New quantum centre in Ontario to probe nature’s deepest and weirdest secrets
+ “It’s pretty tricky, to be honest,” acknowledges Hsieh, a faculty member at the newly created Clay Riddell Centre for Quantum Matter at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont.
+ “It’s kind of a different way of thinking about physics. Quantum matter is a very different philosophy.”
Quantum mechanics is what happens to physics when it gets really, really small, said centre director Rob Myers. “When you go to the scale of atoms or even smaller, the rules of how the universe works change.”
+ The centre is the result of a $10-million donation announced this week from the Riddell Family Foundation set up by Clay Riddell, who was a Calgary businessman and philanthropist.
+ It’s the largest single donation since the institute’s founding two decades ago. The money will aid Canadian researchers to probe some of the deepest and strangest properties of the world within the atom — and, maybe, make breakthroughs toward a next generation of supercomputers or impossibly efficient power grids.
+ The value of places such as the new centre is in bringing people together who are looking at similar phenomena from different angles and letting them work things out, Hsieh said. “When you bring together a group of people, you have a lot of inspiration from ways of looking at the same material … a lot of flow of ideas.”
+ The institute and its new Riddell Centre are one of very few places in the world where this kind of work goes on, he said.
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