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19th – 29th 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/

Thursday 3rd May: STP Seminar – “Black Holes, Stokes Flows & Transport at Strong Coupling”

Title: Black holes, Stokes flows and transport at strong coupling

Speaker: Aristomenis Donos (U. Durham)

Abstract: Certain strongly coupled materials, such as the cuprate superconductors exhibit fascinating, yet hard to explain transport properties. Holography provides a consistent framework to study the phase diagram and transport properties of strongly coupled matter at finite temperature and chemical potential. In this context, I will discuss how low frequency transport is fixed via a an “auxiliary fluid” residing on the horizon of black holes relevant to phases of holographic matter with broken translations. This observation provides powerful techniques to extract the conductivity properties of holographic ground states with reduced symmetries.

Time: Thursday 3rd May 2018, 2.30pm.

Place: Lecture Room, 1st Floor, School of Theoretical Physics, DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4

2018-04-25 – Seminar by Dr. Jana H. Borner (Freiberg University of Mining and Technology)

25 April 2018Seminar

When: 16:00 on Wednesday, 25th April 2018
Where: DIAS, Geophysics Section, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, (library)

Speaker: Dr. Jana H. Borner (Freiberg University of Mining and Technology)
Title: Complex electrical conductivity of reactive systems.


Reactive rock-fluid-gas systems are common targets for geoelectric and electromagnetic exploration and monitoring applications in geosciences. Storage of reactive gases, environmental pollution and remediation as well as natural discharges of reactive gases and carbonate reservoirs are only a few examples for systems, whose petrophysical properties are influenced by manifold physico-chemical interactions. Understanding the manifestation of physico-chemical interactions in the electrical properties of such systems is crucial for the correct interpretation of field and monitoring data. Laboratory measurements of the complex electrical rock conductivity (i.e. spectral induced polarization method) allow for a comprehensive electrical characterization. Challenges, data and results from the impact of carbon dioxide on rock conductivity, carbonate reservoirs and black schist formations are presented and put in the context for field scale applications.

Wednesday 18th April 2018 – DIAS scientists launch major Atlantic Ocean research project

Led by scientists from Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), the iMarl project is centred around state-of-the-art ocean bottom seismometers, which will be located deep in the Atlantic Ocean  off the coast of Ireland. The seismometers will have a variety of uses,  including detecting earthquakes and major weather events, tracking the presence of whales and dolphins, and capturing seabed images.

Pictured at the launch of the iMarl  project – one of the most ambitious deep-ocean research project ever  undertaken in Europe today (18.04.18) were: Professor Mark  Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief  Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland; Minister of State for  Rural Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne TD, Professor Chris  Bean, Senior Professor of Geophysics and Director of the DIAS School of  Cosmic Physics and Mr. Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey  Ireland. (Picture Jason Clarke).

For further information, contact: Niamh Breathnach / Martina Quinn, Alice PR & Events. Tel: 01-5582151 / 085-1461231 / 087-6522033, email: media@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.

Thursday 19th April: STP Seminar – “Non-equilibrium Dynamics in Isolated Quantum Systems”

Title: Non-equilibrium Dynamics in Isolated Quantum Systems

Speaker: Masud Haque (NUI Maynooth)

Abstract: Quantum many-body physics has traditionally focused on equilibrium properties and low-energy excitations. However, in recent years, motivated by novel experimental possibilities, the study of quantum matter far from equilibrium is emerging as an active and exciting field of research. In the absence of external mechanisms for reaching equilibrium, the behavior of an isolated quantum system poses many new challenges to our understanding of quantum matter. I will present examples of a few classes of dynamical phenomena in isolated quantum systems, highlighting effects and questions that arise explicitly due to isolation.

Time: Thursday 19th April 2018, 2.30pm.

