Events List for the Academic Year

Event Time: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-07-28T10:00:00 2021-07-28T11:00:00 Chemodynaical evolution of galaxies Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-07-21T10:00:00 2021-07-21T11:00:00 Quenching massive galaxies Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-07-14T10:00:00 2021-07-14T11:00:00 Dwarf Galaxies and Their Black Holes Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Friday, July 9, 2021 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Location:
Virtual
Add to Calendar 2021-07-09T10:00:00 2021-07-09T12:00:00 Impostor Syndrome Workshop Event Information: The Equity & Inclusion in PHAS team presents “Impostor Syndrome,” a workshop run by astrophysicist Dr. Renée Hložek. Navigating the academic environment can be stressful. Power dynamics can impact our ability to communicate clearly with each other, and can generate feelings of impostor syndrome. In this interactive workshop, we will use techniques of improvisation and changing power dynamics to explore ways we can shape our communication environment. The session will include a short presentation, followed by a group discussion and an interactive component with improvisation exercises. It is open to people of all academic stages who are keen to think about these topics in new ways, and to try new techniques to help make our work environment a more comfortable space. Date: Friday, July 9th, 10:00am – 12:00pm PDT via Zoom Please register by Wednesday, July 7th. This workshop is free! Register: https://ubc.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5ctd-yoqzguGNMUiGhsN7Z-iNFp_rm4NpBu Event Location: Virtual
Event Time: Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-07-08T16:00:00 2021-07-08T17:00:00 Diffusion-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Depicts Regions of Sub- and Super-diffusion Encoded by the Fractional Diffusion Equation Event Information: Fractional-order time and space derivatives extend the classical diffusion equation in a manner that accounts for the non-Gaussian diffusion often observed in heterogeneous materials. MRI provides diffusion-weighted images of biological tissues, which exhibit anisotropic, hindered, and restricted diffusion. Fractional calculus models of anomalous diffusion display regions of sub- and super-diffusion separated by a line of quasi-diffusion along which the mean squared displacement is a linear function of diffusion time. This behavior can be captured by fractional derivatives and/or by introducing a diffusion coefficient with a power-law decay varying as a function of time or space. The corresponding phase diagrams, like pages in a book, result in a portfolio of representations of anomalous diffusion. The anomalous phase cube employs lines of super-diffusion (Lévy process) and sub-diffusion (subordinated Brownian motion) to stitch together the different diffusion models for corresponding regions. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-07-07T10:00:00 2021-07-07T11:00:00 Looking for observational signatures of feedback from active galactic nuclei Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Thursday, July 1, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
None
Add to Calendar 2021-07-01T16:00:00 2021-07-01T17:00:00 Canada Day! Event Information: It's Canada Day and we're not having a Departmental Colloquium! Event Location: None
Event Time: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-06-30T10:00:00 2021-06-30T11:00:00 The Multiphase Circum- and Intergalactic Media at the Nexus Between Galaxy Formation and Cosmology Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-06-23T10:00:00 2021-06-23T11:00:00 The Search for Ionizing Radiation at High Redshift Event Information: /*-->*/ Determining the contribution of galaxies to the reionization of the universe is a fundamental goal for studies of the intergalactic medium (IGM), and galaxy formation and evolution. A direct measurement of ionizing Lyman-continuum radiation escaping from galaxies is not possible at the epoch of reionization, due to the high optical depth of the IGM, and therefore observations of this process at slightly lower redshift are crucial for understanding what happens at z>6. For the past several years, we have been attempting direct imaging and spectroscopic observations of escaping ionizing radiation at z~3, using both ground-based and HST data. These observations have uncovered many possible sources of Lyman continuum radiation, but also reveal the challenges associated with low-redshift contamination. We highlight the current state of the field and promising upcoming methods for determining f_esc, the escape fraction of ionizing radiation. "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Monday, June 21, 2021 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-06-21T15:00:00 2021-06-21T16:00:00 Measuring the Largest Structures in the Universe with the Smallest Telescopes in Space Event Information: Observational astrophysics is often driven by the desire for ever increasing angular resolution, which has resulted in larger and more expensive telescopes with time. However, telescopes with very small apertures can sometimes perform cosmological measurements as important as their larger siblings. In this talk, I will present several examples of small aperture, space-based experiments providing unique views of the large scale structure of the Universe as traced at optical and infrared wavelengths.  I will discuss recent results from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) that has successfully measured the amplitude of the near-IR background fluctuations on arcminute scales, and our work using the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons to measure the cosmic optical background.  Looking forward, missions like the CIBER-2 sounding rocket and SPHEREx, a mid-class NASA Explorer mission designed to probe the inflationary history of the Universe and the evolution of galaxies, are expected generate important new results in the next 5 years. Dr. Zemcov's primary research focus is experimental astrophysics and cosmology, particularly the development of instruments and data analysis methods for a variety of platforms, including ground-based, sub-orbital rockets, and orbital observatories.  