong>A decision will be made</strong> by the management team Tomas Kåberger, Sonia Yeh, Cecilia Geijer, Anders Hellman and Annemarie Wöhri before summer.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Please note that costs</strong> connected mobility, visiting researchers, support for applications, conferences, community building, seed funding or the equivalent that contribute to the strategic development of the Energy Area of Advance, can be applied for separately on an ongoing basis. Templates for this separate application can be found at <a href="">Chalmers intranet.</a> <br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Template interdisciplinary project proposal Energy Area of Advance</strong></div> <div>(max 4 A4 – after erasing the instructions)</div> <div>The application can be written in Swedish or English and should contain clear motivations for why the suggested project should be prioritised.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Aim</strong>. Overreaching goal of the project (approx. 0.5 A4).<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Project description.</strong> Background (problem description, state of the art, knowledge gap), Research question(s), Methods, Project plan including time plan and other relevant information, e.g. goals and milestones (approx. 2-3 A4).<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Organisation and Budget.</strong> State affiliation (department and division) for the main project leader(s) and list names of people involved, both the researcher(s) that will take part of this funding as well as other researchers involved (if the project is larger than this funding). Main applicant should have a tenure position (permanent employment, faculty or specialist) at Chalmers or being assistant professor, but funds can be used by other Chalmers’ research staff categories. Please list a preliminary distribution of annual fund between different staff categories (approx. 0.5 A4).</div> <div>Co-funding option. Please specify in your application if you are willing to share your project proposal with our industry partners ABB, Göteborg Energi and Preem for eventual co-funding. If agreed upon, a project list including titles and participants are send out to our partners, followed by sending the full proposal upon further request.<br /><br /></div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>I do not want to share my proposal with Chalmers industry partners</div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>It is ok to share my proposal with ABB</div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>It is ok to share my proposal with Göteborg Energi</div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>It is ok to share my proposal with Preem<br /><br /></div> <div>CV. A maximum 2 pages CV for the main applicant(s) and if applicable also the researcher(s) that will use most of the funding.</div> Thu, 31 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +0200 for ICT seed projects 2023<p><b> Call for proposals within ICT strategic areas and involving interdisciplinary approaches.​</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="color:rgb(153, 51, 0)"><br /></h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Important dates:</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li><b>NEW! Submission date: </b><span>9 May, at 09.00</span>, 2022</li> <li><b>Notification:</b> mid-June, 2022</li> <li><b>Expected start of the project:</b> January 2023</li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Background</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b>The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Area of Advance</b> (AoA) provides financial support for SEED projects, i.e., projects involving innovative ideas that can be a starting point for further collaborative research and joint funding applications. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>We will prioritize research projects that <strong>involve researchers from different research communities</strong> (for example across ICT departments or between ICT and other Areas of Advances) and who have not worked together before (i.e., have no joint projects/publications). </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Research projects involving a <strong>gender-balanced team and younger researchers</strong>, e.g., assistant professors, will be prioritized. Additionally, proposals related to <strong>sustainability</strong> and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b><em>Note: </em></b><em>Only researchers employed at Chalmers can apply and can be funded. PhD students cannot be supported by this call.  Applicants and co-applicants of research proposals funded in the 2021 and 2022 ICT SEED calls cannot apply. </em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b>The total budget of the call is 1 MSEK.</b> We expect to fund 3-5 projects</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Details of the call</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li>The project should include at least two researchers from different divisions at Chalmers (preferably two different departments) who should have complementary expertise, and no joint projects/publications.</li> <li>Proposals involving teams with good gender balance and involving assistant professors will be prioritized.</li> <li>The project should contribute to sustainable development. </li> <li>The budget must be between 100 kSEK and 300 kSEK, including indirect costs (OH). The budget is mainly to cover personnel costs for Chalmers employees (but not PhD students). The budget cannot cover costs for equipment or travel costs to conferences/research visits. </li> <li>The project must start in early 2023 and should last 3-6 months. </li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What must the application contain?</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The application should be at most 3 pages long, font Times–Roman, size 11. In addition, max 1 page can be used for references. Finally, an additional one-page CV of each one of the applicants must be included (max 4 CVs). Proposals that do not comply with this format will be desk rejected (no review process).</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The proposal should include:</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>a)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>project title </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>b)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>name, e-mail, and affiliation (department, division) of the applicants</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>c)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the research challenges addressed and the objective of the project; interdisciplinary aspects should be highlighted; also the applicant should discuss how the project contributes to sustainable development, preferably in relation to the <a href="" title="link to UN webpage">UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)</a>. Try to be specific and list the targets within each Goal that are addressed by your project.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>d)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project description </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>e)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the expected outcome (including dissemination plan) and the plan for further research and funding acquisition</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>f)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project participants and the planned efforts</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>g)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project budget and activity timeline
</div> <div><div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Evaluation criteria</h3> <div><ul><li>Team composition</li> <li>Interdisciplinarity</li> <li>Novelty</li> <li>Relevance to AoA ICT and Chalmers research strategy as well as to SDG</li> <li>Dissemination plan</li> <li>Potential for further research and joint funding applications</li> <li>Budget and project feasibility​</li></ul></div></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Submission</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The application should be submitted as <b>one PDF document</b>.<span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to submission"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Submit​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><br /></span></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The proposals will be evaluated by the AoA ICT management group and selected Chalmers researchers.