Place: Seminar Room, School of Celtic Studies, DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Tuesday 10th April: STP Seminar – “Explorations in non equilibrium thermodynamics of quantum systems: work and heat statistics”

Title: Explorations in non equilibrium thermodynamics of quantum systems: work and heat statistics

Speaker: John Goold (TCD)

Abstract: This talk will be an overview of some research I have been doing in the field of non equilibrium thermodynamics of quantum systems over the past few years. After an elementary introduction to some key concepts I will discuss some aspect of quantum thermodynamics, in particular focusing on work statistics, fluctuation theorems and their experimental extraction. Time permitting I will also introduce heat statistics and using the operational framework of completely positive, trace preserving operations I show how a lower bound for the heat exchange in a Landauer erasure process on a quantum system can be derived. I will try to aim the talk at non experts.

Time: Tuesday 10th April 2018, 2.30pm.

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

DIAS Research Forum 2018 – Friday 11th May

An inter-disciplinary research forum has been scheduled for Friday 11 May 2018, 3-5pm at Burlington Road. The forum is intended to be an informal event that provides post-doctoral scholars and PhD students with the opportunity to share and discuss their current research with scholars and staff from across the three schools of DIAS.

There will be no main speakers at the event. Instead, participants will be assigned a space where they can share and discuss their research interests. Participants are encouraged to present a poster which visually complements their research, and allows them to explain what they do to all DIAS staff. In instances where a poster presentation is not appropriate, participants should feel free to develop an alternative approach. Posters should ideally be printed in A1 portrait format, as space is limited.

The forum presents a great opportunity for scholars to sharpen their academic presentation and public outreach skills in an informal setting, while also getting to know colleagues from across the Institute.

The organisers strongly encourage scholars from all three schools to participate in the forum. A coordinator from each section will liaise with participants regarding their presentations.

Participants are asked to register here prior to Wednesday 9 May.

Section Coordinators:
Celtic Studies - Eibhlín Nic Dhonncha eibhlin@celt.dias.ie
CP, Astrophysics - Eileen Flood eflood@cp.dias.ie & Anne Grace ag@cp.dias.ie
CP, Geophysics - Clare Horan choran@cp.dias.ie
Theoretical Physics - George Rogers grogers@stp.dias.ie
Please contact your section coordinator with any queries.

All DIAS staff are welcome to attend.

DIAS Research Forum Poster 2018

Tuesday 27th March: STP Seminar – “The Wave Mechanics of Large-scale Structure”

Title: The Wave Mechanics of Large-scale Structure

Speaker: Peter Coles (U. Cardiff & NUI Maynooth)

Abstract: There has been been a resurgence of interest recently in an idea, originally raised in a seminal paper by Widrow & Kaiser (1993), that the equations describing the evolution of a self-gravitating fluid can be rewritten in the form of a Schrodinger equation coupled to a Poisson equation determining the gravitational potential. In this talk I’ll discuss some of the merits of this idea and explain why it is of topical interest, illustrating the talk with examples of recent work.

Time: Tuesday 27th March 2018, 2.30pm.

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

DIAS Press Release 21st March 2018 : ARIEL Exoplanet Mission Selected by the European Space Agency

Press Release 21st March 2018

ARIEL Exoplanet Mission Selected by the European Space Agency

ARIEL – a mission to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve, of which Prof Tom Ray of Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) is Co-Principal Investigator – has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as its next medium-class science mission, due for launch in 2026.

During a 4-year mission, ARIEL will observe 1000 planets orbiting distant stars and make the first large-scale survey of the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. ESA’s Science Programme Committee announced the selection of ARIEL from three candidate missions on 21st March 2018.

The ARIEL mission has been developed by a consortium from 15 ESA member states including Ireland, UK, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, with an additional contribution from NASA in the USA.

University College London (UCL) is the primary lead for the mission and DIAS is providing both hardware and manpower. Irish funding for ARIEL will come from ESA’s PRODEX programme that is supported by the Government of Ireland and managed by Enterprise Ireland.

