News: Space, Earth and Environment, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Energi och miljö related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 16 May 2022 20:26:11 +0200 image of the black hole in our galaxy's centre<p><b>Astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes.</b></p><div>The science team includes three astronomers from Chalmers’ Department of Space, Earth and Environment: John Conway and Michael Lindqvist, both at Onsala Space Observatory, and Chiara Ceccobello, working in Astronomy and Plasma Physics at the time of the research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Now for the first time we can see the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. That’s much closer to us than its counterpart in M 87, which we were able to see in the first image from the Event Horizon Telescope in 2019. We also know more about it than any other black hole. This image is putting theories about the nature of space and time to the test. It’s an exciting time to be working in science, says Michael Lindqvist.<br /></div> <div><div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very centre of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the centre of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object — known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced &quot;sadge-ay-star&quot;) — is a black hole, and today’s image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.  </span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Four million times more massive than the sun</h3> <div>Although we cannot see the black hole itself, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a shadow) surrounded by a bright ring-like structure. The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity,&quot; said EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei. &quot;These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings.&quot; The EHT team's results are being published today in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Because the black hole is about 27 000 light-years away from Earth, it appears to us to have about the same size in the sky as a doughnut on the Moon. To image it, the team created the powerful EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope. The EHT observed Sgr A* on multiple nights in 2017, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure time on a camera. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">In addition to other facilities, the EHT network of radio observatories includes the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) in the Atacama Desert in Chile, two telescopes that Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory have been a part of for a long time.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>&quot;We can study this wonderful image thanks to long-term investments in science infrastructure in Sweden and around the world. At Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory, we are proud to have delivered instruments and expertise to the APEX and ALMA telescopes, without which this image would not have been possible&quot;, says John Conway.​<span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>APEX is a collaborative project between Onsala Space Observatory, ESO (European Southern Observatory) and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy. Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers have been involved in the ALMA project since its inception, and Chalmers has delivered receivers for both telescopes.<br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Similar to the ​image, despite very different black holes</span><br /></div> <div>The EHT achievement follows the collaboration’s 2019 release of the first image of a black hole, called M87*, at the centre of the more distant Messier 87 galaxy. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The two black holes look remarkably similar, even though our galaxy’s black hole is more than a thousand times smaller and less massive than M87* [3]. &quot;We have two completely different types of galaxies and two very different black hole masses, but close to the edge of these black holes they look amazingly similar,” says Sera Markoff, Co-Chair of the EHT Science Council and a professor of theoretical astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. &quot;This tells us that General Relativity governs these objects up close, and any differences we see further away must be due to differences in the material that surrounds the black holes.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This achievement was considerably more difficult than for M87*, even though Sgr A* is much closer to us. EHT scientist Chi-kwan (‘CK’) Chan, from Steward Observatory and Department of Astronomy and the Data Science Institute of the University of Arizona, USA, explains: “The gas in the vicinity of the black holes moves at the same speed — nearly as fast as light — around both Sgr A* and M87*. But where gas takes days to weeks to orbit the larger M87*, in the much smaller Sgr A* it completes an orbit in mere minutes. This means the brightness and pattern of the gas around Sgr A* were changing rapidly as the EHT Collaboration was observing it — a bit like trying to take a clear picture of a puppy quickly chasing its tail.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers had to develop sophisticated new tools that accounted for the gas movement around Sgr A*. While M87* was an easier, steadier target, with nearly all images looking the same, that was not the case for Sgr A*. The image of the Sgr A* black hole is an average of the different images the team extracted, finally revealing the giant lurking at the centre of our galaxy for the first time.  </div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">300 researchers involved​</h3> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/EHT_PR_Secondary_Image_72dpi_340x425.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The effort was made possible through the ingenuity of more than 300 researchers from 80 institutes around the world that together make up the EHT Collaboration. In addition to developing complex tools to overcome the challenges of imaging Sgr A*, the team worked rigorously for five years, using supercomputers to combine and analyse their data, all while compiling an unprecedented library of simulated black holes to compare with the observations.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists are particularly excited to finally have images of two black holes of very different sizes, which offers the opportunity to understand how they compare and contrast. They have also begun to use the new data to test theories and models of how gas behaves around supermassive black holes. This process is not yet fully understood but is thought to play a key role in shaping the formation and evolution of galaxies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Now we can study the differences between these two supermassive black holes to gain valuable new clues about how this important process works,” said EHT scientist Keiichi Asada from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei. “We have images for two black holes — one at the large end and one at the small end of supermassive black holes in the Universe — so we can go a lot further in testing how gravity behaves in these extreme environments than ever before.”  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Progress on the EHT continues: a major observation campaign in March 2022 included more telescopes than ever before. The ongoing expansion of the EHT network and significant technological upgrades will allow scientists to share even more impressive images as well as movies of black holes in the near future. </div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read more: </h3> <div><i style="background-color:initial">The results were presented on May 12, 2022 in six articles in Astrophysical Journal Letters.<a href=""> Link to the research articles​</a>. </i></div> <div><i style="background-color:initial">For high resolution images, please visit <a href=""></a></i></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><a href=""></a><span>For more information, contact: ​</span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><span style="background-color:initial">Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala rymdobservatorium, 070 4933114,</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Michael Lindqvist, astronomer, Onsala Space Observatory,</div></div>Thu, 12 May 2022 15:00:00 +0200 exoplanet in unique planetary system<p><b>Astronomers have discovered a unique planetary system around the star TOI 500, 155 light years from Earth. The innermost of the four planets is similar to Earth in several ways, but has an orbiting period of just 13 hours and a temperature of over 1300 degrees Celsius. It is believed to have formed further out, and then migrated close to the star in a slow and &quot;quiet&quot; process, lasting billions of years. Until now, it has never been shown that such a scenario could expain the existence and architecture of such a peculiar planetary system​</b></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Judith Korth, one of four Chalmers astronomers involved in the study, recently published in Nature Astronomy, explains why this planetary system is of particular interest:</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Judith_Korth_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“Its architecture is unique. TOI-500 hosts four low-mass planets where the innermost planet has an orbital period of around 13 hours (TOI-500b). Such ultra-short-period planets (USPs) usually show a particular architecture of high-inclined orbits with respect to the outer planets in the system and are thought to be the outcome of so called high-eccentricity migration, where very elliptical orbits gradually become more and more circular from the star’s tidal forces”, says Judith.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“The planets in the TOI-500 system, however, show orbits on a similar plane, and thus, TOI-500 is the first system that could have formed via a different formation scenario, namely the low-eccentricity migration described in the article”.</span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Slow and steady migration towards the star​</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">The scientific community unanimously agre</span><span style="background-color:initial">es that a planet like TOI-500b could not have formed in its current position, but that it must have originated in a more external area of ​​the protoplanetary disk, and then migrated much closer to its star. However, there is still a lot of debate on the migration process, but it is common opinion that it usually takes place in a violent way, a process that can involves collisions between planets which set the planets on non-circular and inclined orbits, migrating towards smaller orbits that become increasingly circular.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">In the recent article, however, the authors present simulations with which they demonstrate that the planets around TOI-500 may have formed on almost circular orbits further out in the system, and then performed a slow and steady migration during 2 billions years, in which the planets, without colliding with each other, move along orbits that remain almost circular but gradually smaller and smaller.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The research, published in the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy was led by Luisa Maria Serrano and Davide Gandolfi of the Physics Department of the University and featured Chalmers astronomers Judith Korth, Carina Persson, Iskra Georgieva and Malcolm Fridlund. </span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span lang="EN-US">TOI similar to Earth - and also very different</span></h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The planet closest to the star, named TOI-500b, is a so called Ultra-Short Period (USP) planet , as its orbital period is just 13 hours . It is also considered an Earth analogue, that is, a rocky planet similar to the Earth in radius, mass and density. However, its proximity to the star makes it so hot (around 1350 degrees Celsius) that its surface is most likely an immense expanse of lava.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“TOI-500b has a size and mass similar to Earth but in reality, it is very different from Earth due to its short orbital period. It is called an Earth-analog, meaning that it has a similar bulk density as our Earth. This does not mean that the planet is also as habitable as our Earth. It is quite the opposite, due to its vicinity to the star the planet is very hot and its surface consists most likely of a lava ocean”, says Judith Korth and continues.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“However, another similarity to our own Earth could exist for TOI-500b. It could have a secondary atmosphere. I think this will trigger further atmospheric studies in the future which may also give us information about our own atmosphere”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">TOI-500b was initially identified by NASA 's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) space telescope which searches for exoplanets using the so called transit method. This method identifies planets that periodically obscure their home star, causing a decrease in the light received on Earth. The planet was subsequently confirmed thanks to an intense observation campaign conducted by European Southern Observatory (ESO). The data cover an entire year and their analysis, combined with that of the TESS data, made it possible to measure the mass, radius, and orbital parameters of the inner planet.