Over 3500 Amazon staffers urge company to step up climate change fight

Posted On Sep 10 2019 by

first_img Share your voice Amazon employees urge the company to take more aggressive actions on climate crisis.  Alexander Pohl via Getty Images Amazon employees want the company to put more effort into fighting climate change.In an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos and the company’s board published Wednesday, 3,541 Amazon employees ask the e-commerce giant to take more aggressive actions on climate change.”Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world’s imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis,” reads the letter. “We believe this is a historic opportunity for Amazon to stand with employees and signal to the world that we’re ready to be a climate leader.”The staff members included a to-do list for Amazon in the letter. They asked the company to make a corporation-wide plan to reach 100% renewable energy in a timely manner, to stop selling Amazon’s cloud service to the oil and gas companies so they won’t expand fossil fuel extraction, to stop donating to regulators who vote against climate legislation and more.  In response, an Amazon spokesperson said the company has launched several major and impactful programs and is “working hard to integrate this approach fully across Amazon.””Our dedication to ensuring that our customers understand how we are addressing environmental issues has been unwavering — we look forward to launching more work and sharing more this year,” the spokesperson said in an email.  Tags Tech Industry Politics Now playing: Watch this: This isn’t the first time Amazon employees voiced their concerns over the company’s business conduct. Last June, the e-commerce giant’s staff wrote to Bezos to stop selling facial recognition technology to US law enforcement. They feared how the company’s Rekognition software would be used by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security in the current political climate. “In our mission to become ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company,’ we believe our climate impact must be a top consideration in everything we do,” wrote the staff. “We have the power to shift entire industries, inspire global action on climate, and lead on the issue of our lifetimes.”Originally published April 10, 11:13 a.m. PT.Update, 1:04 p.m. PT: Adds statement from Amazon spokesperson.  8 Amazon kills plans for NYC headquarters 4:00 Comments Amazon Jeff Bezoslast_img read more

Physicists investigate lower dimensions of the universe

Posted On Aug 31 2019 by

first_img More recently, physicists have been theorizing the possibility of lower dimensionality, in which the universe has only two or even one spatial dimension(s), along with one dimension of time. The theories suggest that the lower dimensions occurred in the past when the universe was much smaller and had a much higher energy level (and temperature) than today. Further, it appears that the concept of lower dimensions may already have some experimental evidence in cosmic ray observations.Now in a new study, physicists Jonas Mureika from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, and Dejan Stojkovic from SUNY at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, have proposed a new and independent method for experimentally detecting lower dimensions. They’ve published their study in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.In 2010, a team of physicists including Stojkovic proposed a lower-dimensional framework in which spacetime is fundamentally a (1 + 1)-dimensional universe (meaning it contains one spatial dimension and one time dimension). In other words, the universe is a straight line that is “wrapped up” in such a way so that it appears (3 + 1)-dimensional at today’s higher energy scales, which is what we see. The scientists don’t know the exact energy levels (or the exact age of the universe) when the transitions between dimensions occurred. However, they think that the universe’s energy level and size directly determine its number of dimensions, and that the number of dimensions evolves over time as the energy and size change. They predict that the transition from a (1 + 1)- to a (2 + 1)-dimensional universe happened when the temperature of the universe was about 100 TeV (teraelectronvolts) or less, and the transition from a (2 + 1)- to a (3 + 1)-dimensional universe happened later at about 1 TeV. Today, the temperature of the universe is about 10-3 eV. So far, there may already be one piece of experimental evidence for the existence of a lower-dimensional structure at a higher energy scale. When observing families of cosmic ray particles in space, scientists found that, at energies higher than 1 TeV, the main energy fluxes appear to align in a two-dimensional plane. This means that, above a certain energy level, particles propagate in two dimensions rather than three dimensions. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In the current study, Mureika and Stojkovic have proposed a second test for lower dimensions that would provide independent evidence for their existence. The test is based on the assumption that a (2 + 1)-dimensional spacetime, which is a flat plane, has no gravitational degrees of freedom. This means that gravity waves and gravitons cannot have been produced during this epoch. So the physicists suggest that a future gravitational wave detector looking deep into space might find that primordial gravity waves cannot be produced beyond a certain frequency, and this frequency would represent the transition between dimensions. Looking backwards, it would appear that one of our spatial dimensions has “vanished.”The scientists added that it should be possible, though perhaps more difficult, to test for the existence of (1 + 1)-dimensional spacetime.“It will be challenging with the current experiments,” Stojkovic told PhysOrg.com. “But it is within the reach of both the LHC and cosmic ray experiments if the two-dimensional to one-dimensional crossover scale is 10 TeV.”Lower dimensions at higher energies could have several advantages for cosmologists. For instance, models of quantum gravity in (2 + 1) and (1 + 1) dimensions could overcome some of the problems that plague quantum gravity theories in (3 + 1) dimensions. Also, reducing the dimensions of spacetime might solve the cosmological constant problem, which is that the cosmological constant is fine-tuned to fit observations and does not match theoretical calculations. A solution may lie in the existence of energy that is currently hiding between two folds of our (3 + 1)-dimensional spacetime, which will open up into (4 + 1)-dimensional spacetime in the future when the universe’s decreasing energy level reaches another transition point.“A change of paradigm,” Stojkovic said about the significance of lower dimensions. “It is a new avenue to attack long-standing problems in physics.” More information: Jonas Mureika and Dejan Stojkovic. “Detecting Vanishing Dimensions via Primordial Gravitational Wave Astronomy.” Physical Review Letters 106, 101101 (2011). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.101101 Citation: Physicists investigate lower dimensions of the universe (2011, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-physicists-dimensions-universe.html (PhysOrg.com) — Several speculative theories in physics involve extra dimensions beyond our well-known four (which are broken down into three dimensions of space and one of time). Some theories have suggested 5, 10, 26, or more, with the extra spatial dimensions “hiding” within our observable three dimensions. One thing that all of these extra dimensions have in common is that none has ever been experimentally detected; they are all mathematical predictions. Who cares about the fourth dimension?last_img read more