Events List for the Academic Year

Event Time: Thursday, April 4, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 202
Add to Calendar 2024-04-04T16:00:00 2024-04-04T17:00:00 The Art of the Impossible: Probing Challenging Higgs Channels at the LHC Event Information: Abstract: The search for the Higgs boson was central to the conception and design of the LHC detectors. However, measurements of the Higgs coupling to the second and third-generation quarks were regarded as extremely challenging and, in some cases, impossible.  Scientific ingenuity and original thought have allowed ATLAS and CMS to probe the coupling of the Higgs boson to quarks. I will discuss techniques (including machine learning) used to achieve this and provide a brief perspective on future directions. Bio: Heather attended the University of Cape Town in South Africa from 1999-2005 where she obtained a BSc, BSc (Hons) and then a MSc in Physics. She then attended the California Institute of Technology and obtained her Ph.D. in Physics in 2011. She then worked at CERN as a Research Fellow and Research Staff Scientist from 2011-2017 before moving to LBNL as a Divisional Fellow in 2017. Heather joined the UC Berkeley faculty as assistant professor in 2019. She received the IUPAP C11 Young Scientist Prize in 2018. She is currently serving in a high-level management role within the ATLAS experiment as the Data Preparation Coordinator. Research Interests: I am an experimental particle physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) just outside Geneva in Switzerland. I have broad interests in particle physics, but the primary focus of my research is the Higgs boson -- the most recently discovered elementary particle, the only known elementary scalar of nature and the final piece of the remarkably successful Standard Model. However, this discovery leaves many important questions unanswered and uncovers further questions. The Higgs is not just another particle. It is profoundly different from all other elementary particles, relates to the most obscure sectors of the Standard Model and is linked to some of the deep questions, so it might prove to be a portal to find new physics. I study the properties of the Higgs boson and, in particular, how it interacts with different types of quarks, including top, bottom and charm quarks.  Other research interests include the development of track reconstruction algorithms, silicon detectors and algorithms for quantum computers. A theme throughout my research is applications of machine learning. I collaborate with Professors Marjorie Shapiro and Haicheln Wang at UC Berkeley and with scientists in the ATLAS group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The ATLAS group at LBNL works on a broad range of physics topics from measurements to the Standard Model to searches for new physics. The group also plays important roles in the operation of the ATLAS pixel detectors, design and construction of upgraded silicon detectors, software development for improved detector performance, event generation, simulation, and computing. Learn More: See Heather's UC Berkely faculty website page here: Heather Gray | Physics (berkeley.edu) Learn more about the Gray Research Group here: Gray Research Group | Physics (berkeley.edu) Event Location: HENN 202
Event Time: Thursday, April 4, 2024 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
BRIM 311
Add to Calendar 2024-04-04T10:00:00 2024-04-04T11:00:00 Electrons in twisted layers: design, surprise, and a new set of eyes Event Information: Abstract: The goal of building a quantum computer has lead to rapid advances in experiments that allow for high-precision dynamical control of quantum systems at the single qubit level.  However, a major challenge in harnessing the power of these devices is in understanding how best to control noise.  In particular, many interesting phases of matter, including topological phases, that exist in closed quantum systems are not stable at finite temperature, suggesting that they are particularly sensitive to the kinds of open-system noise present in such devices.  Quantum error correction protocols can be used to rectify this, but these involve non-local processes.  In this talk, I will explore approaches to stabilizing symmetry-protected topological order at arbitrarily long times in 1 dimension using local open-system dynamics.  I will show that this can be done when the noise is of a particular type relevant to Rydberg atom arrays, known as biased erasure noise, and comment on the implications of these results for possible steady-state phases of open quantum systems. Speaker Bio: Fiona Burnell is a UBC alumnae and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota.  Her research interests include understanding how topology and symmetry dictate the possible phases of matter that can be found in nature,  studying how and when quantum dynamics can result in systems evading their naive thermal equilibrium, and contemplating experiments that can reveal patterns of quantum entanglement in many-body systems. Event Location: BRIM 311
Event Time: Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 202
