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26th October 2017 – DIAS Annual Report Published


Thursday, 26th October 2017

DIAS annual report

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) has today (26.10.17) published its annual report for 2016.

The report documents the key activities undertaken by DIAS last year, including global research, involvement in major national scientific initiatives, and public engagement campaigns.

DIAS was founded by Éamon de Valera in 1940 as a fundamental research centre focused on three disciplines: Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics and Cosmic Physics.  In addition to conducting and publishing research, the organisation runs the Dunsink Observatory and coordinates a number of national initiatives on behalf of government.

Some of the key highlights in the 2016 DIAS annual report include:

  • Attracting international talent to Ireland through competitive processes – DIAS funded 85 researchers last year. Of these, 30 per cent were Irish, with 70 per cent from other countries of origin.
  • 115 international research visitors to DIAS from 20 countries.
  • Success in securing competitive research funding including a €2.8m award to initiate the development of the first permanent sea-floor seismic, tsunami and marine acoustic observatory in the Irish NE Atlantic. The project is entitled “Insitu Marine Laboratory for Geosystems Research” (iMARL).
  • Further development of the Irish Script on Screen initiative to the point that 365 manuscripts are now available online for researchers nationally and internationally. This online resource had over four million hits in 2016.
  • High-level publications across high-impact journals (including Nature).
  • Ongoing development of the iCRAG Centre for geosciences, in which DIAS is a leading partner.
  • DIAS’s key role in the establishment of the iLOFAR (the European low-frequency radio telescope) site.
  • High-profile international collaborations, including with the European Space Observatory, the European Space Agency, the James Webb Space Telescope endeavour, the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).
  • 5,500 visitors to the Dunsink Observatory; and the installation of Meteor cameras at Dunsink.
  • DIAS’s ongoing coordination of the Irish National Seismic Network, and the Seismology in Schools initiative.
  • DIAS’s partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to run the national office for the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation. This office marked its twentieth anniversary in 2016.

Commenting today (26.10.17) on the publication of the annual report, Dr. Vincent Cunnane, Chairman of DIAS, said: “For DIAS, 2016 began with the deployment of Ocean Bottom Seismometers off the coast of Donegal and ended with a lecture on why experts disagree about the physics of climate change.

“In addition to our growing research output, we had a significant increase in public engagement over the year – through our own lectures and events, and our involvement in initiatives like Science Week and Culture Night.  We also continued to enhance our international reputation, as can be seen from the high-level global partnerships in which we were involved and the high rates of interest from international researchers in conducting research at DIAS.

“In 2016, DIAS continued to contribute to the national and global knowledge pool, and to influence future developments in the study of our cosmos, our planet and our identity.  We have been building on this work this year, and will be launching a new strategic plan in the coming months.”

DIAS’s 2016 annual report is available to download at: https://dias.ie/reports



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17th November – School of Celtic Studies Statutory Public Lecture 2017

Thursday 2nd November: STP Seminar – “Top Mass from Asymptotic Safety”

Title: Top Mass from Asymptotic Safety

Speaker: Astrid Eichhorn (University of Heidelberg)

Abstract: I will introduce the key ideas underlying the asymptotic safety scenario, which is mainly explored as a model of quantum gravity and will review its current status. I will then highlight that it might at the same time provide an ultraviolet completion for the Standard Model of particle physics. First hints indicate that such a setting might even reduce the number of free parameters of the Standard Model, and turn the top mass as well as the low-energy value of the Abelian gauge coupling into predictable quantities. Within simple approximations of the Renormalization Group flow for gravity and matter, the theoretical values for these quantities obtained from asymptotic safety lie in the vicinity of the observed values.

Time: Thursday 2nd November 2017, 2.30pm.

Place: Lecture Room, School of Theoretical Physics, DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Thursday 26th October: STP Seminar – “Towards understanding the endpoint of the superradiant instability: Kerr black holes with synchronised hair”

Title: Towards understanding the endpoint of the superradiant instability: Kerr black holes with synchronised hair

Speaker: Eugen Radu (Aveiro University)

Abstract: A 50 year-old lingering question in black hole (BH) physics is the endpoint of the Kerr BH superradiant instability, triggered by massive, bosonic fields.In a recent breakthrough, East and Pretorius reported long term numerical evolutions of this instability, using a Proca field to trigger it.Evolutions terminate in stationary states of the vector field condensate synchronised with a rotating BH horizon. We show these end points are fundamental states of Kerr BHs with synchronised Proca hair. We also propose a universal (i.e. field-spin independent), analytic model for the subset of BHs that possess a quasi-Kerr horizon, and show the model is accurate for hairy BHs that may emerge dynamically from superradiance.

