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Past Colloquia

Radio Polarimetry and the Magnetic Universe

Cody Hall

Bryan Gaensler (CAASTRO / The University of Sydney)

January 10, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

A remarkable discovery made by 20th century astronomers was that the Universe is threaded with magnetic fields. Furthermore, these magnetic fields typically do not have a random, tangled, morphology, but are surprisingly organised and coherent. However, the processes that create and then sustain this large-scale…

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Resolving Black Holes with the Event Horizon Telescope

Cody Hall

Shep Doeleman (MIT Haystack & Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

December 20, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

A convergence of high bandwidth radio instrumentation and newly accessible mm and submm wavelength facilities are enabling assembly of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT): a short-wavelength Very Long Baseline interferometry (VLBI) array with the capability of observing the nearest supermassive black holes with Schwarzschild Radius…

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Karl W. Kamper Memorial Lecture – Nearby Galaxy Mergers Seen with Adaptive Optics: A Sharper Image

Cody Hall

Claire E. Max (CfAO, UC Observatories)

December 06, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Adaptive Optics is a technology that detects and corrects changing distortions in optical systems.  It has been applied to great effect during the past decade for correcting astronomical telescopes for blurring due to turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere. This talk will describe how Adaptive Optics works,…

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CMB Polarization with the South Pole Telescope

Cody Hall

Duncan Hanson (McGill)

November 29, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Measurements of polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) are our best hope to measure the amplitude and scale of gravity waves in the early Universe. They also have the power to provide an (astrophysical) determination of the absolute neutrino mass scale. For the past…

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A Thermometer for Goldilocks: Accurate Temperatures of Kepler M Dwarfs and Their Planets

Cody Hall

Eric Gaidos (Hawaii)

November 22, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

M dwarf stars are especially attractive targets in the search for Earth-like planets because small planets are easier to detect around such stars, and the “habitable zone” is closer to the star where planets are more readily detected. The Kepler mission has discovered Earth-size planets…

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Extragalactic Archeology

Cody Hall

Charlie Conroy (UC-Santa Cruz)

November 15, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

One of the main avenues for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is through studying their present day stellar populations.  A new generation of population synthesis tools that we have been developing are now capable of extracting an unprecedented amount of information from high…

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Higher Education Today: Outstanding Training for the Last Century

Cody Hall

David Helfand (Quest U)

November 08, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Canada has the highest post-secondary participation rate among OECD countries, and yet one of the lowest innovation rates. Why? I will offer an irreverent critique of “modern” universities and provide a description of a provocative alternative in Canada’s first independent, not-for-profit secular institution, Quest University…

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Searching for Ghosts at SNOLAB

Cody Hall

Mark Chen (Queens)

November 01, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

SNOLAB is Canada’s world-leading underground laboratory for particle astrophysics experiments. What are we trying to do there? Detect the invisible: searching for particles of dark matter, measuring the flux of ghostly neutrinos from the Sun and the Earth, trying to observe a most peculiar nuclear…

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Massive Stars Across the Cosmos: Engines, Lighthouses, and Laboratories

Cody Hall

Emily Levesque (Colorado)

October 25, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Massive stars can provide valuable information on a Galactic, extragalactic, and even cosmological scale. The radiative signatures observed in HII regions and star-forming galaxies are determined by massive stellar populations. Long-duration gamma-ray bursts, produced during the core-collapse deaths of unusual massive stars, can be utilized as powerful probes of the…

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Galaxy mergers in the nearby universe

Cody Hall

Sara Ellison (University of Victoria)

October 21, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Galaxy mergers are known to trigger dramatic changes in galactic morphology, metallicity, star formation and black hole accretion rates. However, the extent to which these properties respond to the interaction can vary greatly both between different mergers, and at different times during a given interaction. …

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