Pizza lunch talks

The API pizza lunch talks are informal, weekly meetings where people give a half hour overview of their work (or perhaps a totally different topic), in an informal atmosphere. Pizza meeting is not a colloquium, but is intended to inform and stimulate discussion about the topic.

More information (including tips for speakers, contact points and the latest API articles & circulars).

Past lunch talks

Antman meets The Flash: Nano microscopy faster than a cycle of light

Tyler Cocker — Department of Physics, University of Regensburg

The evolution of nanoscale dynamics can be captured stroboscopically using ultrashort pulses of laser light. Unfortunately, conventional ultrafast experiments generally measure only macroscopic averages, since diffraction prevents laser pulses from being focused down to the nanoscale. In this talk, I will describe recent developments that have allowed us to observe material dynamics inside single nanoparticles, watch light oscillate on the nanoscale, and track the ultrafast motion of a single molecule for the first time.

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Thursday 18 May 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Wide-field science with SKA2-MFAA

Jess Broderick — Astron

Aperture arrays are very flexible systems that are ideal for cutting-edge investigations in radio astronomy. ASTRON is leading the design consortium for a proposed third component of the full Square Kilometre Array (SKA): a mid-frequency aperture array (MFAA), operating between 450-1450 MHz. The MFAA, with its exquisite sensitivity and very wide field of view, has the immense potential to do the lion's share of transformational SKA science.

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Thursday 11 May 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

SciPost: Open Access and Beyond

Jean-Sebastien Caux — UvA -- IoP

SciPost is a recently-launched publication portal for the sciences. In this short presentation, the motivations behind the initiative will be presented, together with a summary explanation of the site’s functionality, and a summary of recent activities on the Physics side. The talk will conclude with perspectives on the future of scientific publishing.

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Thursday 4 May 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

A Suzaku, NuSTAR, and XMM-Newton view on variable absorption and relativistic reflection in NGC 4151

Tobias Beuchert — University of Erlangen/Remeis Observatory, Germany

I present a dedicated study of the compact processes in the nearby Seyfert galaxy NGC 4151 including the complex circumnuclear absorbers, and the nature and geometry of its X-ray source, the corona. I also touch upon the extended X-ray emission that gets ionized by the compact source. We disentangle relativistically blurred X-ray disk reflection from complex line-of-sight absorption.

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Thursday 20 April 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

The formation of compact binaries

Silvia Toonen — API -- UvA

Compact binaries are mesmerising objects that give rise to some of the most energetic events in the universe such as X-ray & Gamma-ray bursts, Type Ia supernovae, gravitational wave emission, and stellar interactions such as mass transfer and collisions. But how do these binaries form? How do they become so compact?

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Thursday 13 April 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

FFTs, Omniscopes, and Far-Future Astronomy

Liam Connor — API -- UvA

Telescopes make good use of Fourier transforms. Whether they are done digitally, or in analog with optics, FTs allow us to reconstruct chromatic and spatial information of electric fields on the sky. In recent years, Moore’s law has begat a digital age of radio astronomy.

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Thursday 6 April 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Primordial atmospheres of forming rocky planets: the feedback from the pebble destruction

Andrius Popovas — Niels Bohr Institute, Kopenhagen, Denmark

In this talk I will discuss the daily lives of primordial atmospheres, surrounding the cores of forming rocky planets: how do they look like, why are they there, how they grow and evolve, how they interact with the surrounding disk, and what are we doing to better understand them.

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Thursday 30 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Slowly solving a 40 year old mystery in black hole variability

Phil Uttley — API -- UvA

Almost since the discovery of the first confirmed accreting black holes in X-ray binary systems, we have known that their X-ray emission varies rapidly and that the variations seen in higher energy X-rays lag behind the variations seen in lower-energy X-rays.

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Thursday 23 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

The late evolution of cataclysmic variables

Juan Hernandez — API -- UvA

Accreting white dwarfs from main-sequence companions (commonly known as cataclysmic variables, CVs) are one of the most abundant interacting binaries in our Galaxy. Recent observational breakthroughs have provided direct tests to evolution model predictions of CVs.

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Thursday 16 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Numerical Simulations of the Merging Cluster of Galaxies Cygnus A

Timo Halbesma — API -- UvA

The archetype FR-II galaxy Cygnus A lies in a moderately rich cluster of galaxies in which two subclusters are about to undergo a major merger. The active galactic nucleus (AGN) Cygnus A shows strong interactions with the cluster environment, a process called AGN feedback.

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Thursday 9 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174