Celebrating the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize: COSMOLOGY and EXOPLANETS

November 14, 2019

Thursday, November 14 | 6:00 pm Morehead Planetarium Full Dome Theater

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 was awarded “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos” with one half to James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”, the other half jointly to Michael Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.” Join UNC faculty, Prof. Laura Mersini-Houghton, Prof. Adrienne Erickcek, and Prof. Nick for a lecture celebrating the 2019 Physical Nobel Prize. The talk is sponsored by the COSMS Institute, UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

 

Celebrating the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize: COSMOLOGY and EXOPLANETS

November 13, 2019

Celebrating the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize: COSMOLOGY and EXOPLANETS

Thursday, November 14 | 6:00 pm Morehead Planetarium Full Dome Theater

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 was awarded “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos” with one half to James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”, the other half jointly to Michael Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.” Join UNC faculty, Prof. Laura Mersini-Houghton, Prof. Adrienne Erickcek, and Prof. Nick for a lecture celebrating the 2019 Physical Nobel Prize. The talk is sponsored by the COSMS Institute, UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

Virginia Kilborn: Unveiling the Unseen Universe Public Lecture

October 15, 2019

On October 15th at 5:30 in Chapman Hall at UNC,

Prof. Virginia Kilborn, Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology, will take us on a journey of the unseen parts of our galaxy and others like it.

 

Abstract:

Atomic hydrogen gas is one of the main components in a galaxy like our own Milky Way – but we can’t see it when we gaze into the night sky. I will take you on a journey of the unseen parts of our Galaxy – and others like it – using sensitive observations taken with the world’s best radio telescopes. I will explain how astronomers use observations of atomic hydrogen gas to determine the history, and predict the future, of galaxies in the universe. A whole new generation of radio telescopes is under construction, and I will show the latest results from these telescopes, and discuss how we plan to use them to observe the very beginnings of the Universe.

 

Bio:

Professor Virginia Kilborn is Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology. Her primary research interests include tracing galaxy evolution by studying the neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies, and she is now working towards preparations for surveys with the next generation radio telescopes, such as the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the SKA.  Virginia undertook her PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, and following a post-doc at Jodrell Bank observatory in the UK, returned to Melbourne and has been at Swinburne since 2003. Virginia is active in the Australian Astronomical community and has been President of the Astronomical Society of Australia (2015-2017) and is currently Deputy Chair of the National Committee for Astronomy for the Academy of Science. Virginia is a leader in gender equity initiatives at Swinburne and beyond, co-leading the Swinburne-wide Women’s Academic Network, and she is a steering committee member and co-founder of the Women ATTaining Leadership (WATTLE) program, a multi-university leadership program for women. Virginia is a leader of the SHINE project where high school and university students send experiments to the International Space station, and she is strategic lead of the Swinburne Space Office.

Kilborn_flyer

Virginia Kilborn: Unveiling the Unseen Universe Public Lecture

October 10, 2019

On October 15th at 5:30 in Chapman Hall at UNC,

Prof. Virginia Kilborn, Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology, will take us on a journey of the unseen parts of our galaxy and others like it.

 

Abstract:

Atomic hydrogen gas is one of the main components in a galaxy like our own Milky Way – but we can’t see it when we gaze into the night sky. I will take you on a journey of the unseen parts of our Galaxy – and others like it – using sensitive observations taken with the world’s best radio telescopes. I will explain how astronomers use observations of atomic hydrogen gas to determine the history, and predict the future, of galaxies in the universe. A whole new generation of radio telescopes is under construction, and I will show the latest results from these telescopes, and discuss how we plan to use them to observe the very beginnings of the Universe.

 

Bio:

Professor Virginia Kilborn is Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology. Her primary research interests include tracing galaxy evolution by studying the neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies, and she is now working towards preparations for surveys with the next generation radio telescopes, such as the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the SKA.  Virginia undertook her PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, and following a post-doc at Jodrell Bank observatory in the UK, returned to Melbourne and has been at Swinburne since 2003. Virginia is active in the Australian Astronomical community and has been President of the Astronomical Society of Australia (2015-2017) and is currently Deputy Chair of the National Committee for Astronomy for the Academy of Science. Virginia is a leader in gender equity initiatives at Swinburne and beyond, co-leading the Swinburne-wide Women’s Academic Network, and she is a steering committee member and co-founder of the Women ATTaining Leadership (WATTLE) program, a multi-university leadership program for women. Virginia is a leader of the SHINE project where high school and university students send experiments to the International Space station, and she is strategic lead of the Swinburne Space Office.

