News: Space, Earth and Environment, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Energi och miljöhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 17 Mar 2020 10:16:37 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Comparisons-between-organic-and-conventional-agriculture-need-to-be-better.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Comparisons-between-organic-and-conventional-agriculture-need-to-be-better.aspxComparisons between organic and conventional agriculture need to be better<p><b>​The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated. But the most widely used method of analysis often tends to overlook vital factors, such as biodiversity, soil quality, pesticide impacts and societal shifts, and these oversights can lead to wrong conclusions on the merits of intensive and organic agriculture. This is according to a trio of researchers writing in the journal Nature Sustainability.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The most common method for assessing the environmental impacts of agriculture and food is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Studies using this method sometimes claim that organic agriculture is actually worse for the climate, because it has lower yields, and therefore uses more land to make up for this. For example, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12622-7">a recent study in Nature Communications</a> that made this claim was widely reported by many publications, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50129353">including the BBC</a> and others. </span><div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">But according to three researchers from France, Denmark and Sweden, presenting an analysis of many LCA studies in the journal Nature Sustainability, this implementation of LCA is too simplistic, and misses the benefits of organic farming. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>“We are worried that LCA gives too narrow a picture, and we risk making bad decisions politically and socially. When comparing organic and intensive farming, there are wider effects that the current approach does not adequately consider,” says Hayo van der Werf of the French National Institute of Agricultural Research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Biodiversity, for example, is of vital importance to the health and resilience of ecosystems. But globally, it is declining, Intensive agriculture has been shown to be one of the main drivers of negative trends such as insect and bird decline. Agriculture occupies more than one-third of global land area, so any links between biodiversity losses and agriculture are hugely important.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“But our analysis shows that current LCA studies rarely factor in biodiversity, and consequently, they usually miss that wider benefit of organic agriculture,” says Marie Trydeman Knudsen from Aarhus University, Denmark. “Earlier studies have already shown that organic fields support biodiversity levels approximately 30% higher than conventional fields.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Usage of pesticides is another factor to consider. Between 1990 and 2015, pesticide use worldwide has increased 73%. Pesticide residues in the ground and in water and food can be harmful to human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and cause biodiversity losses. Organic farming, meanwhile, precludes the use of synthetic pesticides. But few LCA studies account for these effects. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Land degradation and lower soil quality resulting from unsustainable land management is also an issue – again, something rarely measured in LCA studies. The benefits of organic farming practices such as varied crop rotation and the use of organic fertilisers are often overlooked in LCA studies.</span></div> <div>Crucially, LCA generally assesses environmental impacts per kilogram of product. This favours intensive systems that may have lower impacts per kilogram, while having higher impacts per hectare of land. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/ChristelCederberg_230.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“LCA simply looks at the overall yields. Of course, from that perspective, it’s true that intensive farming methods are indeed more effective. But this is not the whole story of the larger agroecosystem. A diverse landscape with smaller fields, hedgerows and a variety of crops gives other benefits – greater biodiversity, for example,” says Christel Cederberg of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, (photo). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>LCA’s product-focused approach also fails to capture the subtleties of smaller, diverse systems which are more reliant on ecological processes, and adapted to local soil, climate and ecosystem characteristics. LCA needs a more fine-grained approach. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We often look at the effects at the global food chain level, but we need to be much better at considering the environmental effects at the local <span style="background-color:initial">level,” says Marie Trydeman Knudsen. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers note in their study that efforts are being made in this area, but much more progress is needed. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>A further key weakness is when hypothetical “indirect effects” are included, such as assuming that the lower yields of organic agriculture lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions, because more land is needed. For example, another prominent study – from a researcher also based at Chalmers University of Technology – suggested that organic agriculture was worse for the climate, because the requirement for more land leads indirectly to less forest area. But accounting for these indirect effects is problematic. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“For example, consider the growing demand for organic meat. Traditional LCA studies might simply assume that overall consumption of meat will remain the same, and therefore more land will be required. But consumers who are motivated to buy organic meat for environmental and ethical reasons will probably also buy fewer animal-based products in the first place. But hardly any studies into this sort of consumer behaviour exist, so it is very difficult to account for these types of social shifts now,” says Hayo van der Werf. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Current LCA methodology and practice is simply not good enough to assess agroecological systems such as organic agriculture. It therefore needs to be improved and integrated with other environmental assessment tools to get a more balanced picture” says Christel Cederberg. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the article “<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0489-6">Towards better representation of organic agriculture in life cycle assessment​</a>” in Nature Sustainability. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">For more information, contact: </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Christel Cederberg, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology</span></div> <div>christel.cederberg@chalmers.se</div> <div>+46 31 772 22 18</div> <div>​<br /></div> Tue, 17 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/ALMA-reveals-an-aged-stars-metamorphosis-W43A.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/ALMA-reveals-an-aged-stars-metamorphosis-W43A.aspxALMA reveals an aged star’s metamorphosis<p><b>​An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Alma) has captured the very moment when an old star first starts to alter its environment. The star has ejected high-speed, bipolar gas jets which are now colliding with the surrounding material; the age of the observed jet is estimated to be less than 60 years. These features help scientists understand how the complex shapes of planetary nebulae are formed.</b></p><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">Sun-like stars evolve to puffed-up red giants in the final stage of their lives. Then, the star expels gas to form a remnant called a planetary nebula. There is a wide variety in the shapes of planetary nebulae; some are spherical, but others are bipolar or show complicated structures. Astronomers are interested in the origins of this variety, but the thick dust and gas expelled by an old star obscure the system and make it difficult to investigate the inner-workings of the process.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>To tackle this problem, a team of astronomers led by Daniel Tafoya at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, pointed Alma at W43A, an old star system about 7000 light years from Earth in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/20200305_W43A_composite_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Thanks to Alma’s high resolution, the team obtained a very detailed view of the space around W43A. “The most notable structures are its small bipolar jets,” says Tafoya, the lead author of the research paper published by the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The team found that the velocity of the jets is as high as 175 km per second, which is much higher than previous estimations. Based on this speed and the size of the jets, the team calculated the age of the jets to be less than a human life-span.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Considering the youth of the jets compared to the overall lifetime of a star, it is safe to say we are witnessing the 'exact moment' that the jets have just started to shove through the surrounding gas,” explains Tafoya. “When the jets carve through the surrounding material in some 60 years, a single person can watch the progress in their life.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In fact, the Alma image clearly maps the distribution of dusty clouds entrained by the jets, which is telltale evidence that it is impacting on the surroundings.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The team assumes that this entrainment is the key to form a bipolar-shaped planetary nebula. In their scenario, the aged star originally ejects gas spherically and the core of the star loses its envelope. If the star has a companion, gas from the companion pours onto the core of the dying star, and a portion of this new gas forms the jets. Therefore, whether or not the old star has a companion is an important factor to determine the structure of the resulting planetary nebula.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“W43A is one of the peculiar so called ‘water fountain’ objects,” says Hiroshi Imai at Kagoshima University, Japan, a member of the team. “Some old stars show characteristic radio emissions from water molecules. We suppose that spots of these water emissions indicate the interface region between the jets and the surrounding material. We named them ‘water fountains,’ and it could be a sign that the central source is a binarity system launching a new jet.