</span></p> <p></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">An extraordinary planetary system ​​</h3> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“The same measurements also made it possible to discover 3 additional planets, with orbital periods of 6.6, 26.2 and 61.3 days. TOI-500 is an extraordinary planetary system for understanding the dynamic evolution of planets”, says project leader Davide Gandolfi, University of Turin.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Judith Korth, of the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers, was involved in the dynamical studies: </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“I studied if the system shows transit timing variations that could help us to constrain the planetary and orbital parameters. Unfortunately, this was not the case since the dynamics of the system are dominated by the secular dynamics rather than the resonant dynamics. Furthermore, I studied the long-term stability of the system and tested if we could refine the upper mass limits of the outer planets since we have only the Msini (minimum mass) from the radial velocities. Since the system could have formed via low-eccentricity migration, I also studied the dynamics within a smaller range of mutual inclinations but for a longer time span.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The article demonstrates the importance of combining the discovery of systems hosting close USP-type planets with numerical simulations to test the possible migratory processes that may have brought them to the current configuration.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Acquiring data over long periods of time allows us to study the internal architecture of systems similar to TOI-500 and to understand how the planets settled on their orbits”, concludes Davide Gandolfi, University of Turin.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Read the article <a href="">A low-eccentricity migration pathway for a 13-h-period Earth analoguein a four-planet system in Nature Astronomy</a>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Images from <a href="">Nasas exoplanet catalog</a>. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The text is written by Christian Löwhagen, Chalmers, based on the press release from the University of Turin: <a href="">Dalla missione della NASA alle osservazioni UniTo: TOI-500, un sistema planetario di quattro pianeti con un processo di migrazione peculiare - Il pianeta più vicino alla stella è molto simile alla Terra...</a> </span></p>Fri, 06 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 of changes essential to save the climate<p><b>​​Extensive technological developments, a ban on fossil fuels, less construction, fewer flights, fewer car journeys and lower levels of beef and dairy consumption. Only by taking all these measures in combination can Sweden get closer to emission levels in line with the Paris Agreement, according to a new research report commissioned by the Swedish Parliament.</b></p><div>On April 7, 2022, the Swedish Cross-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives is suggesting a new consumption-based climate target, as a complement to the existing territorial climate targets. As a basis for this, a group of Swedish researchers, from organisations including Chalmers University of Technology, have produced a comprehensive report analysing how consumption patterns need to change for Sweden to reach emission levels in line with the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping the global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers' conclusion is that while extensive technological developments are essential, consumption habits must also change – only by combining these two approaches do we stand a chance of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The premise in the calculations is that the remaining future emissions are distributed globally evenly per person.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If we are to achieve really low emission levels, we need to both invest heavily in new climate-smart technologies, as well as make significant changes to our behaviour when it comes to the goods and services with the highest carbon footprints,” says Jörgen Larsson, Associate Professor in sustainable consumption at Chalmers University of Technology, and project manager for the report.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Without behavioural changes, emissions will remain high</h3> <div><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial">The report &quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">Consumption based scenarios for Sweden - a basis for discussing new climate targets&quot;</span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">is based on analyses of different scenarios and shows t</span><span style="background-color:initial">hat if we rely only on technological developments – measures such as eliminating fossil-fuel vehicles, producing fossil-free steel and fossil-free commercial fertiliser – emissions will still be too high. Only when these technological developments are combined with significant changes in behaviour does the outlook improve – particularly if the changes are substantial.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>When combined with fewer flights, less car travel, significantly reduced consumption of beef and dairy products, and radically reduced construction of roads and housing – for example by converting office blocks to residential buildings – emissions could sink by up to 90 per cent by 2050, compared with today's level. This reduction of emissions is based on the assumption that the rest of the world also enacts climate change mitigation measures to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, thereby reducing the carbon footprints of imported goods.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The scenario with extensive behavioral changes is a theoretical thought experiment, which aims to show the lowest levels we could reach with the help of both technological and radical social changes and still live a modern life.” says Johannes Morfeldt, researcher at the Division of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Analyses based on five distinct scenario​s </h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The report, which is based on Swedish</span><span style="background-color:initial"> conditions, outlines scenarios with varying degrees of technological development and behavioural changes.</span><br /></div> <div><ul><li>The Reference scenario foresees behaviours and technology evolving according to current trends.</li> <li>The Territorial climate target scenario – Sweden’s climate targets are achieved mainly through technological changes.</li> <li>Behaviour and technology scenario – in addition to the technological changes in the previous scenario, further measures are implemented (both technical and behavioural) to lower Swedish consumption impacts outside of Sweden's borders as well. (not shown in the figure) </li> <li>Comprehensive behaviour and technology scenario – extensive reductions in flying, driving, consumption of beef and dairy products, as well as in the construction of new roads and housing.</li> <li>Reference scenario with comprehensive behaviour change – the same reductions in consumption as in the previous scenario, but without the introduction of advanced technologies, both in Sweden and abroad.</li></ul> <div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Konsumtionsvanor-klimatmalen_diagram-750px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><i>The figure shows the emission levels and reduction potentials for different scenarios in 2050 compared to 2019 for emissions related to transportation, food, buildings and infrastructure. Current trends and policies shows the results for Swedish consumption-based emissions if other countries develop in line with current climate policy. Global climate transition shows results for Swedish consumption-based emissions if other countries develop in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.</i></span><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(0, 0, 0)"> </span></p></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">This study outlines a method for scenario analysis based on bottom-up simulations of pathways for consumption sectors with the largest climate impact – passenger car travel, air travel, construction and housing, and food. The study extends previous research by analysing the impact of lifestyle and technological changes at the national level on consumption-based emissions. The analysis merges methods developed in separate sectoral studies and places them in a prospective lifecycle assessment framework. Assumptions are harmonised for two background scenarios – a current trends and policies scenario and a global climate transition scenario in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals – to illustrate the strong influence of technological developments in the rest of the world when estimating consumption-based emissions (indicated by a range).</span></div> <div>The report has been prepared on behalf of the Swedish Cross-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives, whose final report will be presented on April 7. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The assignment was led by <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/jorgen-larsson.aspx">Jörgen Larsson</a> and <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/morfeldt.aspx">Johannes Morfeldt</a> (Chalmers University of Technology) who worked with all parts of the analysis. Other participating researchers: </div> <div><ul><li>Jonas Åkerman (PhD, KTH Royal Institute of Technology)</li> <li>Jonas Nässén (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Daniel Johansson (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Frances Sprei (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Cecilia Hult (doctoral student, Chalmers)</li> <li>Johan Rootzén (PhD, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute)</li> <li>Ida Karlsson (doctoral student, Chalmers)</li> <li>Stefan Wirsenius (associate professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Fredrik Hedenus (professor, Chalmers)</li> <li>Erik André (doctoral student, Chalmers)</li> <li>Markus Millinger (PhD, Chalmers).</li></ul></div> ​Thu, 07 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0200 – "We are in the middle of the transition"<p><b>​“The IPCC collects and reports about the state of knowledge in science, technical and socio-economic assessments on climate change. Everything we write in the report is not new scientific discoveries. The main aim is to bring this knowledge to policymakers and the general public in a comprehensive, clear and accessible way”, says Sonia Yeh, who contributed to UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change´s (IPCC) report, which was presented on the 4th of April.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">WG III, is the final part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and it focuses on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. </span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>“So the main challenge for us as scientific contributors</strong> is the writing. How do you communicate in a clear and unbiased way, what information to include or to exclude, how do we coordinate across chapters so there is consistent and no overlapping messages, etc.”, says Sonia Yeh, Professor of energy and transport systems at Chalmers University of Technology. </div> <div>Her expertise is in energy economics and energy system modelling, alternative transportation fuels, sustainability standards, technological change, and consumer behavior and mobility. She has contributed to IPPC report, Working Group III Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 10 Transport in the subchapter “Scenarios from Integrated, Sectoral and Regional Models”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is it that makes you take on such a big assignment like this?</strong></div> <div>“On one hand, it is indeed a huge time commitment. So, one must decide beforehand how much time one can spare to be involved in such a big effort. On the other hand, it is a huge honor as a scientist to be selected to represent your country to co-produce such an important document. The document is the most comprehensive assessment effort roughly every 6 years providing an update on climate mitigations options. It has tremendous societal values to both policymakers and all concerned citizens around the world”, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Her path to be selected</strong> as an IPCC contributing author was a bit unconventional. The typical path for being an IPCC author was for one to first self-nominate, then being selected for nomination by your country. <br /><br /></div> <div>“I joined the IPCC process in the middle as I received a phone call one day by the lead author of the chapter on transport scenario asking if they can rely on my competence in the long-term projections of transport scenarios. That’s how I joined in the middle of the process. So there is a separate path to be asked to join as an contributing author if the lead authors consider your technical expertise is critical for part of the report”, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What sets this report apart from previous reports?