Minggu, 05 Oktober 2008

Berita dan Kegiatan dari Universitas Cambridge

Disusun dan Ditambah oleh:

Arip Nurahman
Pendidikan Fisika, FPMIPA Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Harvard-MIT Open Course Ware

(Member of Cambridge University Reader in Pace Book)


About IoA

The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) came into being in 1972 by the amalgamation of three institutions which had developed on the site. These were the Cambridge University Observatory which was established in 1823, the Solar Physics Observatory (1912) and the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy (1967).

The IoA is a department of the University of Cambridge and is engaged in teaching and research in the fields of theoretical and observational Astronomy. A wide class of theoretical problems are studied, ranging from models of quasars and of the evolution of the universe, through theories of the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars, X-ray sources and black holes.

Much observational work centres around the use by staff of large telescopes abroad and in space to study quasars, galaxies and the chemical constitution of stars. A programme on the velocities of stars is conducted using the 36-inch telescope in Cambridge. Instrumentation development is also an important area of activity, involving charge coupled devices and detector arrays for rapid recording of very faint light and the design and construction of novel spectrographs.

The Institute comprises about 60 postdoctoral staff, 50 graduate students and 20 support staff. There are close links with the Cavendish Astrophysics Group (formerly the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory) as well as with the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, all of which are conducting complementary research programmes here in Cambridge.

Research at the IoA

The Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit is involved in survey astronomy using ground- and space-based projects for data processing and image analysis.

The aim of the Cambridge And Sloan Survey Of Wide ARcs in the skY (CASSOWARY) is to carry out systematic searches for wide separation (>1.5 arcsec) gravitational lens systems, looking for multiple, blue companions around massive ellipticals in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) object catalogue.

Computational Cosmology research covers a vast array of physical phenomena, spanning a huge range of astrophysical scales and epochs - from the present day properties of the Universe going back in time to the surface of the last scattering.

Galaxy Evolution observational reseach covers galaxies and the inter-galactic medicum from the local volume out to the highest redshifts, and using wavelengths spanning the complete electro-magnetic spectrum.

Helioseismology researches many aspects of the Sun in terms of theory and by analysis and interpretation of the latest observational data.

The Local Volume Legacy Survey provides a Spitzer Cycle 4 IRAC and MIPS Legacy survey of a complete sample of 258 galaxies within 11 Mpc.

The work of the Lucky Imaging Group is directed towards the design and construction of systems for imaging and spectroscopy on ground-based telescopes with an angular resolution much higher than achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope, for example. More details can be found on the Lucky Imaging Website.

Planet Detection research involves the monitoring of open clusters and star forming regions with large format CCD cameras with the aim to discover young planets and brown dwarfs in orbit around these objects, as well as to measure their rotation periods.

Planetary Formation Systems research studies the formation of planetary systems from the disk debris around candidate main sequence stars.

N-Body Simulation research uses two special-purpose GRAPE computers for direct for N-body simulations in modelling open and globular star clusters. A fast graphics card (GPU) has been implemented on a PC, giving equivalent performance for modest cost.

Stellar Evolution research spans all aspects of stellar evolution the main themes currently are: binary stars, magnetic fields, stellar winds, supernova progenitors, progenitors of gamma-ray bursts, spectral synthesis of resolved and unresolved stellar populations and asymptotic-giant branch stars.

Stellar Populations research spans planetary to Local Group scales, including dark matter, dwarf galaxies, the Milky Way, star clusters, hot and cool stars and exo-planets.

The long-standing project of Stellar Radial Velocities and Binary-Star Orbit Determination are made using The IoA 36-inch telescope.

X-ray research interests include multi-wavelength analysis, interpretation and theoretical study of Clusters of Galaxies, AGN, Elliptical Galaxies, the X-ray background, and Pulsars.

2008 Kavli Institute for Cosmology Cambridge

In August 2006 agreement was reached between the University of Cambridge and the Kavli Foundation for the establishment of a Kavli Institute for Cosmology. The funds provided by the Kavli Foundation will support several 5-year senior research fellowships in perpetuity. In turn the University has committed to provide a building of around 1,000m2 to accommodate the Kavli Institute.

The Institute will commence operation in October 2008 with the appointment of the first Kavli Institute Fellows. The new building is due for completion and occupation in April 2009.

Iridescence enables bees to view flowers in different colours

1 January 2009

Bees see some flowers in multicolour because of previously unknown iridescence of the petals, usually invisible to the human eye, researchers from the University of Cambridge report this week in Science.

Iridescence is used by insects, birds, fish, and reptiles for species recognition and mate selection. However, this is the first time that it has been shown that plants use iridescence to attract pollinators. Bees see an iridescent flower in different colours depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

The research, led by Beverley Glover from the University of Cambridge, shows that flowers use the same physical structure that makes compact discs iridescent. Flowers were previously believed only to use chemical colours, where a pigment absorbs all wavelengths except a few, giving them their apparent colour.