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There are only 15 ‘water fountain’ objects identified to date, despite the fact that more than 100 billion stars are included in our Milky Way galaxy,” explains José Francisco Gómez, astronomer at Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain. “This is probably because the lifetime of the jets is quite short, so we are very lucky to see such rare objects.”</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Daniel Tafoya is looking forward to new insights on these remarkable stars, which are also similiar to our Sun.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We believe that these stars have a lot to tell us about what happens when stars like the Sun die. They give us new knowledge about why the sky's most beautiful objects, the planetary nebulae, look the way they do. They are also telling us about how stars like the Sun return material to the galaxy that can be part of the next generation of new stars, he says.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span></span><div>These observation results were presented in D. Tafoya et al. “Shaping the envelope of the asymptotic giant branch star W43A with a collimated fast jet” published by the Astrophysical Journal Letters on February 13, 2020.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research team members are: <span style="background-color:initial">Daniel Tafoya (Chalmers University of Technology), Hiroshi Imai (Kagoshima University, Japan), José F. Gómez (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC), Jun-ichi Nakashima (Sun Yat-sen University, China), Gabor Orosz (University of Tasmania, Australia/Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, China), and Bosco H. K. Yung (Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Poland).</span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Images</strong></div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div>For high-resolution images, see the press release from NAOJ: <a href="https://www.nao.ac.jp/en/news/science/2020/20200305-alma.html">https://www.nao.ac.jp/en/news/science/2020/20200305-alma.html</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>A (top) - Artist’s impression of W43A based on the Alma observation results. Diffuse spherical gas was emitted from the star in the past. W43A has just started ejecting bipolar jets which entrain the surrounding material. Bright spots in radio emissions from water molecules are distributed around the interface of the jets and the diffuse gas.</em></span><br /></div> <div><em>Credit: NAOJ.</em></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><em>B - Alma image of the old star system W43A. The high velocity bipolar jets ejected from the central aged star are seen in blue, low velocity outflow is shown in green, and dusty clouds entrained by the jets are shown in orange.</em></div> <div><em>Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Tafoya et al.</em></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Contacts:</strong></div> <div><div> </div> <div>Robert Cumming, communicator, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, 031-772 5500, 070-493 31 14, robert.cumming@chalmers.se</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Daniel Tafoya, astronomer, Onsala S<span style="background-color:initial">pace Observatory</span><span style="background-color:initial">, Chalmers, 031 772 5519, daniel.tafoya@chalmers.se</span></div> <em></em></div> <div><br /></div>Thu, 05 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Star-Hunt.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Star-Hunt.aspx1 000 school students will become Star Hunters<p><b>​Help a Scientist is an annual project under the auspices of the Nobel Prize Museum that brings together scientists, students and teachers. The Star Hunt is the tenth project, and it is about space and to identify stars together with three scientists based at Chalmers.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Star-hunt-Giuliana_Ruben_Jonathan.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The project &quot;the Star Hunt&quot; and astronomers Giuliana Cosentino, Rubén Fedriani and Jonathan Tan at Chalmers' Department of Space, Earth and Environment have been selected for the 2020 Help a Scientist program, run by the Nobel Prize Museum. In this, the 10th edition of the Help a Scientist program, about 1 000 participating Swedish school students from about 30 schools will be the first Star Hunters as this is the first space-astronomy project offered by the program. <div><br /></div> <div><div>In the project The Star Hunt the astronomers need help finding new stars that are being born from dusty interstellar clouds in our galaxy.<br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We have a lot of knowledge about space and the stars in our galaxy, but there are still a lot of mysteries surrounding the birth of new stars. In this project we need the students to help us understand where stars come from, the origin of stars in our galaxy - oncluding our own Sun. This way we will also learn about or own origins, says Jonathan Tan. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Students will analyse images taken in a variety of wavelengths of light, from radio to x-ray, by telescopes on the  ground, in the air and in space. The scientists will provide a background to the research and instructions for  analysis of the images. <span style="background-color:initial">Each team of students will explore their  own regions of the galaxy targeting particular interstellar clouds. </span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> – This project is a great opportunity for us. When working with kids we usually focus on them learning while having fun, but in this case the main goal is that they actually will discover new things that are useful for us in our research, says Rubén Fedriani.<br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://nobelprizemuseum.se/en/education/stjarnjakten/">Read more about the Star Hunt on the Nobel Prize Museum website​</a>. </span></div> ​Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Alma-double-star-HD101584.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Alma-double-star-HD101584.aspxChalmers astronomers and Alma study stellar fight&#39;s beautiful outcome<p><b>​A Chalmers-led team of ​astronomers have used the telescope Alma to study the remarkable gas cloud that resulted from a confrontation between two stars. One star grew so large it engulfed the other which, in turn, spiralled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Like humans, stars change with age and ultimately die. For the Sun and stars like it, this change will take it through a phase where, having burned all the hydrogen in its core, it swells up into a large and bright red-giant star. Eventually, the dying Sun will lose its outer layers, leaving behind its core: a hot and dense star called a white dwarf.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The star system HD101584 is special in the sense that this ‘death process’ was terminated prematurely and dramatically as a nearby low-mass companion star was engulfed by the giant,” said Hans Olofsson, astronomer at Chalmers University of Technology, who led a recent study, published in Astronomy &amp; Astrophysics, of this intriguing object.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Thanks to new observations with Alma, complemented by data from the telescope Apex (Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment), Hans Olofsson and his team now know that what happened in the double-star system HD 101584 was akin to a stellar fight. As the main star puffed up into a red giant, it grew large enough to swallow its lower-mass partner. In response, the smaller star spiralled in towards the giant’s core but didn’t collide with it. Rather, this manoeuvre triggered the larger star into an outburst, leaving its gas layers dramatically scattered and its core exposed.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The team says the complex structure of the gas in the HD101584 nebula is due to the smaller star’s spiralling towards the red giant, as well as to the jets of gas that formed in this process. As a deadly blow to the already defeated gas layers, these jets blasted through the previously ejected material, forming the rings of gas and the bright bluish and reddish blobs seen in the nebula.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A silver lining of a stellar fight is that it helps astronomers to better understand the final evolution of stars like the Sun, explains co-author Sofia Ramstedt, astronomer at Uppsala University.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Currently, we can describe the death processes common to many Sun-like stars, but we cannot explain why or exactly how they happen. HD101584 gives us important clues to solve this puzzle since it is currently in a short transitional phase between better studied evolutionary stages. With detailed images of the environment of HD101584 we can make the connection between the giant star it was before, and the stellar remnant it will soon become,” she says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Co-author Elizabeth Humphreys from ESO in Chile highlighted that Alma and Apex, located in the country’s Atacama region, were crucial to enabling the team to probe “both the physics and chemistry in action” in the gas cloud. She added: “This stunning image of the circumstellar environment of HD 101584 would not have been possible without the exquisite sensitivity and angular resolution provided by Alma.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>While current telescopes allow astronomers to study the gas around the binary, the two stars at the centre of the complex nebula are too close together and too far away to be resolved. ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope, under construction in Chile’s Atacama Desert, “will provide information on the ‘heart’ of the object,” says Hans Olofsson, allowing astronomers a closer look at the fighting pair. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>See also ESO's press release: <a href="https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2002/">https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2002/</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><em>Image:</em></strong></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>A. (top) </em><span style="background-color:initial"><em>​ALMA reveals the beautiful results of a struggle between two stars: a complex of gas clouds round binary star HD 101584. </em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>​</em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em> The colours represent speed, going from blue — gas moving the fastest towards us — to red — gas moving the fastest away from us. Jets, almost along the line of sight, propel the material in blue and red. The stars in the binary are located at the single bright dot at the centre of the ring-like structure shown in green, which is moving with the same velocity as the system as a whole along the line of sight. Astronomers believe this ring has its origin in the material ejected as the lower mass star in the binary spiralled towards its red-giant partner.