UofT Physics: The H.L. Welsh Distinguished Lecturer Series Program 2017

2017 Welsh Lectures in Physics
Thursday, May 4, 2017 -
1:30pm to 5:00pm

The Department of Physics invites faculty, students and the public to its 42nd annual celebration of physics.

The Welsh Lectures in Physics have been held annually since 1975 in honour of H.L. Welsh, a distinguished former faculty member in the Physics Department. They are the major public event in the life of the Department of Physics and are intended to celebrate discoveries in physics and their wider impact. They are intended to be broadly accessible to an audience drawn from across the university, other academic institutions and the interested public.

1:30pm - Prof. Nergis Mavalvala, MIT
The Warped Universe: The One Hundred Year Quest to Discover Einstein’s Gravitational Waves
In 2016, scientists announced the first-ever detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, launching a new era of gravitational wave astrophysics. Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein a hundred years earlier. Prof. Mavalvala will describe the science, technology, and human story behind these discoveries that provide a window into some of the most violent and warped events in the Universe.

3:00pm - Coffee Break

3:30pm - Prof. Leon Balents, University of California, Santa Barbara
Strange Stuff: A Second Quantum Revolution
Weird but true: quantum mechanics tells us that reality is not what it seems. The glass is not necessarily empty or full, but can be both at the same time. Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of quantum theory, imagined a cat that is simultaneously alive and dead. In practice, while such odd quantum states are common for microscopic particles, they are harder and harder to arrange for larger objects. But more recently, researchers have turned this question around to ask: what sorts of weird quantum states can be achieved? The answers are surprising. Quite strange quantum behavior is possible even in large assemblies of electrons and atoms, realizing new forms of matter. These ideas are influencing not only our understanding of matter, but also that of information and gravity. In Prof. Balents' talk, he will introduce you to this second quantum revolution and its implications for the future.

Who can attend: Everyone
Fee: Free
Reservations: Not required
Organized by: University of Toronto Department of Physics
Location: Earth Sciences Centre (5 Bancroft Avenue and 33 Willcocks Street, Room ES1050, University of Toronto)