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I cannot talk about any specific details before the release. But certainly, one of the most interesting things writing up this report is to observe how things have changed from this report from the last (5th Assessment Report), which directions and how fast the changes were. Lots of things have changed: technology costs and their commercial availability, demand growth, new technology, system level interactions, etc. As someone said, around the time of the last report, we were talking about the transitions. At the time of the writing of this report, we are right in the middle of the transitions. So we are certainly seeing lots of changes (both expected and unexpected) so that would be something interesting to watch out for when the report is released&quot;. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the biggest challenge for you as a researcher working on the report?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The IPCC collects and reports about the state of knowledge in science, technical and socio-economic assessments on climate change. Everything we write in the report is not new scientific discoveries. The main aim is to bring this knowledge to policymakers and the general public in a comprehensive, clear and accessible way. So the main challenge for us as scientific contributors is the writing. How do you communicate in a clear and unbiased way, what information to include or to exclude, how do we coordinate across chapters so there is consistent and no overlapping messages, etc.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What are the most important conclusions you can draw from your work, on a purely personal level?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The main thing I learned is the self-reflective part that I mentioned above regarding what sets this report apart from the previous reports. In a way we are asking on behalf of the public, How has science changed in this report compared to the last, how things have changed, are the challenges we face today different from the challenges we faced 4 years ago? Unfortunately IPCC mainly addresses the question of “what do we know today” rather than the question of “what has changed compared to the last assessment.” This is understandable. To answer the latter question comprehensively, it requires greater efforts conducting rigorous studies and IPCC is not set up to do that. Nevertheless it is a question I ask myself frequently while writing for the report, and I am sure that you will see a lot of discussions in the blog posts, tweets, and news columns on this later question a lot. One should be careful and take these discussions with a grain of salt though since most of them are produced quickly to provide discussion points in the news media and for the public discussion. Therefore they are good food for thoughts but one must understand that IPCC does not formally analyze such a question&quot;, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>When it comes to the most important </strong>measures to reduce the climate impact of the transport sector, Sonia Yeh recommends the seminar, <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/calendar/Pages/IPCC-WG3-Where-are-we-in-the-transitions.aspx">IPCC Sixth Assessment Working Group III report on Climate Mitigation: Where are we in the transitions?</a> It´s a public online seminar and several of the authors of the report will participate.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The important thing to know is that there is no silver bullet. Reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector cannot rely on a single technology, one behavioral change or a single policy measure. Exactly how much a role different measures can contribute will depend on the region, time frame, the commitments of the governments and individual actions. The chairman of the IPCC says that IPCC is policy relevant, but not policy descriptive. IPCC does not tell policymakers or the citizens what they should do, but what they could do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the impacts of different actions in terms of potential for emissions reductions”, says Sonia Yeh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>When do you think the energy will be fossil free for all transports?</strong></div> <div>“My personal reflection is that the transport energy will not be fossil free without strong policy measures. Meaning, policymakers will need to take actions to introduce policies such as carbon tax or carbon caps, incentives, standards and regulations, investments in low-carbon technology and transport infrastructure that supports zero-carbon fuels and vehicles, charging infrastructure for electric buses, cars, trucks, ferries, etc. So there is a lot to be done. But it is like “The Little Engine That Could”, we can do it! And I believe that we have the momentum. It is just a matter of how fast we want to do this”, says Sonia and highlights an <span style="background-color:initial">exampl</span><span style="background-color:initial">e</span><span style="background-color:initial"> of how fast things have changed in the last few years:<br />&quot;A few years back, most people think the only viable ways to decarbonize long-haul trucks are biofuels and hydrogen. But as the price of batteries falling faster than expected, electrifying long-haul trucks are becoming real and attractive possibilities. The only hinder is the build-up of the charging infrastructure, which of course is an intensive research area that we at our group are also working actively with many European partners. Many excellent research groups at Chalmers are also studying this from many angles including materials, batteries to system level integration like the grid impacts in Sweden and in Europe”.</span></div> <div><br /><strong>Related:<br /></strong><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />IPCC, <span style="background-color:initial">The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change </span></a></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/edit/Pages/sonia-yeh.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sonia Yeh, Chalmers University of Technology</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/IPCC-reports-spread-knowledge-effectively.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />IPCC reports spread knowledge effectively​</a><br /></div> <div><span></span><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/calendar/Pages/IPCC-WG3-Where-are-we-in-the-transitions.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />IPCC Webinar – Where are we in the transitions?</a><br /><br />Text: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> ​​Sun, 03 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0200 – Apply for funding for interdisciplinary research ideas within all energy fields<p><b>​Call: Invitation to apply for funding from Energy Area of Advance, for interdisciplinary research ideas within all energy fields. Chalmers Energy Area of Advance allocates 12 MSEK per year over 2023 and 2024 for interdisciplinary projects in the size of 1.25 - 2.5 MSEK/year for two years). The call is open for base funded faculty, externally funded faculty, and assistant professors.</b></p><strong>​</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>The projects must focus on </strong><strong>aspects </strong>connected to a future sustainable energy system. It should be interdisciplinary and include expertise from at least two different research groups or two different research approaches or analyse the same question from two different angles. <br /><br /><strong>Example of two different approaches </strong>could be: theory + experiment, technology + behaviour, component + system, interviews + model, any method 1 + method 2. <br /><br /><strong>Collaboration with external partners</strong> is positive but remember that AoA-funding only can be used by employees at Chalmers, for details see below. It is also possible to form projects as a complement to already ongoing projects to add additional aspects.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>For instructions, see the template.</strong></div> <div>Special considerations will be given to projects that are connected to the following themes:</div> <div><strong>1.)</strong><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Collaboration projects where scientists with projects further away from implementation collaborate with those that are close to implementation.</div> <div>If advice is needed, please contact Chalmers innovation office where Anne Alsholm, <a href="">​</a>, is the contact person for energy related questions.</div> <div><strong>2.)</strong><span style="white-space:pre"><strong> </strong></span>Research supporting resilient energy systems and European energy and energy technology autonomy.</div> <div>Evaluation criteria:</div> <div><ul><li>Relevance for the energy research field.</li> <li>Interdisciplinary (include expertise from at least two different research groups or two different research approaches, or analyse the same question from two different angles, see examples above).</li> <li>Scientific quality.</li> <li>Potential for successful implementation (competence, project- and time- plan etc).</li> <li>Potential for continuation in future externally funded projects is welcome but not mandatory.</li> <li>Also consider criteria as gender and the UN sustainability goals.</li></ul></div> <div>Costs that can be covered by AoA funding:</div> <div><ul><li>Salary for senior researchers including assistant professors (max 25% of full time, exceptions need to be motivated, names should be listed).</li> <li>Postdocs – full cost coverage (list name if already known. Write “to be announced” if so).</li> <li>S<span style="background-color:initial">alary for already employed postdocs must be motivated and the employees name should be listed.</span></li> <li>AoA funding cannot be used to recruit PhD students. However, PhD students already employed at Chalmers can work in the project (name should be listed).</li> <li>Relevant experiment or lab costs (max. 20% of total budget and costs should be specified).</li> <li>T<span style="background-color:initial">r</span><span style="background-color:initial">avel costs.</span></li></ul></div> <div><strong>Funds should be used</strong> during each budget-year as presented in your budget. Delays caused by legal rights of staff maybe accepted, but not delays caused by project management issues.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>The project proposal,</strong> of max. 4 A4 pages, should be sent to the Energy Area of Advance <a href=""></a> <strong>no later than 13th May 2022.</strong> <br /><br /><strong>A decision will be made</strong> by the management team Tomas Kåberger, Sonia Yeh, Cecilia Geijer, Anders Hellman and Annemarie Wöhri before summer.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Please note that costs</strong> connected mobility, visiting researchers, support for applications, conferences, community building, seed funding or the equivalent that contribute to the strategic development of the Energy Area of Advance, can be applied for separately on an ongoing basis. Templates for this separate application can be found at <a href="">Chalmers intranet.</a> <br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Template interdisciplinary project proposal Energy Area of Advance</strong></div> <div>(max 4 A4 – after erasing the instructions)</div> <div>The application can be written in Swedish or English and should contain clear motivations for why the suggested project should be prioritised.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Aim</strong>. Overreaching goal of the project (approx. 0.5 A4).<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Project description.</strong> Background (problem description, state of the art, knowledge gap), Research question(s), Methods, Project plan including time plan and other relevant information, e.g. goals and milestones (approx. 2-3 A4).<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Organisation and Budget.</strong> State affiliation (department and division) for the main project leader(s) and list names of people involved, both the researcher(s) that will take part of this funding as well as other researchers involved (if the project is larger than this funding). Main applicant should have a tenure position (permanent employment, faculty or specialist) at Chalmers or being assistant professor, but funds can be used by other Chalmers’ research staff categories. Please list a preliminary distribution of annual fund between different staff categories (approx. 0.5 A4).