Events List for the Academic Year

Event Time: Friday, May 17, 2019 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Location:
BRIM 311
Add to Calendar 2019-05-17T14:00:00 2019-05-17T15:30:00 CM Seminar: Vector beams, high harmonic generation and THz solenoidal magnetic fields Event Information: Abstract:  We use intense vector beams to generate high harmonics or to create solenoidal currents in solids or gases.  We create circularly polarized harmonics and we predict THz magnetic fields reaching the scale that is only available at user facilities. Event Location: BRIM 311
Event Time: Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Location:
BRIM 311
Add to Calendar 2019-04-04T14:00:00 2019-04-04T15:30:00 CM Seminar: Quantum materials: insights from near field nano-optics Event Information: In 1944 Hans Bethe reported on “the diffraction of electromagnetic radiation by a hole small compared with the wave-length” [Physical Review 66, 163 (1944)]. This seminal paper was among the early precursors to a new and vibrant area of research: near field nano-optics. I will discuss recent nano-optical experiments on quantum materials including graphene and other atomically layered crystals. Central to the nano-optical exploration of quantum materials is the notion of polaritons: hybrid light-matter modes that are omnipresent in polarizable media [Nature Materials 16, 1077 (2017)]. Infrared nano-optics allows one to directly image polaritonic standing waves yielding rich insights into the electronic phenomena of the host material supporting polaritons [Science 354, 195 (2016)]. We utilized this novel general approach to investigate the physics of ballistic electronic transport in graphene [Nature 557, 530 (2018)] and of topological conducting channels also  in graphene [Science 362, 1153 (2018)].   Event Location: BRIM 311
Event Time: Monday, April 1, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-04-01T15:00:00 2019-04-01T16:00:00 The close flyby of the most distant solar system body yet explored: New Horizons at 2014 MU69, exploring a planetesimal Event Information: On the 1st of January 2019 NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made the most distant encounter with a solar system body yet achieved by humankind.  Using targeting and navigational information acquired through the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey and a dedicated CFHT observing program that enable an HST search and then Gaia based navigation, New Horizons flew a mere 3500km over the surface of this tiny world.  I will document the processes that made this encounter possible and detail the rich dataset that has now (mostly) arrived back at Earth.  These data are exposing the end state of the process of planetesimal formation in our distant solar system. Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 201
Add to Calendar 2019-03-28T16:00:00 2019-03-28T17:00:00 Making cosmological measurements with standard rulers and standard shapes Event Information: Analyses of galaxy clustering in redshift surveys such as the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), have provided robust cosmological measurements and are now considered as one of the pillars of modern observational cosmology. The key technique uses Baryon Acoustic Oscillations as a standard ruler with which to measure the expansion of the Universe: finding the BAO scale within the galaxy survey fixes the distance-redshift relation. Complementary measurements can be made on smaller scales using voids as standard shapes - on average voids have no preferred orientation with respect to us, and this can be used to make cosmological measurements. I will introduce both BAO and void-based methods, and present recent results using both, confirming and refining the standard LCDM cosmological model. Future surveys including the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), the Euclid satellite mission and the MaunaKea Spectroscopic Explorer (as well as the related CHIME project, based at UBC), will provide an order of magnitude more information than BOSS and I will introduce these surveys and discuss predictions for the expected measurements. Event Location: Hennings 201
Event Time: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Location:
Room 203, Graduate Student Centre (6371 Crescent Road).
