Gravity Wave "Smoking Gun" Fizzles, According to Case Western Reserve Physics Researchers

Lawrence Krauss

A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University has found that gravitational radiation—widely expected to provide "smoking gun" proof for a theory of the early universe known as "inflation"—can be produced by another mechanism.

According to physics scholars, inflation theory proposes that the universe underwent a period of exponential expansion right after the big bang. A key prediction of inflation theory is the presence of a particular spectrum of "gravitational radiation"—ripples in the fabric of space-time that are notoriously difficult to detect but believed to exist nonetheless.

"If we see a primordial gravitational wave background, we can no longer say for sure it is due to inflation," said Lawrence Krauss, the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Case Western Reserve. Read more.

Benefits, Challenges of Wind Energy Take Center Stage at Research ShowCASE

wind turbines

The world is addicted to electrical power, and the demand is increasing. Annual global generation of electrical energy was 16,424 billion kilowatt-hours in 2004; it's predicted to increase to 30,364 billion kilowatt-hours by 2030.

The increase in oil prices, along with the desire to balance the need for increasing demands without ruining the environment, is just one of the topics that will be discussed during the "Wind Energy: A Resource for the Future?" forum beginning at 12:30 p.m., April 17 at Case Western Reserve University's Sixth Annual Research ShowCASE. Read more.

Campus News

The Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials and Physical Electronics USA, Inc. presents the PHI VersaProbe open house reception to introduce and demonstrate the new state-of-the-art surface analysis XPS/ESCA instrument. The campus community is invited to attend the event from 4:30 to 6 p.m., April 17 at the Swagelok Center, Glennan Building, Room 110.


The campus community is invited to prepare for Earth Day by finding out how Case Western Reserve is meeting the challenges of climate, energy and sustainability. Join members of the sustainability program from 6-7:30 p.m., April 16 in Nord Hall, Room 410 for an update on programs that touch every aspect of the university's operations. Come prepared with questions, ideas and comfortable shoes, as the short presentation will be followed by a behind the scenes energy tour of the university's best examples of energy saving, high performance building features. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP's are appreciated.

The Schubert Center for Child Studies invites the campus community to attend a presentation by Barbara A. Lewis, associate professor of communication sciences and adjunct professor of pediatrics, and Kathryn D. Jillson, a consultant for the State Support Team-Region 3, entitled "The Role of Genetics in Speech, Language and Reading Disorders Among Children," from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 15 at Thwing Center's 1914 Lounge. A light lunch will be provided.

Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland are hosting the Theta Pi 23rd Annual Stephen P. Arnold Walk-a-Thon for Diabetes April 19, starting from the university's Thwing Center to John Carroll University and back, a total of 11 miles. The walk honors the late Arnold, a 1984 alumnus and member of the fraternity. The money raised is used to promote diabetes awareness in Northeast Ohio. At the conclusion of the walk there will be a reception where local alumni, faculty and students are invited to attend. In addition, Beta Theta Pi is collecting donations and accepting registrations for the walk through April 18 in Nord Hall. Learn more.

The Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP) is accepting applications until April 15 for open positions in the master of science degree in clinical research. The primary goal of this program is to develop a new generation of clinical investigators for leadership roles in academia and industry through the combination of formal didactic education and individualized research programs, including mentoring from a member of the CRSP faculty and the student's research project adviser. Read more for a description of the program. For questions, send e-mail to Carol Tolin.

For Faculty and Staff

The final exam schedule for spring 2008 is now available online. Faculty can send an e-mail with corrections or changes.

AT&T's phone book distribution takes place from late June to early July. The directories are free, and include the Cleveland Yellow Pages, White Pages, and the Northeast Ohio B2B directories. Departments can request phone books by contacting Terry Speck, the area's distribution specialist, by April 15 via e-mail or by phone at (216) 642-4109. Be sure to indicate the type of directory, the quantity, location for delivery and a contact name and phone number.

For Students

The Case African Students' Association is hosting its Third Annual African Cultural Show beginning at 7 p.m., April 19 in Thwing Center's ballroom. Admission is $5 for dinner and the show, or $2 for the show only. CaseCash will be accepted.