Iridescence, where a surface appears in different colours depending on the angle from which it is viewed, can only be generated structurally (not through chemical colours).

Because most of the petal iridescence measured is at the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, which insects can see but humans cannot, this raises the intriguing possibility that many flowers are actually iridescent although they do not appear so to the human eye.

Dr Glover said: "Our initial survey of plants suggests that iridescence may be very widespread. From gardening to agriculture, flowers and their pollinators play an enormously important role in our daily lives, and it is intriguing to realise that they are signalling to each other with flashing multicolours that we simply can't see."

The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as well as from the Cambridge University Research Exchange fund (which aims to promote biology and physics collaborations).

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Winter Wonderland at The Botanic Garden

30 December 2008

Start the New Year with a hands-on family day creating miniature winter gardens and exploring the amazing colours in the winter garden at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden on Saturday 3 January.

During the day children will be able to make a miniature garden on a plate using materials from the Botanic Garden's own winter garden. These will include brightly coloured stems and leaves, along with plasticine, shiny foil, fake ice and snow allowing the childrens' imagination to run riot.

Visitors will be able gain inspiration from the Botanic Garden's own Winter Garden. This has been designed to be at its most beautiful in the winter. It brings together coloured stems, leaves and winter flowers with variations in texture and form. The garden is open to the south allowing the light from the setting sun to flood the valley.

There is no need to book - drop in between 11am - 3pm. The cost is £2 per child for all material plus normal admission for adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Enter via the new kiosk at the Trumpington Road/Bateman Street corner, and follow the signs.

For further information please contact the Education Department at education@botanic.cam.ac.uk or 01223 331 875 or visit the Botanic Garden's website through the sidebar.

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Cambridge astronomer named “Woman of Outstanding Achievement” for 2009

27 December 2008

A Cambridge University outreach officer has received an outstanding achievement award from an institution dedicated to highlighting the work of women in science.

Dr Carolin Crawford, who works in the University's Institute of Astronomy, will be one of six Women of Outstanding Achievement for 2009 - a title awarded by the UK Resource Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).

The organization seeks to significantly improve the participation and position of women working in science, engineering and technology. In the process, it hopes to boost both the future productivity of the UK and the lifetime earnings and career aspirations of women.

As the Institute of Astronomy's outreach officer, Dr Crawford is responsible for communicating the excitement of astronomy and new research in the field to the public. She lectures widely to audiences of all ages on many different astronomical topics including Saturn's moons, black holes and the nature of dark energy.

She also does much to promote the work of women in science, engineering and technology in general, and is a qualified trainer for Springboard - a career and personal development course for undergraduate women at the University of Cambridge.

As a researcher, Dr Crawford's work focuses on working with X-ray, optical and near-infrared data to better understand how massive central cluster galaxies interact with their environment. She is a Fellow and College Lecturer at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

The Institute of Astronomy runs a packed programmed of activities for members of the public who want to know more about the subject. Throughout the winter it runs free open evenings, offering visitors the chance to hear about research in a particular area of astronomy and stargaze through some of the Institute's telescopes. The "Ask An Astronomer" website allows enthusiasts to get expert answers to their questions, while special events are also being planned for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. Full details of all these initiatives and more can be found by clicking on the links to the right of this page.

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Tapping into the creativity and imagination of local children

18 December 2008

Throughout 2009 the University of Cambridge will be working with schools and community groups to celebrate its 800th anniversary, looking back on eight centuries of ideas and achievements and also looking forward to the years to come.

A series of unique celebratory projects and events has been planned including Light Up - Past, Present and Future, creative activities for local schools culminating in presentations in November 2009, and Letters to the Future, a collection of 800 letters written by local school pupils to be archived at the University Library and opened in 100 years' time.

These projects and others will augment regular programmes such as Cambridge Science Festival (9 to 22 March), Open Cambridge and Bridge the Gap charity walk (12 and 13 September) and Cambridge Festival of Ideas (21 October to 1 November).

To set the ball rolling before the New Year, a group of University staff went into a local primary school as volunteers to spend half a day working with 60 ten-year-old children as a pre-Christmas activity that took pupils beyond the curriculum to look at the achievements of those who have studied and worked at Cambridge.

The members of staff, all from External Affairs and Communications, joined the two Year-5 classes at St Matthew's Primary School on Norfolk Street, Cambridge. Pupils were rotated around four different specially devised activities centred on famous Cambridge people, past and present, and the contribution those figures made to our understanding of the world.

The sessions - mosaic making, portrait painting, website design and media interviewing - were designed to engage the children in hands-on activities and creative role play. The children took up the challenge with verve and confidence, producing a wonderful array of artwork by working together in teams - with remarkable accuracy and concentration.

