Talk by Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin – 25/02/16

7920406156_7a25288c39_zOn the 25th of this month DU PhySoc will be hosting a very special talk by Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin from UCD.

Dr. Ní Shúilleabháin did her undergraduate degree in theoretical physics at UCD and obtained her PhD in Mathematics Education from TCD. She is now a lecturer in the school of mathematics and statistics at UCD. She is also known as a television and radio presenter.

This event is open to all members of the college. Visit our Facebook page for live updates.


Life of William Rowan Hamilton & readings from ”A Mystic Dream of 4′ – Prof. Iggy McGovern – 28/01/16

1929942_1632676510330010_1769851669609814588_nWilliam Rowan Hamilton is famous for discovering conical refraction and quaternions. He is probably the greatest Irish mathematical physicist ever. However, behind this brilliant academic figure is a man who fell miserably in love but was left with a broken heart. He struggled with alcoholism, once attempted suicide and wrote poetry. He was obsessed with his work and in a flash of genius carved an equation for quaternions in a stone at Broom Bridge.

The story will be presented by Prof. Iggy McGovern, a physicist and poet. He is the author of a sonnet sequence entitled ‘A Mystic Dream of 4’. To complement the lecture 12 fabulous readers will read some of Iggy’s poems from the sequence.
The readers are:

Eric Finch
Jean Finch
James Lunney
Linde Lunney
Brian Espey
Louise Bradley
Byrne Hacking
Katarzyna Siewierska
Danny Bennett
Joanna Siewierska
Josh McMahon
Jessica Weitbrecht

Event Page.

The science programme of the European Space Agency – Prof. Luke Drury – 21/01/16

Professor Luke Drury is currently the chair of the European Space Agency’s Astronomy Working Group which advises the Agency on scientific aspects of its Astronomical missions.
In his talk he will describe the Science Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA), the process whereby missions are selected and funded, how ESA compares to NASA and other space agencies, and some recent highlights of the programme as well as its future prospects.

Event page. 
Photographs courtesy of Yvonne Ryan.

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A Tale of Four Space Telescopes: Life & Travels of a Trinity Astrophysicist – Prof. Brian Espey – Dec 10th 2015

12360060_1619664984964496_3984140829513734894_n12308446_1618397478424580_7920941214886725319_nAfter graduating from TCD in Experimental Physics just over three decades ago(!), I have pursued a career in observational astrophysics with the help of a number of high-tech telescopes on ground and in space. In my talk I will concentrate on space-based instruments ranging from the small (<1m diameter) to the large (multi-meter) and will take you on an international journey to the USA and back, covering work in research institutes and with ESA & NASA. I will conclude with a review of future prospects for you and me in astrophysics beyond the solar system.”

Event page here.

Photographs courtesy of Yvonne Ryan.

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Trinity’s Father of Physics – Lecture by Prof. Denis Weaire – Nov 26th 2015

Denis Weaire will speak about George Francis Fitzgerald, famous for his contribution to relativity, radio, and much more. The talk begins at 7:30 pm as usual in the Schroedinger theatre.
It will be followed by a reception in the Fitzgerald Library with a special performance by Trinity’s own “Normal Modes”, a band consisting of school of physics Professors Hutzler, Möbius and Bergin.
Check out the event page here:

Einstein and the Birth of General Relativity – Prof. Petros Florides – Nov 5th 2015

No sooner had Einstein published his special theory of relativity in 1905 than the search for a generalization of this theory began. The search for a theory which, unlike the special theory of relativity, could deal satisfactorily with gravitational phenomena, and in which absolute motion of any kind and the existence of any preferential reference systems disappear completely. It was after ten years of hard, intense, and often frustrating work, that Einstein’s efforts were crowned with brilliant success in 1915, almost exactly one hundred years ago. The outcome was his General Theory of Relativity, “probably the greatest discovery ever made”. The lecture will be about Einstein’s life and work, mainly on the birth of general relativity.

Seeking the energy frontier – Prof. Daniela Bortoletto – Oct 29th 2015

PosterBortolello“This is a tale of my personal journey in physics from Europe to the US and back to Europe and working at the highest particle accelerators available on Earth. A journey that covers the discovery of the top quark and the Higgs boson. I will describe how particle physics experiments explore the fundamentals of the Universe, their challenges, and the awe of discovery.”