Add to Calendar 2024-03-28T16:00:00 2024-03-28T17:00:00 From Solid State Physics To Nanoparticles That Enable COVID-19 Vaccines And Gene Therapies: A Personal Journey Event Information: Abstract: In 1972 I received a PhD in solid state physics from the UBC Physics Department. I then made a direct transition into the Biochemistry Department at Oxford. This talk will follow my career since then, starting with very basic studies using NMR to understand properties of lipids in biological membranes. These studies evolved into using lipid-based systems as delivery systems for cancer drugs and nucleic acid-based drugs. I have focused on two fundamental problems associated with modern medicine. First, most commonly used drugs, such as anticancer drugs, are so-called “small molecules” that go everywhere in the body following systemic administration with less than 0.1% reaching disease sites such as tumours. We clearly need delivery systems to delivery these agents more accurately. Second, the reason we use small molecule drugs is because they are small enough to permeate into cells to reach intracellular target sites. Again, it would be of obvious benefit if we could develop systems to deliver larger nucleic acid-based drugs into target cells in order to use the same machinery that cells use to treat disease. These efforts have resulted in five nanomedicine drugs that have received regulatory approval and are now used clinically to treat diseases such as metastatic breast cancer as well as enabling the Pfizer.BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that has played a pivotal role in alleviating the global pandemic. Bio: Pieter R. Cullis, PhD, FRSC, FRS, OBC, OC, Director, Nanomedicines Research Group, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia.  Dr. Cullis and co-workers have been responsible for fundamental advances in the development of nanomedicines employing lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology for cancer therapies, gene therapies and vaccines. This work has contributed to five drugs that have received clinical approval by the FDA, the European EMA and Health Canada. Dr. Cullis has also co-founded eleven biotechnology companies that now employ over 400 people, has published over 400 scientific articles (h index 138) and is an inventor on over 100 patents. He has also co-founded and been Founding Scientific Director of two National Centre of Excellence networks, the Centre for Drug Research and Development (now AdMare) in 2004 and the NanoMedicines Innovation Network in 2019. These not-for-profit networks are aimed at translating basic research in the life sciences into commercially viable products and have given rise to numerous start-up companies.  Dr. Cullis has received many awards including the Order of Canada in 2021 and the VinFuture Prize (Vietnam), the Prince Mahidol Award (Thailand), the Gairdner International Award (Canada) and the Tang Prize (Taiwan) in 2022. Two recently approved drugs that are enabled by LNP delivery systems devised by Dr. Cullis, members of his UBC laboratory and colleagues in the companies he has co-founded deserve special emphasis. The first is Onpattro which was approved by the US FDA in August 2018 to treat the previously fatal hereditary condition transthyretin-induced amyloidosis (hATTR). Onpattro is the first RNAi drug to receive regulatory approval.  The second is Comirnaty, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech that has received regulatory approval in many jurisdictions including Canada, the USA, the UK and Europe. Comirnaty has played a major role in containing the global Covid-19 pandemic with approximately 6B doses administered worldwide in 2021 and 2022. Learn More: See more about his research interests on his faculty webpage here Read UBC Faculty of Medicine article: "Dr. Pieter Cullis names 2024 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductee" here Read UBC faculty of Medicine article: "Dr. Pieter Cullis named fellow of U.K.'s prestigious Royal Society" here Read UBC Biomedical Innovation at UBC artcile "Biomedical Innovator Spotlight: Dr. Pieter Cullis" here For a breakdown on lipid nanoparticles and how this revolutionized the COVID-19 vaccines, see this reduced CBC Quirks & Quarks Q&A article: "Dr. Pieter Cullis talks lipid nanoparticles and vaccines of the future on CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks" here Event Location: HENN 202
Event Time: Wednesday, March 27, 2024 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
Henn 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-27T15:00:00 2024-03-27T16:00:00 Effective Field Theory for Extreme Mass Ratios Event Information: Abstract:  The standard approximations to the two-body problem in General Relativity include weak-field perturbation theory (“PN’’ and “PM’’) and a strong-field scheme which expands in powers of the mass ratio but retains all orders in G-Newton, ie. “self-force’’. In this talk we’ll discuss recent work which used inspiration from self-force to simplify perturbative computations. We introduce an effective field theory describing a pair of gravitationally interacting point particles in an expansion in their mass ratio. The leading (0SF) dynamics are trivially described by geodesic motion in curved spacetime and at higher SF orders the perturbations of the 0SF exact solution are accounted for by a small number of operators, eg. a recoil operator encoding backreaction onto the heavy body. Rather than building-up curved spacetime perturbatively, this approach leverages known non-perturbative solutions and  unpacks them into very simple perturbative building blocks—suggesting a possible path towards manageable multi-loop integration for higher PM orders. We’ll mention a variety of old and new two-loop results computed using this EFT. Event Location: Henn 318