He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Physics & Astronomy and the Center for Detectors at the Rochester Institute of Technology and an Affiliate Scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Prior to coming to RIT in 2015, Dr. Zemcov was a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology and a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his PhD from Cardiff University, Wales in 2006 and his BSc from the University of British Columbia in 2003. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Friday, June 18, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-06-18T10:00:00 2021-06-18T11:00:00 The hidden cold circumgalactic medium Event Information: The circumgalactic medium (CGM) represents the boundary between the interstellar medium and the cosmic web, and its properties are directly shaped by the baryon cycle in galaxies. The CGM was traditionally believed to consist mostly of warm and hot gas, but recent breakthroughs have presented a new scenario according to which an important fraction of its mass may reside in an "hidden" cold atomic and molecular phase. This would have major implications for galaxy formation and evolution theories, because it would imply that the CGM entrains dense gas that is readily available for star formation. "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-06-17T16:00:00 2021-06-17T17:00:00 The new SI and fundamental constants Event Information: The International System of Units (SI) underwent a revolutionary change on May 20, 2019. In October 2017, the International Committee on Weights and Measures met at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris and recommended a new definition of the SI such that a particular set of constants would have certain values when expressed in the new SI units. In particular, the SI is now defined by the statement: The International System of Units, the SI, is the system of units in which the unperturbed ground state hyperfine splitting frequency of the caesium 133 atom nu_Cs is 9 192 631 770 Hz, the speed of light in vacuum c is 299 792 458 m/s, the Planck constant h is 6.626 070 15 x 10^-34 J/Hz, the elementary charge e is 1.602 176 634 x 10^-19 C, the Boltzmann constant k is 1.380 649 x 10^-23 J/K, the Avogadro constant N_A is 6.022 140 76 x 10^23 mol^-1, the luminous efficacy K_cd of monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 x 10^12 hertz is 683 lm/W. The numerical values of the constants were determined by a special CODATA adjustment of the values of the constants using data in papers that were accepted for publication by July 1, 2017. The Convention of the Meter (Convention du Metre), a treaty that species international agreement on how units are defined, was established in 1875 with 17 nations initially signing on, including the US. The SI, established within the treaty in 1960, is more recent and continues to evolve. Currently, the treaty is agreed to by fifty-eight Member States, including all the major industrialized countries. Even though a majority of people in the US still use units such as inches and pounds, the official standards for these units are based on the SI units. The redefinition has had a signicant impact on the fundamental constants when expressed in SI units. Not only are the defining constants exact, but many others are now also exact, and still others have considerably reduced uncertainties. This reflects a shift from macroscopic measurement standards to quantum based standards. This talk will describe the new SI, review reasons for the change, and show how units can be based on assigned values of certain physical constants. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Monday, June 14, 2021 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-06-14T15:00:00 2021-06-14T16:00:00 Constraining the Timescales of Galaxy Evolution using Observations and Simulations Event Information: A diverse range of physical processes are responsible for regulating star formation across galaxies. Understanding their relative contributions to galaxy growth and quenching at different epochs is one of the key questions in galaxy evolution today. Since the processes driving galaxy growth, quenching and morphological transformations are thought to have characteristic timescales, studying the strength of stochastic star formation rate (SFR) fluctuations on these timescales allows us to disentangle their relative contributions for a population of galaxies. In this talk, I will give a brief summary of current work focusing on (i) establishing a formalism to study the stochasticity of star formation at a given time-scale and analyzing a variety of cosmological galaxy evolution simulations using this formalism, and (ii) observational methods of reconstructing star formation histories, which yield constraints on the time-scales of galaxy growth, morphological transformations, and quenching. Taken together, simulations and observations leverage predictive power against observational constraints, allowing us to develop a fuller picture of how galaxies evolve over time. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-06-10T16:00:00 2021-06-10T17:00:00 Modelling COVID-19 variants and vaccination Event Information: COVID-19 spreads quickly, with different regions experiencing waves of infections at different times. While the initial waves reflected changes in social behaviour, the most recent waves in Canada and elsewhere were influenced by variants and vaccination. This talk introduces basic epidemic modelling and presents analyses of data from BC and around the world that show how variants and vaccination affected the past and will shape the future of the pandemic. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-06-09T10:00:00 2021-06-09T11:00:00 AGN emission line diagnostic diagrams Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Monday, June 7, 2021 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-06-07T15:00:00 2021-06-07T16:00:00 Biogenic Worlds: From atmospheric HCN production to the building blocks of RNA in warm little ponds Event Information: What is the origin of the building blocks of life on early Earth? Is it necessary that they were delivered by meteorites or interplanetary dust? Or was early Earth "biogenic," and could produce key biomolecules on its own? An atmosphere rich in HCN is a distinguishing feature of what we term biogenic worlds. HCN is a key species produced in Miller-Urey electric discharge experiments simulating lightning-based chemistry in the primordial atmosphere. HCN reacts in water to form nucleobases and ribose, the building blocks of RNA, and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. To determine whether early Earth was biogenic, we develop a self-consistent chemical kinetic model for the production and rainout of HCN in the early atmosphere, and couple it to a comprehensive model of warm little ponds to compute the in situ production of the building blocks of RNA. We model two epochs of the Hadean eon, at 4.4 Gya (giga-years ago) and 4.0 Gya, which differ in composition, luminosity, UV intensity, and impact bombardment rate. At 4.4 Gya, UV intensity was high due to the active newly formed Sun, and asteroids and comets were bombarding the planet at an overwhelming rate of 1x1015 kg/yr. Impact degassing at this time produced a reducing, H2-dominant atmosphere. At 4.0 Gya, the atmosphere was depleted in hydrogen due to escape from the upper atmosphere, and volcanic outgassing led to an oxidizing CO2-dominant world. The reducing models at 4.4 Ga lead to RNA building block production in ponds that is comparable in concentration to what would result from meteoritic delivery (ppm-range). Unlike the RNA building blocks delivered to ponds by meteorites, which survive for less than a few years, the concentrations produced in situ are maintained indefinitely due to the steady influx of HCN from the troposphere. The oxidizing models at 4.0 Ga lead to substantially lower RNA building block concentrations (ppq-range). These results suggest that early Earth was biogenic at 4.4 Ga, and transitioned out of this phase sometime before 4.0 Ga. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Thursday, June 3, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-06-03T16:00:00 2021-06-03T17:00:00 Directed Aging: Using Memory and Nature's Greed as a New Principle for Materials Design Event Information: It is a well-known and indisputable fact that materials age and deform over time, which often leads to detrimental degradation.  In contrast to this view, I will seek to embrace aging and develop it as a methodology to create desired and novel functionality in matter. The central idea is that a material retains a memory of the external stimuli to which it was exposed during its preparation history and, in reaction to those applied cues, can be directed to evolve desired behaviors not easily found otherwise. “Directed aging” thus has the potential to become a general, new and unconventional methodology for creating material function; it stands in direct juxtaposition to the normal paradigm where materials are designed for specific functions.  Just as stem cells evolve differently depending on the environment to which they are exposed, we envisage materials that develop new types of response upon exposure to different cues.  We are left with the question: How far can this vision be pushed to generate broad classes of materials with desired functionality?  Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
Online
Add to Calendar 2021-06-02T10:00:00 2021-06-02T11:00:00 Science of VLTI/GRAVITY near-infrared interferometer and the studies of luminous AGNs Event Information: TBA "2021 BC Galaxy Summer Seminars" is an online seminar series organized jointly by SFU, UBC and UVic. For the full series schedule, visit the series webpage. Subscribe to our e-mail list here to get reminders about these seminars. Event Location: Online
Event Time: Monday, May 31, 2021 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-05-31T15:00:00 2021-05-31T16:00:00 Spin state and moment of inertia of Venus Event Information: Earth-based radar observations in 2006–2020 enabled the first measurement of the spin precession rate and moment of inertia of Venus.  The observations also showed that the spin period of the solid planet changes by tens of minutes.  The length-of-day variations are due to variations in atmospheric angular momentum transferred to the solid planet.  Some of the variations appear to follow the diurnal cycle. Event Location: Connect via zoom
Event Time: Thursday, May 27, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Connect via zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-05-27T16:00:00 2021-05-27T17:00:00 Adventures of a lapsed physicist: from solid state physics to Covid-19 vaccines Event Information: I graduated from the UBC Physics Department with a PhD in solid state physics in 1972. In this talk I will relate an improbable journey from ESR studies of phosphorus-doped silicon at 4°K to enabling the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. The story begins with a move to the Biochemistry Department at Oxford University as a Postdoctoral Fellow to use NMR to study the functional roles of lipids in biological membranes. This required the use of simplified “model membrane” vesicular systems consisting of well-defined lipid species. I soon became interested in the potential of these model membranes as drug delivery vehicles and, on my return to UBC in 1978, focused most of my efforts in this area. Initial work led to three lipid nanoparticle (LNP) systems containing cancer drugs that were approved by the FDA and EMA. This success led to work beginning in the late 1990s to deliver nucleic acid-based drugs such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) for gene silencing and mRNA for gene expression. Some 20 years later, these efforts resulted in LNP systems that could deliver encapsulated mRNA to the interior of target cells in vivo. Through a series of rather serendipitous events these LNP systems now enable the mRNA coding for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered into muscle and immune cells, enabling vaccine potency. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is playing a major role in quelling the global pandemic. Event Location: Connect via zoom