​</em></span></div> <em> </em><div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Credit: </em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Olofsson et al. Acknowledgement: Robert Cumming</em></span></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <div><strong>More information</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>This research was presented in a paper published in Astronomy &amp; Astrophysics: <i style="background-color:initial">HD 101584: circumstellar characteristics and evolutionary status</i><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">(</span><a href="https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201834897">https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201834897</a><span style="background-color:initial">)</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The team is composed of Hans Olofsson (Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers), Theo Khouri (Chalmers), Matthias Maercker (Chalmers), Per Bergman (Chalmers), Lam Doan (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University), Daniel Tafoya (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers), Wouter Vlemmings (Chalmers), E. M. L. Humphreys (European Southern Observatory [ESO], Garching, Germany), Michael Lindqvist (<span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Chal</span><span style="background-color:initial">mers), Lars-Åke Nyman (ESO, Santiago, Chile) and Sofia Ramstedt (Uppsala University).</span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory have been involved in Alma since its inception, building for example receivers for the telescope. Onsala Space Observatory hosts the Nordic Alma Regional Centre which provides technical expertise and supports scientists <span style="background-color:initial">in the Nordic countries who </span><span style="background-color:initial">use​​​​​ Alma</span><span style="background-color:initial">.​</span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 05 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Nomination_for_the_Lise_Meitner_Award_2020.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Nomination_for_the_Lise_Meitner_Award_2020.aspxCall for nominations: Gothenburg Lise Meitner award 2020<p><b>​The Gothenburg Physics Centre (GPC) is seeking nominations for the 2020 Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award.  Nominations are due on Monday, 2 March, 2020.​​</b></p>​​The Lise Meitner award honors exceptional individuals for a “<em>groundbreaking discovery in physics</em>”.  <br />In addition to their scientific accomplishments, the candidates must meet the following selection criteria:<br /><ul><li>They have distinguished themselves through public activities of popularizing science and are prepared to deliver the annual Lise Meitner Lecture (middle of September).</li> <li>Their research activity is connected to or benefit activities at GPC.<br /></li></ul> Nominations should include a motivation describing the achievements of the candidate, a short biography/CV, contact details and a local contact person. <br /><br />We would also like to thank those of you who did make an effort to nominate a candidate in the past! In case your nomination has not been chosen, we encourage you to submit her or his name again. As the number of nominations has declined in recent years, we <span style="font-weight:700">strongly </span>encourage all members of GPC to nominate a candidate! Please think broadly! There are certainly outstanding candidates you either know personally or whom you would like to come here to Gothenburg.  ​<br /><br />Nominations should be sent to any member of the of the Lise Meitner Award Committee 2020: <br /><br />Dinko Chakarov <a href="mailto:dinko.chakarov@chalmers.se">dinko.chakarov@chalmers.se</a> <br />Hans Nordman <a href="mailto:hans.nordman@chalmers.se">hans.nordman@chalmers.se</a><br />Vitali Zhaunerchyk<a href="mailto:%20vitali.zhaunerchyk@physics.gu.se"> vitali.zhaunerchyk@physics.gu.se​</a><br />Vitaly Shumeiko <a href="mailto:vitaly.shumeiko@chalmers.se">vitaly.shumeiko@chalmers.se​</a><br />Andreas Heinz (Chair) <a href="mailto:andreas.heinz@chalmers.se">andreas.heinz@chalmers.se</a><br /><a href="mailto:andreas.heinz@chalmers.se"></a><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/activities/lisemeitner"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More information about Lise Meitner and the award can be found at the GPC website</a><br /><br />With best regards,<br /><br />The 2020 Lise Meitner Committee​Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Jessica-Jewell-about-the-rising-oil-demand.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Jessica-Jewell-about-the-rising-oil-demand.aspxNo more business as usual with respect to energy<p><b>Recently, the media reported that both investments in fossil energy and carbon dioxide emissions are increasing, though at a slower rate than before. How should we interpret this message? We had an email chat with Dr Jessica Jewell, an expert in energy transitions. Her research focuses on mechanisms of energy transitions, particularly fossil fuel phase-out and low-carbon electricity growth. This is what she responded:​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20190101-20190630/jessica-jewell_portrait.jpg" alt="Portrait: Jessica Jewell" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Fi</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>rst, can you tell us a little about your research? </strong></span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">&quot;It's focused on political feasibility of energy transitions. I research national trends in energy use seeking to understand how individual countries respond to the global challenge of climate change given their specific national circumstances. More specifically, my research can be divided into two broad streams:<br /><br /></span></div> <div><ul><li><span style="font-size:14px">​What drives and constrains the expansion of low-carbon technologies. I have done work on nuclear power and I am now also <span></span>looking into renewable electricity investigating which countries introduce it earlier and where renewables can be expanded faster.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size:14px">What drives and constrains the decline of carbon-intensive technologies. I am measuring the global and national rates of decline in carbon-intensive sectors and comparing them to what we need to mitigate climate change; I also research social factors and mechanisms that differentiate countries that phase out fossil fuels from those that expand them.</span></li></ul></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>How to interpret these media reports about carbon dioxide emissions?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“The use of fossil fuels is still increasing because of the increasing demand for fossil fuels. Part of this trend is easier to understand: for example, demand for oil primarily depends on the growth of transportation and there are more and more vehicles in the world, particularly in the emerging economies such as China. The vast majority of cars and trucks sold today are still driven by oil, not to mention ships and airplanes which explains rising oil demand. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">What is more paradoxical is that in many parts of the world, emissions from the power sector are increasing. This is particularly interesting for social scientists, because we have technical solutions to produce low carbon electricity: hydropower, nuclear power, wind and solar power. Some of these technologies are already cheaper than coal or gas in some markets. However, some developing countries are making paradoxical energy choices of investing in new coal power instead of renewables”.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Is the emission curve broken?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“Global emissions are growing, but at a slower rate than before. If we look at the business-as-usual emission forecasts from a few decades ago and compare them with what we have now, we can clearly see that we’re doing much better than ‘business as usual’ as it was imagined in the 1990s and the early 2000s. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The global emission curve reflects the combination of distinct trends: in some countries emissions are plateauing or slowly declining and in some countries they are still growing. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">In other words, there is a gradual evolution of the emission curve rather than radical breaking with the past”.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What is politically feasible in Europe, China and the United States?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“First of all, this depends on global technological developments and breakthroughs. Political feasibility in all three regions will be influenced by breakthroughs in different technologies such as small modular nuclear power reactors, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), batteries and hydrogen technologies. Incremental developments such as falling the cost of solar PV panels and offshore wind power will also be important in a near future; Equally important to these global factors are national socio-political circumstances which shape political feasibility what can be done in a given context. I believe three such factors are particularly critical: </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><ul><li><span style="font-size:14px">How fast energy demand is growing; this mostly depends on population and economic growth in a given country and thus is difficult to change by policies. Energy demand in China is growing much faster than in the EU and the US which means that China needs much faster expansion of low-carbon energy to reduce emissions and as long as low-carbon energy grows slower than demand, emissions will keep growing<br /></span></li> <li>How fast low-carbon energy technologies can expand. For example, in recent research I and co-authors show that Europe and the United States introduced nuclear, solar and wind power earlier than China. We now need to understand what determines how fast low-carbon technologies expand. The market in China is more favorable (because it is growing), so perhaps renewables can be expanded even faster with right policies.<br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">How fast we can phase-out carbon-intensive sectors. This may be even more challenging to do than expanding low-carbon energy. This is because growing a new sector brings jobs and profits and no one is in principle against it. However, phasing out an industry leads to job and economic losses, which is a political challenge. In a recent article I and co-authors explore this dilemma by looking at which countries pledge to phase out coal power. What we found out is that these countries extract and use little coal, have older power plant fleets, slow demand growth, higher incomes and exceptionally transparent governments which are able to deal with political challenges of coal phase out. There are many such countries in Europe and many of the US states have the same characteristics, so no wonder that coal use in Europe and North America is rapidly declining. In contrast, China has a very young coal power plant fleet (with an average age of only 12 years), produces most of its electricity from the domestically extracted coal, has rapidly expanding electricity demand, and less transparent government. So it is less feasible for China to phase out coal in the near term&quot;.