Event Time: Monday, March 25, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-25T16:00:00 2024-03-25T17:00:00 The SCALES project: Stirring the ISM with clustered feedback, and what it does to star clusters Event Information: Abstract: Stellar clusters are critical constituents within galaxies: they are the results of extreme modes of star formation, and through their correlated stellar feedback they regulate their host galaxy evolution. Including the effect of clustered supernovae in the baryonic lifecycle of their host galaxies is a major step missing in current modern simulations of galaxy formation. In this talk, I will present a novel method to model individual star clusters and their critical influence on their host galaxy evolution within the hydrodynamical code GIZMO. By using a sink prescription that allows clusters to form via gas accretion and mergers, I will demonstrate the interplay between clustered feedback and the properties of the ISM on galactic scales. Lastly, I will discuss how the formation of star cluster populations is affected in this scenario. Bio: I am interested on how stellar clusters form and evolve in a hierarchical galaxy assembly context, with my ultimate goal being to be able to use old, massive stellar cluster populations as near-field cosmological tracers. In particular, I’m interested in: The formation of clustered stellar systems over cosmic time, and their interplay with galaxy formation Constraining the physics involved in globular cluster formation Development of sub-grid models of star formation and feedback in numerical simulations of galaxy formation Learn More: See her personal webpage here View this recent online colloquium she gave at the Waterloo Center for Astrophysics (Canada)  See her TedTalk here Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Friday, March 22, 2024 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Location:
UBC Earth Science Building: ESB 1012 (also on zoom)
Add to Calendar 2024-03-22T14:00:00 2024-03-22T16:00:00 Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women Scientists Decoded the Hidden Universe Event Information: International Women's Day event: The event is co-sponsored by UBC’s Faculty of Science, Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Department of Mathematics, Quantum Matter Institute, Department of Physics & Astronomy and UBC Bookstore. International Women’s Day takes place annually on March 8 to recognize and celebrate cis and trans women’s achievements, challenge biases, and to reflect on and advance efforts toward greater gender equality. This year we’re honoured to welcome Dr. Shohini Ghose, Professor of Physics & Computer Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, to UBC Vancouver campus on March 22 for a book signing and talk as part of UBC’s IWD celebrations. Dr. Ghose is the author of two books. The latest (published in October 2023) is titled Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women Scientists Decoded the Hidden Universe, and it will be the topic of her talk.  Book signing: 2pm-3pm in the UBC Earth Sciences building ESB foyer Talk: 3pm-4pm in the UBC Earth Sciences building ESB 1012 *Copies of the book will be available for purchase on-site.   Registration Free! Please register for this hybrid event here: https://ubc.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5IocemupzMoGdOtKYNvqApF83zF3BqPQMIJ#/registration     Learn More: Read Shohini's Wilfred Laurier University faculty webpage here See Shohini's TED Talk here (2020) Read more about her work in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility here Event Location: UBC Earth Science Building: ESB 1012 (also on zoom)
Event Time: Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 202
Add to Calendar 2024-03-21T16:00:00 2024-03-21T17:00:00 Making and measuring macromolecular machines Event Information: Abstract :Molecular machines lie at the heart of biological processes ranging from DNA replication to cell migration. We use single-molecule tracking and manipulation to characterize the structural dynamics of these nanoscale assemblies, and further challenge our understanding by designing and testing structural variants with novel properties that expand the functional range of known biomolecular machines. In the process, we are developing an engineering capacity for molecular motors with tunable and dynamically controllable physical properties, providing a toolkit for precise perturbations of mechanical functions. We have previously developed a family of light-responsive myosin motors, enabling precise control of fast and processive molecular transport in vitro and in living cells. I will describe our ongoing efforts to augment and diversify engineered cytoskeletal motors, including newly developed light-responsive filamentous myosins for control of contractility. I will further discuss our measurements of dynamics and mechanics in CRISPR endonucleases. In the latter work, we have used high-resolution multimodal single-molecule methods to study the process of DNA interrogation by Cas9 and Cas12a.  We have observed intermediate steps in target recognition and probed important effects of DNA torsion on the dynamics and specificity of these nucleoprotein machines.   Bio: Zev Bryant is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Structural Biology at Stanford University.  Molecular motors lie at the heart of biological processes from DNA replication to vesicle transport. My laboratory seeks to understand the physical mechanisms by which these nanoscale machines convert chemical energy into mechanical work. We use single molecule tracking and manipulation techniques to observe and perturb substeps in the mechanochemical cycles of individual motors. Protein engineering helps us to explore relationships between molecular structures and mechanical functions. Broad topics of current interest include torque generation by DNA-associated ATPases and mechanical adaptations of unconventional myosins. B.Sc., University of Washington, Biochemistry (1998)Ph.D., UC, Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology (2003) Predoctoral Fellowship, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1999)Harold M. Weintraub Award, FHCRC (2004)Alan Bearden Award, UC, Berkeley (2004)Postdoctoral Fellowship, Helen Hay Whitney Foundation (2005)Director's New Innovator Award, NIH (2008)Pew Scholars Award, Pew Charitable Trusts (2009)   Learn More: Read his Stanford University profile page here See his Stanford Engineering page here   Event Location: HENN 202
