News from the UBC Physics and Astronomy Department

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PHAS student sets youth up for success at university

(from UBC News) When Shawna Narayan looked back on her first-year, she realized that things would have been easier if she’d received a little advice from a local peer before even stepping foot on UBC’s campus. Determined to help the next generation of Surrey students get the information they need to be successful in the transition to post-secondary, Narayan...
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Boley receives Killam Teaching Award for Science instructors

Congratulations to Dr. Aaron Boley for receiving the Killam Teaching Award for Science instructors this year. The award acknowledges outstanding contributions made by teaching faculty in Science. Nominations may be made by students, alumni or faculty.  Professor Aaron Boley is a dynamic teacher who takes risks to foster deeper learning processes in...
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Three UBC physicists receive national honours

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) awarded medals to three UBC physicists today, recognizing their work in quantum materials, particle physics, and theoretical high energy physics. It’s the largest number of CAP medal recipients the University has enjoyed in any one year. Andrea Damascelli, director of UBC’s Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter...
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UBC researchers track the ultrafast emergence of superconductivity

(From UBC Science) UBC researchers have captured an unprecedented glimpse into the birth of high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates, settling a scientific debate and uncovering new avenues to explore the potential of other unconventional superconductors. For this study, researchers studied cuprate unconventional superconductors, materials that begin...
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Grad student part of US advocacy team to visit Capitol Hill

PHAS graduate student Jacob White was among the twenty-one American Astronomical Society (AAS) scientists who visited the US Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 14 to advocate for robust US federal investment in astronomical sciences - as part of by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the...
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Halpern receives 2018 CASCA Beals Award

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Halpern, who will be receiving the 2018 Carlyle S. Beals Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). He will be presented the award during the annual CASCA meeting in Victoria, British Columbia from May 22 to 26. The Carlyle S. Beals Award was established by CASCA in 1981 in recognition of the groundbreaking research of...
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PHAS grad student Robertson awarded first place at UBC 3MT

Can you, in mere three minutes, explain your thesis while capturing the audience's attention? On March 15, eight graduate students - selected among dozens who particpated in preliminaries and semifinals - presented their research in this year's UBC Final Three Minute Thesis (3MT). Congratulations to PHAS PhD student Andrew Robertson for receiving the first...
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Virtual experiment pulls apart proteins to observe nano-glass

PHAS researchers Mona Habibi, Steve Plotkin, and Joerg Rottler pulled apart proteins to dissect their internal forces. Results from their study has been published in a recent issue of the Biophysical Journal. A protein is a linear chain of amino acids made up of about a couple thousand atoms, all of which are fluctuating around furiously in our bodies...
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Quantum mechanics runs hot in a cold plasma

(From UBC Science) PHAS researchers have found a new system that could help yield ‘warmer’ quantum technologies. Quantum technologies such as quantum computers have the potential to process information much more quickly and powerfully than conventional computers. That prospect has spurred interest in exotic, complex quantum phenomena, particularly a state...
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Rai and Xiao receive Dean of Science Excellence in Service Awards

We are excited to share that two PHAS members have received the UBC Dean of Science Excellence in Service awards! Congratulations to Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics (PITP) administrator Swarn Rai and 4th year biophysics student Hannah Xiao for their invaluable services to the Faculty and the Department! The award ceremony was hosted by the Dean of...
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