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M4.4 South Wales earthquake, 17th February 2018

An earthquake with magnitude 4.4 occurred in South Wales on the 17th February 2018 at 14:31:07.6 UTC. For more details please see this post on the INSN homepage.

M7.2 Mexico earthquake, 16th February 2018

An earthquake with magnitude 7.2 occurred in southern Mexico on the 16th February 2018 at 23:39:39 UTC. For more details please see this post on the INSN homepage.

Thursday 15th March: STP Seminar – “Einstein Gravity From Conformal Field Theory”

Title: Einstein Gravity From Conformal Field Theory

Speaker: Andrei Parnachev (TCD)

Abstract: We will analyse the Regge limit of certain four point functions in CFTs and will argue that holographic CFTs must be described by the Einstein gravity.

Time: Thursday 15th March 2018, 2.30pm.

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

2018-2-13 – Seminar by Ben Mather (DIAS)

13 February 2018Seminar

When: 16:00 on Tuesday, 13th February 2018
Where: DIAS, Geophysics Section, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, (library)

Speaker: Ben Mather (DIAS, Dublin, Ireland)
Title: Estimating the depth to the Curie isotherm: a synthesis of the methodology and its application to Ireland.


Magnetic data is one of the most common geophysics datasets available on the surface of the Earth. At long wavelengths it pertains information on the depth at which rocks lose their magnetism. This is called the Curie depth – often interpreted as the 580C isotherm, which is the Curie point of magnetite. In this talk I will outline the methodologies to compute Curie depth and the resolution of thermal structures it can detect. The ongoing acquisition of the magnetic anomaly by Tellus presents a unique opportunity to glean precise estimates of the 580C isotherm, which can be assimilated into large scale thermo-chemical models of the lithosphere.

Tuesday 13th February: STP Seminar – “An Introduction to Causal Set Theory”

Title: An Introduction to Causal Set Theory

Speaker: Dionigi M.T. Benincasa (DIAS)

Abstract: Causal set theory is a sum-over-histories approach to quantum gravity, where the histories are discrete spacetimes (called causal sets) defined as locally finite partial orders. Causal sets were proposed independently by ’t Hooft, Myrheim, Finklestein and Sorkin in the 70s and 80s, and have been championed by R. Sorkin ever since.

In this talk I will give a brief introduction to causal set theory, building towards some of the developments of the last decade. These include a definition of the causal set scalar curvature, and therefore of a causal set action analogous to the Einstein-Hilbert action of GR, which can be used to define causal set dynamics; as well as a formulation of quantum field theory on causal sets. If time permits I will discuss some recent (puzzling) results concerning the entanglement entropy of a free scalar field on a causal set.

Time: Tuesday 13th February 2018, 2.30pm.

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

2018-02-06, M6.4 Taiwan

On 6th February, 2018, an earthquake measuring magnitude 6.4 occurred northeast of Hualien, Taiwan. So far at least seven people have been killed and more than 250 injuries have been reported. Aftershocks continue to occur in Taiwan since the earthquake.

Taiwan lies in a region of complex tectonics near the intersection of three major tectonic plates – the Philippine Sea plate to the east and southeast, the Eurasia plate to the north and west, and the Sunda plate to the southwest. The February 6th 2018 earthquake is the largest in a sequence of events in the same region over the past several days. Because of its plate boundary location, Taiwan commonly experiences moderate-to-large earthquakes.


The earthquake was recorded at seismic stations worldwide, including stations of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN), see seismic waveforms below (select figure to enlarge).

Tuesday 6th February: STP Seminar – “A Hopf algebra for Feynman diagrams and integral”

Title: A Hopf algebra for Feynman diagrams and integral

Speaker: Ruth Britto (Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract: I will present a combinatorial operation on one-loop Feynman diagrams, described by cutting and pinching edges, that corresponds to the Hopf-algebraic coaction on the multiple polylogarithms resulting from their integration. A generalization of this operation, expressed simply in terms of master integrands paired with master contours, can be applied directly to larger classes of functions including hypergeometric functions. I will discuss applications to analyses of discontinuities of and differential equations for Feynman diagrams.

Time: Tuesday 6th February 2018, 2.30pm.

