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tv   Hearing on Event Horizon Telescope  CSPAN  May 17, 2019 6:49am-9:08am EDT

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our final witness is doctor carolyn bowman, a postdoctoral fellow at the smithsonian center for astrophysics. june 2019, starting as assistant professor in the computing department at the california institute of technology. and worked to develop innovative ways to have techniques from astronomy and computer science to produce the first image of a black hole, received her bs even the university of michigan and phd from mit. witnesses should know the we will allow you five minutes for
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the testimony that will be included in the record for the hearing and your spoken testimony will question and each member will have five minutes to question the panel. we start with doctor cordova. >> members of the committee, thank you for holding this hearing and the opportunity to discuss the event horizon telescope collaboration and results being the first image of a supermassive black all. thank you for your commitment to science. we are excited by this accomplishment that will transform and enhance our understanding of black holes. i would like to pause so we can all in this room recognize the representative of the eht team. [applause]
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>> i want to focus my remarks on eht's history with the national science foundation, the vision and support of so many dedicated researchers and what this discovery means for the future of scientific research. black holes have captivated the imagination of scientists and the public for decades. no single telescope on earth has the sharpness to create an image of a black hole. this team did what all good researchers do. they innovated. the eht observations can i telescope facilities around the world to form one huge, earth-sized telescope. this technique, called very long baseline interferometry, was initially supported by nsf in the late 1960s, the team took it to a whole new level. they developed the extraordinary sharpness and sensitivity
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required to image a blackhole. enabled by technology, observations of always advanced our understanding of the universe and that is why for more than 30 years nsf has supported technology development for astronomy through advanced technology and instrumentation program. this program supported eht with eight separate awards that got the project started and sustained its early development. without this early funding the eht would not have succeeded. thanks to its early support the eht project grew from a small exploratory group to a large international collaboration. this discovery would not have been possible without cooperation and coordination. such cooperation is exemplified in the telescope in chile called out the which was crucial to eht's success. while out a is a facility supported by international
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partners, the success of the eht highlights the need for midscale research infrastructure. after more than a decade of development and piecemeal funding the eht was finally reviewed as a whole in the division of astronomical sciences midscale program where eht received funding that enabled these observations. increased nsf supportive midscale research will enable more effective support of comparably sized project in the future. supporting basic research has tremendous benefits. as an example the methods developed by astronomers in the late 1960s for measuring positions of distant galaxies have surprised me with down-to-earth benefits. these galaxies served as a
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reference for measuring imperceptible changes in the orientation and rotation of the earth. such measurements aid modern on the global positioning system. and river their ride share benefits, and basic research. in producing the first image of a blackhole the eht generated a global phenomenon. astronomy is a point of entry for young people into stem. this is incredibly important to our nation's competitiveness and economic success as science and technology are drivers of the economy. our future prosperity depends on inspiring the next generation to be curious, to learn and explore and i am happy to see lots of next-generation scientists and engineers in the audience today. astronomy is a source of such
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inspiration, just as important we continue to support the students and postdocs as they enter their chosen fields. their contributions were key to the success and this experience will prepare them to reach further in the future. this discovery is historic for astrophysics and meaningful for me personally as an astrophysicist. eht exists one out scientists and engineers to illuminate the unknown, to reveal the subtle and complex majesty of the universe. thank you again for your continued support for eht's mission and holding this hearing today and the opportunity to testify. >> doctor bowman. >> chairwoman johnson, members
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of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to describe the recent eht results. on april 10, 2019, our collaboration held simultaneous international press conferences to announce the first image of a blackhole. if you did see this image you are not alone. on the front page almost every major newspaper in the world, you could see the bright ring caused by light pending in the immense gravity of a supermassive black hole 16 billion times the mass of the sun. it is estimated 4.5 billion people saw these results. all eyes focused on the same cosmic wonder at the same time. why did this result in so many people, scientists and curious public alike? in part it was because for over 100 years black holes have remained one of the greatest mysteries in modern physics. they are gravity run amok. complete collapse of matter into volume so small that nothing, not even light, can escape the gravitational pull. based on growing evidence we now
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believe supermassive black holes amassing millions or billions of times our son exist in the centers of all the galaxies. they are the hot gas that surrounds them, outside the combined light of all the stars in their host galaxy. this animation shows how light rays from this hot gas i bend by the blackhole, outlined in red. late passes and complete loops around the blackhole falling a bright circle of boundary around the event horizon were gravity traps the light preventing it from reaching us. einstein's equations tell us the precise size and shape of this ring. by measuring this feature, 55 million ly from earth, the team has put einstein's theories to the most stringent test yet. this image, the highest resolution image ever taken from the surface of the earth is what we saw. it is confirmation of einstein's theory of the edifice supermassive black or allowing mathematicians, physicists, astronomers the ability to
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refine their models of how blackhole's reprocess matter and energy on galactic scales. the brightening ucl a bottom of this ring is perfectly consistent with near light speed motions of gas around the blackhole and opens a new window on ever more precise tests of gravity. this is critical because our theory of gravity is incomplete. we have not yet been able to unify our understanding of gravity in the quantum world. we developed specialized instrumentation that linked together existing radio facilities enabling them to work together as an earth sized telescope. we reached across borders, included experts from around the globe and leveraged billions of dollars of international resources to deliver extraordinary scientific return on investment. support from the nsf was crucial. before success of this project was assured, nsf funding and able to small team to grow and carry out key experiments. have confidence in the project
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grew we attracted additional investments in the international science community which is why us groups in leadership positions, the ehc collaboration has 200 members representing 60 institutes working in 20 countries and regions. it truly takes a global team to build a global telescope. because it relies on so many technical and theoretical advances there are many opportunities for early career researchers to make fundamental and profound contributions was undergraduate, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff have taken a leadership roles and responsibilities in areas of high-speed electronic design, innovative imaging algorithms and modeling blackhole using national supercomputer facilities. the footprint across them fields was broad with rich opportunities for mentorship.
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building on this success, we are working with international partners to enhance the ehc. moving beyond the still images to making real-time movies of black holes enabling new tests of gravity and extreme astrophysics. we will export purposefully situating new dishes to suit the global telescope and launch radio satellites into orbit to realize it is not bound by the dimensions of the earth. having worked on ehc from earliest stages i experienced a deep sense of fulfillment following the results but in the end i personally feel the greatest accomplishment was assembling an expert committed team. the look on the faces of my colleagues when the first images appeared on computer screens will never leave. a mix of astonishment, wonder, and humility. imaging a blackhole for the first time has inspired our team and we hope it has inspired you
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too. thank you for the opportunity to testify and your commitment to keeping the us a global science leader which i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you very much. >> chairwoman johnson, ranking member lucas and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to talk to you how the event horizon telescope works and how its extraordinary capabilities allowed our team to achieve scientific milestone we are recognizing today. this created image by focusing light from a distant object onto a sensor much like a digital camera with a telephoto lens attached. the bigger the lens the more detail you can see. if you can make optically perfect lenses the magnification depends only on how big they are. as sheperd doeleman mentioned, since it is so far away, the blackhole in galaxy m 87 appears extremely tiny, to see it you need a really big lens with a
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lot of magnification. let's take a more careful look at how tiny this blackhole is as it appears from the earth, 55 million light years away and i have a short video here. this is what my observatory looks like from 25 miles away. that dome has a large radio telescope and on the bottom right is a small figure. that figure, one of our staff members who went to the softball twice to support ehc and as we zoom in we get to the level of individual human hairs as if you look at an individual human hair under an electron microscope it looks like that. on this scale that is the size of the blackhole image. to reiterate if you zoom out the event horizon telescope can see things much smaller than a human hair from a distance of 25 miles.
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a conventional optical telescope would need a lens several miles across to see such a thing which is impractical but the eht is no conventional telescope. the event horizon telescope operates short radio waves, the radio wavelengths must be several thousand miles across, the size of the planet to get such precision. the eht simulates that by combining signals radio dishes thousands of miles apart using computational techniques. radio photons from the m 87 galaxy, and onto the sensor. and captured the photons and record them on digital data on ordinary computer discourse.
