Past Department Colloquia

Thu, 2016-10-13 16:00 - 17:00
Keith Vanderlinde (U Toronto)

Among the great surprises of modern cosmology was th discovery of Dark Energy, which dominates the energy budget of the Universe and is driving the acceleration of its expansion rate. Decyphering its properties and nature will require novel measurements spanning vast swaths of the observable Universe.

Thu, 2016-10-06 16:00 - 17:00
Alison Lister (UBC)

While the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 has completed the Standard Model of particle physics, there are still many open questions about the fundamental particles and forces, from the origin of dark matter through to the searches for new symmetries of nature, to name just a couple. The LHC is hoping to elucidate some of these mysteries. I personally believe that new physics will manifest itself in top quarks. Despite its discovery now over 20 years ago, it is only at the LHC that we can truly enter the era of precision measurements of the top quark.

Thu, 2016-09-29 16:00 - 17:00
Moe Kermani (Vanedge Capital)

This talk will be focused on attributes that make physicists succeed in high tech, outside of fundamental research. There will be a discussion of trends that are driving massive talent shortages, and how skills acquired in the course of physics training enable graduates to fill the talent gap.

Thu, 2016-09-22 16:00 - 17:00
Jaymie Matthews (UBC)

Jaymie was this year's recipient of the Qilak Award for Astronomy Communications, Public Education and Outreach - the citation when he received that award gives an impression of the range of activities that we'll hear about in this talk:

Thu, 2016-09-15 16:00 - 17:00
David Morrissey (TRIUMF)

Measurements of the Universe over very large distances suggest that it contains much more matter than can be accounted by conventional forms.  Little is known about what this "dark matter" might be.  In this talk I will discuss the evidence for the dark matter hypothesis, describe some of the most promising dark matter candidates, and explain how current laboratory experiments and astronomical observations are trying to identify it.  I will also describe how tests of dark matter could provide a window on new elementary particles and forces.

Tue, 2016-05-31 15:00 - 17:00
A. B. McDonald, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario for the SNO Collaboration

 

Thu, 2016-04-21 16:00 - 17:00
Frederic Chevy, ENS Paris and Ecole Polytechnique


In his famous lectures, R. P. Feynman highlights the deep unity of physics and the analogies existing between sometimes vastly different physical systems. In the same spirit I will demonstrate how the tools and concepts inherited from classical hydrodynamics can be used to explain the quantum world. As an example, I will show that the same phenomena govern the physics of water-walking insects and that of laser-cooled superfluid vapours.

Thu, 2016-04-14 16:00 - 17:00
Kip Thorne, Cal. Tech.


A half century ago, John Wheeler challenged his students and colleagues to explore Geometrodynamics: the nonlinear dynamics of curved spacetime. They tried, and failed. Success eluded the relativity community until two new tools became available: computer simulations, and gravitational-wave observations. Thorne will describe what these have taught us, beginning with Choptuik’s critical collapse simulations in the 1990s, and concluding with LIGO’s recent observations of colliding black holes; and he will offer a vision for the future of Geometrodynamics.

Thu, 2016-04-07 16:00 - 17:00
Stephan Meyer, University of Chicago


I will describe the first results from a search for entangled exotic shear fluctuations which are postulated to exist in order to preserve holographic information bounds in a macroscopic system.  The instrument, constructed for this purpose, consists of  a pair of collocated, 39 m long, high-power Michelson interferometers operating at fundamental noise limited differential arm length sensitivity. The cross-correlated signal from the interferometers in a band from 1 to 10 MHz is used to exclude the shear-noise information bound model to 4.6 sigma significance.

Thu, 2016-03-31 16:00 - 17:00
Piers Coleman, Rutgers Dept. of Physics
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