</span></li></ul></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Is there anything more you want to say?</strong><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“I joined Chalmers about six months ago and I’m so happy I did. I have been struck by the wonderful combination of inspiring intellectual interactions and a supportive working environment. Chalmers offers great opportunities for young international scholars to build on and expand their networks and science”.<br /><br />By: Ann-Christine Nordin <br />Photo: Oil field <span style="font-size:14px"></span></span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px">Haizhen Du/Shutterstock​</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>RELATED:</strong><br /><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/current-pledges-to-phase-out-coal-power-are-critically-insufficient-to-slow-down-climate-change,-analysis-shows.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​Current coal phase-out pledges are insufficient</a><br /></span><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/staff/Pages/jewell.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Jessica Jewell, Assistant Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment​</a></div>  ​Tue, 21 Jan 2020 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Successes-setbacks-and-new-Earths-with-Didier-Queloz.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Successes-setbacks-and-new-Earths-with-Didier-Queloz.aspxSuccesses, setbacks and new Earths with Didier Queloz<p><b>​​Together with fellow Nobel laureate Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz was first to discover a planet round another sun, back in 1995. What happened next? On December 13, Didier Queloz told the story to a packed auditorium at Chalmers. About the discovery, and about how exoplanet science now is leading the world towards an even more amazing goal: the discovery of other life in the universe.​</b></p><div>It all started with world-leading engineering. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We had been extra creative at that time, by building a new type of instrument”, Queloz explained.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>His and Michel Mayor’s team in Switzerland had built Elodie, an instrument of exquisite precision at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence in France. They weren’t expecting to discover any planets, but everything else was in place for doing precision science: an innovative system of optical fibres for maximum stability, and new, powerful microcomputers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The discovery of a planet, unreasonably close to the star 51 Pegasi, was a surprise for everyone. Queloz panicked, he said, sure the strange signal was a sign of a “big, big bug” in his computer program. </div> <div>“I couldn’t accept that it didn’t match. I didn’t really grasp how difficult it was to form a planet.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Could we really believe that such unexpected planets were real? For Didier Queloz, the measurements spoke for themselves and the theory was what needed to change. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Sometimes you have to do the stuff – and not listen to anyone else.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists had clearly missed something important about how systems of planets form and evolve. Mayor and Queloz had started a revolution. Their first planet was followed by others, also hot and heavy and close to their stars. More like Jupiter than Earth. Migration turned out to be a key to understanding these unexpected “Hot Jupiters”. Planets move around in their systems, either that or the measurements were wrong.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>But a decade after that first discovery, the last remaining exoplanet sceptics had to give up. Europe’s space telescope Corot, and ground-based experiments Wasp and HAT, showed that exoplanets could also be found by the transit method: by measuring the tiny dimming when a planet passes in front of its sun.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Then came a deluge of new planets, discovered by NASA’s Kepler telescope. It became clear that planetary systems are amazingly varied, and it’s still not clear why that is.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There’s an interesting diversity built in, and 51 Pegasi was an early hint of that,” commented Didier Queloz.</div> <div>Our solar system is typically unique, it seems. But are there other planets like Earth, and do they support life? Didier Queloz thinks we’re getting close to finding answers. Thanks to Kepler and its succcessors we know that there are lots of Earth-sized planets, and there should be many in the so-called “habitable zones” where liquid water ought to be found around stars. The only Earth-sized, rocky planets we know of today are probably not like Earth at all, Queloz cautions. Their stars are tiny, red and cool. Calling these planets “habitable” is going too far. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The light from a sunlike star – our Sun, for example, or 51 Pegasi – is a key ingredient, Queloz believes. Chemists and biologists have studied how life can form from just twenty quite simple molecules – amino acids. The primordial “soup” will remain just a soup – Queloz is a keen cook and enjoys the culinary comparison – unless you add sunlight. New experiments have shown how ultraviolet light can help to trigger the formation of DNA on the surface of a planet. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The ultraviolet is needed, or the chemistry will make soup – not life”, he says with a grin.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>New telescopes will help Queloz and his colleagues find these other Earths. The Extremely Large Telescope, ELT, is one, but in space, the adventure is already starting. 18 December 2019 saw the launch of Cheops, the first of three European exoplanet satellites, and one which Queloz is scientific leader for. The next few decades will see astronomers, chemists and molecular biologists together making new discoveries about the places where life starts in space, Queloz reckons.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Twenty-five years ago we kickstarted something that was way, way bigger than us. It was really fun to share this with you.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Robert Cumming</em></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 17 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Cheops-satellite-exoplanets-detail.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Cheops-satellite-exoplanets-detail.aspxCheops: new satellite to study exoplanets in detail<p><b>​​The satellite CHEOPS, launched in December 2019, will observe systems with previously known exoplanets – planets which orbit other stars than the sun – in order that we can learn more about their size, composition, and atmosphere. The project is led by Nobel laureate Didier Queloz, who will visit Chalmers on 13 December.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">At Chalmers, Carina Persson and her colleagues are preparing to receive and analyse the huge amounts of data that the satellite will deliver. </span><div><br /> </div> <div>“We previously believed that all systems looked more or less like ours. But the first exoplanet found by Queloz and Mayor was a Jupiter-like planet, that orbits so close to its star that its orbital period is only four days – which was very surprising,” says astronomer Carina Persson.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“CHEOPS will take us a step closer to answering whether our planetary system is unique in the universe. Perhaps it is really uncommon for a medium size planet such as ours to form, at just the right distance, from a star of just the right type, with the right sorts of planets around, and in the right place in the galaxy.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>There are two main techniques for finding and studying exoplanets. The technique which was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize measures small, regular changes in a star’s speed, which can be measured from Earth when a planet orbits the star. The technique has been used to discover many planets, and researchers can derive information on a planet’s mass, and distance from its host star. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The CHEOPS satellite will use another technique, transit photometry, to observe how a star’s light changes </div> <div>when a planet passes in front of it.  </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Carina_Malcolm_Iskra.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“The advantage with CHEOPS is that we already know which planets it will investigate, and what their orbits look like. So, we know exactly where and when we should point the telescope, in order to capture several transits from the same planet,” says Carina Persson, who works closely together with colleagues Professor Malcolm Fridlund and PhD Student Iskra Georgieva.</span></div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“In general, measurements like this which have been made so far have come with large uncertainties. With CHEOPS, the precision will increase significantly. We will be able to measure the planet’s size with high accuracy, look for moons and rings and maybe even draw conclusions about what kind of atmosphere they have. If we add that to what we already know about them, we can make models of the planets’ compositions to find out if they are Earth-like or gas planets. The results can also be used to model how planets form and evolve.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The three Chalmers scientists have tested and developed software with algorithms which will analyse transiting exoplanets recorded in CHEOPS’ measurements. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“There are so many factors that decide how planets form, and so far, we only know of one planet which supports life. The more you study other planets, the more respect you feel for our planet and life on Earth. I think that is one of the most important aspects of our work,” says Carina Persson.  </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><i>Text: Christian Löwhagen</i></div> <div><i>This article was originally published in Swedish in <a href="/sv/nyheter/magasin/Sidor/default.aspx">Chalmers magasin</a>, 2019 nr 2. </i></div> Tue, 10 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Must-some-countries-do-more-than-others.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Must-some-countries-do-more-than-others.aspxMust some countries do more than others?<p><b>​If we are to meet the climate goals, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we need to capture some of the carbon dioxide that we have already released to the atmosphere. This is a big challenge.We had a chat with climate scientist Sabine Fuss, who holds Chalmers Jubilee professorship 2019.