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Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | Daily Bulletin

Talking talent: Spring issue of Waterloo Magazine is now live

A message from University Relations.

A new issue of Waterloo Magazine is online now with stories about the many ways our faculty, students and alumni are reimagining the future of work and talent. This special talent issue covers a range of topics including a story about Tre Ford (BA ’22), the first Black quarterback to claim the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canada’s most outstanding university football player. You can also find out about how the Mancini couple has been serving this region’s unemployed and unhoused for more than 40 years.

Learn more about how the new Zero Programs are teaching Waterloo students and alumni to become innovators — while they keep their day jobs. In a story about how Waterloo produces so many founders, we learn that the vast majority of founders in North America have university degrees.

There is a story about how co-op students are advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Gen Z: Making an impact one co-op term at a time. We also learn about alumni using their co-op experiences to shape how they mentor young talent.

Please share these and other magazine stories using #WaterlooMagazine and #UWaterlooAlumni.

Waterloo research goes to warp speed

An illustration of a ship going into warp speed.

This article was originally published in Waterloo News.

A major hurdle for work at the forefront of fundamental physics is the inability to test cutting-edge theories in a laboratory setting. But a recent discovery opens the door for scientists to see ideas in action that were previously only understood in theory or represented in science fiction.

One such theory is on the Unruh effect. When astronauts in a spacecraft undergo super strong acceleration and see the light of stars stream by, then the Unruh effect is an additional warm glow on top of the streaming light. First predicted by Canadian physicist Bill Unruh, this effect is closely related to the glow from black holes predicted by Stephen Hawking. This is because black holes strongly accelerate everything towards them.

“Black holes are believed to be not entirely black,” says Barbara Šoda, a PhD student in physics at the University of Waterloo. “Instead, as Stephen Hawking discovered, black holes should emit radiation. This is because, while nothing else can escape a black hole, quantum fluctuations of radiation can.”

Similar to how the Hawking effect needs a black hole, the Unruh effect requires enormous accelerations to produce a significant glow. The Unruh effect was therefore thought to be so weak that it would be impossible to measure with the accelerations that can be achieved in experiments with current technology.

The research team found an innovative way to experiment on the Unruh effect through a novel use of high-intensity lasers. They discovered that shining a high-intensity laser on an accelerated particle can amplify the Unruh effect so much that it actually becomes measurable.

In an unexpected twist, the team also discovered that by delicately balancing acceleration and deceleration, one should even be able to make accelerated matter transparent.

The ability to experiment on the Unruh effect as well as on the new phenomenon of acceleration-induced transparency provide a big boost for physicists, who have long been searching for ways to unify Einstein’s theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics.

“The theory of general relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics are currently still somewhat at odds, but there has to be an unifying theory that describes how things function in the universe,” says co-author Achim Kempf, a professor of applied mathematics and member of the Institute for Quantum Computing at Waterloo. “We’ve been looking for a way to unite these two big theories, and this work is helping to move us closer by opening up opportunities for testing new theories against experiments.”

The team is now setting out to conduct further laboratory experiments. They are also excited by the impacts of the research on some of the fundamental questions about physics and the nature of the universe.

“For over 40 years, experiments have been hindered by an inability to explore the interface of quantum mechanics and gravity,” says co-author Vivishek Sudhir, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an affiliate of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). “We have here a viable option to explore this interface in a laboratory setting. If we can figure out some of these big questions, it could change everything.”

The new paper by Šoda, Sudhir and Kempf, “Acceleration-induced effects in stimulated light-matter interactions,” is published in the latest edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

EDI consultation interviews extended to June 3

People in a meeting.

A message from the Office of Research.

One-on-one interviews with Canadian Equality Consulting (CEC) have been extended to June 3.

As per a previous Daily Bulletin story, the Office of Research has contracted the services of CEC to develop an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) focused strategy for engagement researcher in the University’s commercialization of research and industry-sponsored contract research activities.

CEC is currently in 30-minute do-minute confidential consultations the form of one-on-one confidential interviews with researchers (culty, graduate fellows, and research associates) who identify as a member of an equity-deserving group and have participated in, are currently engaged in, or interested in industry-sponsored contract research and commercialization activities.

Specifically, CEC aims to identify barriers and challenges faced by women, people beyond the gender binary, 2SLGBTQ+, Indigenous Peoples, people from racialized communities, and persons with disabilities. The interview is an opportunity for each participant to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences in a confidential, supportive and safe space. (No one from the University will be present nor will the interview be recorded.)

If you would like to participate in a consultation, please sign up for an interview timeslot.

TD Walter Bean Professor to visit campus for a meet and greet

TD Walter Bean Visiting Professor banner with Professor Amber Wutich.

A message from the Faculty of Environment.

This year’s TD Walter Bean Visiting Professor, Dr. Amber Wutich, will be visiting the University of Waterloo from Monday, June 6 until Friday, June 10.

In addition to Dr. Wutich’s public lecture, the Faculty of Environment has coordinated meeting opportunities (luncheon and coffee sessions) for graduate students and faculty members to meet with Dr. Witch.

Reminder: Campus Wellness has a new number and other notable notes

The Health Services building.

You may have missed this announcement in the hubbub of preparing for a long weekend, so here it is again. Booking an appointment for Campus Wellness services is going to become easier, since as of Friday, May 20, Campus Wellness will only have one phone number: 519-888-4096.

“In the past, Campus Wellness had separate phone numbers for Health Services and Counselling Services,” says a note from Campus Wellness. “Students have shared that when they are seeking help, having to navigate multiple numbers and lists of services creates unnecessary complications and can sometimes delay their access to the services they really need. With the switch to one number, Campus Wellness will have new options to direct callers to Health Services, Counselling Services, Specialized Care, Occupational Health, as well as Referrals, our Cashier, and appointment cancellations.This change seeks to provide a single point of contact for students in order to serve them better. only need to call one phone number to get timely and accurate assistance.”

Master of Taxation Info Session Banner.

Master of Taxation Virtual Information Sessions take place today. The full-time virtual info session will be held at 3:00 pm, while the part-time virtual info session is scheduled for 4:00 pm

A person's hands on a computer keyboard.

The Center for Extended Learning (CEL) is hosting an online certificate course entitled Getting Ready to Facilitate Online Courses: TA Training – Spring 2022which will run from Monday, May 30 to June 24.

This 4-week, online certificate course is suitable for any current or future teaching assistant (TA) wishing to build skills and knowledge of best practices in facilitating fully online courses,” says the course description. A TA or preceptor, the insight into online course facilitation and skills developed will build proficiency at all levels up to the instructor role. You will discover how to successfully contribute to the facilitation of an online course, foster student engagement, support student outcomes, and build a sense of community using various forms of interaction. Participants will also learn how to use LEARN LMS tools to create presence and connection, assess student learning and work effectively in their TA/Preceptor role.”

Register on GoSignMeUp. Course registration closes on Friday, May 27.

The Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business will be hosting online webinars entitled Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Information Sessions on Wednesday, May 25, at 10:00 am for its full-time program and at 5:00 pm for its part-time program.

“The Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) is a graduate entrepreneurship master’s program that combines interdisciplinary courses with practical experiences in venture creation and commercialization,” says a note from Conrad. “In MBET, students learn inside and outside the classroom. Networking, practical experience, and hands-on learning with like-minded people in the Waterloo entrepreneurship community complement the core Master’s-level courses inside the classroom.”

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