The pupils made an excellent stab at website design and, as part of the media interview session, played characters such as Charles Darwin (complete with bushy white beard) and Isaac Newton (equipped with iconic apple), filling in the gaps in their knowledge with a good dollop of imagination. Year-5 journalist to year-5 Charles Darwin: "So, Charles, why did you collect so many beetles?" Year-5 Charles Darwin to year-5 journalist: "Well, beetles are cheap to keep and they don't take up much space."

A number of University staff showed that they had the X-factor when it came to motivating and engaging with groups of children. "If only every day could be like this. Can you come again tomorrow?" asked one year-5 pupil, wistfully - little realising that the novelty of having 25 adults in the classroom in addition to the usual teaching staff might wear off fairly soon.

Sue Long, Festivals and Outreach Officer with the University's Community Affairs team, who organized the event, said: "The benefits were definitely two-way. It's hugely valuable for us, as members of University staff, particularly those involved in educational and community outreach to be reminded just how keen children are to learn and try something new - and for the children themselves to realize that the University is committed to involving them and values their input."

If you are a teacher or community group, and would like to discuss taking part in any of the 800th anniversary activities for schools and community groups, please contact Sue Long schools800@admin.cam.ac.uk

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Fight against size zero brings top honour for Judge Business School student

26 December 2008

A Judge Business School PhD student who has strived to change the face of the fashion and beauty industries has won a prestigious national award from the Canadian Government.

Ben Barry, has received the Canadian Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case Youth Award. The first man to ever be given this title, Ben received his award from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean at a ceremony in Rideau Hall, Canada (pictured).

The award honours individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in Canada. Ben was nominated for the prestigious award by Tiuu Poder, President, BASE Atlantic, Business Advisory Services and Entrepreneurship.

She said: "There is no more of a deserving recipient for this award than Ben Barry. He is making the most positive impact of anyone I have encountered on women and their self image. Ben is instrumental in affecting a change of societal values of women through both his modelling agency and his research at Judge Business School."

While successfully running his modelling agency, Ben is studying for his PhD on an Ogilvy Foundation Research Grant at Judge Business School. His innovative research: "Why Reflect Reality: An Eight Country Study of the Role and Relevance of Models in Fashion Adverts", is further enabling him to explore what types of models actually generate positive brand attitudes from consumers. In addition he is revealing how women want to be represented in the fashion and beauty industry in Canada and internationally.

Ben's research supervisor at the School, Dr Simon Bell said: "Through his research Ben is able to directly apply his innovative findings to his business and the industry with remarkable success - economically and socially. This process reflects Judge Business School's commitment to a research agenda that combines the highest academic standards with relevance to the needs of the world of commerce."

Ben has strived to change the face of the fashion and beauty industry since the age of fourteen, when he founded the Ben Barry Agency Inc., a modelling agency with a vision of changing public perception of beauty by challenging the size zero paradigm and promoting a healthy attitude towards body diversity. He has had a phenomenal impact on the catwalks of Canada, with his entrepreneurial approach, using 'real' models of all ages, sizes, race, religion and abilities, all hired for their natural physical attributes.

On presenting him with his award The Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean said: "Ben has taken positive, determined action to undo female model stereotypes and redefine society's idea of beauty. This young man has taken an innovative approach to his business while fully assuming his civic responsibility. The fact that a young man is being honoured is a notable first in the history of this award."

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African girls' education charity benefits from University's support

25 December 2008

As part of its 800th Anniversary celebrations, the University of Cambridge has nominated Camfed as its Charity of the Year.

Camfed is an international organisation dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. Founded in 1993 by Ann Cotton and based in Cambridge, the organisation supports nearly 500,000 children and young people across Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana and Tanzania.

During the 800th Anniversary Year, the University will use its position as one of the world's leading educational institutions to raise the profile of Camfed as well as contribute to their fundraising efforts.
The focus of Camfed is on rural areas of Africa, where girls and young women make up the most disadvantaged social group in the world today. They face massive exclusion from education and the opportunities that education provides.

In addition to helping raise the profile of Camfed, the University will also create opportunities for staff and students to contribute to Camfed's fundraising during 2009. Cambridge United FC has donated 1200 tickets for University staff and students for their match on 29 January against Oxford United FC. A nominal charge will be made to staff and all proceeds will be donated to Camfed.

Camfed works with a network of rural schools, enabling them to offer a better learning experience for their students. Government grants to schools often do not cover the most basic needs of students, such as workbooks and textbooks. The work of Camfed helps schools provide for their students, and helps students make the transition to the workforce.

Camfed also has an alumni program, known as Cama, in which young women who have finished their schooling go on to become leaders in their communities, and very often, become supporters of the next generation of Camfed programme participants.

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