</b></p>​<img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/Sabine-Fuss_Photo-MCC.jpg" alt="Sabine Fuss" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px">“My research has been focused on deep decarbonisation in recent years – especially in the context of the ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement. In particular, I have been assessing the potential and costs of technologies and practices for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as a lead author of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C Global Warming”, says professor Sabine Fuss, head of a working group on sustainable resource management at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px"></span><div><span style="font-size:14px">She is also one of Chalmers´ four Jubilee Professors in 2019. The Department of Space, Earth and Environment is her host. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What has the cooperation with the scientist at Chalmers meant to you? </strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“Just coming out of the IPCC process and having developed a lot of expertise on deep decarbonization pathways and carbon removal technologies, I brought with me both bottom-up knowledge and a systems perspective of the Paris challenge. Being an economist by background, I hope that I managed to complement the expertise of my Chalmers colleagues, jointly taking the work I had previously done further. In particular, we took first steps at conceptualizing the policies needed to move towards implementation, benefiting both from the exchange with the very experienced Chalmers researchers as well as ongoing reflections on the Swedish plans to go carbon-negative”, she says.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">In the near future, she hope to take these insights back to the international context and also return to Chalmers for the International Conference on Negative Emissions next May.<br /><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">” It has been a great pleasure and benefit for us to have Sabine here”, says Daniel Johansson, Associate Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">He has known Sabine since 2007 when both were at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA in Austria. They collaborated in a project on investments in electricity production carried out given uncertainty in future CO2 prices.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“Sabine has since then developed into one of the leading researchers in the world on issues related to investments under uncertainty as well as on issues related to negative CO2 emissions. It was her focus on the latter subject that was the main reason why she came here as a Jubilee professor”, says Daniel. <br /><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>How can we achieve negative emissions? </strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“We can remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere in very different ways. For example: </span></div> <div><ul><li><span style="font-size:14px">Planting new forests leads to sequestration of CO2 through photosynthesis, </span></li> <li>Absorbing CO2 directly from the ambient air by means of a chemical reaction with subsequent geological storage. </li> <li>As a hybrid option, BioEnergy generation can be coupled with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), so that the CO2 sequestered in the additionally grown biomass does not escape into the atmosphere but is instead captured and locked away”, Sabine Fuss says.</li></ul></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Sabine says we have to keep in mind that practices and technologies, which are associated with additional needs for land, for example for afforestation or growing biomass for BECCS, have been debated controversially. This is because land is a finite resource that will also be needed for other policy goals such as conserving biodiversity, producing food for a growing population, and so on. <br /><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“But they can indeed complement each other: by composing a careful portfolio of options, we can decrease risks to a certain extent. The best way to mitigate climate change remains to avoid emitting CO2 in the first place, of course!” </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>If we have to be carbon-negative must some countries do more than others?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“Carbon-neutrality is a necessary condition for keeping our option to reach the 1.5°C target open. However, uncertainties surround the amount of CO2 that we are still allowed to emit, the so-called carbon budget. This makes it difficult to predict exact years in which carbon-neutrality must be reached. If we are to be carbon-neutral around mid-century, we will need to remove any emissions that still occur after that point. Who exactly will need to go carbon-negative depends on technology and potential as much as distributional considerations”, Sabine Fuss explains. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The implementation will ultimately happen in industry and individual companies, but politicians will have to set the governance framework and create the incentives. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What concrete action do you see as a first step?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“An enquiry of the scope carried out in Sweden at the moment – which maps out both technology roadmaps and policy options – is needed to move forward. Close interaction of government, industry and society will be needed to determine the viable pathways to carbon-neutrality”. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Fossil Free Sweden is an initiative to encourage business sectors to draw up their own roadmaps as to how they will be fossil free while also increasing their competitiveness. Currently, thirteen roadmaps have been handed over to the Swedish Government and more are in progress.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What role can researchers take to drive the development?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“Researchers can help the dialogue described above by compiling the relevant knowledge and mapping the different pathways to 1.5°C. In our work we find that there is a gap in knowledge when it comes to implementation of carbon removal technologies and practices and active research is needed to enable policymakers and industry to take the next steps”.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>RELATED:</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://www.mcc-berlin.net/en/about/team/fuss-sabine.html"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Professor Sabine Fuss</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/Jubilee-Professors.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />More about Chalmers´ Jubilee Professors</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="http://negativeco2emissions2020.com/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The 2nd International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="http://fossilfritt-sverige.se/in-english/roadmaps-for-fossil-free-competitiveness/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Roadmaps for fossil free competitiveness</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px"><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/kalendarium/Sidor/Carbon-neutral-or-carbon-negative.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Carbon-neutral or carbon-negative? Can we still keep global warming below 1.5°C?​</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px"></span><span style="font-size:14px">Together with Christian Azar and Ottmar Edenhofer, she wrote an debate article in Svenska Dagbladet: </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://www.svd.se/nej-fns-klimatpanel-forordar-inte-karnkraft"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />&quot;No, the UN Climate Panel does not recommend nuclear power&quot;.</a> (Swedish)</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_capture_and_storage"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />CCS (Wiki)</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-energy_with_carbon_capture_and_storage"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />BECCS (Wiki)</a></span></div> <div><br /></div> ​By: Ann-Christine Nordin, <br />Photo Sabine Fuss: David Ausserhofer.</div>Tue, 26 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/call-for-more-rigor-concerning-indirect-effects-of-environmental-policies.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/call-for-more-rigor-concerning-indirect-effects-of-environmental-policies.aspxOrder! Researchers call for more rigor concerning indirect effects of environmental policies<p><b>​“Leakage” is a term commonly used to describe the effects an environmental policy has outside the targeted area or country. But since these effects can be both negative and positive, intended or unintended, Chalmers researchers Mairon G Bastos Lima and Martin Persson now propose a clearer definition of these effects and understanding of how they take place, something that future environmental policies would benefit from.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Mairon_G_Bastos_Lima_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />–<span style="background-color:initial"> Up to now, leakage has been the kind of concept that people use very vaguely, assuming that others will grasp it the same way. But the more clearly defined and standardized something is, the better and more consistent the analysis will be, says Mairon G Bastos Lima, at Chalmers department for Space, Earth and Environment.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>In the recently published paper “Leakage and boosting effects in environmental governance: a framework for analysis” Mairon, Martin and Belgian colleague Patrick Meyfroidt at the Catholic University of Louvain identify several key insights about leakage. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>As defined in the paper, leakage is when an environmental policy, be it area protection or climate protection, has an indirect negative impact elsewhere on the same issue it is trying to address. For instance, if stricter climate policy in one place causes industry displacement and increased emissions elsewhere, possibly negating any overall benefits. Or if conservation policy in one area leads to greater deforestation in another. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​An example of the opposite, a “boosting effect”, is when an environmental policy in one country influence </span><span style="background-color:initial">another country to adopt similar or matching policies that create further effects or even synergies. </span></div> <div>Becoming more aware of such indirect effects and understanding how they work is extremely important from a policy-maker point of view. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– If you try to understand how your policy will play out in a greater context, you can deliberately plan for a policy design that will produce synergies with other policies already in place, and deliberately create such boosting effects, says Mairon. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Really unintentional or not? </h3> <div>Today, leakage is often assumed to be always unintentional, but in their studies Mairon and his colleagues have observed several examples of the opposite.