</div> <div>Co-funding option. Please specify in your application if you are willing to share your project proposal with our industry partners ABB, Göteborg Energi and Preem for eventual co-funding. If agreed upon, a project list including titles and participants are send out to our partners, followed by sending the full proposal upon further request.<br /><br /></div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>I do not want to share my proposal with Chalmers industry partners</div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>It is ok to share my proposal with ABB</div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>It is ok to share my proposal with Göteborg Energi</div> <div><span style="white-space:pre"> </span>It is ok to share my proposal with Preem<br /><br /></div> <div>CV. A maximum 2 pages CV for the main applicant(s) and if applicable also the researcher(s) that will use most of the funding.</div> Thu, 31 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +0200 for ICT seed projects 2023<p><b> Call for proposals within ICT strategic areas and involving interdisciplinary approaches.​</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="color:rgb(153, 51, 0)"><br /></h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Important dates:</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li><b>NEW! Submission date: </b><span>9 May, at 09.00</span>, 2022</li> <li><b>Notification:</b> mid-June, 2022</li> <li><b>Expected start of the project:</b> January 2023</li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Background</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b>The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Area of Advance</b> (AoA) provides financial support for SEED projects, i.e., projects involving innovative ideas that can be a starting point for further collaborative research and joint funding applications. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>We will prioritize research projects that <strong>involve researchers from different research communities</strong> (for example across ICT departments or between ICT and other Areas of Advances) and who have not worked together before (i.e., have no joint projects/publications). </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Research projects involving a <strong>gender-balanced team and younger researchers</strong>, e.g., assistant professors, will be prioritized. Additionally, proposals related to <strong>sustainability</strong> and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b><em>Note: </em></b><em>Only researchers employed at Chalmers can apply and can be funded. PhD students cannot be supported by this call.  Applicants and co-applicants of research proposals funded in the 2021 and 2022 ICT SEED calls cannot apply. </em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b>The total budget of the call is 1 MSEK.</b> We expect to fund 3-5 projects</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Details of the call</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li>The project should include at least two researchers from different divisions at Chalmers (preferably two different departments) who should have complementary expertise, and no joint projects/publications.</li> <li>Proposals involving teams with good gender balance and involving assistant professors will be prioritized.</li> <li>The project should contribute to sustainable development. </li> <li>The budget must be between 100 kSEK and 300 kSEK, including indirect costs (OH). The budget is mainly to cover personnel costs for Chalmers employees (but not PhD students). The budget cannot cover costs for equipment or travel costs to conferences/research visits. </li> <li>The project must start in early 2023 and should last 3-6 months. </li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What must the application contain?</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The application should be at most 3 pages long, font Times–Roman, size 11. In addition, max 1 page can be used for references. Finally, an additional one-page CV of each one of the applicants must be included (max 4 CVs). Proposals that do not comply with this format will be desk rejected (no review process).</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The proposal should include:</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>a)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>project title </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>b)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>name, e-mail, and affiliation (department, division) of the applicants</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>c)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the research challenges addressed and the objective of the project; interdisciplinary aspects should be highlighted; also the applicant should discuss how the project contributes to sustainable development, preferably in relation to the <a href="" title="link to UN webpage">UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)</a>. Try to be specific and list the targets within each Goal that are addressed by your project.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>d)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project description </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>e)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the expected outcome (including dissemination plan) and the plan for further research and funding acquisition</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>f)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project participants and the planned efforts</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>g)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project budget and activity timeline
</div> <div><div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Evaluation criteria</h3> <div><ul><li>Team composition</li> <li>Interdisciplinarity</li> <li>Novelty</li> <li>Relevance to AoA ICT and Chalmers research strategy as well as to SDG</li> <li>Dissemination plan</li> <li>Potential for further research and joint funding applications</li> <li>Budget and project feasibility​</li></ul></div></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Submission</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The application should be submitted as <b>one PDF document</b>.<span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to submission"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Submit​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><br /></span></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The proposals will be evaluated by the AoA ICT management group and selected Chalmers researchers.

</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><b><br /></b></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><b>Questions</b> can be addressed to <a href="">Erik Ström</a></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">General information about the ICT Area of Advance can be found at <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/Pages/default.aspx"> ​</a></span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/About%20us/IKT_logo_600px.jpg" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">​​<br /></span></div>Wed, 30 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +0200 discovery could shed light on secrets of the Universe<p><b>How can Einstein's theory of gravity be unified with quantum mechanics?  This challenge could give us deep insights into phenomena such as black holes and the birth of the universe. Now, a new article in Nature Communications, written by researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and MIT, USA, presents results that cast new light on important challenges in understanding quantum gravity.</b></p>A grand challenge in modern theoretical physics is to find a ‘unified theory’ that can describe all the laws of nature within a single framework – connecting Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes the universe on a large scale, and quantum mechanics, which describes our world at the atomic level. Such a theory of ‘quantum gravity’ would include both a macroscopic and microscopic description of nature.<div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Nature%202022/Daniel-Persson.gif" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Daniel Persson" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:300px" /> “We strive to understand the laws of nature and the language in which these are written is mathematics. When we seek answers to questions in physics, we are often led to new discoveries in mathematics too. This interaction is particularly prominent in the search for quantum gravity – where it is extremely difficult to perform experiments,” explains Daniel Persson, Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Chalmers university of technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> An example of a phenomenon that requires this type of unified description is black holes. A black hole forms when a sufficiently heavy star expands and collapses under its own gravitational force, so that all its mass is concentrated in an extremely small volume. The quantum mechanical description of black holes is still in its infancy but involves spectacular advanced mathematics.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> A simplified model for quantum gravity</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Nature%202022/Robert-Berman.gif" alt="Robert Berman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:265px" />“The challenge is to describe how gravity arises as an ‘emergent’ phenomenon. Just as everyday phenomena – such as the flow of a liquid – emerge from the chaotic movements of individual droplets, we want to describe how gravity emerges from quantum mechanical system at the microscopic level,” says Robert Berman, Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> In an article recently published in the journal Nature Communications, Daniel Persson and Robert Berman, together with Tristan Collins of MIT in the USA, showed how gravity emerges from a special quantum mechanical system, in a simplified model for quantum gravity called the ‘holographic principle’.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Using techniques from the mathematics that I have researched before, we managed to formulate an explanation for how gravity emerges by the holographic principle, in a more precise way than has previously been done,” explains Robert Berman.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> Ripples of dark energy</h2> <div> The new article may also offer new insight into mysterious dark energy. In Einstein's general theory of relativity, gravity is described as a geometric phenomenon. Just as a newly made bed curves under a person's weight, heavy objects can bend the geometric shape of the universe. But according to Einstein's theory, even the empty space – the ‘vacuum state’ of the universe – has a rich geometric structure. If you could zoom in and look at this vacuum on a microscopic level, you would see quantum mechanical fluctuations or ripples, known as dark energy. It is this mysterious form of energy that, from a larger perspective, is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This new work may lead to new insights into how and why these microscopic quantum mechanical ripples arise, as well as the relationship between Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum mechanics, something that has eluded scientists for decades.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These results open up the possibility to test other aspects of the holographic principle such as the microscopic description of black holes. We also hope to be able to use these new connections in the future to break new ground in mathematics,” says Daniel Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> The scientific article, <a href="">Emergent Sasaki-Einstein geometry and AdS/CFT</a>, is published in Nature Communications and is written by Robert Berman, Tristan Collins and Daniel Persson at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3> <div> Daniel Persson, Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers university of Technology and University of Gothenburg <br /><a href=""></a> <br />+46 31 772 3174</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Berman, Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers university of Technology and University of Gothenburg</div> <div><a href=""></a> </div> <div>+46 31 772 3553   </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div>Photo: Anna Wallin (Daniel Persson) and Rakel Berman (Robert Berman)</div> ​​​Mon, 07 Mar 2022 14:00:00 +0100 flashes pinpointed to a surprising location in space<p><b>​Astronomers have been surprised by the closest source of the mysterious flashes in the sky known as fast radio bursts. Precision measurements with radio telescopes reveal that the bursts are made among old stars, and in a way that no one was expecting. The source of the flashes, in nearby spiral galaxy M 81, is the closest of its kind to Earth.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Fast radio bursts are unpredictable, extremely short flashes of light from space. Astronomers have struggled to understand them ever since they were first discovered in 2007. So far, they have only ever been seen by radio telescopes.