Event Time: Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Location:
BRIM 311
Add to Calendar 2024-03-21T10:00:00 2024-03-21T11:00:00 Equilibrium and far-from-equilibrium properties of bipolaron coupled to dispersive phonons Event Information: Abstract: In the first part of my talk, I will discuss  a Holstein-like model with two electrons nonlinearly coupled to quantum phonons. Using an efficient method based on full quantum approach [1-4] we  simulate the dynamical response of a system subject to a short spatially uniform optical pulse that couples to dipole-active vibrational modes. Nonlinear electron-phonon coupling can either soften or strengthen the phonon frequency in the presence of electron density [5]. When two electrons are free to propagate on a lattice subject to non-linear coupling to phonons that soften phonon frequency, an external optical pulse with well tuned frequency can induce attraction between electrons. Electrons remain bound long after the optical pulse is switched off. Changing the frequency of the pulse the attractive electron–electron interaction can be switched to repulsive. Two sequential optical pulses with different frequencies can switch between attractive and repulsive interaction [6]. In the second part, I will discuss the phase diagram of the bipolaron in the Holstein – Hubbard model in the presence of dispersive phonons. We show that a finite dispersion can stabilize a bound bipolaron even at large Coulomb repulsion U [7]. The sign of the curvature of the optical phonon dispersion plays a decisive role on the bipolaron binding energy and the effective mass in the presence of  U. Finally, I will discuss the influence of U on the ARPES spectral function of the bipolaron. Speaker Bio: Janez Bonca is a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His research interests include theory of incommensurate systems, theory of strongly correlated systems and high temperature superconductors, theory of heavy fermion systems, theory of mesoscopic systems and quantum dots, theory of frustrated spin systems, physics of electron – phonon interaction and theory of polarons and bipolarons, study of systems driven far from equilibrium, thermalization in many-body systems, theory of many-body localization. Prof. Bonca completed his PhD from the University of Ljubljana, and worked as a Post-doctoral Associate at  Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1992-1995. Event Location: BRIM 311
Event Time: Monday, March 18, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-18T16:00:00 2024-03-18T17:00:00 Emerging Views of the Kuiper Belt from JWST Event Information: Abstract: The Kuiper Belt (also called Trans-Neptunian region) is a large population of sub-planet-sized beyond the orbit of Neptune.  These bodies provide windows into conditions of the outer solar nebula, the process of planet growth and differentiation in icy bodies, and current dynamics and dynamical evolution of the Solar System.  Mapping of their orbits has revealed distinct dynamical structures that indicate that bodies in the Kuiper Belt have been moved and shuffled by significant outward migration of Uranus and Neptune, complicating the task of uncovering links between composition and nebular conditions.  Ground- based visible to near-infrared (VNIR; 0.4 to 2.5 microns) spectra of the largest bodies (Pluto, Eris, Makemake) are dominated by methane. VNIR spectra of smaller (and therefore fainter) Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) generally have fairly low S/N, precluding detailed compositional analysis.   The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) opens a new era in spectral observations of KBO.  The NIRSpec instrument extends spectral observations to 5.3 microns, a region that includes strong fundamental vibrational modes of many ices and organics of thought to populate these surfaces, and the sensitivity, even in this new wavelength range, is extraordinary.  In this talk, I will present results of spectroscopy of KBOs and related populations from the first year of JWST observations.  These highlights will include measurement of isotopic signatures in the methane on the largest bodies, discovery of three distinct spectral groups among the smaller bodies that likely map to ice retention lines in the early Solar System, irradiation chemistry on intermediate sized (D~1000 km) bodies, spectral support for binary formation from streaming instabilities, and spectra of Trojan asteroids, which are thought to be KBOs that were scattered inward and stored at 5.2 AU for 4.5 Gyr. Bio: Dr. Emery applies the techniques of astronomical reflection and emission spectroscopy and spectrophotometry of primitive and icy bodies in the near- (0.8 to 5.0 microns) and mid-infrared (5 to 50 microns) to investigate the formation and evolution of the Solar System and the distribution of organic material. The Jupiter Trojan asteroids have been a strong focus of his research, and he also regularly observes Kuiper Belt objects, icy satellites, and other asteroid groups to understand the state of their surfaces as related to these topics. Along with telescopic observations, he contributes to Solar System exploration as a science team member on the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, the Lucy Trojan asteroid flyby mission, and the NEO Surveyor Mission infrared telescope mission. Learn More: Read his faculty bio on the Northern Arizona University Astronomy & Planetary Science page Find our more about his experience as a planetary astronomer here Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 202
