Department Colloquia

Nature’s all-in-one: gateable superconductivity in the strongly correlated topological insulator WTe2

Speaker: 
Josh Folk (UBC)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-09-07 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

The success of graphene research over the past decade has demonstrated the power of transistor-type measurements in 2D materials to investigate novel electronic states of matter.  In graphene, table-top electrical measurements routinely probe collections of interacting relativistic particles, under easily tuneable conditions such as density, temperature, and magnetic field.  Over the past ten years, the palette of elements and compounds available to construct 2D materials has been expanded well beyond carbon, and the range of condensed matter phenomena available

Anomalous diffusion

Speaker: 
Martin Barlow (UBC Mathematics)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-10-19 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

A random walk on a graph G has anomalous diffusion if the mean square deviation after n steps is sublinear in n. Systems that have, or are expected to have, anomalous diffusion include some regular exact fractals, and random graphs at their critical point. I will discuss these, and in particular what we know about diffusion on critical percolation, the uniform spanning tree, and random planar triangulations.

Repurposing a Spy Telescope for Studying Dark Energy and Exoplanets

Speaker: 
David Spergel (Princeton/CCA)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-10-12 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

In 2025, NASA (hopefully with CSA as a partner) plans to launch WFIRST, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope.  WFIRST is a 2.4-meter telescope with more than a 100 times the field of view of the Hubble Space Telescope.  WFIRST will fly with a wide field camera and a coronagraph.   The wide field camera is poised to make significant contributions to our understanding of dark energy and to carry out a diverse program of astrophysics.  The coronagraph should be able to obtain contrast ratios 1000x better than those previously achieved from space and characteriz

Lepton Universality violation, a promising approach towards new physics beyond the Standard Model

Speaker: 
Guy Wormser (LAL, Orsay)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-09-28 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Janis McKenna
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

The Standard Model of particle physics, one of the most remarkable theoretical construction of the XX century, has a very precise prediction power for all man-made experiments using accelerators. Although it is almost certain, for reasons that will be explained in this talk, that the SM is not the final theory, it resists up to now to all attempts to discover any deviation from its predictions that could show  the path towards a more complete theory.

A Capella Science: This is not a lecture!

Speaker: 
Tim Blais
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-04-06 19:00 - 20:30
Location: 
Woodward IRC 2
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott
Intended Audience: 
Public

This isn't really part of the normal colloquium series, but a special end of term event in the evening of the last day of classes!  Tim Blais is an ex-graduate student in theoretical physics who has become a populariser of science.  His first "A Capella Science" video, "Rolling in the Higgs" has 800,000 Youtube hits and his most popular, "Bohemian Gravity", has about 3 million.  You can find 20 or so other videos by him on the A Capella Science Youtube Channel.  Bring family and friends to what will be a combination of science and entertainment!

Twisted: New Photonic Materials Inspired by Nature

Speaker: 
Mark MacLachlan (UBC Chemistry)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-03-09 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott

3-minute thesis talks

Speaker: 
Graduate students
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-03-02 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Janis McKenna

This will be our Department's round of the annual "3MT" competition.  Several of our graduate students will try to motivate and summarise their research projects within the constraints of a 3-minute-long presentation using a single slide.  Come and support them!

What do we know about the whole Universe?

Speaker: 
Douglas Scott (UBC)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-02-09 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

All empirical data relating to our Universe are currently well fit by a basic model that contains only a few key ingredients: the background is described by homogeneous and isotropic solutions within General Relativity, in which there is domination by vacuum energy and cold dark matter in a roughly flat expanding geometry; the density fluctuations appear to be nearly scale-invariant, adiabatic and Gaussian (close to the simplest thing we could imagine); and all of today’s structure grew through gravitational instability.

Tensor networks: from quantum matter to quantum gravity

Speaker: 
Brian Swingle (Univ. Maryland)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-03-16 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

Recent rapid progress in many-particle quantum physics has been driven by a wide variety of new experiments, by theoretical insights into gravity and field theory (like the AdS/CFT duality), and by the prospect of constructing a universal quantum computer. In the midst of this boom, we are also looking at old problems in new ways, using concepts from quantum information. However, a general framework is still lacking.

Novel nano-structured materials and opto-electronic devices for classical and quantum optical applications

Speaker: 
Johann Peter Reithmaier (Uni. Kassel)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-02-02 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Jeff Young
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

With the improved control of nano-scale dimensions, material and device properties can be optimized towards their quantum mechanical limits. For example, atom-like features, such as discrete energy levels, may allow the optimum carrier distribution for stimulated emission in lasers, resulting in improved device performance in comparison to conventional quantum well technology. However, if one wants to utilize the quantum nature of single nano objects (e.g., for single photon emission), then the control of the environment and of the individual object geometry is also important.   

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