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Science studies as well as news reports often assume that leakage is always unintentional. However, we have done some assessments and can show that some policies have been put in place in full awarenress that they would likely affect other countries and regions. This can be done on purpose to serve political or industrial interests in their own country. We have seen this take place both around the Amazon in Brazil and in Southeast Asia.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– If such a thing can happen intentionally, as part of policy planning, you need to understand why they are doing that and what could be done to address such actions. If you assume that leakage is always unintentional, you are never going to have adequate recommendations to give, because you didn’t grasp from the start why they were doing it. We have seen this take place both around the Amazon in Brazil and in Southeast Asia.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more in the paper: “<a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1748-9326">Leakage and boosting effects in environmental governance: a framework for analysis</a>”, published in the journal: Environmental Research Letters. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen</em>.</div> <div><br /></div> </div>Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Professor-Emeritus-Hans-Nordman.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Professor-Emeritus-Hans-Nordman.aspxLooking back at 36 years of working towards fusion energy<p><b>​Hans Nordman is Professor in Electromagnetic field theory in the division of Astronomy and Plasma Physics, in the department of Space, Earth and Environment. His research area is fusion plasma physics, with focus on fusion energy. The research is aimed at understanding and modelling turbulent transport of particles and energy in plasmas, a process which is limiting the performance of a fusion energy device. Hans is retiring after working at Chalmers since 1983. He will continue at the division as professor emeritus.</b></p><div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>​​Which has been your greatest scientific experiences during your years of research? </span></h3></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Hans_Nordman-170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />To be part of a long term and very challenging project that ultimately resulted in a predictive model of turbulent transport in the core region of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak">tokamak plasmas​</a>. The model has been successfully used for analysis and predictions at the world’s largest tokamak JET in the uk. In the 1980's, many scientists thought that the problem of turbulent transport was best dealt with by empirical modelling, not by our approach based on first principles. The project was a team effort initiated by Prof. Jan Weiland and involved many PhD students and postdocs over the years. The project is still active and the latest version of the model is now used to predict the performance of ITER.</div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>What will you miss the most about Chalmers? </span></h3></div> <div>Since I will continue at Chalmers as emeritus, I hope to keep the best parts of the work, which include the stimulating interaction with PhD and master students.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Which challenges do you see for your field in the future?​</h3> <div>For fusion as an energy source, one of the main challenges is related to the interaction of the hot plasma with the material wall surrounding the plasma. The intense radiation from heat and neutrons will determine the wall lifetime, which is expected play a major role in determining the cost of fusion electricity. In theoretical plasma physics, the edge region close to the wall is the most complicated to model due to the presence of impurities from the wall and the relatively large plasma fluctuations and strong turbulence in this region. Here we are quite far from being able to predict the performance from first principles. In addition, there are political challenges since the main road to fusion as an energy source relies on long term international agreements.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What’s next for you personally? Will you keep some connection to your field?</h3> <div>As an emeritus I will continue to interact with PhD and master students in their efforts to understand plasma physics and electromagnetic fields. I may also be involved in specific EU projects on JET and ITER modelling.</div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>​When will we see fusion electricity delivered to the power grid?</span></h3></div> <div>With the internationally agreed main road to fusion energy based on the ITER and DEMO devices, fusion electricity delivered to the grid is not foreseen until after 2050. Net fusion energy will be produced by ITER around 2035 on short (minutes) timescales (50 MW in, 500 MW out). Fusion generated electricity delivered to the grid is planned for the following DEMO device. There are also a number of high risk-high gain fusion projects in progress (high risk from the investment point of view) which could potentially lead to a breakthrough. If so, fusion energy could be with us much earlier.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More info:</h2> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Fusion Power: </h3> <div>Nuclei of lighter atoms such as hydrogen collide and fuse together to produce nuclei of heavier atoms such as helium and release vast amounts of energy in the process —this is the essence of fusion. Because the energy is derived from the action of nuclei, fusion is a form of nuclear energy. It maybe considered the opposite of fission, also a form of nuclear energy, which is generated when nuclei of heavy atoms into split into lighter ones. Fusion is the process that powers and drives the production of energy in stars, such as our Sun. </div> <div><a href="https://www.euro-fusion.org/fusion/">Read more about Fusion Power</a>.<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">A​bout <span>I</span><span>TER:​</span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">ITER is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today. </span><span style="background-color:initial">In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world's largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.iter.org/proj/inafewlines">Read more about ITER</a>. </span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>More info about DEMO: ​</span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The DEMOnstration power plant, DEMO, will be ITER's successor. With the transition from ITER to DEMO, fusion will go from a science-driven, lab-based exercise to an industry-driven and technology-driven programme. A key criteria for DEMO is the production of electricity although not at the price and the quantities of commercial power plants. Laying the foundation for DEMO is the objective of the EUROfusion Power Plant Physics &amp; Technology (PPPT) Work Programme.​<br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.euro-fusion.org/programme/demo/">Read more about DEMO</a>. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div>Fri, 15 Nov 2019 10:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Fulbright-inaugural-lecture---How-can-hydrogen-be-the-fuel-of-the-future.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Fulbright-inaugural-lecture---How-can-hydrogen-be-the-fuel-of-the-future.aspxHow can hydrogen be the fuel of the future?<p><b>We are standing in the doorway of a transportation revolution with the advent of electrified and autonomous vehicles. This is speaking from the point of view of a Los Angeles resident where both air quality and congestion are major factors”. Professor David Blekhman is an expert in the field of hydrogen infrastructure and has been selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Alternative Energy Technology. On the Sustainability Day, November 8, he gives his inaugural lecture.​</b></p><p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Production/David%20Blekhman.jpeg" alt="David Blekhman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“Like Greta, my older son is 16 years old. At this age, our kids are already old enough to tell us that we are not leaving them the world in a pristine condition. Rapid climate change, multiple sites of human operation, and rampant exploitation of the Earth’s resources are the drivers for finding solutions that are more humane. Hydrogen is one of the pathways we are exploring to address these challenges. Hydrogen has its positive properties as well as challenges. But it certainly is and will be the technology of interest,” says David Blekhman, ​<span style="font-size:14px"></span></span><span></span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px">professor at California State University Los Angeles and Technical Director of  Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, He</span><span style="background-color:initial"> will conduct research an</span><span style="background-color:initial">d teach at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers for one year.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“It means a lot for Chalmers to have David here for one year, participating in education, research collaboration and outreach activities,” says Maria Grahn, associate professor, Director of Energy Area of Advance, and host for David Blekhman.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p>His research fits well into what many researchers already do at Chalmers. Maria Grahn especially highlights his broad network within academia, industry and other actors and appreciates David Blekhman´s natural ability to explain in a pedagogical way:</p> <p>“He is a true inspiration for me and for the researchers he has met. I encourage everyone to register and join the inaugural lecture and take the opportunity to meet David”.</p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Fulbright Distinguished chair</h3> <p>Professor David Blekhman has been selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Alternative Energy Technology. He has expectations to establish new collaborations and research projects that he could continue in the future.<br /></p> <p>“Chalmers is a premier European institution with leading researchers in their field. My hope is that my contributions will expand projects already under development here at Chalmers. The university currently is the resource for contacts and my home base from which I am to travel to various hydrogen sites in Scandinavia. I look forward to hosting my colleagues at Chalmers back home at my institution in Los Angeles when visiting California”, says David Blekhman. </p> <p>He looks for projects that result in physical realization and real-world testing in the area of alternative fuels, advanced transportation and variety of topics in renewable energy. </p> <p>David Blekhman´s major focus area for the past ten years has been the construction and operation of the Cal State LA Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility. </p> <p>“Due to the inherent complexity and being a new technical undertaking, hydrogen infrastructure still has a number of lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. In addition to hydrogen, I have worked in the area of fuel cell and hybrid vehicle development,” says David Blekhman. </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Hydrogen – part of a sustainable future</h3> <p>Several years ago, Los Angeles hosted a small conference on the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway. Ever since David Blekhman wanted to see it for himself. </p> <p>“As a part of my project at Chalmers, I plan to visit and asses the performance of hydrogen stations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and wherever else that highway leads. I also look forward to forging collaborations with local researchers and industry”.