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and we need lots of photons. getting enough to image a blackhole has not been technically possible until recently. and with stronger support, the available dish area at key sites and we listen for photons at many radiofrequency simultaneously generating more digital data. the more digital data the more photons. we record 128 disc drives in parallel at each dish site equivalent to simultaneously download 11,000 full hd movie streams from netflix. this fills up thousands of high-capacity disks in one observing campaign weighing several tons. each campaign involves extensive preparation and logistical complexity. talented and dedicated staff from different institutions travel to the most remote and inhospitable places on earth
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like the south pole driven by a common goal to create a unique window into the most extreme environments known to science. the unity of purpose is something i find truly inspiring as a tangible reaffirmation of the spirit of human curiosity. and 2 two locations, my territory in massachusetts for radio astronomy. data streams are combined in a complex, precise, computationally intensive process known as correlation. bringing photons to a common focal point synchronize with pinpoint accuracy by atomic clocks. rigorous quality checks can take several months, correlated data are released for analysis. the cost are few and far
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between. we can re-create strong pieces of imaginary planet-sized lens. our next speaker, doctor bowman, will talk about how the team will make a reliable image from incomplete data. i want to express my gratitude to the committee, the opportunity to speak to you today and answer any questions you may have. >> thank you very much. doctor bowman. >> chairwoman johnson, ranking member look at and members of the committee, it is an honor to be here today. i thank you for your interest in studying blackhole through imaging and your support of this breakthrough enabled by the national science foundation. my name is katie bauman, postdoctoral fellow at the harvard center for astrophysics and in a few weeks we will start as assistant professor at the california institute of technology. this morning i want to tell you more about the diverse team and imaging methods that help make the first picture of a blackhole.
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the event horizon telescope is an earth ice computational telescope where instruments and algorithms work together to see something that would be invisible to the most powerful conventional telescope of the future. unlike a backyard telescope you have. to study the night sky the eht doesn't capture picture directly. it collects light at only a few locations resulting in gaps of missing information. as an analogy, observing the blackhole with eht is like listening to us on being played on a piano with many broken keys. since the eht only collects bars measurements there are an infinite number of possible images that are perfectly consistent with the data measured but just as you may still be able to recognize a song being played on a broken piano if there are enough mentioning keys we can find methods to intelligently fill in the eht's missing information to reveal the underlying blackhole image. to construct the image we develop different imaging
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methods based on established and newer techniques in radio astronomy. all these methods require us to specify a preference toward certain images in order to cuba among the infinite possibilities. therefore it was important we carefully validate the results. to assess the reliability of imaging results from m 87 data we split roughly 40 scientists from around the world into four teams. each team worked in isolation blind to the others work while creating an image of m 87. after 7 weeks we held a workshop where members from around the globe gathered to reveal their images to one another. here we show the images that were revealed. seeing these images for the first time was truly amazing and one of my life's happiest memories. this test was hugely significant. each picture look slightly different, we found the same asymmetric ring structure no matter what method or person reconstructed the data. after working for months to further validate this ring-shaped the combined images
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produced by various methods into the one in which we show the world on april 10th, no one algorithm or person made this image. requires the talent of a global team of scientists and years of hard work to develop not only imaging techniques but cutting-edge instrumentation, data processing and theoretical simulations. there is a particular group of members i wish to celebrate today, early career collaborators composer graduate students, postdocs and undergraduates who have devoted years of work to this project. early career scientists have been a driving force behind every aspect of the eht. by providing opportunities for young scientists to take on leadership roles and direct significant work in the project, the eht is training the next generation of scientists and engineers. i personally stumbleupon the eht project as a graduate student setting at mit's laboratory
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nearly six years ago and immediately fell in love lose like many big science projects there was a need for interdisciplinary expertise and taking an image of a blackhole's shirking striking similarities to careers problems early in the studies like capturing a picture of your brain from limited data using an mri scanner. i had no background in astrophysics but i hoped i could contribute from my area of expertise in advancing the eht technology. if not for the help of the national science foundation graduate fellowship which gave me the freedom to work on risky projects i would never have had a chance to be part of this incredible - and a new domain, computational methods were essential to the success of scientific goals. moving forward the computational imaging tools, and it will help improve technology.
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my story is one of many. one of my numerous career scientists are devoted years of their lives to making this picture a reality. like black holes, many early career scientists with significant contributions often go unseen. although the eht has been a remarkable success story we must not forget the contributions of all the scientists whose names don't make it into the newspapers. a device -- diverse group, mathematicians and engineers have been able to achieve something once thought impossible, taking the first image of a blackhole. thank you for the opportunity to testify at your support of groundbreaking collaborative and interdisciplinary science. >> thank you very much. at this point we begin our first round of questions. picture recognizes herself or 5 minutes. this question goes to all. it has made a significant commitment to this project without any guarantee it would succeed.
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at a time with many competing financial priorities why is it important to federal science agencies do this? even if there is no foreseeable application. >> i will start, thank you for the question, madame chairwoman. the definition of msf is taking risks in science and engineering. risks that have potentially high rewards. we saw an example of this with the detection of gravitational waves a few years ago. and 40 years ago, it yielded tremendous results.
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most recently, many more detections of gravitational waves in the third run of ligo. a short while ago we announced a solution to the injuring -- enduring mystery on the origin of cosmic rays with the detection of neutrinos and high imagery gamma rays using our sample telescope and many of the telescopes on earth and in space. and this observation, this is what nsf is. and discoverers as you heard from doctor bowman begins. in my testimony, i mentioned gps and previous testimonies, mri, companies like google and
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symantec and qualcomm, all of these are benefits of investing in basic research. sometimes we can have benefits that happen immediately, sometimes it takes a very long time to realize benefits. the upside is they are outstanding miracles that happen when we invest in basic research. >> i would add the risks taken by the national science foundation for basic science are really critical. with basic science you don't always know where you are going to wind up. addressing the deepest mysteries in the universe, black holes, with the best technologies we have, we have a chance to answer the deepest fundamental questions about our universe.
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if you asked einstein what ramifications his theory of general relativity would have had when he came up to what he would have had no answer. he would have said with our cell phones we can look at ourselves with pinpoint accuracy on the globe. he would've looked at you and said what is the phone? he would have no idea to understand the question. that's how long it takes sometimes for the fruits of basic research to be realized. but those questions always pay off. >> i would like to add something. i think when the nsf invests in something speculative and high risk like this and it pays off as it has in this case it is a real attention grabber not just for all the scientists interested in doing this but the whole world. you heard the 4.5 billion people around the planet saw this. this is the way young people can
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be inspired to think about emulating this work and getting involved in standard disciplines. it is an important component. >> i agree with everything that has been said by my colleagues here. i think technology and basic science really drive each other and feed off each other and help each other grow. it is important we continue to invest in basic science because we don't know the ramifications of how that will manifest in technology of the future. lots of the techniques we have developed for imaging black holes can be adopted in the future for other applications that we might not have even thought of. i want to emphasize that this picture has captured the imaginations of a generation of new young scientists. i even had 4-year-old girls come
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up to me and tell me about the blackhole and getting that interest in science to young students at a young age will help them enter the stem fields and make contributions to many projects. >> i am out of time. >> thank you, madam chair. to all the witnesses, we really appreciate, really appreciate your testimony and the discoveries you are sharing with us today. i would like to congratulate you on the diamond achievement award at the national foundation so i commend you for that. doctor baughman, i have a
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question that relates to the importance of the opportunity to do research at such a young age, have a career as a scientist. i think you conducted some imaging research at purdue university when you were still in high school. would you care to elaborate on that? >> sure. i actually got a job at a lab at purdue university when i was in summer after 11th grade partly because i had stumbled upon a class taking a computer science class in high school which i had never thought about taking but i took on a whim and because of that i had an interest because i understood this new language of computing, professor invited me to help his graduate students in the lab that summer and that was the first time i had exposure to real research, to imaging and the exciting world of imaging.
