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Monday 27th March: STP Seminar – “Yang-Baxter sigma-models, conformal twists & noncommutative Yang-Mills”

Title: Yang-Baxter sigma-models, conformal twists & noncommutative Yang-Mills

Speaker: Eoin Ó Colgáin (University of Surrey)

Abstract: The Yang-Baxter σ-model is a systematic way to generate integrable deformations of AdS5×S5. We recast the deformations as seen by open strings, where the metric is undeformed AdS5×S5 with constant string coupling, and all information about the deformation is encoded in the noncommutative (NC) parameter Θ. We identify the deformations of AdS5 as twists of the conformal algebra, thus explaining the noncommutativity. We show that the unimodularity conditon on r-matrices for supergravity solutions translates into Θ being divergence-free. Integrability of the σ-model for unimodular r-matrices implies the existence and planar integrability of the dual NC gauge theory.

Time: Monday 27th March 2017, 3.00pm.

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

New insights into how continuous seismic signals announce an eruption

In the recently published Nature Geoscience paper a diverse group of scientists based at DIAS and other research institutes in Ireland and Iceland developed a new understanding of seismic signals prior to an eruption. The focus of the study is an eruption in Iceland in 2014/15 that was preceded by two weeks of increased, migrating seismicity. This seismicity is the noise of the breaking crust at depth and gave scientists the possibility to ‘watch’ how magma propagated horizontally until it eventually made it to the Earth’s surface. However, the puzzling observation was that no earthquakes occurred at less than 3 km depth, although magma passed through this region. We found that a long-lasting continuous seismic signal, called tremor, exists at this depth instead. This tremor was usually understood as being caused by moving fluids, but it seems that it consists instead of millions of tiny earthquakes that are so closely spaced that they merge into one another and appear as tremor. It seems that the uppermost part of the crust is too weak to generate big earthquakes and it therefore breaks through many small earthquakes. In our paper we describe how the crust beneath the ice opened little by little in about 19 hours at a speed of 220 m/h. As such eruptions beneath ice can distribute huge amounts of ash in the air, understanding these signals is important for volcano monitoring and eruption early-warning.

Nicolas Luca Celli Wins Best Student Talk Prize

At the 2017 Irish Geological Research Meeting (IGRM) that took place at Trinity College Dublin on March 4-6, the prize for the best talk by a student was awarded to Nicolas Luca Celli, DIAS Geophysics. Nicolas spoke on his research on seismic tomography and was congratulated by the jury and by colleagues from across Ireland on an outstanding presentation.
His talk was titled “Waveform Tomography of the North Atlantic Region.”

Photo: Patrick Roycroft (IGA)

Tuesday 14th March: STP Seminar – “Gaussian free fields at the integer quantum Hall plateau transition”

Title: Gaussian free fields at the integer quantum Hall plateau transition.

Speaker: Roberto Bondesan (Oxford).

Abstract: The transition between Hall conductance plateaus of the integer quantum Hall effect stands out as a possible paradigm for quantum phase transitions of Anderson-localization type. Yet, in spite of numerous efforts and a renewed interest coming from the expanding field of topological phases, understanding this transition has so far defied an analytical solution by the methods of conformal field theory and/or the theory of integrable systems.

In this talk I will review our approach based on a supersymmetric vertex model and the construction of conformal primary fields on the lattice from highest weight vectors of the vertex model in the presence of point contacts. The outcome of the analysis will be an effective free field description of critical wave intensities leading to a parabolic multifractality spectrum.

Time: Tuesday 14th March 2017, 2.30pm.

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

Unveiling How the Sun’s Corona is Heated

Coronal loops as imaged by the TRACE satellite show gas at 1 million degrees Celsius (NASA/TRACE).

A team of astronomers involving Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) may have solved a long standing problem in solar astrophysics: why does the Sun’s outer tenuous atmosphere (known as the corona) have a temperature of around a million degrees?

The Sun’s outer corona has a temperature of a million degrees and is separated from its cool surface (the photosphere), at 6000 degrees, by only a few hundred kilometres. A major problem in solar physics is understanding why the corona is so much hotter than the Sun’s surface? The answer to this problem lies in the complex magnetic field which is tightly woven within the atmosphere of Sun. Over the last few decades, numerous observatories in space and on the ground, have provided a range of explanations for the origins of this coronal heating. Two competing physical mechanisms are generally accepted. The first is known as magnetic reconnection, which is an explosive release of the magnetic energy, trapped in magnetic fields in the corona (otherwise known as a solar flare). The second is the energy for heating provided by oscillating magnetic fields in the form of waves (otherwise known as Alfvén waves). Detecting these magnetic field oscillations requires advanced numerical simulations combined with the highest resolution images available to astronomers. Moreover, reducing the enormous amount of observational data requires tremendous computing power. Only now has the wave origins behind the heating of the solar corona being seen clearly.

