28th March: Stephen Hawking Symposium

On Wednesday 28th of March we will hold a special event to celebrate the life, work and influence of Stephen Hawking. Coffee will be served from 16.00, then we will have a series of talks by experts from across the university: Kari EnqvistEsko Keski-Vakkuri, Paavo Pylkkänen and Pentti Tienari, chaired by Director of the Helsinki Institute of Physics Katri Huitu. The talks will start at 16.30 in D101, Physicum, and the programme is expected to finish at 18.00. The talks will be accessible to a general audience. Welcome!

During this event (in particular during the coffee 16.00-16.30 and after the discussion 18.00-18.30) we will have a “memorial booth” in the Physicum lobby. We invite everyone to come and pay their respect to Hawking through a Hawking-related story: how his work has inspired you to pursue a career in Physics, or any other short anecdote about Hawking and his legacy. The stories will be filmed and collected into a “Hawking memorial video” from the Department of Physics in collaboration with The Science Basement.

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18th May 2018 at 14.15 in E204: Mark Hindmarsh

Our final colloquium for the spring semester will be held on 18th May. Our speaker will be Mark Hindmarsh, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Sussex, and visiting professor at Helsinki. His work is principally concerned with the exciting topic of gravitational waves produced in the early universe, and so the title of his talk is Gravitational waves from the Big Bang. Exceptionally, his talk will be in E204.

Here is his abstract:

About 10 picoseconds after the beginning of the Universe, the Higgs field turned on. In extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics, this could have been a first order phase transition, with bubbles of the Higgs phase expanding and colliding at relativistic speeds.  I will discuss how the Higgs “fizz” generates gravitational radiation, prospects for observing the radiation at the future space-based gravitational wave detector LISA, and outline how LISA complements the LHC as a probe of physics beyond the Standard Model.

After the 30 minute talk, there will be a cocktail reception. Welcome!