Centennial Celebration

Celebrate our 100th birthday!

As a founding department of the University of British Columbia, the Department is planning series of events for the coming academic year. These events include public lectures, open houses, and alumni reunion. Information regarding these events will be updated on this page.

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"100 Years of Physics at UBC" Poster Series

To celebrate the centennial, we are developing a series of posters celebrating the department's history

Upcoming Events

100 Years of General Relativity: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, Gravitational Waves and Interstellar

Thursday, April 14, 2016 @ Science World

Free Registration Required

We invite you to join us for an evening with renowned theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.

100 years ago, Albert Einstein formulated his wildly successful general theory of relativity—a set of physical laws that attribute gravity to the warping of time and space. It has been tested with high precision in the solar system and in binary pulsars and explains the expansion of the universe. It even predicts black holes and gravitational waves. When combined with quantum theory, relativity provides a tentative framework for understanding the universe's big-bang birth. And the equations that made Einstein famous have become embedded in our popular culture via, for example, the science fiction movie Interstellar.

In a captivating talk accessible to science enthusiasts of all ages, Professor Kip Thorne will use Interstellar to illustrate some of relativity’s deepest ideas, including black holes and the recent discovery of gravitational waves. Professor Thorne of the California Institute of Technology is one of the world’s foremost experts on the astrophysics implications of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, including black holes—an expertise he used to great effect as scientific advisor to the movieInterstellar. Thorne was also one of the three principal scientists (with Rainer Weiss and Ron Drever) behind the LIGO experiment that recently detected gravitational waves, an achievement most expect will earn them a Nobel Prize.


Past Events

UBC Year of Light Celebration

Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy

2015 is the UNESCO International Year of Light. UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy will be celebrating the Year of Light on Saturday, October 17 with a public lecture and lab tours. 

What is light? From optical displays to quantum devices, where did light come from and where is it going?

1:00 - 2:30pm Presentations by

2:30 - 4:30pm Lab tours Selected labs in AMPEL (Advanced Material and Process Engineering Laboratory) with light-related research topics will be open for public visits. A complete list of labs will be available by early October. 

The event is free but registration is required. Eventbrite - UBC Year of Light Celebration

Unveiling the Universe: In Search of the First Light 

7pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 @ TELUS World of Science

Featuring: Professor Paul Hickson, UBC Physics and Astronomy

The University of British Columbia, Science World, and TRIUMF are delighted to bring the next installment of the Unveiling the Universe series, which has fascinated thousands of local science lovers since 2012. On Wednesday, September 16th, join us for an illuminating journey through the galaxies and learn how telescopes are revolutionizing astronomy as we know it.

Advanced astronomical telescopes enable astronomers to look billions of years back in time to when the Universe was young. They allow us to study the central regions of nearby galaxies in detail, revealing the presence of giant black holes more than a million times more massive than the Sun. With them, we can see new stars forming, and study extrasolar planetary systems. Canada is partnering with the USA, Japan, China and India to build a powerful new facility, the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Advanced active and adaptive optics technologies will be a hundred times more sensitive than current telescopes. Professor Paul Hickson will explain how this giant telescope will work, and illustrate ways that it will advance our knowledge of the Universe.

The event is free but registration is required. To register, visit the Eventbrite page.

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a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Science
Department of Physics and Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Tel 604.822.3853
Fax 604.822.5324

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