ICTP-SAIFR Scientific bulletin #19, July - September, 2017
From July 10-15, the second edition of this IFT-Perimeter-SAIFR school took place with 80 of the top undergraduate students from all over Latin America. Minicourses on Fundamental Physics, Black Holes, Condensed Matter and Cosmology were presented by A. Arvanitaki and R. Myers (Perimeter) and A. Rocha and R. Rosenfeld (IFT). The highest-scoring students were accepted to a joint master`s program and will spend one year at Perimeter Institute and one year at ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP.
Every year, IFT-UNESP and ICTP-SAIFR organize an exam competition for undergraduate physics students on the topics of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, electromagnetism, special relativity and mathematical physics. This year, the exam was administered on July 15 and the top score was obtained by Diego Sepúlveda from the Univ. of Chile.
The ICTP-Trieste/ICTP-SAIFR School on Open Problems in Cosmology was held from July 17-28 with lecturers P. Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste), R. Flauger (UC San Diego), O. Hahn (Obs. de la Côte d’Azur/U. Nice), R. Porto (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP), J Lesgourgues (U. Aachen), W. Percival (U. Portsmouth) and M. Zaldarriaga (IAS Princeton). The school provided PhD students with a panorama of current theoretical problems in cosmology and future observational probes.
On July 25, Matias Zaldarriaga presented a lecture for the general public entitled “The history of the Universe, a work in progress”. Matias Zaldarriaga is an Argentinian cosmologist at IAS-Princeton and is a member of the ICTP-SAIFR Scientific Council. He has made important contributions to our understanding of the early universe and has been awarded various prizes including the Gribov Medal in 2005.
From July 31 - August 2, the 4th edition of this international workshop took place at ICTP-SAIFR and included seminars on various aspects of cosmology and gravitation including gravitational waves and observational tests of the late-time cosmic acceleration. One goal of this event is to promote collaborations among the various cosmology and gravitation groups of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
This is the second edition of the minicourse given by Pedro Vieira (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP & Perimeter I.) for over 80 high-school students. On each Saturday morning from Aug. 19 until Sept. 30, Prof. Vieira lectured on modern physics concepts from special relativity to quantum mechanics, and described research topics at the frontier of physics.
The second edition of this workshop for high-school teachers was held on Sept. 16-17 and presented modern physics concepts to high-school teachers from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Joinville. Organizers Gregory Dick (Perimeter I.) and Dave Fish (Perimeter I.) used hands-on activities to introduce wave-particle duality, dark matter, and particle physics to teachers who also received a set of classroom-ready resources to share with their students.
From August 24-25, a Hands-on meeting for junior researchers working with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) took place at ICTP-SAIFR and was organized by Fabio Iocco (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP). The goal of this meeting was to bring together the “junior groups” working within CTA in Brazil, in order to share scientific and technical knowledge of the area.
In September, Bithika Jain (KIAS, South Korea) joined ICTP-SAIFR as a FAPESP postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Jain works in the field of particle physics phenomenology, where she has recently explored signals for dark matter at the LHC, and on cosmological phase transitions in extra-dimensional models.
This workshop was held at ICTP-SAIFR from Sept. 12-15 and organized by Alberto Saa (UNICAMP). The event covered recent advances in Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Gravity, with special emphasis on boundary conditions, symmetries, and the infrared and ultraviolet structures of these theories.
In the second monthly meeting of this program, Nathan Berkovits (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP) presented the seminar “Superstring theory: successes and open problems”. After giving a short introduction on how superstring theory resolves the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics, the speaker answered diverse questions concerning properties and predictions of the theory.
From Sept. 25-29, R. Melko (U. Waterloo & Perimeter I.), J. Carrasquilla (D-waves systems Inc.) and L. Sierens (Perimeter I.) introduced modern machine learning techniques for studying many-body problems encountered in condensed matter physics. Lectures emphasized relations between statistical physics and machine learning, while tutorials included hands-on experience in programming.
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