Recent Talks

List of all the talks in the archive, sorted by date.

Thursday November 30, 2023
Dr. Amin Babazabeh
University of Vienna


"God does not play dice.", this is the famous quoted by Einstein who believed that quantum mechanics is not complete and could not possibly explain everything about
nature. However, in 2022, John F. Clauser, Alain Aspect, and Anton Zeilinger were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking experimental proof of
Bell's inequality, effectively demonstrating entanglement as a defining characteristic of quantum mechanics. However, some assumptions have been considered to experimentally
verify the Bell’s Inequality which is known as loopholes. One of which is the 'freedom of choice' loophole, questions the absence of statistical correlations between measurement
settings and external factors influencing the outcomes. In this presentation, I will delve into some work of Prof. Zeilinger's research group, which culminated in their prestigious
Nobel Prize and were performed at La Palma and Tenerife Islands. Moreover, I will talk on their recently pioneering use of distant astronomical sources as 'cosmic setting
generators'. This innovative approach allowed us to reach back in time, extending our understanding to approximately 7.8 billion years ago the most recent period beyond
which any local-realist influences could manipulate the 'freedom-of-choice' loophole and impact the observed Bell violations. Furthermore, the exciting prospects of identifying
potential sources that could extend this temporal boundary even further will be explored.



Friday November 24, 2023
Dr. Mahy Soler


El Telescopio Solar Europeo (EST) se construirá en el Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, un lugar conocido por sus excelentes condiciones de observación. El propio diseño de EST puede influir en estas condiciones y afectar a su calidad óptica en un efecto denominado ‘seeing’ local. La Oficina de Proyecto de EST ha implementado una nueva metodología para estimar el ‘seeing’ local combinando análisis térmicos, de dinámica de fluidos y ópticos. En esta presentación se expondrá esta metodología y su aplicación en criterios de diseño. 


Thursday November 23, 2023
Piyush Sharda
Oort Fellow and IAU Gruber Foundation Fellow, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, The Netherlands


From the time the first stars formed to the present-day, metals have witnessed the assembly of structure in the Universe in great detail. Although metals only form in stars and stellar remnants, they are ubiquitously present everywhere. However, we still do not understand how metals are effectively dispersed throughout the Universe, and the various roles they play in shaping galaxies. In this talk, I will present a multi scale approach to study the role of metals in galaxy evolution, from molecular clouds to galactic discs. On smaller scales, I will focus on physical processes that shape up the initial mass function (IMF, with a particular emphasis on metal-free and metal-poor environments) that directly set the integrated yield of metals in the first and early galaxies. I will discuss results from high resolution radiation chemo-magnetohydrodynamic simulations that study the impact of turbulence, radiation feedback and magnetic fields on the primordial IMF, and describe analytical models of dusty molecular clouds that explain the transition in the IMF as the metal abundance grows over cosmic time. On larger scales, the talk will cover the physics of gas-phase metal distribution in galaxies. Using a combination of spatially-resolved gas-phase metallicity measurements and novel semi-analytical models, I will present recent results that advance our understanding of metallicity gradients in (late type) galaxies. In particular, I will show how self-consistently incorporating metal dynamics into galaxy evolution models is key to explaining the observed trends in metallicity gradients with galaxy mass, metallicity, and kinematics. I will end by highlighting how ongoing/upcoming astronomical facilities will transform our understanding of metal evolution in galaxies.

Tuesday November 21, 2023
Dr. Sofia Gallego
Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory (Paris)


Galaxies are embedded within a network of interconnected filaments, essential for their formation and growth. Simultaneously, they emit radiation and enriched matter back into their environment, influencing the evolution of the cosmic gas. Recent advancements in wide-field spectrographs offer a unique perspective, allowing us to probe the spatial distribution and properties of the circumgalactic medium at high redshift, particularly the Lyman-alpha line emitted by cold hydrogen gas. These insights are especially valuable in overdense regions, like protoclusters and groups, where we can explore most of the physical mechanisms at play. By combining data from instruments such as KCWI, MOSFIRE, IRAC, LRIS, and HST, we aim to decipher the various mechanisms that steer the evolution of galaxies and protocluster environments around the Cosmic Noon epoch, unveiling how mergers, AGN feedback, and galactic outflows influence both the large-scale gas distribution and the general properties of the galaxies themselves. Nonetheless, several degeneracies persist among the observed properties of the gas and the potential physical mechanisms responsible, underscoring the necessity for improved models of these cosmic phenomena and a larger statistical sample of protocluster environments.