An international team including researches from five countries, and involving the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, as well as Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, report on a new discovery made using the Swedish Solar Telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands. These observations show for the first time the presence of high frequency waves traveling along thin magnetic flux tubes emerging from the Sun. Not only do the waves serve as a substantial source of energy for the corona but they also drive the supersonic solar wind. The work has just been published in Nature Scientific Reports and is led by Dr. A.K. Srivastava from the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), India. Other team members are Professor Gerry Doyle from Armagh, Juie Shetye, a PhD student at Armagh, Dr Eamon Scullion from Northumbria University, Professor B.N. Dwivedi from the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi, Professors K. Murawski and Dariusz Wojcik from UMCS, Lublin, Poland,  Dr Marco Stangalini from INAF,  Rome and Professor Tom Ray from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. To carry out the necessary simulations and enormous data reduction, the team made extensive use of Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) resources.

Wednesday 22nd February: DIAS General Interest Seminar – ‘Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Science’

Title: Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Science

Speaker: Dr Finnur Dellsén (University College Dublin)

Abstract: Many working scientists are familiar with Karl Popper’s vision of science as the concerted effort to falsify extent theories and replace them with new theories that make bold predictions about unobserved events. Popper’s ideas have been less influential among philosophers of science, due to a number of arguably devastating problems with his underlying approach. This talk will survey some of the more influential criticisms of Popper, and go on to discuss two other influential ways of thinking about science, viz. Thomas Kuhn’s idea of ‘paradigms’ as the basic unit of real scientific change, and the ‘Bayesian’ idea of scientific confirmation as grounded in subjective probability-assignments.

Time: Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 4.00pm.

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

School of Celtic Studies : Dindṡenchas Érenn conference Friday 31st March & Saturday 1st April

The Dindṡenchas Érenn conference will now take place on Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April, a week later than previously advertised.

Programme and Registration details are available here.


Bergin Fellowship vacancy – School of Celtic Studies


The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies wishes to appoint in 2017 a promising early-stage researcher to a five-year Bergin Fellowship in the School of Celtic Studies. The post will be available from 1 June.

Candidates should hold the degree of PhD and should have a record of outstanding research experience in an area of Celtic Studies relevant to the work of the School. Intending candidates who wish to discuss the vacancy may contact the Director of the School of Celtic Studies.

Applicants must submit a short letter of application, together with an academic CV, a research proposal (no more than 4 pages), and the contact details of three academic referees (who have agreed to act) to the Registrar’s Office, DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, to arrive before 17 February 2017. Electronic applications should be sent to  registrarsoffice@admin.dias.ie.

Further Information

Conditions attaching to the post


Is mian le hInstitiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath taighdeoir ardchumasach atá i dtús a réime agus a bhfuil geallúint faoi/fúithi a cheapadh i 2017 faoi scéim Comhaltachtaí Uí Aimhirgín i Scoil an Léinn Cheiltigh. Beidh an post ar fáil 1 Meitheamh.

Is cóir d’iarrthóirí an chéim PhD a bheith bainte amach acu, agus taithí d’ardcháilíocht a bheith acu i mbun taighde ar ghné den Léann Ceilteach a bhaineann le raon saothair na Scoile. Is féidir le hiarrthóirí ar mian leo an folúntas a phlé teagmháil a dhéanamh le Stiúrthóir na Scoile.

Chun cur isteach is cóir litir iarratais a sheoladh maraon le CV acadúil, moladh i gcomhair tionscnaimh thaighde (gan dul thar 4 lch), agus ainmneacha agus seoltaí ag baint le triúr moltóirí (atá sásta feidhmiú), go dtí An Cláraitheoir, Institiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath, 10 Bóthar Burlington, Baile Átha Cliath 4, le bheith istigh faoi 17 Feabhra 2017. Seoltar iarratais leictreonacha chun registrarsoffice@admin.dias.ie.

Eolas Breise

Vacancy: O’Donovan Scholarship

The School of Celtic Studies is able to offer one scholarship from August 2017.


A CV, including an outline of the research which the applicant proposes to undertake (maximum of 1000 words), should be sent to:

Ms Eibhlín Ní Dhonncha,
School Administrator,
School of Celtic Studies,
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies,
10 Burlington Road,
Dublin 4,
email: eibhlin@celt.dias.ie

To be returned not later than 17 February 2017.

The applicant should also ensure that references from at least two referees are sent to the School Administrator by the above date.
The date at which the applicant wishes the scholarship to commence and proposed length of tenure should be indicated. The normal tenure is three years.

Candidates should have completed, or be close to completing, their PhD. The stipend is €25,000 for candidates with a PhD.

School of Celtic Studies – Summer School 2017

More details here