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one thing that grabbed me from that was being able to see the results and i love to being able to work on problems where you could visualize your results. from that i gained a love of imaging and images and that drove me toward studying electrical engineering and computer science, computer vision and being on the even horizon telescope project. i think that spark of passion at a young age brought me to where i am now. i'm eternally grateful to my opportunities at purdue. >> thank you. my next question deals, all of you might want to respond, keeping with the theme you had for the national science foundation award. do you have any recommendations
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how we might ignite the -- the spark that stimulated you to get into your profession so we can keep the students encouraged and excited and fulfilling that pipeline to have more researchers in the future? you want to start with that? >> my own stem spark was from watching a television show ages ago about neutron stars when they were first hypothesized as being responsible for certain phenomena being observed and one of the mit professors on the show talked about the energy that would be liberated if you
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dropped a marshmallow onto a neutron star. i was so mesmerized by that concept, the next day i was doing an education project in cambridge, massachusetts, took a bus and went to mit to meet that professor and said this is what i want to do for the rest of my life. i want to work on this and so for some reason they gave me a job for the summer and it worked out. i really believe you can have your inspiration from so many different places. with the nsf is trying to do is fund curriculum projects that happen in school from computer science to the classroom and wonderful teachers get more skills but we spend part of our portfolio on informal science education, many meet to museums and shows about science so there have to be a myriad of ways of reaching out to inspire people to know more about science and be attracted to it. >> it is a wonderful question that we are focused on. this image and the pins in front
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of you resonate with the public and scientists alike. it is an opportunity to get people at a young age which is when you want to ignite that spark into science. i worked out working over animals, got into biology if you can believe that. you never know where the spark is going to ignite but getting the outreach is important for this. really important to get into museums, informal outreach and to invite young people into labs and places they can do research. >> i am out of time but the chairwoman has allowed me to let the other two finish. >> my own spark was at an early age also. there seems to be a consistent theme. i was looking at the night sky when i was 5 years old and had a hunger to read all about it. my parents got me a telescope
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when i was 8. also at the same time the us space program was taking off, quite literally. all of this was mesmerizing to me and sent me on course for life to pursue this type of work. i see that in tangible ways in what i'm doing now. my observatory, we have public outreach and one form this takes is open houses and recently i held an open house where i was for the first time able to talk about the blackhole result and the children in the audience were by far, they were absolutely thrilled to pieces. i got lots of questions "after words" but the most questions
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came from a 10-year-old and connecting the scientists who have the enthusiasm for the work with the young people like 10-year-olds who have minds that are sponges for information that is incredibly potent and that is worked in public outreach. >> i would say throughout my early years i had many different sparks and having many opportunities to continue to grow that interest in science, so important to have many different programs and opportunities but i want to highlight one i had in sixth grade. my science teacher had us all into the science fair. this was the first time i did a science project outside your standard homework that you do and i thought for ages what i would work on and i decided to work on what makes the best bread. i baked probably hundreds of
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loaves of bread with different amounts of salt and sugar and yeast and measured how big they rose and the taste and i filled out forms to have my friends taste the different bread. it was a wonderful experience that i entered into the science fair in the area and won gold in my category and that was my first true excitement where i knew research was something for me. >> i healed back. >> thank you very much. miss bonamici. >> thank you to all our witnesses. i congratulate the national science foundation and the entire team around the world, groundbreaking work on the event horizon telescope project. not only was this an incredible scientific achievement, the release of the first every image shattered the glass ceiling for
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women in stem. it was a pretty significant day when the news hit and an inspiring moment for young women who want to go work in what are still male-dominated fields, the sciences, certainly demonstrates the value of teamwork and collaboration. doctor tibbetts he, we advocate design interest in learning to spark creativity and get more people involved and to have the row -- well-rounded and education that stimulates both sides of the brain. i appreciated your testimony comparing observations from the telescope to a song on the piano with broken keys. there is research that shows nobel laureates in the sciences are more inclined to be engaged in arts and crafts than other scientists so they little story there. why was it important to have an interdisciplinary team to develop the imaging algorithms and what do you learn from the
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developed of algorithms that benefit future unexpected observations going forward. >> the eht draws on many different areas. at its core, it is a science project. we are trying to learn about black holes. what do we expect? also it is an engineering project. over a decade of building a telescope with new instrumentation that had to be put together and we also had to develop algorithms and methods and this requires us to understand computation and optimization and how do these pieces play together to give us this amazing result. we had to have instrumentation, algorithms, each part was essentially and you have to understand each part. when i started this project i
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came from a computer science area and i met with doctor tibbet bo bouman he. i wanted to read about the ideas of interferometry and how to make an image and some simple algorithms but that doesn't get you anywhere being by your self. i didn't understand the intricacies of the data, the challenges we have with this data. when we really started being able to push the algorithm is when we all got together from different parts of the team, understood what noise we see in our data, what is different about the data and challenging about the data. the time i spent at a telescope 15,000 feet above sea level i
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learned where do things go wrong and how do we account for this in our algorithms? it was essential even making the imaging algorithm which is one part of the project, combined information from across the project. >> your enthusiasm is amazing and i hope it is contagious. sheperd doeleman is an oregonian. you told me about some of your early days, hands on learning at the oregon museum of science which is a gem in the pacific northwest that gets a lot of children and adults engaged in science and captures an image of a blackhole which is presumed impossible to see a generation ago but now can lead to the emergence of a new field of science was how can blackhole be used to test the universal theories and what further resources are needed to succeed in the next scientific field?
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>> there are a lot of ways to proceed from here. this is the tip of the iceberg. when galileo was looking for the first telescope it wasn't the end of astronomy. it was the beginning. in the same way the image you see here is creating the ability to use the most intense cognitive laboratory as a way to understand the universe. to build a super collider to obtain the energies and extreme physics to probe the unknown. we are using the edge of a blackhole in a natural laboratory. in the future we want to make movies, not just still images with what you are seeing is light orbiting a blackhole, that is one test of einstein. now we can use matter orbiting a blackhole, a different test in the period it takes for matter to orbit around. you can see how these black holes are ferocious engines at the centers of galaxies launching these jets that
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compete us a galaxy and disrupt star formation. that's why the night sky looks the way it does and as we move forward, this virtual telescope putting new telescopes tailor-made to fill out the earth-sized array sharpening the focus. >> my time is expired but we will be following the work. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you to each member of the panel for being here today. appreciate you sharing the experience and this important discovery and how you went about it. many of us are excited what the next step will be. i would be remiss if i didn't mention my home state university of arizona. the millimeters telescope was used, coming up to the 2020
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series, also joining in, i am excited about that. having made a commercial for my own state university i will go to my questions. sheperd doeleman, when the news broke that the first image of a blackhole is going to be released, we thought it might be sagittarius a, supermassive black hole at the center of the milky way. what are the challenges for imaging that blackhole, you expect to produce an image of that particular blackhole? >> wonderful question. we have two primary targets both of which we can resolve the event horizon. we focused on m 87 because the results started falling out very
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cleanly in a pure way from the get-go so we oriented efforts of the collaboration towards the goal of getting our first results out but sagittarius a is next on the list. it is more difficult because in the course of one evening of observing we fill out the virtual lens because the earth rotates changing our point of view during a night of observing. the source itself is changing because it is smaller in mass and 1000 times faster in evolution. and one night of observing m 87 stays static. the star evils in front of our eyes. we are developing new algorithms to handle that. >> i will speak a little bit to the ways we might enhance the event horizon telescope. right on point for what we are thinking about for the future. one of the things already mentioned is adding additional telescopes to the array and what this does is create more points
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to collect information and as it turns out, you quadruple the amount of information available so because sagittarius a is changing quickly we need to gather information in a shorter time but it doesn't change much. there are a couple ways to do that. what is to add telescopes. another which is a little further into the future is to put dishes in low earth orbit because those move more quickly and sample more data so we have a couple ways to improve potential for imaging and making movies. >> i am looking forward to that. what are other applications? you touched on this but what other applications might develop from computational imaging tools
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to study black holes? >> on the topic of sagittarius and how it is evolving really quickly, a huge amount of evolution in the course of a night, the challenge from imaging perspective. the measurements we take are taken over the course of the night so each measurement is from a different snapshot of the blackhole so we have ways of tying this information together to make not just pictures of black holes but movies of it evolving over the course of the night and this approach could be applied to many problems. one that has similar problem is in mri when you are studying organs that are moving or fetal mris taking images of a baby inside a mother's will and as the mri machines cans, the baby is moving, you also have a kind
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of model of motion and understand the picture is also revolving so techniques we use for imaging a blackhole, some of the ones could apply to how do we image a baby inside a mother to get a better diagnosis of issues that might happen? >> this project is a great example of international collaboration in science. what makes successful international cooperation agreement and how do we ensure these are 2 way st. and not the us feeding its knowledge and talent to other countries without reciprocation? whoever wants to take that? >> i will start. we have a lot of international collaboration on various facilities. great example is beyond the telescope that plays a big role in this observation and we are
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contributors to the large hadron collider in europe and many of our biggest projects have international collaborators because the talent is worldwide and they help with the funding and so we have this principle for international collaboration that has to be a win-win situation. everybody has to gain, everybody has to contribute scientific talent and get something from it and the collaborations have to do something really important to move the discovery needle forward. >> a great question. we wrestle with that and are successful because we adhere to some principles as we put together this collaboration. one was transparency. we have to know what everybody is doing at all times and we
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ensured that by making sure all the working groups we put together had members from all the different constituencies so everybody can see what is going on. we didn't sequester one group to work on one thing or one group to work on something else. we combined everything through the miracle or burden of videoconferencing. we live that way. you can publish this to someone you never met and it is ill and uplifting way to the about things. we can broaden the team across borders and cultures and practices in this way. we have strong policies on how to plan for the next raise and the next generations so by being inclusive we got the best of everyone and made sure everyone saw what we were doing and that is one of the principles to make it successful. >> thank you very much.