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Each flash lasts only thousandths of a second. Yet each one sends out as much energy as the Sun produces in a day. Several hundred flashes go off every day, and they have been seen all over the sky. Most lie at huge distances from Earth, in galaxies billions of light years away.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In two papers published in parallel this week in the journals Nature and Nature Astronomy, an international team of astronomers present observations that take scientists a step closer to solving the mystery – while also raising new puzzles. The team is led jointly by Franz Kirsten (Chalmers, Sweden, and ASTRON, Netherlands) and Kenzie Nimmo (ASTRON and University of Amsterdam).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The scientists set out to make high-precision measurements of a repeating burst source discovered in January 2020 in the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We wanted to look for clues to the bursts’ origins. Using many radio telescopes together, we knew we could pinpoint the source’s location on the sky with extreme precision. That gives the opportunity to see what the local neighbourhood of a fast radio burst looks like”, says Franz Kirsten.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To study the source at the highest possible resolution and sensitivity, the scientists combined measurements from telescopes in the European VLBI Network (EVN). By combining data from 12 dish antennas spread across half the globe, Sweden, Latvia, The Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Poland, Italy and China, they were able to find out exactly where on the sky they were coming from.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EVN measurements were complemented with data from several other telescopes, among them the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, USA.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <span style="font-weight:700"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/FRBclusterM81_danielle_futselaar_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span><div><strong>Close but surprising location</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>When they analysed their measurements, the astronomers discovered that the repeated radio flashes were coming from somewhere no one had expected.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>They traced the bursts to the outskirts of the nearby spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M 81), about 12 million light years away. That makes this the closest ever detection of a source of fast radio bursts.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There was another surprise in store. The location matched exactly with a dense cluster of very old stars, known as a globular cluster.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It’s amazing to find fast radio bursts from a globular cluster. This is a place in space where you only find old stars. Further out in the universe, fast radio bursts have been found in places where stars are much younger. This had to be something else,” says Kenzie Nimmo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Many fast radio bursts have been found surrounded by young, massive stars, much bigger than the Sun. In those locations, star explosions are common and leave behind highly magnetised remnants.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists have come to believe that fast radio bursts can be created in objects known as magnetars. Magnetars are the extremely dense remnants of stars that have exploded. And they are the universe’s most powerful known magnets.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We expect magnetars to be shiny and new, and definitely not surrounded by old stars. So if what we’re looking at here really is a magnetar, then it can’t have been formed from a young star exploding. There has to be another way”, says team member Jason Hessels, University of Amsterdam and ASTRON.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The scientists believe that the source of the radio flashes is something that has been predicted, but never seen before: a magnetar that formed when a white dwarf became massive enough to collapse under its own weight.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Strange things happen in the multi-billion-year life of a tight cluster of stars. Here we think we’re seeing a star with an unusual story”, explains Franz Kirsten.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Given time, ordinary stars like the Sun grow old and transform into small, dense, bright objects called white dwarfs. Many stars in the cluster live together in binary systems. Of the tens of thousands of stars in the cluster, a few get close enough for one star collects material from the other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>That can lead to a scenario known as “accretion-induced collapse”, Kirsten explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If one of the white dwarfs can catch enough extra mass from its companion, it can turn into an even denser star, known as a neutron star. That’s a rare occurrence, but in a cluster of ancient stars, it’s the simplest way of making fast radio bursts”, says team member Mohit Bhardwaj, McGill University, Canada.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/FRBclusterburstM81_danielle_futselaar_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div><strong>Fastest ever</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Looking for further clues by zooming into their data, the astronomers found another surprise. Some of the flashes were even shorter than they had expected.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The flashes flickered in brightness within as little as a few tens of nanoseconds. That tells us that they must be coming from a tiny volume in space, smaller than a soccer pitch and perhaps only tens of metres across”, says Kenzie Nimmo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Similarly lightning-fast signals have been seen from one of the sky’s most famous objects, the Crab pulsar. It is a tiny, dense, remnant of a supernova explosion that was seen from Earth in 1054 CE in the constellation of Taurus, the Bull. Both magnetars and pulsars are different kinds of neutron stars: super-dense objects with the mass of the Sun in a volume the size of a city, and with strong magnetic fields.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Some of the signals we measured are short and extremely powerful, in just the same way as some signals from the Crab pulsar. That suggests that we are indeed seeing a magnetar, but in a place that magnetars haven’t been found before”, says Kenzie Nimmo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Future observations of this system and others will help to tell whether the source really is an unusual magnetar, or something else, like an unusual pulsar or a black hole and a dense star in a close orbit.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These fast radio bursts seem to be giving us new and unexpected insight into how stars live and die. If that’s true, they could, like supernovae, have things to tell us about stars and their lives across the whole universe,” says Franz Kirsten.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><em>Images</em></strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">A (top) Source of mysterious radio signals: an artist’s impression of a magnetar in a cluster of ancient stars (in red) close to the spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M81). </span></div> <div>(Image credit: ASTRON/Daniëlle Futselaar,</div> <div><a href="">Access high-resolution image</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>B Signals from a surprising source. A cluster of ancient stars (left) close to the spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M81) is the source of extraordinarily bright and short radio signals.  </div> <div>(Image credit: ASTRON/Daniëlle Futselaar,</div> <div><a href="">Access high-resolution image</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>C Extremely fast radio signals from a surprising source. A cluster of ancient stars (left) close to the spiral galaxy Messier 81 (M81) is the source of extraordinarily bright and short radio signals. The image shows in blue-white a graph of how one flash’s brightness changed over the course of only tens of microseconds. </div> <div>(Image credit: ASTRON/Daniëlle Futselaar,</div></div> <div><a href="">Access high-resolution image​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 70 493 3114 or +46 (0)31 772 5500</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Franz Kirsten, ASTRON, The Netherlands, and Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 73 394 0845 or +46 31 772 5522</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research and about the European VLBI Network and JIVE</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>The research was based on observations with the European VLBI Network, the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, with additional data from the Hubble, Chandra and Fermi space telescopes, and the Subaru Telescope located in Hawaii.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is published in two papers in the journals Nature and Nature Astronomy.  </div> <div><em>A repeating fast radio burst source in a globular cluster</em>, by Franz Kirsten et al (<a href=""></a>; <a href="">also available on ArXiv</a>)</div> <div><em>Burst timescales and luminosities link young pulsars and fast radio bursts</em>, by Kenzie Nimmo et al (<a href=""></a>; <a href="">also available on ArXiv</a>).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>VLBI is an astronomical method by which multiple radio telescopes distributed across great distances observe the same region of sky simultaneously. Data from each telescope is sent to a central &quot;correlator&quot; to produce images with higher resolution than the most powerful optical telescopes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The European VLBI Network (EVN; is an interferometric array of radio telescopes spread throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Americas that conducts unique, high-resolution, radio astronomical observations of cosmic radio sources. Established in 1980, the EVN has grown into the most sensitive VLBI array in the world, including over 20 individual telescopes, among them some of the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescopes. The EVN is composed of 13 Full Member Institutes and 5 Associated Member Institutes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE; has as its primary mission to operate and develop the EVN data processor, a powerful supercomputer that combines the signals from radio telescopes located across the planet. Founded in 1993, JIVE is since 2015 a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with seven member countries: France, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden; additional support is received from partner institutes in China, Germany and South Africa. JIVE is hosted at the offices of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) in the Netherlands.</div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 23 Feb 2022 17:00:00 +0100​Time to inaugurate all-wise computer resource<p><b>​Alvis is an old Nordic name meaning &quot;all-wise&quot;. An appropriate name, one might think, for a computer resource dedicated to research in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The first phase of Alvis has been used at Chalmers and by Swedish researchers for a year and a half, but now the computer system is fully developed and ready to solve more and larger research tasks.​</b></p><br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/300x454_Alvis_infrastructure_1.png" alt="A computer rack" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:10px;width:270px;height:406px" />Alvis is a national computer resource within the <strong><a href="">Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, SN​IC,</a></strong> and started on a small scale in the autumn of 2020, when the first version began being used by Swedish researchers. Since then, a lot has happened behind the scenes, both in terms of use and expansion, and now it's time for Chalmers to give Swedish research in AI and machine learning access to the full-scale expanded resource. The digital inauguration will take place on <span style="font-weight:normal"><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx">February 25, 202</a>2.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>What can Alvis contribute to, then? </b>The purpose is twofold. On the one hand, one addresses the target group who research and develop methods in machine learning, and on the other hand, the target group who use machine learning to solve research problems in basically any field. Anyone who needs to improve their mathematical calculations and models can take advantage of Alvis' services through SNIC's application system – regardless of the research field.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Simply put, Alvis works with pattern recognition, according to the same principle that your mobile uses to recognize your face. What you do, is present very large amounts of data to Alvis and let the system work. The task for the machines is to react to patterns - long before a human eye can do so,&quot; says <b>Mikael Öhman</b>, system manager at Chalmers e-commons.