The Cedar Residential Arts Community, as part of its residential learning experience this semester, will put on a charity benefit to raise money for the Rainey Institute, a program which aims to provide social change for Cleveland's economically disadvantaged youth. Fifteen of Cedar Residential College's residents will be performing musical numbers, with two performances of the Cedar Cabaret April 18 and 19 at the Spot. The house will open at 8 p.m. on Friday and at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and the show will begin an hour later. Although there is no set admission price, a donation of $5 is suggested; CaseCash will be accepted. Those who do contribute $5 to the fund will receive a wristband entitling them to food.

The Biomedical Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) is hosting a special interest meeting, "IT Fee," at 4 p.m., April 15 at the Biomedical Research Building, Conference Room 732. The guest speaker will be Kevin Speer, Graduate Student Senate president, who will discuss the history of the IT fee, its future and what it means for graduate students. Comments and concerns will be welcomed. For information, send e-mail to the BGSO.

The university's chapter of the American Medical Student Association presents "Dinner with Doctors" at 6:30 p.m. this evening at Thwing Center's 1914 Lounge. The event is an opportunity for all undergraduate students to talk with physicians from different specialties during a formal dinner. Tickets are $15. For information, send e-mail to Debra Zauner.



The School of Law's Institute for Global Security Law and Policy presents "Torture: A History of the Present" with guest speaker Jameel Jaffer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. today at the School of Law's Moot Courtroom, Room A59. Free, open to the public.

Koinonia Christian Fellowship is hosting a benefit concert for the Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse from 8-9:30 p.m. tonight in Thwing Center's ballroom. Performance by Solstice, Case in Point, the university's Juggling Club and Judah Early are scheduled. Tickets -- which cost $3 -- will be sold at the door. For questions, e-mail Koinonia.

Refer to the Web event calendar for a list of events and activities on campus and in the community today and in the days ahead.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

April 14, 2008

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Case in the News

Case Western Reserve expands Cleveland Plus virtual experiment

The Plain Dealer, April 12, 2008
Cleveland Plus, the interactive, three-dimensional cybercity launched one year ago by Case Western Reserve University, has grown from one "island," or region, in the online virtual world of Second Life, to five. It has more applications ahead. Lev Gonick, vice president and chief information officer at the university, comments.

The future: no crystal ball necessary

The Plain Dealer, April 14, 2008
There's a new book out, The Way We Will Be 50 Years From Today: 60 of the World's Greatest Minds Share Their Vision of the Next Half Century. Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Case Western Reserve University, is featured in the book.

ShowCASE at Case Western Reserve University to highlight research projects

The Plain Dealer, April 12, 2008
At the upcoming sixth annual Research ShowCASE at Case Western Reserve University, attendees can watch a robotic cockroach crawl across the floor, take a virtual tour of the Alamo, and interview an accident victim whose ability to grasp and swing a tennis racquet was restored by an implanted medical device.

Dark matter particle discovered?

Scientific American, April 14, 2008
Researchers from Italy stirred up controversy eight years ago when they announced they had discovered the identity of dark matter, the invisible stuff that's thought to make up 23 percent of the universe. Now, the DAMA (DArk MAtter) collaboration at the University of Rome is about to reinforce its claim with fresh data. Tom Shutt, an associate professor of physics at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Tibetans' blood chemistry eases life at high altitude

The Columbus Dispatch, April 13, 2008
While American and European adventurers strap on bottled oxygen in the thin air of Mount Everest, Sherpa guides climb an additional 2,000 feet or so before reaching for their supply. A study of Tibetans -- relatives of Sherpas -- shows that their blood circulates at twice the rate of people who live at sea level. Cynthia Beall, a professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Stem cell firm lands investment

Crain's Cleveland Business, April 14, 2008

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Stem cell technology company Cell Targeting Inc. of Cleveland will use part of a $1 million investment from Toucan Ventures of Bethesda, Md., to help recruit a CEO or a chief technical officer, said co-founder Arnold Caplan. Caplan is a professor of biology and general medical sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Higher Ed News

Faculty salaries and priorities

Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2008
The American Association of University Professors is today reporting an increase in average faculty salaries of 3.8 percent -- the same as last year. But because inflation is up this year to 4.1 percent from 2.5 percent, the association says that this year's increases point to a real decline in faculty standards of living.

When strings are attached, quirky gifts can limit universities

New York Times, April 13, 2008
As the nation's wealthiest colleges and universities report on their finances to Congress, new attention is being paid to how endowments are structured, and on the restrictions imposed by donors.

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