Hubble Data Confirms Galaxies Lacking Dark Matter

The most accurate distance measurement yet of ultra-diffuse galaxy (UDG) NGC1052-DF2 (DF2) confirms beyond any shadow of a doubt that it is lacking in dark matter. The newly measured distance of 22.1 +/-1.2 megaparsecs was obtained by an international team of researchers led by Zili Shen and Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University and Shany Danieli, a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Institute.

Scholar Spotlight: Shany Danieli

Dark matter makes up 80% of the total matter in the universe. Yet, we know very little about it. In this episode of Scholar Spotlight, astrophysicist Shany Danieli discusses her journey to understand dark matter while studying galaxies. Shany shares how she developed an interest in physics at a young age and is now inspiring her own children by balancing the dual roles of scientist and mother.     

Covid-19 Updates

June 1, 2021

The Institute campus remains partially reopened for Faculty, Members, and staff. The Health Screening Form must be completed each morning before coming to campus and approved by the IAS Covid-19 Response Team. 

Fully vaccinated individuals at IAS:

  • Do not need to wear masks outdoors; indoors when in their offices, alone or with others who are fully vaccinated; or indoors in public spaces (hallways, activities building, libraries, laundry).
  • Do not need to quarantine after having close contact with someone with Covid-19, as long as they remain asymptomatic.
  • Do not need to quarantine or get tested before/after domestic travel unless otherwise required by their destination.

Unvaccinated individuals at IAS:

  • Are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors.
  • Must adhere to the six-foot social distancing guidelines.
  • Do need to quarantine after having close contact with someone with Covid-19.

For more information on risk for vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals, the CDC has guidance on “Choosing Safer Activities.”

New Jersey’s travel advisory is no longer in effect. 

New Jersey residents returning home and travelers visiting the state do not need to quarantine, but should follow travel guidance from the CDC, the NJ Department of Health, and local health and safety protocols of their travel destination. At this time, the CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated and that unvaccinated individuals get tested 1–3 days before their trip, 3–5 days after travel, and stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.

International Travel
The CDC has placed new travel restrictions to the United States from certain countries. All air passengers arriving in the United States from a foreign country are required to get tested for Covid-19 no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to present the negative result, or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19, to the airline before boarding the flight.

In addition, with specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may NOT enter the United States: India, China, Iran, countries in the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa. For a full list of exceptions, refer to the CDC's update on travelers prohibited from entry.

IAS is no longer requiring the completion of a Travel Questionnaire, and academically related travel can resume in accordance with current guidelines.

Read more.

The Spectre of Race

Political and economic exclusion is often manifested in laws, norms, and coercive sanctions that delimited or outright prohibited noncitizen populations (slaves, women, serfs, and peasants among them) from participating in formal civic life.

Joan W. Scott’s Critical History of Inequality

Now that “gender theory” has fallen under attack in France, denounced by its critics as an ideology that destroys the natural order and upsets the political and social balance, it seems fitting, if not crucial, that we take a look back on the ever-changing thoughts of a historian who has contributed greatly to the introduction of the concept of gender within the field of historiography. 

Black Metaphors in the "King of Tars"

In the late Middle Ages, Christian conversion could wash a black person’s skin white—or at least that is what happens when a black sultan converts to Christianity in the late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century English romance the King of Tars. The remarkable transformation, however, is not what it might at first appear to be. 

New Biography on the Life and Legacy of Kurt Gödel

Kurt Gödel, a Member of the Institute Faculty in the School of Mathematics, is the topic of the biography Journey to the Edge of Reason by Stephen Budiansky. In conducting research for the book, Budiansky worked closely with the Institute archivists. The book depicts the early days at the Institute, where Gödel often met with fellow longtime IAS scholar Albert Einstein.

Four Appointed to IAS Board of Trustees

The Institute for Advanced Study has appointed Bernard E. Harcourt, Fred Hu, Mike Speiser, and Pauline Yu to its Board of Trustees. Hailing from the worlds of social theory, economics, internet technology, and comparative literature, these new Trustees bring diverse perspectives and the promise of unique synergies to the operations of the Board.

A Room, an Office, a Library, a World

The Institute is a remarkably modest place. Like all Members, I was provided a lovely apartment, a simple office (with computer), access to libraries, lunch in the dining hall, tea in the afternoon. So how does new knowledge come out of such a simple mix? 

Truth and Beauty: The History of the IAS Seal

The need for an official Institute seal was one of the first things that Abraham Flexner, founding Director of the Institute, turned his attention to even before preliminary financial and practical arrangements were in place. [...] The radical nature of Flexner’s twinning of science and humanism with truth and beauty arose in part from the radical nature of his concept for a “modern” university.

The Spring 2021 Institute Letter

Read articles by IAS Faculty and Members exploring the origins of the Second World War; the Janus-like nature of mathematical dualities; and the troubling history and misuse of the term “moral hazard." Also included are Alondra Nelson’s remarks delivered on the occasion of her appointment as Deputy Director for Science and Society in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and coverage of Avi Wigderson’s 2021 Abel Prize.

Dark Matter: Discerning What We Cannot See

When I was a graduate student at Caltech, Annika Peter made a comparison between the universe and a cupcake: “The dough that makes up most of it, that’s the dark energy. The icing is dark matter. And the sprinkles on top––that’s all the ordinary matter that we know and love.”