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How can Alvis help Swedish research?</h3> <div><b>Thomas Svedberg</b> is project manager for the construction of Alvis:</div> <div>&quot;I would say that there are two parts to that answer. We have researchers who are already doing machine learning, and they get a powerful resource that helps them analyse large complex problems.</div> <div>But we also have those who are curious about machine learning and who want to know more about how they can work with it within their field. It is perhaps for them that we can make the biggest difference when we now can offer quick access to a system that allows them to learn more and build up their knowledge.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The official inauguration of Alvis takes place on February 25. It will be done digitally, and you will find all <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx">information about the event here.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Facts</h3> <div>Alvis, which is part of the national e-infrastructure SNIC, is located at Chalmers. <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/e-commons/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers e-commons</a> manages the resource, and applications to use Alvis are handled by the <a href="">Swedish National Allocations Committee, SNAC</a>. Alvis is financed by the <b><a href="">Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</a></b> with SEK 70 million, and the operation is financed by SNIC. The computer system is supplied by <a href="" target="_blank">Lenovo​</a>. Within Chalmers e-commons, there is also a group of research engineers with a focus on AI, machine learning and data management. Among other things, they have the task of providing support to Chalmers’ researchers in the use of Alvis.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Voices about Alvis:</h3> <div><b>Lars Nordström</b>, director of SNIC: &quot;Alvis will be a key resource for Swedish AI-based research and is a valuable complement to SNIC's other resources.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Sa</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>ra Mazur</strong>, Director of Strategic Research, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation: &quot;</span>A high-performing national computation and storage resource for AI and machine learning is a prerequisite for researchers at Swedish universities to be able to be successful in international competition in the field. It is an area that is developing extremely quickly and which will have a major impact on societal development, therefore it is important that Sweden both has the required infrastructure and researchers who can develop this field of research. It also enables a transfer of knowledge to Swedish industry.&quot;<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>Philipp Schlatter</b>, Professor, Chairman of SNIC's allocation committee Swedish National Allocations Committee, SNAC: &quot;Calculation time for Alvis phase 2 is now available for all Swedish researchers, also for the large projects that we distribute via SNAC. We were all hesitant when GPU-accelerated systems were introduced a couple of years ago, but we as researchers have learned to relate to this development, not least through special libraries for machine learning, such as Tensorflow, which runs super fast on such systems. Therefore, we are especially happy to now have Alvis in SNIC's computer landscape so that we can also cover this increasing need for GPU-based computer time.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Scott Tease</strong>, Vice President and General Manager of Lenovo’s High Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) business: <span style="background-color:initial">“Lenovo </span><span style="background-color:initial">is grateful to be selected by Chalmers University of Technology for the Alvis project.  Alvis will power cutting-edge research across diverse areas from Material Science to Energy, from Health care to Nano and beyond. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Alvis is truly unique, built on the premise of different architectures for different workloads.</span></div> <div>Alvis leverages Lenovo’s NeptuneTM liquid cooling technologies to deliver unparalleled compute efficiency.  Chalmers has chosen to implement multiple, different Lenovo ThinkSystem servers to deliver the right NVIDIA GPU to their users, but in a way that prioritizes energy savings and workload balance, instead of just throwing more underutilized GPUs into the mix. Using our ThinkSystem SD650-N V2 to deliver the power of NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs with highly efficient direct water cooling, and our ThinkSystem SR670 V2 for NVIDIA A40 and T4 GPUs, combined with a high-speed storage infrastructure,  Chalmers users have over 260,000 processing cores and over 800 TFLOPS of compute power to drive a faster time to answer in their research.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx">SEE INAUGURATION PROGRAMME​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Jenny Palm</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</em></div> <div><em>​<br /></em></div> <div><em><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/750x422_Alvis_infrastructure_3_220210.png" alt="Overview computor" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:386px" /><br /><br /><br /></em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> ​Sun, 13 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100​​Long-awaited breakthrough for fusion energy<p><b>After twenty years of research and preparation, a major European investment in fusion energy has come to fruition. At a temperature of over 100 million degrees, the researchers at the JET fusion plant in Oxford, UK recently broke the record for the creation of fusion energy – and thus took a major step on the road to fusion as a clean and emission-free energy source for the future.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">&quot;These are very important results that show that we have a solid foundation to build on. The record confirms what we have predicted in our models, at the same time as it gives us new knowledge that we can benefit from in the future&quot;, says Pär Strand, professor at Chalmers, part of the research collaboration project Eurofusion, and with long experience of fusion energy research.</p> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P">The model for fusion energy is the sun, where large amounts of energy are released when light atoms join and form a new atom through fusion. But to bring about fusion on Earth, the atoms need to be heated to temperatures above 100 million degrees and controlled for a sufficiently long time. No materials can withstand such temperatures, so the resarchers at JET instead uses magnetic fields instead to keep the super heated gas – called plasma – in place in the reactor. The technology has been developed for a long time and now follows a clearly defined path to create clean energy on a large scale.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>The record result will be presented at an international press conference on February 9, 2022.</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>In the current experiment, 0.17 milligrams of fuel was used to create 59 megajoules of energy. </span><span>In comparison, fossil fuels would have required 10 million times more fuel to generate the same amount of energy (1.06 kg of natural gas or 3.9 kg of lignite coal). </span><span>This comparison highlights the power of the fusion reaction.</span><span>​</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">European research network behind the record</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The researchers in Fusion Plasma Physics at the Department of Space, Earth and Energy at Chalmers are part of a network of 4,800 people at 150 universities and companies working with fusion. At Chalmers, the focus is on the theoretical part of the research, working on modeling and simulation of fusion plasmas. The record experiment was the result of a long effort in which researchers have rebuilt the JET reactor to be able to handle the plasma form of the fuel. The fuel is called DT after the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium, and it is the same fuel that will be used in the next generations of reactors, next to the ITER reactor, which is currently being built in France which with its superconducting magnetic systems does not have the same limitations as JET.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>&quot;We have been able to learn a lot</span><span> about how DT plasmas work and what the conditions in the reactor will look like during the merger. We can benefit from this for future experiments at ITER,&quot; says Pär Strand.</span></p></div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>&quot;For Swedish fusion research, this is important, not only for the researchers who have been directly involved in the experiments. The availability of unique new results means that we can test and validate models and tools in new parameter areas, which is very relevant for the research and development we do in collaboration with the organization around ITER.&quot;</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The technology is ready to be scaled up</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The amount of heat energy produced in the experiment - 59 Megajoules - is  not the most important part, but rather that the reactor kept a steady and high energy level for the five seconds it was designed for. So in terms of research, the scientific goal of JET has been achieved and the technology will be scaled up in the much larger facility ITER, which is currently being constructed in the south of France, with the goal of demonstrating the net effect of plasma.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>&quot;If we can maintain fusion for five seconds, we can do it for five minutes and then five hours as we scale up our operations in future machines.  </span><span>This is a big moment for every one of us and the entire fusion community. Crucially, the operational experience we’ve gained under realistic conditions gives us great confidence for the next stage&quot;, sa</span><span>ys Tony Donné, CEO of the international research program EUROfusion, the coordinated European investment in fusion energy .</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">After ITER, the plan is to build the even larger EU DEMO reactor, the last in a series of planned research facilities. DEMO will supply energy to the electricity grid and prove that fusion energy can be created in commercially viable quantities. It is planned to be ready after 2050.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">&quot;It is easy to become impatient, but we must take one step at a time on the roadmap that is set out to have a safe and efficient way of dealing with the global energy crisis. At the same time, parts of the development are progressing rapidly. For example, the capacity of the magnetic field that holds the plasma in place has tripled. Both are good for DEMO, although the efficiency of a reactor does not depend on the capacity of the magnetic field.&quot;</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>More information</span><span>: </span><span> </span></h3></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the international press release from UK Atomic Energy Authority​</a><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about the <a href="">eEuropean collaboration project Eurofusion​</a>. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about <a href="">JET – Joint European Torus​</a>. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about ​<a href="">ITER – International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor</a>. </div></div> ​Wed, 09 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100 summer course focusing on emissions from transportation<p><b>​​Emissions from traffic cause great damage to both the environment as well as human health. Chalmers’ new summer course &quot;Emissions from transportation&quot; wishes to equip society – students, engineers and politicians – with better knowledge on how to build a sustainable transport system for the future. </b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Today, the transport system is absolutely vital for our society to function. At the same time, it’s necessary to minimize the harmful effects that the transport system has on the environment and human health. However, a future sustainable transport system requires a broad understanding of transport technology and its emissions. That is why Chalmers now launches a new summer course that provides an introduction to current transport technology and the various impacts from emissions.</span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Personal/Jonas%20Sjöblom%20NYNY.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:200px;width:200px" /></span><div>&quot;This course is about air pollution that in Sweden alone causes nearly 8000 premature deaths – every year! Like half a pandemic, but continuously! Although the knowledge exists, far too little is done in this area. What we can do is to educate as many people as possible in the basics of emissions from transportation. It’s a very broad area, but very interesting,&quot; says Jonas Sjöblom, coordinator for the course.