</p> <p>The evolution of hydrogen as a fuel is a complex question with uncertain answers. <br /><span style="background-color:initial">“My general view and the hope for my work is that hydrogen and electricity will co-exist in powering our vehicles very similar to what is happening with gasoline and diesel. I also think that some applications will be better suited for hydrogen and some for electric,” says David Blekhman. </span></p> <p>Recently, energy storage has been adding another dimension to hydrogen as energy storage in intermittent renewable energy generation. David Blekhman thinks that this could be a part of building a circular and sustainable society.<br /></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Many applications for hydrogen</h3> <p>Twenty years ago, hydrogen was mainly targeting the light duty transportation, but the electric vehicles are now offering strong competition for short and medium transport. In response, hydrogen is evolving with heavier duty applications where additional range is associated with lighter than battery energy storage on board. Applications are currently developed in marine and heavy duty transport. </p> <p>“The large-scale of hydrogen operations is around the corner. Following the California leadership of the past twenty years, Japan, Korea, Germany and others have been rapidly developing their hydrogen infrastructure. Several stations also operate in Denmark and Norway. I am hoping that there will be several more in Sweden in a short time”.</p> <p>The technology for producing hydrogen on a large scale from natural gas has been well established due to space exploration and other broad technologies. This will be a transitional pathway for some time allowing for the development of the hydrogen infrastructure. As renewable energy resources become more prevalent, electrolysis will be the source of hydrogen.</p> <p>“Another scenario we are not talking about enough is the controlled nuclear fusion leading to a completely new world. That would also be based on hydrogen,” says David Blekhman.</p> <p>David Blekhman will conduct research and teach at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences during the 2019/2020 semesters. David Blekhman gives a special mention to his host Dr. Maria Grahn and says that her professional network is amazingly broad and she has generously shared her contacts with him, and also to professor Sonia Yeh who a few years ago was a Fulbright chair at Chalmers.</p> <p></p> <p>“My experience at Chalmers is nothing short of amazing. People are warm and genuinely interested in my work and share interesting opportunities that I could engage in”, he concludes.<br /><br />By: Ann-Christine Nordin and Anders Ryttarson Törneholm, ​<br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/sustainability-day2019/Pages/default.aspx" style="outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The lecture is a part of Chalmers Sustainable day</a><br /><a title="link to registration" href="https://ui.ungpd.com/Surveys/59a1c80e-b4ba-42d8-9419-0291efe60eb8" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" style="background-attachment:scroll;background-origin:border-box;background-clip:border-box" />REGISTRATION (Masterclasses, workshops and Fulbright inaugural lecture) ​​</a><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>The program for the Inaugural lecture of the 2019-2020 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology:</strong></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>​14:30-14:45</strong> Opening, moderator Maria Grahn, Director of Energy Area of Advance<br /></p> <p>Welcome speech, Stefan Bengtsson, president and CEO</p> <p><strong>14:45-15:00</strong> Sonia Yeh to speak about the Fulbright Distinguished Chair program and value it has had in her case, her research at Chalmers</p> <p><strong>15:00-16:00</strong> David Blekhman, Inaugural Lecture, “If you build it, he will come” – Hydrogen Infrastructure</p> <p><strong>16:00-16:30</strong> Bill Elrick, Director of California Fuel Cell Partnership to speak remotely on Hydrogen Developments in California perspective</p> <p></p> <p><strong>16:30</strong> Reception​​</p>Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:15:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/All-plastic-waste-could-be-recycled-into-new-high-quality-plastic.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/All-plastic-waste-could-be-recycled-into-new-high-quality-plastic.aspxAll plastic waste could be recycled into new plastic<p><b>​A research group at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has developed an efficient process for breaking down any plastic waste to a molecular level. The resulting gases can then be transformed back into new plastics – of the same quality as the original. The new process could transform today&#39;s plastic factories into recycling refineries, within the framework of their existing infrastructure.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The fact that plastics do not break down, and therefore accumulate in our ecosystems, is one of our major environmental problems. But at Chalmers, a research group led by Henrik Thunman, Professor of Energy Technology, sees the resilience of plastic as an asset. The fact that it does not degrade makes it possible for circular usage, creating a true value for used plastic, and therefore an economic impetus to collect it.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“We should not forget that plastic is a fantastic material – it gives us products that we could otherwise only dream of. The problem is that it is manufactured at such low cost, that it has been cheaper to produce new plastics from oil and fossil gas than from reusing plastic waste,” says Henrik Thunman. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now, through experimenting with chemical recovery via steam cracking of plastic, the researchers have developed an efficient process for turning used plastics into plastics of virgin quality.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Through finding the right temperature – which is around 850 degrees Celsius – and the right heating rate and residence time, we have been able to demonstrate the proposed method at a scale where we turn 200 kg of plastic waste an hour into a useful gas mixture. That can then be recycled at the molecular level to become new plastic materials of virgin quality,” says Henrik Thunman.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The experiments were carried out at the Chalmers Power Central facility in Gothenburg.</div> <div>In 2015, around 350 million tonnes of plastic waste were generated worldwide. In total, 14 per cent was collected for material recovery – 8 per cent was recycled into plastic of lower quality, and 2 per cent to plastics of similar quality as the original. Around 4 per cent was lost in the process. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Overall, around 40 per cent of global plastic waste in 2015 was processed after collection, mainly through incineration for energy recovery or volume reduction – releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. </div> <div>The rest – about 60 per cent – went to landfill. Only around 1 per cent was left uncollected and leaked into natural environments. Though only a small percentage, this nevertheless represents a significant environmental problem, since the amount of plastic waste is so high overall, and since the natural degradation of plastic is so slow, it accumulates over time.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/SEE/News/Graphic-summary-ENG.pdf"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/graphic_summary_220.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />​</a>The current model for recycling plastic tends to follow what is known as the ‘waste hierarchy’. This means the plastic is repeatedly degraded, to lower and lower quality before finally being burned for energy recovery.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Instead of this, we focused on capturing the carbon atoms from the collected plastic and using them to create new plastic of original quality – that is, back to the top of the waste hierarchy, creating real circularity.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Today, brand new plastics are made by shattering fossil oil and gas fractions in a device known as a ‘cracker’ in petrochemical plants. Inside the cracker, building blocks consisting of simple molecules are created. These can then be combined in many different configurations, resulting in the enormous variety of plastics we see in our society.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To do the same from collected plastics, new processes need to be developed. What the Chalmers researchers now present are the technical aspects of how such a process could be designed and integrated into existing petrochemical plants, in a cost-effective way. Eventually, this kind of development could enable a hugely significant transformation of today's petrochemical plants into recycling refineries of the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers are continuing their work on the process.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are now moving on from the initial trials, which aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of the process, to focusing on developing more detailed understanding. This knowledge is needed to scale up the process from a few tonnes of plastic a day, to hundreds of tonnes. That is when it becomes commercially interesting,” says Henrik Thunman. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: The Chalmer​s researchers' method and its potential</h3> <div>The process is applicable to all types of plastic that result from our waste system, including those that have historically been stored in landfills or at sea.</div> <div>What makes it now feasible to use collected and sorted plastics in large-scale petrochemical plants is that a sufficient volume of material is collected, meaning that the plants can theoretically maintain the same output. These plants require around 1-2 million tonnes of sorted plastic waste per year to convert to match the production levels they currently derive from oil and fossil gas. </div> <div>Sweden's total amount of plastic waste in 2017 was around 1.6 million tonnes. Only around 8 percent of that was recycled to lower quality plastics.</div> <div>The Chalmers researchers therefore see an opportunity to create a circular use of plastic in society, as well as free us from the need for oil and fossil gas to produce various high-quality plastics.