Add to Calendar 2024-03-14T16:00:00 2024-03-14T17:00:00 Casting a Wide Net for Dark Matter Event Information: Abstract:I will discuss the need to extend the Standard Model of particle physics in order to describe the dark matter, a mysterious substance whose existence can be inferred from cosmological measurements, but whose fundamental nature remains unknown.  I’ll discuss how a broad strategy of searching for dark matter using techniques from particle physics and astronomy maximize our chances of successfully discovering its identity, and what this could mean for future research in particle physics. Bio: Tim M.P. Tait is a Chancellor's Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include theoretical investigations of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, particle physics phenomenology, high energy collider physics, and cosmology and involves both exploring new models and new phenomena, as well as theoretical interpretation of experimental results. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and recipient of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel-Forschungspreis from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Tait received a Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State University and did postdoctoral work at Argonne National Lab and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.   Learn More: Discover more from his homepage here See his faculty webpage at the University of California, Irvine here View his CV  Browse through his Wikipedia page Event Location: HENN 202
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-14T11:00:00 2024-03-14T12:00:00 Pushing the Limits of Cosmology with Next-Generation Millimeter-Wave Telescopes Event Information: Abstract: While the Lambda-CDM model is remarkably effective at describing the Universe and its evolution as a whole, foundational questions remain about the origin of the primordial fluctuations, the physics of the present-day acceleration, and the astrophysics of the first billion years. Maps of large-scale structure throughout the full history of the Universe can answer these questions. I will discuss our plans to test cosmic inflation with the "ultimate" ground-based cosmic microwave background experiment, CMB-S4. I will then introduce millimeter-wave line intensity mapping---a new probe for measuring large-scale structure well into the first billion years---and the SuperSpec on-chip mm-wave spectrometer that my team is developing to enable this measurement. Finally I will discuss the SPT-SLIM pathfinder experiment, and how future line intensity mappers will characterize the dynamics of reionization and test the physics of inflation and dark energy. Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 9:45 am - 10:45 am
Event Location:
BRIM 311
Add to Calendar 2024-03-14T09:45:00 2024-03-14T10:45:00 Multiscale Modeling of Mechanical Deformation in Chemically Complex Alloys Event Information: Abstract: In my presentation, I will give an overview of three primary areas that have been my focal research interests at NOMATEN CoE: i) crystal and amorphous plasticity, ii) transport properties of high-entropy alloys (HEAs), and iii) micro-structural informatics. In i), my research has employed statistical physics to unravel the microscopic basis of plasticity based on the collective dynamics of shear transformation zones in amorphous solids as well as dislocations mechanics in crystalline metals. Within the context of HEAs, my focus has been on the role of chemical complexities (i.e. local disorder/ordering) investigating their impact on alloy strengths. In ii), I have explored the sluggish diffusion of defects in HEAs and its impact on thermo-mechanical properties. In the area of micro-structural informatics in iii), I have utilized the power of machine learning (ML) and graph neural networks GNNs to infer (hardness) properties solely based on the (surface) microstructural information. Building upon these achievements, we are currently expanding the scope of the above studies by i) employing ML to identify relevant microstructural metrics for predicting bulk plastic properties in bulk metallic glasses as well as HEAs within the microstructure-property paradigm, ii) utilizing machine-learned interatomic potentials for accelerated material discovery, and iii) extending the GNN’s capabilities to infer microstructural signatures and defects based on micro/nano mechanical response (as input data) in different metallic systems and distinct alloy compositions. Speaker Bio: Kamran Karimi is a computational materials physicist working at the National Centre for Nuclear Research, Otwock Poland. Event Location: BRIM 311
Event Time: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Location:
HENN 200