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mister lamb. >> question for anyone with knowledge about it but i was curious about the supply chain, construction of the telescopes themselves, the current ones we have, the additional ones that may be coming. are we relying on a lot of american businesses and american materials for these things? i would ask the same about software and computers we are using for imaging as well. if anyone can address that? >> this particular project was completely reliant on telescopes that already existed all over the world. so supply chains are all different. in the case of us telescopes we try to do our best to use
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american-made products. we have a feud telescopes used in arizona in this country, and hawaii, and we anticipate more of those but this is all about a global supply chain. >> thank you for the question. i would add that we all work together. all constituencies in the project realize they want to use local resources where possible so europe uses the best construction practices and companies in europe but we use the best construction practices in the united states. we define what instrumentation has to do in a portion who does what based on local resources so we have been careful when we can. i want to give a shout out to arizona, involved in the very first observation ever made of
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sagittarius and that got this started. it was the investment in that us site that made that possible. >> are there particular companies that have been leaders are especially reliable in the construction of these things that we might be looking to going forward? >> you may have particular examples but we can get together a list of that and give it to you. i do know at our own universities there are amazing work going on by investigators that we fund to build a lot of telescope optics and that's a great credit the way the science engine works. >> if i may, an interesting tie in, the size of the telescope depends on bandwidth.
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by investing in high-speed electronics, to do the throughput on this, increases the reliance on steel so we don't have to build huge telescopes. we collect more data with bigger slices of the radio spectrum. that changes the designs you do so it is related. it is interesting optimization problem. >> i yield back. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for holding this hearing and all of us today, this is a remarkable event and i want to congratulate everybody involved in this.
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sheperd doeleman, from what i understand from reading your statement, the project is looking to expand with two new additional telescopes. do we identify where those telescopes are going to be included from that you can share with us? >> we are looking at how to fill in the virtual lens so in the next year we will put in the telescope in france, an array in the french alps that is underway and the telescope lighting up the national observatory, that is another one. beyond that we are looking at other sites where we would like to put new telescopes and doing optimization studies which will
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lead to a global design where to put the next site. when you look at this image and say how can we make it better there are metrics. it could be sharper, more sensitive. where you put the telescopes affect those metrics and how much better the image would look. you can look on the whole globe and find out where to put the next telescope to maximize the scientific return on this image. we are trying to find out where to put them and there are smaller dishes at new locations for the fool array. >> that is the process and the places they are sold. what are going to be the main challenges for you in selecting where those telescopes are? >> getting funding.
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the first part is design, coming up with new algorithms, new metrics of the stuff that doctor bouman was talking about. putting that into the equation, where to get the best value for taxpayers dollars. where can we target the locations of the next dishes to ensure for the next investment we get that? >> the new telescopes, you need to plan ahead. are we willing to move into private-sector investment to help out? >> a wonderful question. when you get a result like this others wants to invest too. you can have an nsf award for which google is partnering with
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us to help us move the computation we do because it is computationally intensive. the cloud, we have virtually unlimited processing power and the same with high-speed digital electronics. we are working in that direction. >> you mentioned given the limited number of telescopes, limited number of locations, information gaps. from what i understand, looking to increase the operation in other countries and explain the process for minimum challenges can you tell us what are we expecting to see using those new
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telescopes? >> we are not just observing m 87, not like we observed that and go away and look at other things. we will continue every year to go back, improve our estimate and try to learn more and more and look at other sources like sagittarius a. we are simultaneously improving the instrument and our algorithms to work together to answer these questions and now that we have our first image and see that it is possible to see this ring, we can go back and say where is the missing information and we can target those areas through new instrumentation and algorithms and try to answer those questions and get a clearer picture of general relativity and how it acts around the black hole. something we look forward in the future to seeing. >> thank you, madam chair. my time is expired. the broader implications of this discovery will help a lot of
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areas. i yield back. >> thank you very much. >> thank you to all the panelists. you should take this show on the road. your enthusiasm is so infectious and so cool. so, and a couple days later it all ends with dragons. i don't want to do that again. can you give us a little hint? you mentioned you will be able to turn this on the blackhole in the center of the milky way. when should we tune in for that? >> i would tell you, but - first of all, let me say that down by common science vision it really helps to prevent a leak. what really surprised people with this result is people
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thought it was going to be on sagittarius and we had 200 people around the globe, nobody broke the code, nobody broke the silence. because we all understood the impact it would have and we wanted to tell the scientific story. ..
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>> i will take that as a constructive nonresponse. >> within a year. >> i intrigued, you talked about there's testifying stines relativity, you can do other questions and this whole idea of seeing a movie of this. i guess i would love to your good thoughts about what other types of questions we can answer once you were there both in terms of looking at the milky way and in terms of potentially getting some movement? what types of questions are we going children at that point we don't know now? >> the blackhole at the center of our galaxy may look different from what you see on the screen in a few different ways. the blackhole at the center of the milky way is in a different environment. it's maybe oriented on the sky
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in a different way. and so there's a lot to learn by looking at the differences. we don't know what we will find. it's one of those things where it's right at the frontier what were technically able to do. so places a tremendous emphasis on checking and double checking as dr. doeleman said to make sure we know not only what the image is what the uncertainties are. we're going to be working on that. >> if i understand, you've got a couple more telescopes are adding. you have one you added in 2018 and to make more in 2020, if i've if i've got that right. >> yes. >> we are adding two more next year for the observing campaign 2020 and looking in the future to add even more than that.
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>> what sorts of things are you going to be able to see once you have those additional data input? i'd love to know from dr. bouman, like as you think about sort of analytically, what holes, what hole in your data field if you will are going to be filled in with those additional -- what are you salivating to see what you get the additional point? >> one thing is we don't know what we'll see so that is part of the mystery and excitement of it all but one thing is if we do maintain toward statutory star, hopefully by adding new telescopes will get a better grasp of we can better map out the space-time about an black hole. so right now which is have a static picture but just like seeing a movie tells you so much more veteran vibe that just a single picture. getting that movie will allow us to learn so much more about the black hole. for instance, the black hole in m 87 we get an estimate of its mass, the size it is. but by seeing this evolution around a black or maybe we can learn about not just this mess
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but it's spin and knowing both the mass and the spin tells us about how it should affect the space-time around. i think the nipple to have a grasp on that will teach us a lot. >> this is very cool. i yield back. thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you all for being here. dr. cordova, i enjoyed you accompanying our committee, i guess it's been the year before last we went to the arctic and saw some neat things. good see you again. i wanted to ask a question about return on investment and debt tt like to hear it from maybe all of you, if you get a chance it will start with dr. cordova. our constituents may ask why invest taxpayer funding in imaging a black hole? and that is, what can you tell
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them or what can we tell them has been the return on their investment? is a dr. bouman are dr. bouman? i don't want either but bauman is usually speedy like i say we don't know what we don't know. that's kind of a series thing to say but we've got that if we can ever get james webb space telescope up there as soon will open up some new windows for us as well. let's start with you, dr. cordova on return on investment where summary says what are we getting for spending all this money on imaging a black hole? >> there are three ways i'd like to and that but i'd like to give a lot of time to buy colleagues here. i'll just say the three words are inspiration, and that is, that's at the root of who we are as human beings and that's what draws us in to our fields, where our passion and a commitment is. we all were sherry earlier our stem spark and so it so important with young people to get inspired.