</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><b><br /></b></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><b>Questions</b> can be addressed to <a href="">Erik Ström</a></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">General information about the ICT Area of Advance can be found at <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/Pages/default.aspx"> ​</a></span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/About%20us/IKT_logo_600px.jpg" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">​​<br /></span></div>Wed, 30 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +0200 discovery could shed light on secrets of the Universe<p><b>How can Einstein's theory of gravity be unified with quantum mechanics?  This challenge could give us deep insights into phenomena such as black holes and the birth of the universe. Now, a new article in Nature Communications, written by researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and MIT, USA, presents results that cast new light on important challenges in understanding quantum gravity.</b></p>A grand challenge in modern theoretical physics is to find a ‘unified theory’ that can describe all the laws of nature within a single framework – connecting Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes the universe on a large scale, and quantum mechanics, which describes our world at the atomic level. Such a theory of ‘quantum gravity’ would include both a macroscopic and microscopic description of nature.<div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Nature%202022/Daniel-Persson.gif" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Daniel Persson" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:300px" /> “We strive to understand the laws of nature and the language in which these are written is mathematics. When we seek answers to questions in physics, we are often led to new discoveries in mathematics too. This interaction is particularly prominent in the search for quantum gravity – where it is extremely difficult to perform experiments,” explains Daniel Persson, Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Chalmers university of technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> An example of a phenomenon that requires this type of unified description is black holes. A black hole forms when a sufficiently heavy star expands and collapses under its own gravitational force, so that all its mass is concentrated in an extremely small volume. The quantum mechanical description of black holes is still in its infancy but involves spectacular advanced mathematics.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> A simplified model for quantum gravity</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Nature%202022/Robert-Berman.gif" alt="Robert Berman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:265px" />“The challenge is to describe how gravity arises as an ‘emergent’ phenomenon. Just as everyday phenomena – such as the flow of a liquid – emerge from the chaotic movements of individual droplets, we want to describe how gravity emerges from quantum mechanical system at the microscopic level,” says Robert Berman, Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> In an article recently published in the journal Nature Communications, Daniel Persson and Robert Berman, together with Tristan Collins of MIT in the USA, showed how gravity emerges from a special quantum mechanical system, in a simplified model for quantum gravity called the ‘holographic principle’.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Using techniques from the mathematics that I have researched before, we managed to formulate an explanation for how gravity emerges by the holographic principle, in a more precise way than has previously been done,” explains Robert Berman.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> Ripples of dark energy</h2> <div> The new article may also offer new insight into mysterious dark energy. In Einstein's general theory of relativity, gravity is described as a geometric phenomenon. Just as a newly made bed curves under a person's weight, heavy objects can bend the geometric shape of the universe. But according to Einstein's theory, even the empty space – the ‘vacuum state’ of the universe – has a rich geometric structure. If you could zoom in and look at this vacuum on a microscopic level, you would see quantum mechanical fluctuations or ripples, known as dark energy. It is this mysterious form of energy that, from a larger perspective, is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This new work may lead to new insights into how and why these microscopic quantum mechanical ripples arise, as well as the relationship between Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum mechanics, something that has eluded scientists for decades.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These results open up the possibility to test other aspects of the holographic principle such as the microscopic description of black holes. We also hope to be able to use these new connections in the future to break new ground in mathematics,” says Daniel Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> The scientific article, <a href="">Emergent Sasaki-Einstein geometry and AdS/CFT</a>, is published in Nature Communications and is written by Robert Berman, Tristan Collins and Daniel Persson at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3> <div> Daniel Persson, Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers university of Technology and University of Gothenburg <br /><a href=""></a> <br />+46 31 772 3174</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Berman, Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers university of Technology and University of Gothenburg</div> <div><a href=""></a> </div> <div>+46 31 772 3553   </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div>Photo: Anna Wallin (Daniel Persson) and Rakel Berman (Robert Berman)</div> ​​​Mon, 07 Mar 2022 14:00:00 +0100 flashes pinpointed to a surprising location in space<p><b>​Astronomers have been surprised by the closest source of the mysterious flashes in the sky known as fast radio bursts. Precision measurements with radio telescopes reveal that the bursts are made among old stars, and in a way that no one was expecting. The source of the flashes, in nearby spiral galaxy M 81, is the closest of its kind to Earth.