24th April 2020 at 14.15: Hanna Vehkamäki, Molecular cluster formation in the atmosphere

Our first online Physics Colloquium will be given by Hanna Vehkamäki, who will talk to us about the physics of molecular cluster formation in the atmosphere.

The event will be held, as usual on Friday (24.04.20) at 14:15, on the following University Zoom meeting:
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Meeting ID: 672 8578 8599

Hanna is Professor in Computational Aerosol Physics here at the University of Helsinki, and she is well known in the University to be an excellent and engaging speaker, as well as being an accomplished physicist. In her work, she focuses on computational and theoretical methods to  understand cluster and particle formation for atmospherically relevant molecules. She has won several awards including the Finnish Aerosol Research Foundation Distinguished Researcher Award, The NOSA (Nordic Society for Aerosol Research) Aerosologist Award as well as the University of Helsinki Maikki Friberg Award for Promoting Equality.

In her colloquium, entitled Molecular cluster formation in the atmosphere, Hanna will tell us about aerosol particles in the atmosphere, and her work on understanding their formation. This is an important topic for climate modelling and an interesting area of physics.

Here is her abstract:

Roughly half of the particles in the Earth’s atmosphere originate from molecular clustering of gaseous species such as sulphuric acid, ammonia, amines and highly oxidized organic compounds- the other half are emitted to the atmosphere as ready-made particles such as dust and pollen.
Atmospheric particles affect air quality, and cloud formation in our atmosphere always involves particles which act as cloud condensation nuclei. The effect of particles via clouds constitute the largest uncertainty in predicting future climate. The molecular mechanisms for formation of molecular clusters and their growth to atmospheric aerosol particles in the diverse atmospheric conditions are not yet understood. In my presentation will give an introduction to state-of-the-art quantum chemistry based models of atmospheric cluster formation, recent developments in detailed understanding of the experiments used to study these clusters, and discuss the agreement between theory and experiments.

In the spirit of our usual cocktail reception, we encourage all attendees to join us with a glass of sparkling wine. Cheers!

7th February 2020 at 14.15 in D101: Panu Jaakkola

Our second colloquium of the Spring 2020 season will be Panu Jaakkola, Professor and Research Director at the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Professor Jaakkola’s work on cellular oxygen sensing was cited as a key publication in the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2019.

Professor Jaakkola is both a qualified medical doctor and researcher. He has worked on fundamental cellular and molecular cancer research, as well as on translational research between basic life sciences and clinical cancer research. He currently holds posts at the Helsinki University Hospital, the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku.

In his colloquium, entitled Cellular oxygen sensing, Nobel Prize in Medicine 2019, Professor Jaakkola will tell us about the science behind the last Nobel prize in Medicine.

Here is his abstract:

Reduced oxygen availability to tissues (hypoxia) occur in a number of physiological and medical conditions. How human and animal cells sense the level of oxygen and how they respond to reduced amount of oxygen is essential for the functioning of body. For example erytropoietin hormone is induced by hypoxia (insufficient oxygen level in tissues) and increases the amount of red blood cells. The molecular mechanisms as to how cells sense the oxygen level and how they respond to hypoxia has been revealed by G. Semenza, P. Ratcliffe and W. Kaelin. They were awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2019.

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

24th January 2020 at 14.15 in E204: Flyura Djurabekova

Our first colloquium of the Spring 2020 season will be the inaugural lecture of a new full professor in our department, Flyura Djurabekova.

Flyura is Professor in Materials in Extreme Environments here at the University of Helsinki. In her research she works on computational modelling of materials, with a focus on understanding materials under the extreme environments of particle accelerators.

In her colloquium, entitled Materials in extreme environments of particle accelerators, Flyura will tell us about how multiscale modelling can be used to understand the complex problem of vacuum arcing.

Here is her abstract:

Materials help to bring our dreams to life. Over the long history of the human kind, we learned to design and modify different materials to fit our needs. However, the courage of modern people to challenge the deep secrets of the Universe demands yet new knowledge of how to make the materials collaborate in conditions that are far beyond the standard ones. For instance, design and construction of powerful particle colliders to peek into the heart of the Universe require high engineering and construction skill. However, the lack of fundamental knowledge of key physical processes developing within the accelerating structures can hinder heavily the well-planned efforts.
In my presentation, I will describe our multiscale modelling of processes that are leading to and developing during vacuum arcing, a serious problem disturbing the operation of accelerating structures by strongly reducing its efficiency. On the other hand, vacuum arcing is not only a problem of particle accelerators; it is commonly seen in many places where high electric or electromagnetic fields are in touch with metals. By developing novel computational tools, we have been able to address many of the complex and multiphysics processes underlining the vacuum arcing.

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

13th December 2019 at 14.15 in E204: Filip Tuomisto

Our last colloquium of the Fall 2019 season will be another inaugural lecture by a new professor in our department, Filip Tuomisto.

Filip is Professor of Experimental Materials Physics here in Helsinki. In his research, he focuses on the development and applications of positron annihilation spectroscopy for studying the atomic-scale structures of materials for future technologies.

In his presentation, titled Antimatter: does it matter? Filip will tell us about the use of positrons in probing the structure of matter and in medical imaging.

Here is the abstract of his talk:

The fundamental question in materials science is: Why is matter what it is? More precisely, if one takes a piece of some material, why does it look what it looks like, why does it respond to external electromagnetic fields in the way it does, why does it yield in the way it does when a force is applied? Many other similar questions can be thought of. In all simplicity, all these properties are dictated by the identities of the atoms constituting the material, and their positions in space. In practice, however, a macroscopic amount of material contains by far too many atoms in order to address the issue atom-by-atom. A wide variety of experimental methods has been developed for studying the atomic-level structure of matter, most of them based on shooting something (electromagnetic waves, particles) at a piece of material, and then observing what (electromagnetic waves, particles) comes out and how. In addition to light, electrons and ions, the probing can be performed also using antimatter. Positrons can be injected into matter, and the positron-electron annihilation gamma radiation analyzed, giving various kinds of information on the local environment of the positron at the time of its demise. In this colloquium, I will give a short introduction to the utilization of positrons in materials science and medical imaging. Antimatter may indeed matter.

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

1st November 2019 at 14:15 in Exactum B123: Minna Huotilainen

Our next colloquium will take place on 1st November 2019.  Our speaker will be Professor Minna Huotilainen, from the Cognitive Brain Research Unit of the University of Helsinki.  She is a researcher in psychology and cognitive science, working in particular on the development of human cognition. Her research interests include for example the role of music and sounds on brain development, and how to optimise brain work and its recovery. She is the author of a popular science book on brain research and its applications to education and learning, Näin aivot oppivat.

In her talk, titled Can brain research be helpful in advancing physics – optimising scientific work, she will tell us about brain health and how to improve it. Here is her abstract:

Neuroscience is advancing in its technologies and also research methods, allowing more applied questions to be addressed with brain research. One interesting field to scientists is optimising scientific work, aiming at the wellbeing of the brain in the long term as well as high functionality in the work context both for cognitive capabilities as well as for creativity. This talk reviews some of the major findings in this field, allowing the audience to develop their own work and recovery habits.

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