<br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">An interdisciplinary approach to societal problems</h2> <div>&quot;Emissions from transportation&quot; is an interdisciplinary course and is based on the so-called Tracks pedagogy, which gives participants the opportunity to gain new knowledge by tackling real and socially important problems together with project-based working methods. It’s a freestanding course and doesn’t require any programme enrollment, which opens up for a wider group of people to apply.<br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;Society is transforming at an extremely fast pace and we need to make sure to keep the course content up to date. This course enables for lifelong learning and for competence development in several areas for students and PhD students, as well as for engineers, high school teachers and policy-makers,&quot; says Jonas.<br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Relevant to many</h2> <div>The course is held remotely and consists of pre-recorded lectures given by no less than 16 guest lecturers who will contribute with state-of-the-art knowledge and perspectives, most of whom belong to the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. Course coordinator Jonas Sjöblom, associate professor in Combustion and Propulsion Systems at the department, believes that the course content is beneficial to many, regardless of background.<br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;As an undergraduate student, you should take this course to better understand the world and to get inspired to continue studying. As a PhD student, you should take this course as a way to broaden your research, given that it’s related to transport. As a citizen, you should take this course for lifelong learning, as competence development or just because it’s interesting and fun!&quot;<br /><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">&quot;Emissions from transport&quot;</span> contains four blocks connected to air pollution:<br /><br /></div> <div>• The energy and transport system</div> <div>• Energy carriers (fuels, batteries)</div> <div>• Energy converters (especially internal combustion engines)</div> <div>• Social impact<br /><br /></div> <div>The course also includes a practical laboratory and a project that covers all four subject blocks. </div> <div>Application will be open from <strong>18 February</strong> to <span><strong>March 15</strong>, but will be kept open until the course is full.  </span><br /><br /></div> <div>Further information about the course and its content, as well as how to apply <a href="/en/education/continuing-education/Pages/Summer-courses.aspx">can be found here</a>.​ </div> <div>If you have questions about the course, please get in contact with course coordinator Jonas Sjöblom at <a href="">​</a><br /><br />The course is also offered within the framwork for Tracks: <br /><a href="">​</a><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: Lovisa Håkanson​</span><br /></div></div>Wed, 09 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100 reveals the positives of working less<p><b>​New research from Swedish universities reveals some unexpected findings around working shorter hours. In 2015 the city authority of Gothenburg, Sweden, took the unique decision to extend the right to part-time working to all employees, for any reason. The move has now been analysed in a new research project that reveals how the change led to benefits for employees – but also for managers.  </b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The new sustainability analysis of shorter working hours builds upon a survey of 1000 Gothenburg city employees who had a full-time contract, but who had chosen the option of reduced working hours, despite the  reduced salary. Previous to 2015, only students or parents of young children had the statutory right to do so. </span><div><br /><div>Though some participants did report stress related to financial worries, overall, the vast majority who reduced their working hours experienced increased well-being with a better work-life balance and improved health. The research project also looked at managers' experiences of having employees working part-time and found that they were in general very positive.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Jörgen-Larsson-220117-220.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:190px;height:225px" />“We were surprised that managers viewed part-time work so positively as well. Essentially, their view was that what was good for the employee was also good for the organisation,” says Jörgen Larsson, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, who led the multidisciplinary research project between Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among the benefits identified were reduced risk of sick leave and better retention of employees. These advantages were perceived as more obvious than the disadvantages in the form of difficulties with staffing and finding times for collaborative work and meetings. <span style="background-color:initial">One of the key aims of the project was to look at what motivated people to choose reduced hours.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The most common reason was simply that the full-time job was too mentally or physically demanding. Many have such demanding jobs, and sometimes also  poor health, that they feel they must reduce their hours. In order to deal with this form of involuntary part-time work, it is important that the work environment is generally improved and that the requirements are individually adapted,” says Jörgen Larsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Some of those who reduced their hours wanted better ‘time autonomy’, meaning more freedom to shape  their everyday life, such as spending more time with family, friends and hobbies, but these purely voluntary part-time motives were less common. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study sheds new light on ideas for sustainable living in the modern era, including from an environmental perspective. The researchers note, for example, how shorter working hours can even increase the opportunities to adopt sustainable habits such as shopping for second-hand items or sharing goods. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>  “The 40-hour working week in Sweden, which was established as the standard working hours 50 years ago, is deeply rooted in our society. Choosing to work less is viewed upon as a norm-breaking behaviour. But this study offers another perspective,” says Jörgen Larsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="">The new report can be downloaded here (only available in Swedish)</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the research project in a previous scientific article in Scandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology: <span style="background-color:initial">“</span><a href="">Choosing to Work Part-Time – Combinations of Motives and the Role of Preferences and Constraints</a><span style="background-color:initial">”.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:inherit;color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-size:16px;font-weight:600"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:inherit;color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-size:16px;font-weight:600">​</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:inherit;color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-size:16px;font-weight:600">For more information, contact</span></div></div></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/jorgen-larsson.aspx">Jörgen Larsson</a><span style="background-color:initial">, Associate Professor and researcher in sustainable consumption, Department of  Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Photos: Sara Larsson / Chalmers</span></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 18 Jan 2022 07:00:00 +0100 the way for Sweden's climate transition<p><b>​By 2045, Sweden will have net-zero emissions. The technology needed to get there is well known and the cost is often marginal at the consumer level. Still, the transition is far too slow. On 3 January, the research program Mistra Carbon Exit released a report with important lessons that need to be considered if we are to accelerate climate action and ensure that change reaches all parts of society.</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Filip_Johnsson_170.jpg" alt="Filip Johnsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />–<span style="background-color:initial"> The decisions and measures taken during this decade will be of crucial importance if Sweden is to have a chance of achieving net zero emissions by 2045. The whole society needs to be involved in the adjustment work, in all sectors and at all levels, including companies, municipalities and consumers, says Filip Johnsson, Vice Program Director for Mistra Carbon Exit and Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>The report</strong> <em>Accelerating the Climate Transition - Mistra Carbon Exit Key Messages, describes</em> how Sweden can achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2045, from technical possibilities and challenges to how behaviors, regulation and policy instruments affect the transition.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We know what technology is needed for Sweden to reach net zero emissions by 2045. We also see that the costs of taking away emissions can be high at the producer level, but in the consumer level in most cases marginal. The challenge lies above all in the fact that it is still too cheap to emit carbon dioxide, says Lars Zetterberg, Program Director for Mistra Carbon Exit and researcher at IVL Swedish Environmental Institute.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/Lars-Zetterberg_mistra_00268-(1)_.jpg" alt="Lars Zetterberg IVL" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />Th</span><span style="background-color:initial">e report also addresses how climate change risks having a negative impact on other sustainability goals, such as biodiversity and job opportunities.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Some jobs may disappear, and it can affect different sparsely populated areas and urban areas. But the change will also mean several opportunities, such as improved air quality and the creation of new jobs, which is already noticeable in northern Sweden with investments in battery factories and low-carbon steel, says Lars Zetterberg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The report provides examples of several advances in climate work. The costs for wind and solar power have fallen dramatically, sales of electric vehicles are increasing faster than expected and the willingness to participate in the conversion is great, both among companies and citizens.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– There is no lack of will to innovate and initiative. But if we are to be able to reduce emissions quickly enough to achieve the climate goals, the work must accelerate further, says Filip Johnsson, Deputy Program Manager for Mistra Carbon Exit and Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>- The decisions and measures taken during this decade will be of crucial importance if Sweden is to have a chance of achieving net zero emissions by 2045. The whole society needs to be involved in the change process, in all sectors and at all levels, including companies, municipalities and consumers, says Filip Johnsson​.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Download the report:</strong> <a href="">Accelerating the Climate Transition - Key Messages from Mistra Carbon Exit Pdf, 6 MB.</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Related:<br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />IVL</a><br /></strong><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Mistra Carbon Exit<br /><span style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-weight:300">​</span><br />​</a><br /></div> Tue, 04 Jan 2022 00:00:00 +0100' secret embraces revealed by Alma<p><b>​Unlike our Sun, most stars live with a companion. Sometimes, two come so close that one engulfs the other - with far-reaching consequences. When a Chalmers-led team of astronomers used the telescope Alma to study 15 unusual stars, they were surprised to find that they all recently underwent this phase. The discovery promises new insight on the sky's most dramatic phenomena – and on life, death and rebirth among the stars.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Using the gigantic telescope Alma in Chile, a Chalmers-led team of scientists studied 15 unusual stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way, the closest 5000 light years from Earth. Their measurements show that all the stars are double, and all have recently experienced a rare phase that is poorly understood, but is believed to lead to many other astronomical phenomena. Their results are published this week in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.</span><div><br /></div> <div>By directing the antennas of Alma towards each star and measuring light from different molecules in close to each star, the researchers hoped to find clues to their backstories. Nicknamed “water fountains”, these stars were known to astronomers because of intense light from water molecules – produced by unusually dense and fast-moving gas.