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

Mon 5 Feb 2018 : 75th Anniversary of Erwin Schrödinger’s ‘What is Life?’ lecture today

Today (05.02.18) marks the 75th anniversary of a lecture in Dublin regarded as one of the most important scientific lectures of all time.

On 5th February 1943, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Professor Erwin Schrödinger, then Director of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), delivered the first of his renowned ‘What is Life?’ lectures.  He delivered further lectures in his ‘What is Life?’ series over the following month.

Collectively, the lectures which were hosted by Trinity College Dublin, are credited with transforming our understanding of genetics and inspiring the discovery of DNA.

Schrödinger in Ireland

Professor Schrödinger had been brought to Ireland by Éamon de Valera on the eve of World War II.  As an outspoken and high-profile critic of the Nazi regime, he had been forced to flee his native Austria.

De Valera, who was Taoiseach at the time, was determined to establish a high-level research institute in Ireland – the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies – and approached Schrödinger to be the first Director of its School of Theoretical Physics.  Schrödinger remained in that post until his retirement in 1955, when he returned to Austria.

Commenting today, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS, said: “We are immensely proud to have had Professor Erwin Schrödinger as the first Director of DIAS’s School of Theoretical Physics.

“DIAS is home to a rich treasure trove of historical artefacts from Schrödinger’s time in Dublin. Along with lots of fascinating photographs of Schrödinger with Éamon de Valera, we have a letter to Schrödinger from Francis Crick crediting ‘What is Life?’ as an influence in his and James Watson’s discovery of DNA.”

Speaking today, Professor Werner Nahm, Director of the School of Theoretical Physics said: “At the DIAS School of Theoretical Physics, we are very proud to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this hugely influential lecture series, delivered by our first Director.

“Schrödinger’s ‘What is Life?’ lecture series not only brought a broad range of theoretical physics concepts to the non-expert but have also been widely credited with inspiring the discovery and decoding of DNA, our genetic building blocks.”

‘What is Life?’

The lectures delivered by Schrödinger 75 years ago dealt with the physical aspects of living cells; specifically, with the bearing of quantum theory on the structure of chromosomes and the nature of mutation.  They presented an early theoretical description of the storage of genetic information and have been credited as a source of inspiration in the discovery of DNA and subsequent decoding of the human genome.

The lectures were public lectures addressed to a general audience. The requirement to give such lectures was written by de Valera into the act establishing DIAS.

The ‘What is Life?’ lectures were subsequently published in a book of the same name and translated into German, French, Swedish, Japanese, Italian and Russian.

At the time, the lectures were covered by international outlets such as Time Magazine, as well as Ireland’s national media.

Further information about DIAS and Erwin Schrödinger is available here :  https://www.dias.ie/category/stp/stp-history/#Statutory_Public_Lectures.




Further information, contact: Eva Dowling / Martina Quinn, Alice PR & Events. Tel: 083-1496045 / 087-6522033, email: media@alicepr.com

Notes to Editor


Notes to photo editors

To mark today’s anniversary, DIAS have released a series of photos and newspaper clippings from Erwin Schrödinger’s time at DIAS from their archive.  These are available by emailing eva@alicepr.com.


About DIAS

DIAS was founded by Éamon de Valera in 1940 as a centre of excellence for advanced scholarship focused on three disciplines: Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics and Cosmic Physics.  As a globally embedded institution which attracts scholars and academics from around the world, it conducts and publishes advanced research. The organisation also leads Ireland’s participation in a number of international research endeavours, runs the Dunsink Observatory and coordinates a range of national initiatives on behalf of government.  Further information is available at www.dias.ie.

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19-29 June 2018 – DIAS Summer School in High-Energy Astrophysics 2018

The DIAS Summer School on High-Energy Astrophysics 2018 is the second summer school organised by the Centre for Astroparticle Physics and Astrophysics (CAPPA), part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), and is hosted by Dublin City University (DCU). The school is aimed at motivated young researchers beginning their careers (in particular PhD students and young postdocs), with the a focus on “filling in the gap” between University education and University-level research. The first announcement can be found here.

More details can be found here : https://www.dias.ie/cappa/SummerSchool2018/

Thurs 25 Jan 2018 – Group Photo of #BalFest80

Attendees at #BalFest80 taking place here at #DIASDublin in the School of Theoretical Physics this week