Add to Calendar 2024-03-12T17:30:00 2024-03-12T19:30:00 Undergraduate Science Slam Event Information: Science Communication skills are key for success in all sciences! Being able to explain a complex scientific idea, or theory clearly to a general audience can show your mastery of a subject, sell your research, or successfully launch a start-up! PHAS Outreach has partnered with Science Slam Canada to bring this science communication opportunity to our students! Cheer on our physics & astronomy undergrads as they compete in 5-minute challenges for science clarity as they share their mastery with you! If you understand the science...they get points. There will be prizes for audience members and the top slammer. For undergrad students in Science or Arts - come see what science communication is all about. Cheer on our slammers! Want to learn more about our programs? Stay after the competition to meet students and advisors and learn what we have to offer.  Pizza and drinks included in this evening event! Registration required as space is limited - Sign up today!  Event Location: HENN 200
Event Time: Monday, March 11, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-11T16:00:00 2024-03-11T17:00:00 Surveying the Sky with Rubin Observatory Event Information: Abstract: Rubin Observatory is on track to start operations of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) in fall 2025, setting off a rush of data that will be massive (20TB per night) and nonstop for ten years. The LSST will survey approximately 20,000 square degrees of sky in ugrizy bandpasses, with highly accurate astrometry and photometry, with individual images reaching depths of about 24.5 in r band. Construction of Rubin has been a long road, starting around 2000, becoming one of the top priorities of the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey recommendations, pushing through COVID -- but commissioning starts this summer and survey operations are on track to start in fall 2025. The core science drivers for the LSST are constraining dark energy and dark matter, mapping the Milky Way and Local Volume, inventorying the Solar System, and opening new windows on the Transient and Variables Sky. To support these goals, the LSST footprint includes a "Wide Fast Deep" (WFD) region that will receive on the order of 800 visits per pointing, along with additional "mini-survey" coverage of the ecliptic, the galactic plane, and the south celestial pole. The survey plan also includes five Deep Drilling Fields, a few hundred square degrees which receive more than 10x the coverage of the WFD, as well as the possibility for additional "micro-surveys" requiring less than ~1% of the total survey time.  Final (10 year) coadded depths for the 18,000 square degrees in the WFD footprint of the survey will reach approximately 27th magnitude in r band. Photometric redshift measurements are expected to be accurate to 1-3% over a range of 0.2 to 3 in redshift. On the order 20 billion galaxies and 17 billion resolved stars will be reported in the resulting catalogs. Astrometry is expected to be accurate to about 50 mas (10 mas relative precision) with photometric accuracy of 10 mmag. "Alerts" for each visit, coming from difference imaging, will provide immediate insight into real-time events captured by the survey. On the order of 10 million alerts are expected per night. With multiple measurements per night, typically supplemented by additional visits in the next few days, including information from multiple bandpasses, the alert stream passes a rich source of information about transient and variable phenomenon to the astronomical community. Moving objects will be linked into detections of Solar System objects, with approximately 6 million objects expected to be discovered -- a large fraction of which will be characterized with lightcurve measurements, allowing determination of colors, rotation periods, and phase curves.  Bio:                       Lynne Jones is the LSST Performance Scientist, working with Rubin Observatory. She is currently working on the optimization of the LSST survey strategy. She studies small objects throughout the Solar System, with a particular interest in surveys for distant TransNeptunian Objects and lightcurve properties of asteroids. She is currently located in Victoria, BC.    Learn More: See Lynne's Bio from the Institute for Data Intensive Research in Astrophysics & Cosmology (DiRAC) Explore the Rubin Observatory Explore the Legacy Survey of space and time (LSST)    Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Monday, March 11, 2024 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-11T11:00:00 2024-03-11T12:00:00 Visualizing Quantum Matter with Cryogenic Electron Microscopy Event Information: Abstract:  Quantum-mechanical effects and strong electron-electron interactions give rise to solids with superb electronic properties and a vast potential for future technologies. In many of these strongly interacting materials, electrons self-organize into new spatial patterns that break the symmetry of the underlying crystal. A grand challenge in the field is to understand the nature of these symmetry-breaking states and to overcome their tendency to form inhomogeneous textures at the nanoscale. Towards that goal, atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy techniques hold immense promise for advancing quantum materials research; however, progress has been hindered by the lack of low-temperature capabilities that are necessary to study quantum systems.  Here I will show vivid atomic-scale visualizations of electronic order in strongly correlated oxides enabled by the development of cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM). This novel technique enables direct visualizations of (i) the picoscale atomic displacements governing electronic transitions in quantum materials, (ii) the nature and symmetry of charge/orbital order, and (iii) a complex nanoscale landscape involving topological defects, phase competition, and inhomogeneity. Finally, I will describe our recent and unique approach that has enabled cryogenic electron microscopy with liquid helium cooling and atomic resolution. These capabilities pave the way for novel explorations of ultra-low temperature quantum phenomena in the electron microscope.    