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with great moments like landing on the moon and discovery, and this imaging of the black hole and who knows how many people that will attract into science all kinds of science and engineering. the second has to do with all the engineering and competition tools to go into a discovery like this, i challenge like this that took them over a decade to do this and as you know that the gravitational wave experiment took 40 years to do that one. the amazing amount of engineering prowess and competition prowess that it takes in order to make those kinds of feats have many, many spinoffs, many things that invented for the first time that then go off into spinoffs. the third what is when we invest in truly fundamental and basic research, they can enormous benefits not just little benefits but we talked about gps, about mri technology, about
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new companies that are invented like google itself. these start at the root with just a little piece of fundamental research. even the people for discovering it, we funded the nobel prize winner can we keep him 17 grants over his lifetime. he never said i thought it would end up in the mazer in order to synchronize the telescope, i never thought it end up in the laser and to isolate you know. he did it because he is driven towards the fundamental discovery. these have amazing benefits for the public but sometimes a little later on. >> request for knowledge entry all-city. dr. doeleman. >> i answer to many things. when i talked to the kings of what we do often use analogy that were jumping off cliffs and a painting parachute on the way down. that's emblematic of this
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project, we are asking and hoping answer the deepest questions and you don't know where they're going to lead. if you limit yourself by attacking questions that you can see what the return might be, then you are limiting where you were going intellectually and where were going as he, as humans. by asking the open ended questions that they inspire as dr. cordova said but also you get these amazing discoveries and the ancillary benefits. any normal portfolio advisor will tell you you want some stocks, do what some bonds, y'all's what's of high risk high return in there somewhere just on the off chance you're going to invest in amazon or something like that. sometimes it pays off as it did here and it really does inspire people. if you want to make the discoveries and have the benefit, you got to take some
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speakers absolute. dr. lonsdale. >> i'll try and be brief. for me i already mentioned the inspiration aspect for young people and getting people into stem. also like to very briefly mention that my observatory raven interdisciplinary research program at the techniques and technologies that went into the eht aye throughout all of the research becomes to the observatory at a think that's true on a broader front as well. we do pure space sides for example, and its benefit from some of the work that has gone on at eht. >> right, thank you. can we indulge doctor bouman for just a second? >> sure. so i think i want to just echo everything my colleagues at second. i think the technology in basic sitscience would drive each othr to be better and things that we develop for imaging and black hole we don't necessarily know what the manifest and technology of the future but i think they will.
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i'm confident of that and it also think just capturing the imagination of a young students and turning them, getting them excited about science and s.t.e.m., i think that in itself will lead to a lot of innovation in the future. >> all inspirational answers. thank you very much and i get back. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chairwoman, thank you to all or mac of you. what an exciting and important conversation and inspiration that this discovery is. i think dr. cordova, the inspirational factor i think can be undervalued and the discoveries that come after that. and dr. bouman, i want to turn to you first, because we recently had a hearing on diversifying student fields with some really fantastic witnesses as well. and i think you are a prime example of what that looks like
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and how a diverse pool of scientists is important. it can bring different things. so my first question really as we inspire, were to inspire future generations, is what inspired you to pursue this field of study? >> yeah, so i think, i didn't ever expect to come into this and work on this to be a figure of diversity. i was just excited by the science, excited by the mystery of what we are working on and what we could achieve together as a team. and i think that highlighting just not my story but the stories of many different scientists in the collaboration who come from many different backgrounds who have many different experiences, i think is wonderful. and i think many as with been talking about young students and getting them excited, it's important to show the diversity of people that was necessary to make it possible to get this picture.
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because we required that we had many different people that kind of came to it with different ideas of what should we do, and we kind of whittled it down to the best of the ideas and to think that was really essential. >> thank you. i think that's an incredibly good point, is it's not diversity just for the sake of diversity but creative new ideas and perspectives, the people from different backgrounds, different expenses can bring to the table. following along those lines i'd like to know a little bit more about your early research and the contributions and how you see that the something to shape your next step as you move into becoming a professor. >> yeah, so i've learned a lot through the event horizon telescope project. one thing that it provided, the event horizon telescope project provided is many different opportunities for leadership. there were many opportunities in
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many different parts of the project were kind of guided by people such as myself, early career scientists, and kind of we lead the direction of different parts of the project and had to come up with creative solutions to problems that kept popping up everywhere. and i think by doing this and having to lead teams of hundreds of people in this and kind of converging on one story and one kind of result was really helpful for me in my next stages of my career where hopefully i will be leaving the group of students there, at a think the skills i learned as part of the eht will be infallible for that. something that a think is right about a young age so i'm really, i think the eht instant wonderful job of providing the opportunity for young scientists. >> thank you very much, dr. bouman. i agree with you, it's easier to envision yourself a something that you can see and i think there are a lot of ways we can
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do that. i want to turn to dr. doeleman for a moment in a little over a minute we have remaining. i want to ask doctor goleman, what should be done to help you in recruiting and maintaining post doc and of students to continue to grow the pie point of scientists and researchers? >> thanks for the question i'd love to ever find something dr. bouman said, there is no eht 101 course taught and astronomy curriculum. doing something new so fundamentally fresh like this requires that we draw upon the best from many, many different fields. i think the thing to do is to invest in some interdisciplinary positions, perhaps graduate student positions at harvard, fo,for example, started the blak hole initiative which brings together mathematicians, physicists, astronomers and also philosophers and historians of science. all of whom see the black hole as an anchor in their respective fields. in that crucible of
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interdisciplinary kind of mishmash of wonder, we were now graduate our first students who have exposure to all of these different fields together. that is something that a think list of the eht and provides an example for the kinds of students and early career people that we need. >> thank you very much. i type is expired. i just want to say thank you to all of you for the work you're doing and it's great to have you here. i yield back. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair, for holding this hearing and thank all of the witnesses appearing for what is clearly a most interesting and most exciting committee in congress. i so enjoyed and you just bring yet one more incredible dimension to the things that we get to explore with you. dr. cordova and dr. doeleman, given your statements that the
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capture of the first ever image of a black call by eht when other than possible without american leadership, i just wonder if either one of you could elaborate just a little bit on some examples of what you mean by that? >> well, in this case what i really mean is that we were in it for the long haul, and that's true with most of the projects that we take of this nature. and we've been funding this project for 20 years or so, over there, over a decade, and we funded the leica gravitational wave project for 40 years. we consistently find high risk for potentially high reward projects, so that was essential in this case. >> dr. doeleman? >> if i could expand on that and
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spring bring up what dr. cordova said, this project took some time ago and was quite risky at the prestigious. we really did know if the receiving anything that small towards him 87 or the eclectic center as dr. bouman talked about. it was some early proof of concept experiments using cutting edge instrumentation by primarily u.s. groups that set the stage for the eventual buildout of the eht. when we talk about leadership, it grew from a history of taking risks in being at the forefront at the very outset of the project. then as it became clear that the project could succeed, then we begin to attract more international investments and investment even from within the u.s. but it grew but always with a nucleus of some use expertise at its core. >> if someone had told me were going to locate and coordinate these various telescopes around
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the globe and are going to coordinate them so that you could read the date on a dime from you with time being in los angeles, i think that is insane. a lot for your courage and your faith in what can be accomplished. anything you'd like to comment? >> well, certainly the accomplishment is something to be very proud of. i look at the scale that we were able to magnify this thing too, it still blows my mind, even those who were deeply involved in it right from the beginning. s dr. bouman said, the national science foundation has been supporting this work, actually i think the foundations of this goat even before 20 years ago when we started working on thre
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mid-'90s. so we've been, the foundations for this have been going on for a long time and it was really quite visionary on the part of the national science foundation in my opinion to have sustained investment in this and it became apparent as dr. doeleman said that the event horizon skill structure could be accessed. have to admit i was skeptical initially. dr. doeleman convinces me after a bit of time, but it's been a wonderful experience. >> and dr. bouman? >> yeah, i think one thing that is made this so strong is that we do have come to make a globl telescope with a global team. but it has been from many students, from students to senior scientist, from the united states have really push this project forward from the beginning. as a younger person see this, in
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my mentors but i think it's wonderful how this kind of had the courage to stick with this for the last, you know, 20 years to achieve what we have today, so i think it's wonderful. >> i don't think the accomplishment could be overstated and i just hope the public learns more about it and we have to become excited about and more about science and especially our young people. thank you, madam chair. i see my time is up. i yield back. >> can add one last thing? would you might? one thing that i think that needs to be said is the u.s. the tracks the best and the brightest really. with some of the best research universities in the world. and what when we get a result like this, we get a lot of interest from around the world, from graduate students and early research students one to come and join the team here in the u.s. this is really equipment moment
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not just for early career our early s.t.e.m. people but it's a way for us to get the best people here. some of them go back, some stay here, but they all infuse project with her intellect. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair, and thank you guys are coming back again. i had a chance to be on fly out date when you presented a couple weeks ago, and it was very much fun to see what is also incredibly impressed with the quality of the questions asked by our staff. i was impressed to find that we never have four astronomy and to make physicists just on the democratic side. and of the six, four are women which is another thing to celebrate. such great to have you back. dr. doeleman, you talked about how you might be able to make a movie of the black hole. how will that be different from matthew mcconaughey blanke flyio the black hole in interstellar? is that what you are envisioning? >> were hoping to bring in on our team.