Thursday November 9, 2023
Dr. Zsolt Keszthelyi
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



Magnetism is ubiquitous in the Universe, yet understanding the magnetic properties of stars continues to present intriguing challenges. Recent advancements owe their success to large-scale optical spectropolarimetric surveys, asteroseismic inferences, and new modelling methodologies. This presentation focuses on the evolution of massive stars with OB spectral types, with a particular emphasis on the incorporation of magnetic field effects into one-dimensional (1D) evolutionary model calculations. We explore the distinctiveness of these magnetic models in contrast to their non-magnetic counterparts, shedding light on the substantial influence of large-scale, organized magnetic fields on the physical characterization of stars. In particular, we investigate surface phenomena, such as mass loss and angular momentum loss, and their profound impact on the evolutionary trajectories of hot, massive stars. We will conclude by outlining future avenues to improve 1D models and addressing some of the remaining challenges in describing the magnetic characteristics of stars. 

Thursday October 26, 2023
Dr. Julian Sitarek
University of Lodz


Very-high-energy (VHE >~100 GeV) gamma rays are absorbed in Earth's
atmosphere and thus cannot be detected directly on Earth. Their fluxes
are also typically too low to efficiently study them with satellite
instruments. A VHE gamma ray entering the atmosphere initiates an
electromagnetic cascade that induces faint flashes of blueish
Cherenkov light. Such flashes can be then detected by Imaging
Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes registering images of passage of
individual gamma rays through the atmosphere.
The usage of atmosphere as a part of the detector allows us to achieve
a collection area of gamma rays over two orders of magnitude higher
than the physical size of the detector. But it also introduces
systematic errors connected with the atmosphere's transparency. In
particular, cloud presence during the observations can significantly
affect the data. In this seminar I will cover different methods used
to correct the influence of the clouds. I will show how lack of such a
correction introduces bias in the energy estimation of gamma rays. I
will present how the affected images of showers are degraded and thus
can be confused with background events, lowering the collection area
of the telescope. Finally, I will show a novel method of correcting
the influence of the clouds already at the image level, and discuss
the possibility of measuring the parameters of a cloud directly with
the observations by the Cherenkov telescopes.



Tuesday October 24, 2023
L. Enrique Sucar


Current intelligent systems mainly make "predictions". That is, given an input, they estimate the most probable value of the output. These systems have many limitations, they can be easily confused when presented with a different case from their training set and they cannot explain how they arrive to a certain result. Causal models are an alternative to extend the capabilities of current systems; explain the reasons for certain decisions, predict the effect of interventions and imagine alternative situations. In this talk, I will present an introduction to causal models, in particular to causal graphical models. We will see how we can make inferences based on these models: predictions and counterfactuals; as well as learning causal models from data. I will illustrate the application of causal models in various domains: estimation of effective connectivity in the brain, causal modeling of COVID-19, and incorporating causal models in reinforcement learning and its application in robotics. Finally, I will discuss some potential applications of causal modeling in astrophysics.

Thursday October 19, 2023
Dr. Miquel Serra Ricart



En la charla se presentarán las principales características técnicas del 
proyecto TTT (Two meter Twin Telescope). TTT es un conjunto de cuatro telescopios
(dos de 80cm y dos de 2m) ubicados en el Observatorio del Teide (IAC, Tenerife)
financiados, exclusivamente, por fondos privados. 
Los dos telescopios de 80cm (TTT80) tuvieron primera luz en diciembre del año 2022 mientras
que la primera luz de los 2m se espera para finales del verano de 2024. 
En la charla se mostrarán los primeros resultados de los TTT80 que se encuentran 
en fase de commissioning.

Tuesday October 17, 2023
Dr. Ángel de Vicente
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias


Gone are the days when we used workstations as our main day to day
computer. Backing-up your data has always been important, but the risks
were much fewer then. Today, when most of us use a laptop as our main
computer, the risks are much higher: added to human error, disk
failures, etc. we have to consider that losing, dropping or getting your
laptop stolen is a real possibility, which brings the added risk of
getting your sensitive data accessed by prying eyes.

In this talk I will share my overall backup plan. While my setting is
likely more complicated than that of most of you, hopefully you can mix
& match the strategies and tools that I use (mainly Borg, but also
Timeshift, Clonezilla, Syncthing, gocryptfs, ...) to suit your needs.

While a complete and thorough backup plan might take some time to
prepare and execute, you shouldn't postpone it. Something is better than
nothing!, and you can start with something very simple, which can be
very easy to implement, and can be improved over time.

Tuesday October 10, 2023
Dr. Alessandro Fasano


CONCERTO (CarbON CII line in post-rEionization and ReionizaTiOn) is a low-resolution spectrometer with an instantaneous field-of-view of 18.6, operating in the 130—310 GHz transparent atmospheric window. It is installed on the 12-meter Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope at 5 100 m above sea level. The Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) contains two focal planes hosting a total of 4 304 kinetic inductance detectors. The FTS interferometric pattern is recorded on the fly while continuously scanning the sky. One of the goals of CONCERTO is to characterize the large-scale structure of the Universe by observing the integrated emission from unresolved galaxies via the line intensity mapping technique. In this presentation, I will introduce the CONCERTO instrument and show some first results.