Bio:  Ismail El Baggari is a Principal Investigator and Fellow at the Rowland Institute at Harvard. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.S. in Physics from Cornell University working with the late Prof. Lena Kourkoutis and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from Yale University. His research focuses on the development of in situ cryogenic electron microscopy for understanding quantum materials and devices. Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Friday, March 8, 2024 | 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Location:
BUCH D319 (Buchanan Bldg, 1866 Main Mall)
Add to Calendar 2024-03-08T10:30:00 2024-03-08T12:30:00 Control of Molecular Rotation in Superfluid Helium Event Information: Abstract: This work outlines the control of molecular rotation in superfluid helium using nonresonant laser fields. Experiments within bulk superfluid 4He demonstrate control over the rotational frequency and direction of rotation of electronically excited helium dimers (excimers), which are created in nanometre-scale bubbles in the fluid. The excimers rotate for thousands of rotational periods, indicating relatively weak but nonzero coupling to the surrounding helium. Controlling the rotation of molecules therefore serves as a probe of superfluid helium, and its coupling to impurities. The weak coupling is attributed to the fact that helium dimers rotate with rotational energy well above that of the expected excitations of the surrounding helium.  By studying other molecules embedded in helium nanodroplets, we are able to explore the rotation of molecules below, near, and above this energy scale. The influence of strong coupling to the helium becomes extreme when the energies are comparable, severely distorting observed rotational spectra.  Results presented here demonstrate that the rotation of molecules in helium nanodroplets may be controlled in the same manner as molecules in the gas phase. Experiments using an optical centrifuge to attempt to control molecular rotation in helium nanodroplets, and analysis regarding the results, are presented, as well as the first experiments studying rotationally excited nitrogen in helium nanodroplets. Experimental results rotationally exciting nitric oxide dimers in helium nanodroplets present a suitable candidate as a molecule for further study. Alignment of the molecule offers insights to its anisotropic polarizability, and upon rotational excitation, long-lasting rotation exhibits a stronger observable than previously-studied molecules whose rotational energy may be controlled within the desired range.  Event Location: BUCH D319 (Buchanan Bldg, 1866 Main Mall)
Event Time: Monday, March 4, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-04T16:00:00 2024-03-04T17:00:00 Shedding Light on Electromagnetic Counterparts Across the Gravitational Wave Spectrum Event Information: Abstract:  Gravitational wave astronomy is entering a golden era of discovery, and many key science goals of this new frontier rely on 'multi-messenger’ observations that leverage the combination of both 'cosmic messengers' of gravitational waves and light.  I will discuss two recent advances from my research group in understanding the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves across the gravitational wave spectrum. First, I will discuss how the origins of the heaviest elements can be probed, through inferring the abundance pattern of r-process elements produced in binary neutron star mergers from optical spectroscopy of their resultant kilonova explosions. Second, I will discuss how to identify the host galaxies of supermassive black hole binaries that will soon be detected by pulsar timing array experiments, based on their unique morphological and stellar kinematic properties. Bio:   I am a multi-wavelength astronomer, and my research group is focused primarily on using multi-messenger gravitational wave observations to study kilonova astrophysics, r-process nucleosynthesis, black hole accretion, and cosmology. Most recently, I have become interested in applications of machine learning to computationally-intractable inference problems in astrophysics. For more information, please see the ‘Research Program’ page. I began my research career as an undergraduate at Columbia University in New York, NY, and did my PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. For my PhD, I worked primarily on observations of active galactic nuclei variability, but also dabbled in a diverse variety of other areas, including cosmological simulations of galaxy formation, cosmic microwave background secondary anisotropies, and software infrastructure for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I then moved to McGill University in Montréal, QC, as a McGill Space Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. There, I began working in the exciting new field of multi-messenger gravitational wave astrophysics, before finally joining the faculty at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, QC.   Learn More: View his website here Read Bishop's University article: Dr. John Ruan is Appointed Canada Research Chair in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics See Bishop's University blog on Prestigious scholars here Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Monday, March 4, 2024 | 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Location:
HENN 301
Add to Calendar 2024-03-04T12:30:00 2024-03-04T13:30:00 Higgs-Confinement Transitions in QCD from Symmetry Protected Topological Phases Event Information:   Bio: Thomas Dumitrescu received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from Columbia University in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 2013, under the supervision of Professor Nathan Seiberg at the Institute for Advanced Study. Before coming to UCLA, he was a five-year postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Professor Dumitrescu has broad interests in theoretical physics. His research spans many aspects of quantum field theory, including applications to particle and condensed matter physics, as well as supersymmetry, string theory, and mathematical physics. He is particularly interested in developing new theoretical tools for analyzing strongly-coupled quantum field theories, which are beyond the reach of conventional perturbation theory. Contact: Thomas Dumitrescu, Assistant Professor, Mani L. Bhaumik Presidential Endowed Term Chair in Theoretical PhysicsTEPOffice: PAB 4-939Phone: 310-825-3162Email: tdumitrescu@physics.ucla.edu Website: https://www.pa.ucla.edu/faculty-websites/dumitrescu.html   Event Location: HENN 301
Event Time: Monday, March 4, 2024 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 318
Add to Calendar 2024-03-04T11:00:00 2024-03-04T12:00:00 Beyond the Standard Model: Being Precise about the Unknown Event Information: Abstract: The Standard Model of particle physics cannot be the final word on how to understand fundamental particles theoretically. The missing pieces, intriguing patterns and extreme hierarchies of the Standard Model demand explanations, but any new theory must tread a tightrope of increasingly precise measurements.   In this talk I will describe recent work to chart the allowed space of new particles and interactions. By confronting general principles of field theory with the full array of experimental tests, this talk will highlight promising directions to uncover new physics. Bio: Sophie Renner is a particle theorist, whose work focuses on possible new particles and interactions beyond those of the Standard Model, and how they may be discovered at experiments. She received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Cambridge, and held postdoctoral research appointments at the University of Mainz, SISSA (Trieste), and CERN. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Glasgow.   Event Location: HENN 318
Event Time: Thursday, February 29, 2024 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Location:
HENN 202
Add to Calendar 2024-02-29T16:00:00 2024-02-29T17:00:00 A new vision for the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian Event Information: Abstract:I will present the latest discoveries and developments at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA).  Our discoveries cover solar astrophysics, star formation and evolution, galaxy formation & evolution, extrasolar planets, black holes, and cosmology.  I will describe the latest ground and space-based technological developments at the CfA, including new space satellites, and compelling new instrumentation for current and future ground-based telescopes in the optical, infrared, IR, and X-rays, as well as for climate science.  I will discuss our challenges with Petabyte scale datasets and the application of AI to astronomical problems.  Finally, I will provide an overview of the diversity, inclusion and culture initiatives that are being implemented at the CfA, using evidence-based studies from the literature. Bio:   Lisa Kewley is Director of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.  She is Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Director of the Harvard College Observatory, and Professor of astrophysics at the Harvard Department of Astronomy. Kewley obtained her PhD in 2002 from the Australian National University on the connection between star-formation and supermassive black holes in galaxies.  She was a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Fellow and a NASA Hubble Fellow.  Her awards include the 2006 American Astronomical Society Annie Jump Cannon Award, the 2008 American Astronomical Society Newton Lacy Pierce Prize, and the 2020 US National Academy of Science James Craig Watson Medal. In 2014, Kewley was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science “for her fundamental advances in understanding of the history of the universe, particularly star and galaxy formation”, and in 2015, Kewley was awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship, Australia’s top fellowship to support excellence in research. In 2020, Kewley was awarded the US National Academy of Sciences James Craig Watson Medal, in 2021 she was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences, and in 2022 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  From 2017-2022, Kewley implemented her scientific vision through her Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in All-Sky Astrophysics in 3D (ASTRO 3D). In July 2022, Kewley became Director of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.  At the CfA, she is implementing an ambitious new vision for the next generation space and ground-based telescopes, petabyte-scale data handling, new diversity and inclusion initiatives, and nation-wide education and outreach programs.   Learn More: See her webpage at the Center for Astrophysics View her bio at the Smithsonian Read her wikipedia page  Event Location: HENN 202