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Fast radio bursts are unpredictable, extremely short flashes of light from space. Astronomers have struggled to understand them ever since they were first discovered in 2007. So far, they have only ever been seen by radio telescopes.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Each flash lasts only thousandths of a second. Yet each one sends out as much energy as the Sun produces in a day. Several hundred flashes go off every day, and they have been seen all over the sky. Most lie at huge distances from Earth, in galaxies billions of light years away.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In two papers published in parallel this week in the journals Nature and Nature Astronomy, an international team of astronomers present observations that take scientists a step closer to solving the mystery – while also raising new puzzles. The team is led jointly by Franz Kirsten (Chalmers, Sweden, and ASTRON, Netherlands) and Kenzie Nimmo (ASTRON and University of Amsterdam).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The scientists set out to make high-precision measurements of a repeating burst source discovered in January 2020 in the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We wanted to look for clues to the bursts’ origins. Using many radio telescopes together, we knew we could pinpoint the source’s location on the sky with extreme precision. That gives the opportunity to see what the local neighbourhood of a fast radio burst looks like”, says Franz Kirsten.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To study the source at the highest possible resolution and sensitivity, the scientists combined measurements from telescopes in the European VLBI Network (EVN). By combining data from 12 dish antennas spread across half the globe, Sweden, Latvia, The Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Poland, Italy and China, they were able to find out exactly where on the sky they were coming from.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EVN measurements were complemented with data from several other telescopes, among them the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, USA.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <span style="font-weight:700"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/FRBclusterM81_danielle_futselaar_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span><div><strong>Close but surprising location</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>When they analysed their measurements, the astronomers discovered that the repeated radio flashes were coming from somewhere no one had expected.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>They traced the bursts to the outskirts of the nearby spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M 81), about 12 million light years away. That makes this the closest ever detection of a source of fast radio bursts.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There was another surprise in store. The location matched exactly with a dense cluster of very old stars, known as a globular cluster.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It’s amazing to find fast radio bursts from a globular cluster. This is a place in space where you only find old stars. Further out in the universe, fast radio bursts have been found in places where stars are much younger. This had to be something else,” says Kenzie Nimmo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Many fast radio bursts have been found surrounded by young, massive stars, much bigger than the Sun. In those locations, star explosions are common and leave behind highly magnetised remnants.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists have come to believe that fast radio bursts can be created in objects known as magnetars. Magnetars are the extremely dense remnants of stars that have exploded. And they are the universe’s most powerful known magnets.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We expect magnetars to be shiny and new, and definitely not surrounded by old stars. So if what we’re looking at here really is a magnetar, then it can’t have been formed from a young star exploding. There has to be another way”, says team member Jason Hessels, University of Amsterdam and ASTRON.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The scientists believe that the source of the radio flashes is something that has been predicted, but never seen before: a magnetar that formed when a white dwarf became massive enough to collapse under its own weight.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Strange things happen in the multi-billion-year life of a tight cluster of stars. Here we think we’re seeing a star with an unusual story”, explains Franz Kirsten.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Given time, ordinary stars like the Sun grow old and transform into small, dense, bright objects called white dwarfs. Many stars in the cluster live together in binary systems. Of the tens of thousands of stars in the cluster, a few get close enough for one star collects material from the other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>That can lead to a scenario known as “accretion-induced collapse”, Kirsten explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If one of the white dwarfs can catch enough extra mass from its companion, it can turn into an even denser star, known as a neutron star. That’s a rare occurrence, but in a cluster of ancient stars, it’s the simplest way of making fast radio bursts”, says team member Mohit Bhardwaj, McGill University, Canada.