Add to Calendar 2019-03-26T12:30:00 2019-03-26T14:30:00 Final PhD Oral Examination (Thesis Title: “Scale Symmetry and the Non-Equilibrium Quantum Dynamics of Ultra-Cold Atomic Gases”) Event Information: Thesis Abstract: The study of the quantum dynamics of ultra-cold atomic gases has become a forefront of atomic research. Experiments studying dynamics have become routine in laboratories, and a plethora of phenomena have been studied. Theoretically, however, the situation is often intractable unless one resorts to numerical or semiclassical calculations. In this thesis we apply the symmetry associated with scale invariance to study the dynamics of atomic gases, and discuss the implications of this symmetry on the full quantum dynamics. In particular we study the time evolution of an expanding two-dimensional Bose gas with attractive contact interactions, and the three-dimensional Fermi gas at unitarity. To do this we employ a quantum variational approach and exact symmetry arguments. It is shown that the time evolution due to a scale invariant Hamiltonian produces an emergent conformal symmetry. This emergent conformal symmetry has implications on the time evolution of an expanding quantum gas. In addition, we examine the effects of broken scale symmetry on the expansion dynamics. To do this, we develop a non-perturbative formalism that classifies the possible dynamics that can occur. This formalism is then applied to two systems, an ensemble of two-body systems, and for the compressional and elliptic flow of a unitary Fermi gas, both in three spatial dimensions. Event Location: Room 203, Graduate Student Centre (6371 Crescent Road).
Event Time: Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 201
Add to Calendar 2019-03-21T16:00:00 2019-03-21T17:00:00 Engineering Correlated Physics in Two-Dimensional Moire Superlattices Event Information: Van der Waals heterostructures of atomically thin crystals offer an exciting new platform to design novel electronic and optical properties. In this talk, I will describe a general approach to engineer correlated physics using moire superlattice in two dimensional heterostructures. One example is the tunable Mott insulator realized in the ABC trilayer graphene (TLG) and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) heterostructure with a moiré superlattice, where the moiré leads to narrow electronic minibands and allows for the observation of gate-tunable Mott insulator states at 1/4 and 1/2 fillings. In addition, signatures of superconductivity are observed at low temperature near the 1/4-filling Mott insulator state in the TLG/hBN heterostructures. Another example is the WS2/WSe2 heterostructure, where the moire superlattice leads to flat exciton subbands and emerging excitonic transitions. Event Location: Hennings 201
Event Time: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-03-19T11:00:00 2019-03-19T12:30:00 Probing quiescent black holes with tidal disruption events Event Information: Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) reside at the heart of most galaxies, with the most direct evidence of these massive objects arising from the detection of an Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). However, for quiescent BHs in which accretion occurs at a much lower rate, it is more difficult to probe the nature of these sources using similar techniques as those used for AGN. However, tidal disruption events (TDEs), which are luminous accretion powered flares that occur when a star wanders too close and is ripped apart by the tidal forces of a BH, can be used to probe the nature of these objects and provide new ways to test our understanding of various aspects of accretion physics. Due to their multi-wavelength properties, wide-field optical transient surveys such as ASAS-SN and ZTF as well as UV and X-ray satellites have allowed us to identify a number of TDE candidates. Here I will present recent work in which we study the demographics of these sources in multiple wavelengths to better understand the diversity in their observational properties.  In addition, I will highlight ways in which these events are observationally similar and different from those of AGN, which can aid us in classifying transients as TDEs in future surveys. Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Monday, March 18, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-03-18T15:00:00 2019-03-18T16:00:00 Revolutionizing our View of Disk and Multiple Star Formation: New Frontiers Explored by ALMA and the VLA Event Information: Protostellar disks are thought to form early in the star-formation process due to conservation of angular momentum. These disks are the future sites of planet formation, but may also be the sites of binary/multiple star formation if the disk is massive enough to be gravitationally unstable. There is now growing evidence that a substantial amount of disk evolution takes place during the protostellar phase and that these embedded, protostellar disks may be the true initial conditions of planet formation. Using ALMA and the VLA, we are conducting large continuum surveys (with a few molecular lines) of protostars in the nearby Perseus and Orion star-forming regions (with 15-40 AU resolution) to characterize the size, masses, and physical density structure of disks throughout the protostellar phase. The multi-wavelength data enable us to assess their planet-forming potential in terms of disk mass, grain growth, and radial distribution of grain sizes. At the same time, we are using these survey data to conduct the broadest characterization of protostellar multiplicity to date. Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Monday, March 18, 2019 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-03-18T11:00:00 2019-03-18T12:30:00 Milky Way, machine learning, big data Event Information: Understanding physical processes responsible for the formation and evolution of galaxies like the Milky Way is a fundamental but unsolved problem in astrophysics. Fortunately, most stars are long-lived. As such, using the stars as "fossil records" (what is known as Galactic archaeology) can offer unparalleled insight into the assembly of galaxies.  In recent years, the landscape of Galactic archaeology is rapidly changing thanks to on-going large-scale surveys (astrometry, photometry, spectroscopy, asteroseismology) which provide a few orders of magnitude more stars than before. In this talk, I will discuss new "phenomenological" opportunities enabled by large surveys.  I will also discuss how machine-learning tools could leverage the big data about the Milky Way by maximally harnessing information from low-resolution stellar spectra as well as the time-series photometric fluxes of stars. I will also present the new opportunities in Galactic archaeology in the era of deep photometry and spectroscopy, such as TMT, CFHT/MSE, LSST, and JWST. Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Friday, March 15, 2019 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Room 309B, Hennings Building
Add to Calendar 2019-03-15T14:00:00 2019-03-15T16:00:00 Final PhD Oral Examination (Thesis Title: “Aspects of Decoherence in Qubit Systems”) Event Location: Room 309B, Hennings Building
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 201
Add to Calendar 2019-03-14T16:00:00 2019-03-14T17:00:00 Disentabgling nature from nurture: tracing the origin of the first black holes Event Information: Black holes appear be ubiquitous in the universe – most galaxies, if not all, seem to host a supermassive one in their nucleus. The origin of the first, seed black holes, however, remains an open question. Observationally detected bright quasars powered by accreting black holes are found to be in place when the Universe was a fraction of its current age, and accounting for their existence necessitates rapid growth from a new class of initial seeds. I will present work on an alternate channel to form massive black hole seeds in the early Universe – direct collapse black holes – that form in pristine pre-galactic gas disks.  I will also present the mounting evidence from multi-wavelength data that supports this picture, as well as the prospects for testing this seeding model and disentangling the confounding effects of accretion physics with data from future space observatories like the James Webb Space Telescope, WFIRST, eROSITA, ATHENA  and the LISA mission.  Event Location: Hennings 201
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Location:
BRIM 311
Add to Calendar 2019-03-14T14:00:00 2019-03-14T15:30:00 CM Seminar: Magic Angle Twisted Bilayer Graphene Event Information: Magic Angle Twisted Bilayer Graphene (MATBG) is a remarkably tunable and relatively simple strongly correlated electron system, with its own set of specific peculiarities.  My talk will focus on similarities and differences between the interaction physics of flat-band moiré superlattices MATBG and transition metal dichalcogenide bilayers which simulate Hubbard model physics more closely.  I will discuss the nature of the insulating ground states and the collective excitation spectra at 1/2, 1/4, and 3/4 filling of the moiré conduction and valence bands, and speculate on the relationship between the insulating states, their collective modes, and the superconducting domes.     Event Location: BRIM 311
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 12:40 pm - 1:45 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 202
Add to Calendar 2019-03-14T12:40:00 2019-03-14T13:45:00 Beyond First Year - Why should you consider a PHAS degree program? Event Information: First year students - you are invited to join us in discovering science degree options within the Department of Physics & Astronomy.  What happens when two black holes collide? How can we generate electricity by mimicking photosynthesis? Would you like to discover earth-like exoplanets, build a quantum computer, or image myelin in the human brain? Find out how - pursue a degree in the Department of Physics & Astronomy! This event is for students who are interested in entering a physics and/or astronomy degree program in their second year of study. Career possibilities with a Physics and/or Astronomy BSc Degree programs available Coop opportunities and career options Introduction to your student society and clubs Sandwiches and drinks will be served! Event Location: Hennings 202