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>> put doctor perlmutter on the team, to. >> we would love to have. it's a great question. the human intellectual talent gets sophisticate pretty quickly. so wasn't five minutes after we released this immature people are saying what's next? we work, too, quite frankly. we're all asking what's next. but by making movies access a completely different realm as dr. bouman was saying. we can add some new telescopes around the globe to sharpen and fill out the virtual lens, and by seeing them motions of matter orbiting around which can't of course move at the speed of light, we tested einstein in a completely different way. it's a completely different kind of object or keep in mind 1000 times smaller in mass and in 87. it's a completely different kind of object, astronomical point of view. it's much more similar to all the black hole goals and most oe
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galaxies in the universe. by being in the study the start we can -- >> you set up my next set of question because i was very much intrigued that she doesn't notice were not to come up with a theory of quantum gravity yet. so i been asking a lot of peope but since, and reading up on it. i've long been a fan of string theory because the math works, right? but in string theory you have 26 dimensions? superstring theory, ten dimensions. how does this work on imaging a black hole help you think about quantum gravity? >> it's a really good question. on the scale of the event horizon we can to think a black goals as classical objects. in other words, the quantum realm doesn't really take hold indicative singled her that is shrouded by the event horizon. when you get to that singularly the density is so high and the force of gravity is so strong that finally gravity gets to
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play with the big forces, like the strong force in the week for spectral thinks at a nuclear level. only there does that happen. that's where you need to unify gravity and the quantum world. at the event horizon we don't think there's going to be much effect on quantum gravity but there could be in other words, arsome theories would you get manifestations of the quantum world on horizons scales. people of denson simulations that of what that might look like. >> and you you get to the singularity will you be able to think about things like quantum entanglement? >> it's possible. i'm sure, i'll be honest with i'm not sure how the event horizon telescope with see through the event horizon, we have quite got the gift but if the fluctuations can be methods outside the horizon, then looking at the electromagnetic radiation from the black old boundary as the eht does could give us a window into that. >> so all of us you are big fans of james webb and w first. will this work also give you insight into dark energy and
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dark matter? >> it is possible to think about dark matter. for example, or theories that dark matter consists of black holes are things like that. there are also some possibilities that axion particles which could be constituents of dark matter dark energy could be resolved or study with the event horizon telescope but that remains to be seen. that would be through a next-generation version of it. >> could i just add that there's other telescopes command line like the large in chile that is going to really address dark matter and dark energy. >> great, thank you. dr. bouman, it was fun to read in the statement about the 1000 hard disks and the too much did he go over the internet and three times, so you're a
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computer scientist. lights coming in terms of data management to be able to deal with these huge amounts of data? >> yeah, well, likely from a imaging pointed to by the time was for making the images this data has already been whittled down to a much smaller about the data and their problems with too little data. actually there are groups of people who take the five have died of data we get and get down to megabytes pics of basically to try to find this weak signal and on huge amount of noise and process it down and calibrated so we kind of make these measurements that we been used to make images. even then this has required huge amounts of confrontational power to make these five petabytes down to the megabyte level. i think doctor launcelot a lot
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to say along that line. >> just briefly, one of the biggest challenges we face is actually taking the data from the telescopes and physically moving it to one place so we can combine it. that's a particular problem for the observations taken at the south pole. these observations happen in the northern spring which is when winter is closing in in antarctica so we can't even get the data physically or months and months and months, and ways to ameliorate the problem are studying including the possibility of laser-based communications via space relay which has the potential for enormous data rates that would allow us to get the data much quicker and do the whole process more efficiently. >> thank you very much. madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you very much. >> this is an incredible panel.
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i just thank you. the enthusiasm, it really is infectious. so many, many years ago i wrote my term paper in astronomy, black holes, okay? and i love volcanoes and i got to go to the attic, deserts to the observatory there which is surrounded by volcanoes and was focusing on the black hole. they didn't tell us that scary but they told us is going to be big news coming. so you had a cone of silence, but they definitely gave us an indication what was coming. one of the things that his father was incredible was the teamwork among the scientists of all the different departments that you might see in english, spanish, in czechoslovakian. so when young scientists down there with, running the computers, and they were all working.
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and each of them could speak the other's language. so tell me all of it about it, what it was like working with some of -- and all you can some of your colleagues from other parts of the world. because this was an incredible amount of teamwork. and i want to talk about time travel after that. [laughing] [inaudible] >> so maybe we can solve the time problem by first inventing time travel and england more time to answer the question. i think one of the points of pride in this project really is that our strength is in the diversity of the team, and the strength is in building bridges across borders at a time when i think as the chairwoman said, things can divide us. the technique we use nimbly sidesteps all of that. in an natural and organic waste to work with the best experts
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around the world to build this global telescope with a global teen. we ensure that as a citizen by establishing working groups, imaging working group that dr. bouman is in, the technology working groups that dr. lonsdale participates in. by making them interdisciplinary and by drawing of the different constituents around the globe as a fabric of it. when you do that, when you bring everyone together, you find out quickly who can do the work regardless of where they are and you crosscheck everyone. and it's set up that apartment that i called purposeful tension before. it really is a way to gain acceptance for your results when anybody is looking at it and there but is asking questions regardless of language or culture or background. >> so i want to emphasize that
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the technique has been around fofor a long time. and because it involves very long baselines it automatically is international. it's been international for 50 years and is a real sense of community and everybody is friends, or nearly everybody is friends. but no, i mean, it's really a wonderful community and it's a delight to work on this for the last several decades but in eht there's also a key factor that type everybody together, everybody is totally driven by the mission. there is tremendous drive on the part of everybody to get to results like this, and that crosses all barriers. and so when you combine those things together that i think is the spirit that you witnessed. >> let me jump to tie for second. does that picture to anything about time?
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>> -- tell you anything about that and what it is? >> i guess i will be the sacrificial lamb here on this one. i'll just say there's no real indication that we can make inroads on time travel using these results. in one sense you're looking at a time machine, because this black hole is 55,000,000 ly million light years away. the image that you see is a way the black go look 55 million years ago. so in that sense we are seeing something that left the black hole when dinosaurs had just been extinct here on the earth. >> but going back to the question about matthew mcconaughey and interstellar, does this, what you've done help prove up some of einstein theory about time and space in something as asked vance if an asset as that. >> was absolutely it doesn't what you're seeing here is the strongest group have today basis
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of supermassive black holes full stop. it really validates einstein said thierry to the precision of her measurements about this black go. for example, mcconaughey went to the fictitious black hole and he went close to it and he came back and have not aged as much as a companion astronaut in the mothership. that is a real phenomenon. you can go to a black hole. you can go close to it. your clocks will kick much more slowly than clocks farther away. so in that sense we have validated einstein at the black old boundary and maybe put interstellar on slightly better footing. >> thank you, and thanks chair. i yield back. >> thank you very much. >> well, take you to our incredible witnesses for today's hearing. there's a reason why we are doing this as a hearing today rather than a meeting, that's because we are showcasing to the
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world from the halls of congress you are incredible achievement and accomplishments for humanity that really just put us at a tipping point, wrinkly. and the question i wanted to ask was around the technology and the data sets in the logarithms. i was wondering, i wanted you to shed light on that technology and what that means for us in our everyday lives and what this means for us as society and other applications that we may be could use these data sets. dr. bouman, if you would like to start i would love you to take that question. >> sure. so i talked a little bit so far about have methods that we've developed for imaging a black goal can be applied to many different applications.
