MIT physicist receives grant for gravity work

Aug 03, 2006

MIT Professor of Physics Xiao-Gang Wen has received a grant from the Foundational Questions Institute to fund his study of the relationship between quantum mechanics and gravity.

Wen is one of 30 researchers to receive funding in the inaugural round of grants awarded by the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi).

FQXi, a new philanthropically funded agency, awards grants to researchers to investigate questions about the deep nature of the universe, including topics such as the fundamental constants of nature, the relationship between quantum mechanics and theories of gravity, the possible existence of other universes, time travel, extraterrestrial life and the ultimate theories of physics.

"Over the past century, scientists have discovered how the universe evolved and revolutionized our understanding of the nature of space and time, matter and energy. We're delighted to help give them a crack at new big questions and to see what they find," said Max Tegmark, MIT associate professor of physics and scientific director of FQXi.

The institute plans to help researchers focus on "big questions" that conventional funding sources are reluctant to support. FQXi is distributing $2 million in grants in its inaugural round. Wen will receive $94,924.

Wen's research focuses on developing a unified understanding of light and gravity. In his proposal, he outlined a plan to find a new organization of particles such that collective motions of newly organized particles correspond to gravitational waves. If successful, the particle system will correspond to a quantum theory of gravity and will solve the long-standing problem of putting gravity and quantum mechanics together.

Source: MIT

Explore further: Information storage for the next generation of plastic computers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Video: How String Theory scaled up

Mar 05, 2014

In August 1984 two physicists arrived at a formula that transformed our understanding of string theory, an achievement now recognised by a major award. Professor Michael Green of the Department of Applied Mathematics and ...

Physics: A fundamental force for future security

Feb 13, 2014

What is matter? What is energy? What holds matter together? How do the various constituents of the universe interact at the most basic level? Where does the Earth sit in relation to the rest of the universe? ...

Recommended for you

How to test the twin paradox without using a spaceship

Apr 16, 2014

Forget about anti-ageing creams and hair treatments. If you want to stay young, get a fast spaceship. That is what Einstein's Theory of Relativity predicted a century ago, and it is commonly known as "twin ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Robotics goes micro-scale

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

Net neutrality balancing act

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...