Colloquia

Talks given by high profile astronomers and scientists.


Video
Thursday September 22, 2011
Prof. Joseph Lazio
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA

Abstract

The Square Kilometre Array is intended to be the centimeter- and meter-wavelength telescope for the 21st Century. Originally proposed as the "hydrogen telescope," the science case is now recognized to be much broader, and the SKA will address fundamental questions in astrophysics, physics, and astrobiology. The international science community has developed a set of Key Science Programs: (1) Emerging from the Dark Ages and the Epoch of Reionization; (2) Galaxy Evolution, Cosmology, and Dark Energy; (3) The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Magnetism; (4) Strong Field Tests of Gravity Using Pulsars and Black Holes; and (5) The Cradle of Life & Astrobiology. I highlight how the SKA's Key Science Programs will be an integral component of the multi-wavelength, multi-messenger frontiers for astronomy and how the science pathfinding for the SKA is beginning now.


Video
Thursday July 7, 2011
Prof. Mordecai-Mark Mac Low
Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

Abstract

In this talk I consider two questions. First, I investigate the formation of molecular clouds from diffuse interstellar gas. It has been argued that the midplane pressure controls the fraction of molecular hydrogen present, and thus the star formation rate. Alternatively, I and others have suggested that the gravitational instability of the disk controls both. I present numerical results demonstrating that the observed correlations between midplane pressure, molecular hydrogen fraction, and star formation rate can be explained within the gravitational instability picture. Second, I discuss how ionization affects the formation of massive stars. Although most distinctive observables of massive stars can be traced back to their ionizing radiation, it does not appear to have a strong effect on their actual formation. Rather, I present simulations suggesting that stars only ionize large volumes after their accretion has already been throttled by gravitational fragmentation in the accretion flow. At the same time these models can explain many aspects of the observations of ultracompact H II regions.


Video
Thursday June 30, 2011
Prof. Scott Tremaine
Institute for Advanced Study, Univ. Princeton, USA

Abstract

The massive black holes found at the centers of most nearby galaxies including our own, are believed to be the ashes of the fuel that powered quasars early in the history of the universe. I will briefly review the astronomical evidence for these objects and then describe some of the exotic dynamical phenomena that originate in their vicinity, including hypervelocity stars, resonant relaxation, and warped and lopsided stellar disks.


Video
Friday May 20, 2011
Prof. Ramesh Narayan
Harvard-Smithsonian Center, USA.

Abstract

In his public talk, Prof. Narayan will summarize our knowledge of Black Holes in the universe. He will describe how Black Holes are discovered, how their properties are measured, and what the results mean. He will also discuss the many ways in which Black Holes influence their surroundings and the profound effect they have had on the evolution of the universe.


Video
Thursday May 19, 2011
Prof. Ramesh Narayan
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA

Abstract

An astrophysical black hole is completely described with just two parameters: its mass and its dimensionless spin. A few dozen black holes have mass estimates, but until recently none had a reliable spin estimate. The first spins have now been measured for black holes in X-ray binaries. The talk will describe the method used to make these measurements and will discuss implications of the results obtained so far.


Video
Thursday April 14, 2011
Prof. David Schlegel
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA

Abstract

The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) is a Stage III dark energy experiment on the Sloan Telescope. For the five years from 2009-2014, we are mapping 1.5 million galaxies at z<0.7. A simultaneous survey of 160,000 QSOs is mapping the hydrogen gas in absorption at redshifts 2 < z < 3. BOSS will provide the definitive measurement of the low redshift (z<0.7) BAO distance scale, and it will pioneer a powerful new method of measuring BAO at high redshift. BigBOSS is a proposed Stage IV dark energy experiment that will extend this map to 20 million galaxies over 14,000 deg2 to z=1.7. I will describe this survey and its technical status.


Video
Friday April 8, 2011
Dr. Javier Tejada Palacios
Catedrático de física de la materia condensada, Universidad de Barcelona

Abstract

En mi conferencia haré una introducción a la Física Cuántica y a continuación pasaré a discutir diferentes casos en los que los fenómenos cuánticos juegan un papel determinante en el trabajo de diferentes máquinas médicas. De hecho, los ejemplos que explicaré recorrerán la historia de la medicina moderna, la del siglo XX, desde el punto de vista de la terapia como de la inspección. Para todo ello tendré que echar mano, por ejemplo, del principio de incertidumbre de Heisenberg, del efecto túnel de la corriente eléctrica y del espín, de la resonancia atómica. Todo ello para explicar, entre otros casos, cómo se “ve” el corazón, cómo se detectan los pensamientos, porque el feto de la madre roba el oxígeno a la sangre de su madre para poder vivir.


Video
Thursday April 7, 2011
Dr. Manuel Aguilar Benítez de Lugo
CIEMAT, CERN

Abstract

El estudio de la radiación cósmica ha sido la herramienta fundamental para avanzar en el conocimiento del Universo. La instrumentación experimental ha sido muy variada utilizándose para su ubicación laboratorios convencionales, globos sonda, satélites y plataformas espaciales. Está previsto que en 2011 la Estación Espacial Internacional esté totalmente operativa y disponible para la realización de medidas precisas y de larga duración de las componentes electromagnética y cargada de la radiación cósmica en ausencia de contaminación atmosférica. Una colaboración internacional ha construido un detector de física de partículas elementales, el espectrómetro AMS−02, para la realización de este tipo de medidas, algunas de las cuales tienen extraordinario interés en Astrofísica de Partículas, una disciplina científica fronteriza entre la Física de Partículas Elementales, la Astrofísica de Altas Energías y la Cosmología. En la planificación de la NASA este instrumento será enviado a la Estación Espacial en el año 2011. En esta conferencia se describirá la Estación Espacial Internacional (ISS) y el programa científico de AMS−02, en particular la búsqueda de antimateria cósmica primaria y la posible observación de señales de materia oscura.


Video
Thursday April 7, 2011
Dr. Antonio Acín
ICFO-Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract

El azar es un concepto fascinante que atrae el interés de diversas comunidades, desde filósofos a físicos y matemáticos. Por otro lado, los números aleatorios se han convertido en un recurso de gran utilidad práctica, puesto que son utilizados en, por ejemplo, aplicaciones criptográficas o la simulación de sistemas físicos y biológicos. Hasta ahora, cualquier propuesta para la generación de números aleatorios adolece de los siguientes problemas: (i) certificación: ¿cómo se puede probar que los números generados son aleatorios?, (ii) privacidad: ¿cómo se puede garantizar que los números aleatorios son aleatorios, en el sentido de impredecibles, a cualquier otro observador externo y (iii) device-independent: ¿cómo afectan las imperfecciones en los dispositivos al proceso de generación de azar? En la charla se presentará un nuevo formalismo para la generación de azar que resuelve estos tres problemas: por medio de las correlaciones no-locales de los estados entrelazados, es posible generar números cuya aleatoriedad es certificable, privada e independiente de los dispositivos.


Video
Thursday March 24, 2011
Prof. Pierre Cox
IRAM, France

Abstract

In recent years, major changes were done at the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer and 30-meter telescope, in particular in the areas of receivers and back-ends. These enhancements increased in significant ways both the sensitivity and the efficiency of both IRAM facilities. I will present results obtained on high-z (2 < 6.4) sub-millimeter galaxies and quasars that illustrate the progress that has been made, emphasizing recent follow-up observations of sources that were uncovered in the Herschel surveys. The talk will end with a presentation of the future projects that are currently under discussion at IRAM, including the NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA), as well as the prospects offered by ALMA.



Upcoming talks

Featured talks