Preposterous Universe

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Young Scholars Competition

Buckets of money being offered to young physicists by the Templeton Foundation. I've sort of removed myself from the running, leaving the door open to other enterprising youngsters who might want to enter the competition.
CONTACT: Julia Loving
215/789-2207, loving@metanexus.net

Prizes for bold and creative ideas, insights, innovations and inventions in physics.

PHILADELPHIA, USA...The Amazing Light Young Scholars Competition offers more than $100,000 in cash awards to "young" physics researchers under age 40 who are creating innovations in physics, inventing powerful new instruments for probing the nature of reality, developing new insights and inventions, and formulating bold and innovative ideas in physics. The competition is one part of a high-level international symposium, Amazing Light: Visions for Discovery that honors Nobel Laureate Charles Townes, inventor of the laser. The symposium will be held October 6-8, 2005, at the University of California, Berkeley.

Eighteen finalists will be invited to the symposium for presentation of their research. In addition to having all travel and conference expenses paid, nine will receive cash awards-three 1st prizes at $20,000, three 2nd prizes at $10,000, and three 3rd prizes at $5,000. The deadline for submitting entries is June 30, 2005; entries require a cover letter, abstract, short paper (2,500 words), and biosketch, submitted to young.scholars@metanexus.net . All details for entering the competition, including judging criteria and a downloadable PDF are available at the conference Web site www.foundationalquestions.net/townes/ysc.

Entries must align with one of three topical areas:
1. Research yielding powerful new insights and innovative concepts based primarily on quantum mechanics
2. Research yielding profound new insights and perspectives toward answering "really big questions" in astrophysics, cosmology, and physics-related interdisciplinary research areas engaging with biophysics, physical chemistry, electronics, quantum computing, etc.
3. Technological innovation linked with new deep physical insights generating powerful, innovative new physics-related technologies and specific inventions

Amazing Light: Visions for Discovery is focused on exploring and advancing the future of innovative research in physics. The major themes for the three-day symposium were inspired by and derived from Professor Townes' ideas and questions explored through his lifetime of research. In particular, the program will focus on the challenge of producing powerful new technologies that-like the laser for which Charles Townes won the Nobel Prize-may generate opportunities to open up whole new domains of advancement in experimental physics. Conference attendees will include distinguished research leaders from around the world whose work is focused on the challenges of exploring the deep structure of reality and the technological potentialities for investigating nature in the coming decades.

Amazing Light is hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and other corporate and foundation contributors, and administered by Metanexus Institute. Some Young Scholars Competition prizes have been sponsored by Research Corporation of Tucson, Arizona. In addition to the Young Scholars Competition and the three-day symposium, the Amazing Light project also includes the Amazing Light Laser Challenge Web site competition, the publication of an academic volume arising from conference proceedings, a gala celebration honoring Professor Townes, and the launch of a major multi-year research project into foundational questions in physics and cosmology. Details of the project, including registration information, are available at www.foundationalquestions.net/townes.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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