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-03-14T10:00:00 2019-03-14T13:00:00 An Equity Workshop with Dr. Priya Natarajan Event Information: An Equity Workshop with Dr. Priya Natarajan Workshop and Discussion Session (Hosted by Equity and Inclusion in PHAS at UBC) You are invited to attend a workshop featuring Dr. Priya Natarajan from the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. She will present two case studies on the topic of gender equity in academia, and will discuss how to effect change. A free lunch will be provided.  When: March 14, 2019 10 - 1pm (lunch provided) Where: ESB 5104 - Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences SIGN UP HERE: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/an-equity-workshop-with-dr-priya-natarajan-tickets-56434875231   Seating is limited. If you sign up and are then unable to attend, we ask that you let us know asap so we can allow others to sign up. Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Location:
Earth Sciences Building room 1013 (2207 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4)
Add to Calendar 2019-03-13T19:00:00 2019-03-13T20:30:00 Human Habitation of Space (Outer Space Institute) Event Information: The Outer Space Institute (OSI) will host a free moderated public forum at UBC to discuss the medical challenges of human habitation in space. The talk will feature NASA astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor (recently returned to Earth from the ISS) and radiation physicist Dr. Jeffrey Chancellor. Dr. Auñón was selected in July 2009 as one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. She recently graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in ISS systems, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training. Currently, Dr. Auñón serves as the medical/education branch chief for the Astronaut Office. The event is jointly sponsored by The OSI, The Salt Spring Forum, and The UBC Department of Physics and Astronomy. With additional support from RASC-Vancouver and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Event Location: Earth Sciences Building room 1013 (2207 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4)
Event Time: Monday, March 11, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-03-11T15:00:00 2019-03-10T16:00:00 What's Next for Super-Earths? Population Demographics To Probabilistic Planetary Physics Event Information: The number of detected small extrasolar planets has increased a hundred-fold in the last decade, thanks in no small part to the Kepler Mission.  With TESS, CHEOPS, PLATO, WFIRST, and many next-generation radial velocity instruments to come, our understanding of planets smaller than Neptune will continue to be driven by observations.  As theorists construct origin stories for the enormous diversity of exoplanet properties and system architectures, they need population demographers such as myself to provide them with a coherent picture of the Galactic exoplanet census, through quantitative and careful syntheses of many individual measurements made with different detection methods.  I will present some of my work towards this goal, detailing in particular the latest developments in the super-Earth mass-radius distribution and the corresponding diversity of bulk planet compositions.  Through these efforts, I have started developing a framework which will enable us to make self-consistent, integrated probabilistic statements about population-level planetary physics. Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Monday, March 11, 2019 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 318
Add to Calendar 2019-03-11T11:00:00 2019-03-11T12:30:00 From symmetries and strings to hydrodynamics Event Information: Symmetries are a key tool for organizing our understanding of the physical world. Conventional symmetries in quantum systems are associated with the conservation of a density of particles. However many systems of interest — such as ordinary Maxwell electrodynamics — contain conserved densities of higher dimensional objects, such as strings. I will explain the novel symmetry principle behind this conservation and then apply it to a variety of physical problems, including the proof of a Goldstone theorem associated with string condensation, a new symmetry-based formulation of relativistic magnetohydrodynamics, and an effective theory approach to describing strongly magnetized plasma in pulsar magnetospheres.  Event Location: Hennings 318
Event Time: Saturday, March 9, 2019 | 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Event Location:
UBC campus (Henn/LIFE/Woodward)
Add to Calendar 2019-03-09T08:30:00 2019-03-09T17:30:00 41st UBC Physics Olympics Event Information: More than 600 high school students and teachers from across B.C. from Campbell River to Vancouver to Okanagan and Invermere will compete in the 41st annual UBC Physics Olympics, where they will show off their physics knowledge and unique creations. Teams of high school students will compete in six events that test hands-on and scientific concepts. The goal is to help students see how physics is exciting and relevant to our daily lives and to provide students with an opportunity to work together. The UBC Physics Olympics is one of the largest and oldest high school physics competitions of its kind in North America. The event is organized by students and professors in the department of physics and astronomy and department of curriculum and pedagogy. UBC undergraduate students, many of them former competitors, volunteer their time. Event Location: UBC campus (Henn/LIFE/Woodward)