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i highlighted mri, taking better images of our brains and organs that are moving, and that could be done it's a very similar problem to imaging in evolving glycol overnight. there are a myriad of different applications and so many of the applications today require that we take multi modality information and merging together with algorithms that kind of feel in our gaps of information to come to some result. and i think that the merging of sensor data with algorithms, especially in machine learning where we're coming up with new cup additional techniques to push the boundaries of these methods, i think the methods we develop for the black imaging are similar in spirit as these of the methods. we have to come up with similar, there are similar problems with them well like balloting
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information from taking sure these systems are robust in different situations, making sure we don't impose too much prior information on our result and we can see something unexpected. i think these are similar problems throughout a pride of applications. >> how many people work on the dataset? >> so the imaging portion of it is only one small part of making the image of the black hole. there are many different steps from developing instrumentation,
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installing these at the ends of the earth in this awful even, through data processing, whole new data processing pipelines had to be developed with the challenges of the eht and might even though we build on past technology these had to be modified for the challenges we faced. imaging and the model fitting and theory can understand the interpretation, all of these parts in getting the picture. we had over 200 collaborators on the eht project and there were additional collaborators were not part of the collaboration are also essential to making it possible. >> so this is international collaboration we've been talking
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about that these large challenges, these big visions i really met a coming together and that something that we spent a lot of time on the science committee exploring and talking about witches how to forge unlikely alliances, how to set the table and, frankly, that something the federal government does really well, when it's working well, is bringing folks together. one last question about the black hole, and mr. perlmutter got into some of the fun of this, but you sort u of with yor work have begun to normalize the black hole, which was sort of just this big vision and debate
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if it is true and what it is. i was just wondering if you could shed light on how one cannot get lost in the black hole as it pertains to the work you are doing some of the political questions -- somewhat of a political question but your work as implications for will be doing on the sites commit and how we are inspiring research. >> that's an interesting question. what we try to answer and you can maybe course correct me if i go astray here. one way to look at this and not get lost is to put in historical context. think about in 1655 it was an image that startled people. it was the first drawing of a flea by hook. the microscopic world came we'll for us. all of a sudden something it was invisible to us became real and a change the way we thought about our lives and it changed medicine and disease and epidemiology, just knowing that
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there was this micro structure. think also about the first x-ray made by wrenching of his wife's hand. you can see the ring with a bony structure underneath. it made something visible for the first time that was invisible prior to that. in think of the earthrise over the moon, the first blue marble. it really put things in perspective for us. it made us feel connected and the way that we had that before. it made us feel vulnerable. these are iconic images. they are terrifying but we can't look away. if you want to get poetic, using her words, that this image may become an icon. it may be the first in which we have every one way to work out of our universe. it's something we've been taught that's a real monster exists, that the visible has become visible. and maybe it's the beginning of
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something new, not just the end. >> thank you. that's exactly what i was looking for. i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair. and thank you to all the witnesses for being here today. i am really in awe of all of you and everything jeff accomplished, and it's fantastic that you've inspired a new generation of americans and beyond to pursue science and to look beyond our horizons. one of the major -- and this is something the gentlelady's time michigan touched on a little bit, but one of the big challenges you had to overcome was a huge volume of data, and that was generated and how it had to be transported to get you couldn't use the internet to transport a lot of it and analyze. can you talk a little bit,
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dr. cordova, and to talk a little bit about the need for new approaches to big data, given the volume of data that we are seeing now and breakthroughs like these? >> yes. this is a great example that puts it into the spotlight. so one of our ten big ideas for investment is called harnessing the data revolution, and it's really a response to this enormous challenge that we have, not just in this field but in all fields of scientific endeavor. and other endeavors now and we need to be continually stimulating the imaginations of with the proposers, grantees, to think about how we're going to effectively do data analytics and data science on this enormous scale of data that we have. so we have a lot of great opportunities to propose for new kinds of platforms in ways of thinking about this, where also working in collaboration with the private sector. we have, for one example i collaboration with amazon where they're putting in 10 million, we are putting in 10 million to work on artificial intelligence and see where that can take us and looking at how to do data science better. and we are in our new convergence accelerated we have a fast track to try to get a platform where people can access databases that may look completely different and actually kind to speak different languages, and how do we interrogate them so that just the average individual can go in there and say i can understand how to use this database and this one and this one, and put them all together in order to synthesize new knowledge, extract the answer to new questions. so it's just an enormous challenge our society, because
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it is technologically advanced now has. i think this illustration of the eht project really puts that in focus. we're not just talking about 15 terabytes a night, which is what we expect on a telescope like a new when we build in chile, but we're talking about much more. >> related to that i guess or as a part of that, i understand, dr. bouman, that the computer algorithms that were used to construct the image that they leverage open source software, is that correct. >> was yes, that's correct. >> i would ask everyone on the panel, what in your view is the value of open sites back to such is making computer codes and raw data available to the public? how does that help for innovation? >> the algorithms, the code that we write make images of black holes to model it to extract the math, many different aspects of the project we leverage open source software. without this it would've taken as many more years to develop the tools necessary to do this. we gained a lot. if you look at basically the tree of contributors towards a project and it's not just tens of people, it's the hundreds of people but it's thousands of people that really contributed
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to making this project to open source software. i think it is really essential. and in giving back to the community and also trying to expedite these results and acceptance of results with also made our code and algorithms available to open-source software online along with the data that we use to make the picture. you can go off and develop your own methods to try to make a picture of a black hole as well. we are in big support of open source software and pushing and containincontinue to do that. >> thank you. dr. lonsdale, do you concur with that? >> i fully concur with that, yes. i think it's been a tremendous excitement for our work. it's made to work much more efficient, much more cost-effective ensuring these kinds of codes through the open source. >> dr. doeleman? >> i would love to give a recent example of where now open data has been increased discovery.