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Located 5000 m above sea level in Chile, the Alma is sensitive to light with wavelengths around one millimetre, invisible to human eyes, but ideal for looking through the Milky Way’s layers of dusty interstellar clouds towards dust-enshrouded stars.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We were extra curious about these stars because they seem to be blowing out quantities of dust and gas into space, some in the form of jets with speeds up to 1.8 million kilometres per hour. We thought we might find clues to how the jets were being created, but instead we found much more than that&quot;, says Theo Khouri, first author of the new study.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Stars losing up to half their total mass</strong><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div>The scientists used the telescope to measure signatures of carbon monoxide molecules, CO, in the light from the stars, and compared signals from different atoms (isotopes) of carbon and oxygen. Unlike its sister molecule carbon dioxide, CO2, carbon monoxide is relatively easy to discover in space, and is a favourite tool for astronomers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Thanks to Alma's exquisite sensitivity, we were able to detect the very faint signals from several different molecules in the gas ejected by these stars. When we looked closely at the data, we saw details that we really weren't expecting to see&quot;, says Theo Khouri.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The observations confirmed that the stars were all blowing off their outer layers. But the proportions of the different oxygen atoms in the molecules indicated that the stars were in another respect not as extreme as they had seemed, explains team member Wouter Vlemmings, astronomer at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We realised that these stars started their lives with the same mass as the Sun, or only a few times more. Now our measurements showed that they have ejected up to 50% of their total mass, just in the last few hundred years. Something really dramatic must have happened to them&quot;, he says.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/WaterFountains_DanielleFutselaar_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Why were such small stars losing so much mass so quickly? The evidence all pointed to one explanation, the scientists concluded. These were all double stars, and they had all just been through a phase in which the two stars shared the same atmosphere - one star entirely embraced by the other. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;In this phase, the two stars orbit together in a sort of cocoon. This phase, we call it a &quot;common envelope” phase, is really brief, and only lasts a few hundred years. In astronomical terms, it’s over in the blink of an eye&quot;, says team member Daniel Tafoya.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Most stars in binary systems simply orbit around a common centre of mass. These stars, however, share the same atmosphere. It can be a life-changing experience for a star, and may even lead to the stars merging completely. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Clues to the future</strong></div> <div>Scientists believe that this sort of intimate episode can lead to some of the sky's most spectacular phenomena. Understanding how it happens could help answer some of astronomers' biggest questions about how stars live and die, Theo Khouri explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;What happens to cause a supernova explosion? How do black holes get close enough to collide? What makes the beautiful and symmetric objects we call planetary nebulae? Astronomers have suspected for many years that common envelopes are part of the answers to questions like these. Now we have a new way of studying this momentous but mysterious phase&quot;, he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Understanding the common envelope phase will also help scientists study what will happen in the very distant future, when the Sun too will become a bigger, cooler star – a red giant – and engulf the innermost planets.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our research will help us understand how that might happen, but it gives me another, more hopeful perspective. When these stars embrace, they send dust and gas out into space that can become the ingredients for coming generations of stars and planets, and with them the potential for new life”, says Daniel Tafoya.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/W43A_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /></div> <div>Since the 15 stars seem to be evolving on a human timescale, the team plan to keep monitoring them with Alma and with other radio telescopes. With the future telescopes of the SKA Observatory, they hope to study how the stars form their jets and change their surroundings. They also hope to find more – if there are any.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Actually, we think the known &quot;water fountains” could be almost all the systems of their kind in the whole of our galaxy. If that's true, then these stars really are the key to understanding the strangest, most wonderful and most important process that two stars can experience in their lives together&quot;, concludes Theo Khouri.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Press release in Spanish from ALMA Observatory</a></div> <div><a href="">Press release in Spanish from CSIC (Spain)​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Images</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>A (top) - A pair of stars at the start of a common envelope phase. In this artist's impression, we get a view from very close to a binary system in which two stars have just started to share the same atmosphere. The bigger star, a red giant star, has provided a huge, cool, atmosphere which only just holds together. The smaller star orbits ever faster round the stars' centre of mass, spinning on its own axis and interacting in dramatic fashion with its new surroundings. the interaction creates powerful jets that throw out gas from its poles, and a slower-moving ring of material at its equator.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">Image credit: Danielle Futselaar, <a href="">​</a></em><br /></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial"><a href="">Link to high-resolution image (TIFF)​</a></em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>B – Alma’s image of water-fountain star system W43A, which lies about 7000 light years from Earth in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. The double star at its centre is much too small to be resolved in this image. However, Alma’s measurements show the stars’ interaction has changed its immediate environment. The two jets ejected from the central stars are seen in blue (approaching us) and red (receding). Dusty clouds entrained by the jets are shown in pink.</em></span></div> <em> </em><div><em>Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), D. Tafoya et al.</em></div> <div><em><a href="">Link to high-resolution image (JPEG)</a></em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research, and about Alma</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is published in the paper “Observational identification of a sample of likely recent Common-Envelope Events” in <a href="">Nature Astronomy</a>, by Theo Khouri (Chalmers), Wouter H. T. Vlemmings (Chalmers), Daniel Tafoya (Chalmers), Andrés F. Pérez-Sánchez (Leiden University, Netherlands), Carmen Sánchez Contreras (Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Spain), José F. Gómez (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Spain), Hiroshi Imai (Kagoshima University, Japan) and Raghvendra Sahai (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Link to science paper at Nature Astronomy: <a href="">​</a><span></span><span></span></div> <div>Shareable link to the science paper: <a href=""></a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Alma (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is 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 Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). </div> <div>Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory have been involved in Alma since its inception; receivers for the telescope are one of many contributions. Onsala Space Observatory is host to the Nordic Alma Regional Centre, which provides technical expertise to the Alma project and supports astronomers in the Nordic countries in using Alma.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 31 772 5500, +46 70 49 33 114,</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Theo Khouri, astronomer, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers, +46 760 958023,</div> ​Thu, 16 Dec 2021 17:00:00 +0100 at the centre of EU deforestation proposals<p><b>​In its new proposal aimed at reducing tropical deforestation, the European Commission has wrongly left out certain goods which make a significant contribution. This is the view of the researchers behind some of the data on which the Commission based its proposal. The proposed legislation places demands on those who import and sell beef, coffee, cocoa, wood, palm oil and soybeans to the EU. But rubber and maize should also be on the list, according to Martin Persson and Florence Pendrill at Chalmers University of Technology.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Previous research from Chalmers has shown that the EU has a great responsibility for tropical deforestation. EU imports of products such as palm oil and soy cause around 200,000 hectares of tropical deforestation annually. Now, the European Commission is proposing ambitious legislation to halt the EU's contribution to deforestation.</span><div><br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Martin-Florence.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“In order to determine which products are to be covered by the legislation, the Commission has used our data on how EU imports of agricultural products contribute to deforestation. The only problem is that they have used our data incorrectly and therefore excluded maize and rubber, despite the fact that those products also contribute significantly to deforestation,” explains Martin Persson, who together with colleague Florence Pendrill works at the Division of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Commission has concluded that restrictions on rubber and maize would entail high costs while achieving a relatively small effect on deforestation, compared to the other six products on the list. But this conclusion is built on a flawed comparison – the Chalmers data on deforestation only concerns EU imports of unprocessed natural rubber, but in their calculations of the costs, the Commission have also included processed, recycled, and synthetic rubber, which then yields a  misleading cost-effectiveness ratio.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition, import data from the period 2008–2017 has been used, while the data relating to deforestation come from a much shorter period, 2015–2019.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“When we correct the calculations and instead compare the value of the import flows that correspond to the goods included in our deforestation analysis – during the same time period – there is no longer any significant difference between the different goods, and therefore we see no reason for the legislation to exclude rubber and maize,” says Martin Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To address this oversight, Martin Persson, Florence Pendrill and his colleague Thomas Kastner at Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center wrote a <a href="">policy brief in which they addressed the miscalculations</a>.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">The policy brief was picked up by the British newspaper The Guardian</a>, who also published <a href="">EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius’ response to the criticism</a>. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen</em></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Photo: Matt Zimmerman. Portraits: Anna-Lena Lundqvist/Chalmers</em></span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Read more:  </span></h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="">​New Focali policy brief: Flawed numbers underpin recommendations to exclude commodities from EU deforestation legislation</a>  </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Previous articles about </span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">​</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Martin and Florence’s research at</span><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/How-the-EU-can-reduce-its-impact-on-tropical-deforestation.aspx">How the EU can reduce its impact on tropical deforestation</a> <br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/EU-consumption-plays-major-role-in-tropical-deforestation.aspx">EU consumption linked to tropical deforestation</a> <br /></div> <div><br /></div></div>Wed, 24 Nov 2021 11:00:00 +0100