</div> <div>“Circular use would help give used plastics a true value, and thus an economic impetus for collecting it anywhere on earth. In turn, this would help minimise release of plastic into nature, and create a market for collection of plastic that has already polluted the natural environment, says Henrik Thunman.</div> <div>End-of-life bio-based materials like paper, wood and clothes could also be used as raw material in the chemical process. This would mean we could gradually reduce the proportion of fossil materials in plastic. We could also create net negative emissions, if carbon dioxide is also captured in the process. The vision is to create a sustainable, circular system for carbon-based materials.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: Chalmers Power Central​</h3> <div>The Chalmers Power Central (CPC) is an advanced research facility focusing on carbon capture and conversion of biomass and waste. The power plant attracts researchers and industry from all over the world, who want to contribute to a sustainable future.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: The research</h3> <div>The research results have been published in the journal Sustainable Materials and Technologies:</div> <div><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214993719300697">Circular use of plastics-transformation of existing petrochemical clusters into thermochemical recycling plants with 100% plastics recovery</a></div> <div>The authors of the article are Henrik Thunman, Teresa Berdugo Vilches, Martin Seemann, Jelena Maric, Isabel Cañete Vela, Sébastien Pissot and Huong N.T.Nguyen. At the time of the research, all of them worked at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The work has been carried out with financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency through the projects <em>Innovative transformation processes at Chalmers power plant</em> and <em>Material recovery of plastic fractions via thermal conversion</em>, as well as the Swedish gasification centre.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Photos: Johan Bodell, Chalmers</em></span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Illustration: BOID</em></span></div> <em> </em><div>​<br /></div> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 06:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Measurement-Problem-Quantum-Mechanics.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Measurement-Problem-Quantum-Mechanics.aspxUnderstanding The Measurement Problem of Quantum Mechanics<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have shown how the measurement process in Quantum Mechanics can be understood. The work implies that explanations that go beyond ordinary physics, such as the many-worlds interpretation, are unnecessary and even inconsistent with quantum theory. The aim is now to further develop the new understanding and to explore its relevance for nanotechnology. The work has been published in the journal Entropy.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The difference between the quantum-mechanical world and the classical world that we experience in our daily life, is well illustrated by the process of quantum measurement. The problem of quantum measurement is as old as Quantum Mechanics itself, now approaching a century. A quantum system may have properties that are undecided until one makes a measurement of the system. In the quantum measurement, such an undecided property suddenly becomes stochastically decided, with certain probabilities for the possible outcomes. The problem is that this process has not yet been given a physical explanation. This situation has opened up for several extraordinary interpretations on how Quantum Mechanics works and how quantum measurement can be understood.</span><div><br /></div> <div>An essential question is whether the observed randomness in quantum measurement is inherent, i.e., whether there is a fundamental mechanism that stochastically determines the result. The alternative would be to show how quantum measurement could be described as a quantum-mechanical interaction between the measurement apparatus and the measured system, combined with a statistical analysis. In the latter case, a single measurement would be a deterministic quantum-mechanical process in which the unknown initial state of the measurement apparatus determines the result.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Kristian-Lindgren-Karl-Erik-Eriksson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In their work, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/frtkee.aspx">Karl-Erik Eriksson</a> and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/kristian-lindgren.aspx">Kristian Lindgren</a>, professors at Physical Resource Theory, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, follow the latter path and identify a quantum-theoretical mechanism in which unknown microscopic details of the measurement apparatus influence the process. They demonstrate that this results in a bifurcation process in which the possible outcomes occur with the expected probabilities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Until today the discussion on quantum measurement has primarily been carried out in Quantum Mechanics as it was used in the 1920s and in the 1930s, a theory that lacks reversibility in the form of inverse processes. With the development of Quantum Field Theory in the 1940s and 1950s, quantum theory became consistent with the Special Theory of Relativity and included reversibility. This meant a total change of the picture of what may happen in quantum mechanics, a fact that opens for the new approach by Eriksson and Lindgren. Thus the measurement problem can be solved within Quantum Mechanics itself without any modification or extension.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The present work is the continuation of a larger collaboration that has also involved Professor Erik Sjöqvist, Uppsala University, and Professor Martin Cederwall, also at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research now proceeds with more detailed modelling of quantum measurement as a purely physical process with possible applications in, for example, nanotechnology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/21/9/834">The article “Statistics of the bifurcation in quantum measurement” can be found in the journal Entropy</a>. </div> Thu, 03 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Face-the-unknown-with-a-Nobel-Prize-Laureate-in-Physics--.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Face-the-unknown-with-a-Nobel-Prize-Laureate-in-Physics--.aspxFace the unknown with a Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics<p><b>​Even this year, the Gothenburg Physics Centre presents a public lecture with a Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics. On Thursday 26 September Prof. Frank Wilczek will visit Gothenburg and share new ideas in axion searches.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/wilczek_frank_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:280px;height:246px" />Frank Wilczek, born in 1951, is a theoretical physicist, author, and intellectual adventurer. He has received many prizes for his work, including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004, along with David Gross and H. David Politzer, for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. <br /><div>Frank Wilczek has made seminal contributions to fundamental particle physics, cosmology and the physics of materials. His current theoretical research includes work on Axions, Anyons, and Time Crystals. These are concepts in physics which he named and pioneered. Each has become a major focus of world-wide research. </div> <br />At the lecture in Gothenburg, he will talk about axion searches. Axions are hypothetical elementary particles that could constitute part, or all, of the dark matter content of the universe. <br /><div>Observations indicate that approximately 85 percent of the matter in the universe is dark, that is, interacts very weakly with light and ordinary matter. Only  the remaining fraction constitutes the ordinary baryonic matter that composes stars, planets, and  all we see around us.  The physical nature of dark matter is currently unknown, and there are a wide variety of possibilities. Among them are a new type of weakly interacting massive particle, primordial black holes, and axions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> Besides his ongoing research activities, Frank Wilczek is fascinated with prospects for expanding perception (especially color perception) through technology.  He is developing hardware and software tools for this. He has also authored several well-known books and writes a monthly &quot;Wilczek's Universe&quot; feature for the Wall Street Journal. On his homepage he also promises an upcoming murder mystery…</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren and Gabriele Feretti</div> <br /><strong>About the lecture:</strong><br />The lecture by Professor Frank Wilczek will be open to the public, free of charge and held in Gustaf Dalén lecture hall at Chalmers campus Johanneberg, Gothenburg on 26 September 2019, 15.15-16.15. Coffee and cake will be served in the entrance hall of Gustaf Dalén Lecture hall (Chalmers tvärgata 4) from 14.45. <br />No registration is needed, but make sure to be in time to grab a seat. <br />The talk is part of the General Physics Colloquia series of the Gothenburg Physics Centre. <br /><div> </div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/calendar/Pages/COLL_Frank_Wilczek_190926.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the event and add it to your calendar</a></div> <br /><br /><strong>More about Professor Frank Wilczek:</strong><br />Frank Wilczek received a B.S. at the University of Chicago in 1970, and a PhD in physics at Princeton University in 1974. Currently he is the Herman Feshbach professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Founding Director of the T. D. Lee Institute and Chief Scientist at Wilczek Quantum Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Distinguished Origins Professor at Arizona State University; and Professor at Stockholm University.<br /><a href="http://www.web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/wilczek_frank.html"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Frank Wilczek at the homepage of MIT.</a><br /><br /><a href="https://www.frankawilczek.com/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Visit Frank Wilczek's personal homepage. </a><br /><br /><br /><strong>More about the Nobel Prize in Physics 2004: </strong><br />The atomic nucleus is held together by a powerful, strong interaction that binds together the protons and neutrons that comprise the nucleus. The strong interaction also holds together the quarks that make up protons and neutrons. This interaction is so strong that no free quarks have ever been observed. However, in 1973 Frank Wilczek, David Gross, and David Politzer showed that that when quarks come really close to one another, the attraction abates and they almost behave like free particles. This is called asymptotic freedom and has been the cornerstone of applications of the theory of strong interactions to collider experiments such as the LHC.<br />Wed, 18 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0200