Time: Thursday 26th October 2017, 2.30pm.

Place: Lecture Room, School of Theoretical Physics, DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Hallowe’en Night 2017 – Tuesday 31st October, 18:30-20:00 : Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (Matter)

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (Matter)

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) will hold a special event this Hallow’en Night exploring the spooky dark matter that surrounds us.

Tuesday 31st October has been designated as International Dark Matter Day – to coincide with Hallowe’en. DIAS’ event will take place from 6.30pm to 8pm at 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Dark Matter

The evidence for Dark Matter (and the even more mysterious dark energy) has been steadily accumulating since the 1930s and we now believe that less than 5% of the universe is made of the “normal” matter that physicists study in the laboratory. The nature of the dark matter is one of the greatest mysteries in modern physics and will be discussed by the Directors of the DIAS schools of Cosmic Physics, Professor Luke Drury, and Theoretical Physics, Professor Werner Nahm as a dialogue between astrophysics and particle physics.

The event is free to attend, and you can register now at Eventbrite

15th December – School of Theoretical Physics Statutory Public Lecture 2017

**Advance booking is required here**

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies – School of Theoretical Physics Statutory Public Lecture 2017

Friday 15th December 2017 at 6.00 p.m.

The Physics and Astrophysics of Merging Neutron-Star Binaries

By: Prof. Dr. Luciano Rezzolla (Goethe University of Frankfurt)

Location: Edmund Burke Theatre (Room 1008), Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Abstract: I will argue that if black holes represent one the most fascinating implications of Einstein’s theory of gravity, neutron stars in binary system are arguably its richest laboratory, where gravity blends with astrophysics and particle physics. I will discuss the rapid recent progress made in modelling these systems and show how the inspiral and merger of a binary system of neutron stars is more than a strong source of gravitational waves. Indeed, while the gravitational signal can provide tight constraints on the equation of state for matter at nuclear densities, the formation of a black-hole–torus system can explain much of the phenomenology of short gamma-ray bursts, while the ejection of matter during the merger can shed light on the chemical enrichment of the universe.

About Professor Rezzolla : Prof. Dr. Luciano Rezzolla is presently the Chair of Theoretical (Relativistic) Astrophysics and Director at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP) of the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany. He is also Senior Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies (FIAS).

School of Celtic Studies Tionól 2017 – Programme now available

Tionol 2017 programme

Photos from DIAS School of Cosmic Physics Statutory Public Lecture 2017 (19th October 2017)

“Brave new worlds: the planets in our galaxy” by Professor Giovanna Tinetti, University College London  (abstract)

Prof. Giovanna Tinetti (Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University College London)

l-r : Prof. Gerry Wrixon (Chairman, Governing Board of the School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS) Prof. Giovanna Tinetti (Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University College London) Dr Eucharia Meehan (Registrar and CEO of DIAS)

l-r: Prof. Gerry Wrixon (Chairman, Governing Board of the School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS), Dr Eucharia Meehan (Registrar and CEO of DIAS), Prof. Chris Bean (Head of the Geophysics Section, School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS), Prof. Giovanna Tinetti (Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University College London), Prof. Luke Drury (Director of the School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS and Head of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Section), Dr Deirdre Coffey (Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Space Science at UCD School of Physics), Prof. Martin Grünewald (Professor of Experimental Physics and Head of the UCD School of Physics)

RTE documentary on LOFAR – Thursday 19th October

Tonight RTE 1 screens a documentary on how Ireland built part the largest radio telescope in the World. LOFAR (The Low-Frequency Array) is an international effort to study the Universe at the lowest radio frequencies, straddling either side of the familiar VHF band. Historical resonances abound in that the radio telescope is on the same site as the famous Leviathan of Parsonstown, once the largest optical telescope in the World. Amazingly there is so little radio interference nearby, that it is the radio equivalent of a pristine site high in the Andes when it comes to seeing the stars!

DIAS is a partner in LOFAR and will use it to study the birth of stars and planets. We will also contribute to the complex software required to operate such a telescope across the European continent with our international partners.

The LOFAR Telescope in Birr, County Offaly. DIAS is part of the Irish consortium that constructed it and we will use it to study how stars like our Sun are born and also how they die.

Dr. Eva Eibl reached the second place in the Falling Walls Lab Ireland competition

Falling Walls Labs have been hosted in more than 50 countries worldwide, where outstanding academics and professionals present their breakthroughs in science and society in merely 3 minute long talks. This year it was hosted in Ireland for the first time and innovative ideas, research projects and social initiatives were shared. DIAS researcher Dr. Eva Eibl competed with a talk titled: „Breaking the Walls of Eruption Forecasting“ presenting the content of her recently published Nature Geoscience publication and reached the second place.