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recently visited princeton university and two young astrophysicist bear took the entire database from the two runs of the observatory that discovered gravitational waves. with her own computer and the own imagination, they went to the entire data sets and discovered a sixth more merging black hole binary sources, which the original team had not found. but just because they had the own kinds of algorithms that they had developed to reduce the noise. the potential of releasing data and, of course, software is just enormous for discovery. >> thank you. >> which might if i said one more? >> i will inquire if madam chair
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says it's okay, so yes. >> often people say standing on the shoulder of giants but with open source software many hands make light work. so you can get thousands of people helping. i would also had very quickly it's the way to get by in. it's a way to make people feel like they are part of something like this. so the people who vote for libraries that we use and some of the software reuse, they can look at this and feel a little sense of ownership that they are part of it. so when you get such a result like this, and many people have contributed, everyone sees herself in this kind of project. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. ms. mcburney -- mr. mcnerney. >> i think the chairwoman for holding this fun hearing. what a thank you, dr. cordova
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for leadership and sons. i want to thank doctor dolman, dr. lonsdale for dedication hard worker i know how hard site is pretty got to spend a lot of hours alone in a lab. when you're in college or french out partying. after college there out making money. but they don't understand the kind of reward you get when you make these kinds of discoveries so thank you for your hard work. i studied general relativity in grad school so was particularly -- two-sea to see these images. because of your hard work and the hard work of many dedicated scientists who now for the first time were able to see create a definitive image of a black coal but we can't see black holes but we can see the effects of black holes. we need to think a black holes of something bigger than ourselves. this announcement was also a monumental moment forest in education which forms the cornerstone of the united states
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educational system. dr. cordova, exciting advances in science often inspires students to pursue s.t.e.m. careers. however, not every scientific breakthrough gets this kind of attention. what steps have you take takingo engage young people when exciting discoveries are made in other fields? >> thank you, congressman for the question, and thank you for always being a partner with nsf on its trips to both polls and to the adventure of scientific discovery globally. the nsf has many, many programs to stimulate the imagination of young people. we have, and some of the particular programs are computer science for all, or see as for all it's called, which gets think people with the imagination as dr. bouman at an
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early age involved in having the computer skills and literacies to go on. and then go in any direction that they want in science, engineering, finance, whatever. we have a lot of programs to increase inclusiveness and diversity of the s.t.e.m. workforce at all ages. where programs to advance women and underrepresented minorities to the pipeline of academia and beyond. and so it's just a major emphasis of hours. this particular discovery, i just have to credit the people that are in our office of public affairs for ceasing on what it would do to imaginations of everybody, young people, older folks around the world is realizing there is on in your submitting your first papers, that this was going to be the
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discovery which went of the people saw it just absolutely mesmerized, there would be a world pause to say, wow, you know, did that really happen? and they just donated in a way to organize relief the entire world. there were i think eight press conferences simultaneous around the world to announce this. it was just a major thing. now, we can do this every day. we don't have the workforce to speed i like to go to another question if you don't mind too much. thank you. did you use deep learning or other ai approaches in developing this image? >> i'll give you a quick answer that i like to defer to dr. bouman on that. we didn't necessarily use artificial intelligence or deep learning as such but we did use very forward-looking new algorithms. we cleared this tension in the program will be his traditional
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methods using radio astronomy but also new methods invented purposefully for these data. we cut cooperation between them. that was powerful evidence we're on the right track. we look forward to using these new kinds of techniques, deep learning, ai as we move forward in some of the region making. but maybe dr. bouman wants to speed is as dr. doeleman said it was very important that for the first results were as confident as possible and so we have many different methods both traditional new methods we had developed independently and we actually imaged independent family saw the same structure out of both of them then we are very confident. however, the data was so amazingly beautiful that we didn't actually get these are complicated methods to get something robust out of it. we decided to pair down and do
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basically the algorithms where most confident with in the edit most except it's within the community because they produce beautiful results themselves. we actually liked it when we did not have to impose as much assumptions into the problem. and so i think moving forward as we get harder and harder data that is harder to work with, it will be essential that we merge in these new competition methods come people and methods, other ai techniques with the data to get the best results. but for this result we found it wasn't necessary and chose not to use them. >> thank you. i'm going to ask one quick question. could you possibly describe how you felt when you first saw the image on your screen? >> so i think we all have probably different stories for this, but i was personally in disbelief. we had worked for years developing the methods come testing them, you know, but intel you saw come we all kind of crammed into a little room, very hot, it was june, and we
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all press go on a computer at the same time. we had an imaging script ready to go. as image like started appearing, this ring shape, none of really expecting that to happen. we had for years been told we would expect to get a ring, but you never know. everything, there's always something that goes wrong. seeing something like that just appear on the screen, i kept going between excitement,, disbelief and hoping it wasn't some cruel joke that's being played on us and it wasn't real data. it took me a monthly price convinced it was real but i was very excited. we were all very excited. >> thanthank you very much. dr. foster. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you to witness it. to say this year and have a lot of memories for me. i was fortunate enough in my career in science, maybe two and half times event at that screen seen the results of your data analysis and learning something that previously was only known to your data and to god.
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it is an incredible feeling. i remember the first time my thesis we built and designed data analysis for a giant detector and assault like to look for pro-john decay which is constantly -- proton decay. so we had multiple data analysis programs and mine went a lot better than anyone else's i knew the answer first. when we saw the first few days of data, realize we're seeing at expected rate and not decay, to sit back in your chair and say wow, all of these theorists were wrong. a while later and i guess about 160,000 years ago, a supernova blue off and for one of 60,000 years the burst of light and the burst of neutrinos travel towards the earth, arrived in 1987, and with the signal was
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seeing optically by the astronomers and at the same time in underground detector will result in neutrino burst at the time were also limited by data transmission and one of our collaborators drove down to the mine underneath cleveland and then took the actual magnetic tape which is how you move data, drove her to ann arbor with the analysis computers were, spun the tapes and did the analysis and then realize that yes, indeed we've seen the neutrino signal and learned a lot about these terrible explosions. i guess the third time was when i was working on the giant particle collider and i was looking for the discovery of the top quark that became -- so i have something to look every night would spin through the interesting events on the last night to data and solved one morning when i was drinking my coffee that in the previous night we've seen and a colonial
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electron event with enough energy that it pretty much had to be the decay of a top, anti-top top mass about 180g. that's why you get into this business and just understand that smile that is on your face. before i forget i would like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record of the series the entire author list of your publication. you know, it is a tough thing to try to spread the glory for something with this appropriately. because you everything on the technicians tested, and repair the circuit boards when the brick in the middle of the night to the people that really good at giving talks and so it always get sent to the big conferences. it's a tough thing and it's wonderful to people in the entire range of skills on the author list. i'd ask unanimous consent for that. thank you. let's see, in my copious men and half i have left, -- minute and
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that i left him i'd like to talk about the way forward on this, what additional facilities, you know, if you could ask for doubling or tripling of the effort in this area, you know, what would be at the top of the list julie expand your capabilities to do more of this kind of observation and analysis? >> so i think very near the top of the list is additional telescopes because they improve the fidelity of the data, will allow us to see things the things in a picture like this. this is a really spectacular jet of material coming out of it. the only reason you can't see it in this picture is because the dynamic range of the image of the brightest to the faintest isn't big enough. one of the ways you can improve it is by adding more telescopes. and then as doctor dolman said, increasing the amount of data that we can take, increases the
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sensitivity and then going into space is the obvious next step. because then you can get a telescope as big as you can space your spacecraft. >> what is escaping of your resolution with the baseline?
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>> it's one to one. if you double the base when you double the resolution of
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imaging. >> sigar not statistically limited? or at least as large of a handful of satellite. >> yes. a fairly complicated trade-off, if you have a local earth orbiting satellite, then it will get you a lot of information very quickly but not such resolution. ready to have something for the outcome it gathers data more slowly but has high-resolution. >> just one quick thing. did you publish the pictures that get averaged to the final? >> yes. you can have satellites in orbit. you can do higher bandwidth band you can go higher in frequency,
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from the european research counsel to build out the implementation that was deployed in all the telescopes. so in very key ways we lever the resources, not just the people, but the resources to build out the array. >> i'd like to add to that, the work that we do correlating the data, and combining the data streams, that's done at the mass plank institute for astronomy in bohn, germany and we've been close collaborators for that group for decades, in fact, and part of this community that i mentioned and the availability of a whole other team of people working on the correlation. so, we could do definitive cross-comparisons between what we were getting and what they were getting was an essential part of the data validation
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process that was carried through many different stages. >> and just doubling on that. since we were building in new instrument we never used before we needed to be very careful in tests, make sure that every stage of the pipeline was getting the correct answer so each stage from the correlation that dr. lonsdale just talked to to data processing and theory, each of these actually we developed different pipelines, different code bases or different methods to check each other, and in all of the cases that i can think of, there was always an international method or group that kind of spearheaded one of those, at least. and so i think it was really essential that we had these independent tests of each other, these crosschecks to make sure our instrument was working as expected and the
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international collaborators. >> and madam chair, when you make lists, you forget osomeone. i would point out the japanese colleagues brought in imaging and to the array that the doctor described, actually colleagues worked closely with on alma when outfitting that telescope. in mexico we have huge helps with the large telescope. and also from the chinese, they also invested in the east asian objeservatory that was in hawai. it was truly a global effort. >> thank you, any other comments? since we're coming to the end of the session, we want to mention about the diamond achievement award that nsf gave the eht team and dr. doeleman accepted on an um can of
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evenings ago. so this is the highest award for really remarkable achievement that we can give and of course, diamond spark things in our imagination, but i wanted to share with you something that i read in a book that's already been written and published about this project, scientific american writer named seth fletcher, he was with this team six years and went all over the world with them. they were at a critical point with lots of things going on and apparently shepp held his head and he said, i'm under so much pressure, i feel like i'm going to be squeezed into a diamond. and that's when we decided we needed to call this award the diamond award because, to reach out to all toes people, all those scientists and engineers that feel like they're under tremendous pressure and they may become diamond that
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actually sometimes they do become diamonds. >> thank you very much. before we bring the hearing to complete close, i really want to thank all of you for being here. it's been a tremendous hearing and i think that you've got that indication with the participation and the enthusiasm. i think you've rubbed some of yours off onto us. the record will remain open for two weeks for additional statements from members or any additional questions we may have also for additional testimony. the witnesses now excused and our hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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