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/FRBclusterburstM81_danielle_futselaar_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div><strong>Fastest ever</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Looking for further clues by zooming into their data, the astronomers found another surprise. Some of the flashes were even shorter than they had expected.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The flashes flickered in brightness within as little as a few tens of nanoseconds. That tells us that they must be coming from a tiny volume in space, smaller than a soccer pitch and perhaps only tens of metres across”, says Kenzie Nimmo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Similarly lightning-fast signals have been seen from one of the sky’s most famous objects, the Crab pulsar. It is a tiny, dense, remnant of a supernova explosion that was seen from Earth in 1054 CE in the constellation of Taurus, the Bull. Both magnetars and pulsars are different kinds of neutron stars: super-dense objects with the mass of the Sun in a volume the size of a city, and with strong magnetic fields.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Some of the signals we measured are short and extremely powerful, in just the same way as some signals from the Crab pulsar. That suggests that we are indeed seeing a magnetar, but in a place that magnetars haven’t been found before”, says Kenzie Nimmo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Future observations of this system and others will help to tell whether the source really is an unusual magnetar, or something else, like an unusual pulsar or a black hole and a dense star in a close orbit.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These fast radio bursts seem to be giving us new and unexpected insight into how stars live and die. If that’s true, they could, like supernovae, have things to tell us about stars and their lives across the whole universe,” says Franz Kirsten.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><em>Images</em></strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">A (top) Source of mysterious radio signals: an artist’s impression of a magnetar in a cluster of ancient stars (in red) close to the spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M81). </span></div> <div>(Image credit: ASTRON/Daniëlle Futselaar,</div> <div><a href="">Access high-resolution image</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>B Signals from a surprising source. A cluster of ancient stars (left) close to the spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M81) is the source of extraordinarily bright and short radio signals.  </div> <div>(Image credit: ASTRON/Daniëlle Futselaar,</div> <div><a href="">Access high-resolution image</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>C Extremely fast radio signals from a surprising source. A cluster of ancient stars (left) close to the spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M81) is the source of extraordinarily bright and short radio signals. The image shows in blue-white a graph of how one flash’s brightness changed over the course of only tens of microseconds. </div> <div>(Image credit: ASTRON/Daniëlle Futselaar,</div></div> <div><a href="">Access high-resolution image​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 70 493 3114 or +46 (0)31 772 5500</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Franz Kirsten, ASTRON, The Netherlands, and Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 73 394 0845 or +46 31 772 5522</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research and about the European VLBI Network and JIVE</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>The research was based on observations with the European VLBI Network, the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, with additional data from the Hubble, Chandra and Fermi space telescopes, and the Subaru Telescope located in Hawaii.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is published in two papers in the journals Nature and Nature Astronomy.  </div> <div><em>A repeating fast radio burst source in a globular cluster</em>, by Franz Kirsten et al (<a href=""></a>; <a href="">also available on ArXiv</a>)</div> <div><em>Burst timescales and luminosities link young pulsars and fast radio bursts</em>, by Kenzie Nimmo et al (<a href=""></a>; <a href="">also available on ArXiv</a>).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>VLBI is an astronomical method by which multiple radio telescopes distributed across great distances observe the same region of sky simultaneously. Data from each telescope is sent to a central &quot;correlator&quot; to produce images with higher resolution than the most powerful optical telescopes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The European VLBI Network (EVN; is an interferometric array of radio telescopes spread throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Americas that conducts unique, high-resolution, radio astronomical observations of cosmic radio sources. Established in 1980, the EVN has grown into the most sensitive VLBI array in the world, including over 20 individual telescopes, among them some of the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescopes. The EVN is composed of 13 Full Member Institutes and 5 Associated Member Institutes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE; has as its primary mission to operate and develop the EVN data processor, a powerful supercomputer that combines the signals from radio telescopes located across the planet. Founded in 1993, JIVE is since 2015 a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with seven member countries: France, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden; additional support is received from partner institutes in China, Germany and South Africa. JIVE is hosted at the offices of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) in the Netherlands.</div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 23 Feb 2022 17:00:00 +0100