Read a Gravity Essay Today

The Gravity Research Foundation announced its awards for the 2007 essay competition. (Hmm: I think we should have more technical science essays, in more categories, to inform each other about what the big questions and answers are…. and maybe even just for fun (because I’m in a silly mood) -and to make an important point about how vital it is to communicate what we’re up to to each other- have a swanky awards ceremony, with speeches, and music, and an MC, and everything. And of course it should be held somewhere in LA… Like the LA Times Book Awards. It could be held at the same time as (another fantasy): awards we give to our peers for the important task of writing essays, books and other efforts in the service of communicating science to the general public.)

But anyway, you can read all about the winners of this year’s awards here. Nicking a bit of text from the site, here are the top prizes:

  1. $5,000: Symmetries, Horizons, and Black Hole Entropy by S. Carlip; Department of Physics, University of California, Davis.
  2. $1,500: How Black Holes Form in High Energy Collisions by Nemanja Kaloper and John Terning; Department of Physics, University of California, Davis. John Terning describes his essay on his blog.
  3. $1,000: Heavy Ion Collisions and Black Hole Dynamics by Steven S. Gubser; Joseph Henry Laboratories, Princeton University.
  4. $750: How Many Black Holes Fit on the Head of a Pin? by Frederik Denef and Gregory W. Moore; Instituut voor Theoretische Fysica, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium; NHETC and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University.
  5. $500: The Return of a Static Universe and the End of Cosmology by Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer; Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University.

See the site for more details, such as the honourable mentions, and so forth.

In my experience, these are often rather good pieces of writing, which also serve as a resource (via the references, etc) which gives a gateway into the state of the art in some of the thinking on some topic. So for general education, they can be a good start.

You know, taking my own advice, I think I’m going to print one out each day and read it on the bus for the next five days. A good education for myself.


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