Event Time: Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 201
Add to Calendar 2019-03-07T16:00:00 2019-03-07T17:00:00 Deconstructing biology with simple single-molecule imaging: Controlling conformation, confinement, and concentration Event Information: The past decade of advances in molecular biology has revealed that the cell comprises a complex system of networks on the scale of atoms, molecules, and organelles. The next breakthroughs in life science research, in academic labs and as applied to drug development and other translational disciplines, will depend on the ability of physicists and engineers to unravel the complex biophysical phenomena that underlie cellular function with greater resolution. Most currently available technologies rely on ensemble population measurements, which frustrate the absolute quantitation that is required to reveal the true complexity of life at the molecular scale. In this talk, I will introduce Convex Lens-induced Confinement (CLiC) microscopy, a general method to image molecular interactions one molecule at a time, while emulating 'cell like' conditions, with precision and control. Because it mechanically confines molecules in the field of view, CLiC eliminates the need to 'tether' molecules, thereby avoiding the complexity and potential biases. By visualizing the individual trajectories of many molecules at once, and for long time periods, CLiC allows us to investigate important biophysical questions about molecular behaviour, such as how higher-order DNA structures can regulate the dynamic unwinding of specific target sites within a crowded environment, and the kinetics of binding to these sites. Beyond discussing new insights from CLiC into the statistical mechanics of DNA, I will discuss key applications of our work in drug development, including visualizing protein aggregation, nanoparticle dynamics, and CRISPR-Cas9 targeting dynamics. Event Location: Hennings 201
Event Time: Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Location:
Hennings 202 (coffee and donuts will be served in Henn 202 at 12:15pm)
Add to Calendar 2019-03-07T12:30:00 2019-03-07T13:30:00 2019 CAP Lecture: First Observation of Dinosaur Skin Layers Using Synchrotron Radiation Event Information: First observation of dinosaur skin layers using synchrotron radiation   Abstract: Dinosaurs roamed the Earth for over 160 million years until their abrupt extinction about 65 million years ago. However, not all dinosaurs went extinct: nowadays birds are recognized as a branch of the dinosaur family known as avian dinosaurs. They are the legacy left by those incredible animals that came in all shapes and sizes. In this lecture, I will discuss the discovery and studies of a spectacularly well preserved skin of a hadrosaur from the Grand Prairie region. A series of complementary data collected using tools such as synchrotron radiation and electron microscopy have been combined to yield the first ever observation of preserved epidermal cell layers in the skin of a large dinosaur. I will also show a direct comparison between this skin structure and that of an extant avian specimen, giving the first substantial evidence of the similarities between the organic layout of the skins of extinct non-avian and extant avian dinosaurs.   Bio: I obtained my PhD in 1998 working in the experiment DELPHI of the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) Collider at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. Following my PhD, I joined the McGill University as a postdoc based at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, where I worked in the ZEUS experiment of the HERA (proton-electron) collider assuming roles such as the ZEUs Uranium Calorimeter Coordinator and ZEUS Run Coordinator, and developing several physics analysis spanning from hadronic jets to meson spectroscopy. In 2004, I joined the University of Regina as a tenure-track assistant professor, and I am currently a full professor. I have developed studies in several areas going from exploring possibilities to search for dark matter with the proposed International Linear Collider (ILC) to detector R&D for the ILC and the long-baseline neutrino experiment, T2K, in Japan. My current projects are concentrated in detector R&D for the next generation of neutrino experiments, including Hyper-K and E61. Besides these two activities, I pioneering the use of synchrotron radiation applied to studies in paleontology in Canada. This project was initiated in 2012 as a hobby activity, but it has recently become one of my main lines of research as it has evolved to a collaboration with several palaeontologists.   Event Location: Hennings 202 (coffee and donuts will be served in Henn 202 at 12:15pm)