 

Rainer Weiss Gravitational Waves Public Lecture

November 14, 2018

Dr. Rainer Weiss, Professor of Physics Emeritus at MIT and 2017 Nobel Laureate, will discuss “Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves.” The observations of gravitational waves from the mergers of compact binary sources opens a new way to learn about the universe, as well as test General Relativity in the limit of strong gravitational interactions — the dynamics of massive bodies traveling at relativistic speeds in a highly curved space-time.

 

CANCELLED -Rainer Weiss Public Lecture

November 1, 2018

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this lecture has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule Dr. Weiss’ visit to Spring 2019.

 

Dr. Rainer Weiss, Professor of Physics Emeritus at MIT and 2017 Nobel Laureate, will discuss “Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves.” The observations of gravitational waves from the mergers of compact binary sources opens a new way to learn about the universe, as well as test General Relativity in the limit of strong gravitational interactions — the dynamics of massive bodies traveling at relativistic speeds in a highly curved space-time.

Clifford Johnson Colloquium: Holographic Heat Engines for Fun and Profit

April 11, 2018

Clifford Johnson is a theoretic physicist at the University of Southern California, who focuses on string theory and gravity. He is a gifted speaker, science advisor for television and movies, and the author of a non-fiction graphic novel Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe. He will give a talk on April 11, 2018 at 4pm in Chapman Hall Room 201 on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill.

Colloquium: Holographic Heat Engines for Fun and Profit

New work has shown how to complete the correspondence between the physics of black holes and the laws of thermodynamics by incorporating volume and pressure into the formalism. This results in a change in the thermodynamic interpretation of the black hole’s mass, and may give a new handle on understanding aspects of theories of gravity with non-vanishing cosmological constant. The concept of the “holographic heat engine”, where a black hole acts as the working substance for a heat engine, arises naturally in this framework, and further connects ideas from traditional thermodynamics, quantum gravity, and field theory. This talk will try to motivate and explain some of these developments and show some potential applications.

 

Black Holes, Time, and Space with Clifford Johnson

April 10, 2018

Dr. Clifford Johnson, professor of physics & astronomy at the University of Southern California, will take us on a whirlwind tour of Black Holes, Space & Time while sharing his experiences as a science adviser to television and movies, including Marvel superhero movies. His graphic novel Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe, will be available for sale with a book signing following questions and answers. The event will take place April 10 starting at 5:30 at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. This talk is part of the NC Science Festival and reservations available through the Morehead‘s site.

Clifford Johnson Colloquium

April 10, 2018

Holographic Heat Engines For Fun and Profit

Abstract:   New work has shown how to complete the correspondence between the physics of black holes and the laws of thermodynamics by incorporating volume and pressure into the formalism. This results in a change in the thermodynamic interpretation of the black hole’s mass, and may give a new handle on understanding aspects of theories of gravity with non-vanishing cosmological constant. The concept of the “holographic heat engine”, where a black hole acts as the working substance for a heat engine, arises naturally in this framework, and further connects ideas from traditional thermodynamics, quantum gravity, and field theory. This talk will try to motivate and explain some of these developments and show some potential applications.

April 11 at 4:00 in Chapman Hall 201

Astronomy on Tap: The End of the World and Finding New Worlds with Tiny Telescopes

March 6, 2018

Astronomy on Tap will have its next event on March 6th at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, led by 2 CoSMS members.

  • Dr. Chris Clemens (UNC-CH) will discuss all the ways the world can end.
  • Dr. Nick Law (UNC-CH) will talk about how to find extrasolar planets with tiny telescopes.

Astronomy on Tap events are meant to provide a venue for short outreach talks (~20 min with plenty of time for questions) in a relaxed setting over beers — they are free, open to all ages, and start at 7 pm. Some more details about the event can be found at the link here:

https://astronomyontap.org/2018/02/astronomy-on-tap-triangle-6-tuesday-march-6-2017/