Global Scholars launch projects on women in science, quantum mechanics by the stars

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CIFAR researchers will test quantum mechanics by starlight and investigate the challenges of women in science in two collaborative projects launched through the Global Scholar Creativity Fund.

Members of the Global Academy competed for $5000 in funding to support an interdisciplinary project centred around an important research question. The winning two projects involve 11 global scholars and alumni from Canada and abroad.

The project Women in Science will explore the difficulties of women striving for an academic career, particularly as they try to move from postdoctoral studies to faculty positions at universities — a transition that often takes place during the point in their lives when they are also starting families. Collaborators include:

  • Margaret Frye (Harvard University), Successful Societies program

  • Katherine Greenaway (University of Queensland), Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being program

  • Maya Bhatia (University of British Columbia), Integrated Microbial Biodiversity program

  • Anne Broadbent (University of Ottawa), Quantum Information Science program

  • Elena Hassinger (Université de Sherbrooke), Quantum Materials program

  • Else Starkenburg (University of Victoria), Cosmology & Gravity program

  • Vera Tai (University of British Columbia), Integrated Microbial Biodiversity program alumna

  • Renate Ysseldyk (University of Queensland), Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being program alumna

Another project involving members of the Cosmology & Gravity and Quantum Information Science programs will develop a new method to complete the Bell test of quantum mechanics which demonstrates quantum entanglement. The test relies on random decisions made by Alice and Bob, the typical communicators in quantum tests. However, it is very difficult in quantum theory to ensure that Alice and Bob’s decisions are truly random, and not correlated in any way. Using the light from two distant stars that are light years apart as the source of randomness, the researchers hypothesize they can limit this correlation and perhaps complete the first Bell test without any loopholes. Collaborators include:

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