ARIEL’s Co-Principal Investigator, Prof Tom Ray of DIAS said, “It is wonderful news that ESA have selected ARIEL.  At this stage we have discovered almost 4,000 planets around nearby stars but very little is known about them beyond their size and how far they are from their parent star. ARIEL will study a large number of exoplanets to give us a much better picture of what the atmospheres of these planets are like. This will enable us to answer questions about how the chemistry of a planet is linked to its birth and evolution and may ultimately help us understand how planets with benign atmospheres like the Earth form.”

ARIEL’s National Contact in Ireland, Dr Deirdre Coffey of UCD School of Physics, said “It is tremendously exciting that Ireland is directly involved in ESA’s next exoplanet space mission. Rising demand for places in our MSc Space Science & Technology is testament to the increasing attractiveness of Space as a career trajectory for high-tech graduates. Our involvement provides great inspiration for the next generation, and reinforces to our graduates that Ireland is at the forefront of research.”

ARIEL will study a diverse population of exoplanets ranging from Jupiter- and Neptune-size planets down to super-Earths, in a wide variety of environments. While some of the planets may be in the habitable zones of their stars, the main focus of the mission will be on warm and hot planets in orbits close to their star. The scorching temperatures experienced by planets close to their stars, which can be hotter than 2000 degrees Celsius, also mean that more molecules from the planet’s interior make their way into the atmosphere. This provides ARIEL with better information about the planet’s internal composition and the formation history of the planetary system.

ARIEL will have a meter-class telescope primary mirror to collect visible and infrared light from distant star systems. A spectrometer will spread the light into a ‘rainbow’ and extract the chemical fingerprints of gases in the planets’ atmospheres, which become embedded in starlight when a planet passes in front or behind the star. A photometer and guidance system will capture information on the presence on clouds in the atmospheres of the exoplanets and will allow the spacecraft to point to the target star with high stability and precision. DIAS will contribute special filters to split the light up into different portions of the optical and infrared spectrum before the light is fed to ARIEL’s different instruments.

ARIEL will be launched from Kourou in French Guiana and will be placed in orbit around the Lagrange Point 2 (L2), a gravitational balance point 1.5 million kilometres beyond the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Here, the spacecraft is shielded from the Sun and has a clear view of the whole sky to maximise the possible target exoplanets for observations. This is close to where the James Webb Space Telescope, due for launch next year, will be located. This is another mission involving DIAS.



Further information:

ARIEL Co-Principal Investigator Science and Media Contact

Prof Tom Ray,

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Mob: +353 (0)87 9062696



National Contact

Dr Deirdre Coffey

UCD School of Physics



Notes to the Editor:

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) Facts and Figures

Elliptical primary mirror: 1.1 x 0.7 metres.

Instrumentation: 3 photometric channels and 3 low resolution spectrometers covering the range from 0.5 to 7.8 microns in wavelength.

Mission lifetime: 4 years in orbit

Launch date: 2027 or 2028

Payload mass: ~450 kg

Total Spacecraft Dry mass: ~1200 kg

Launch mass: ~1300kg

Destination: Sun – Earth Lagrange Point 2 (L2)

ESA Mission Cost: ~450 million Euros, plus nationally funded contributions to the payload

Launch vehicle: Ariane 6-2 from French Guiana

For further information on ARIEL see: http://ariel-spacemission.eu



ARIEL will be placed in orbit around the Lagrange Point 2 (L2), a gravitational balance point 1.5 million kilometres beyond the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Image Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/Europlanet-Science Office


Artist’s impression of ARIEL on its way to Lagrange Point 2 (L2). Here, the spacecraft is shielded from the Sun and has a clear view of the whole sky. Image Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/Europlanet-Science Office



Tuesday 20th March: STP Seminar – “From Hilbert’s 16th Problem to Physics”

Title: From Hilbert’s 16th Problem to Physics

Speaker: Charles Nash (NUI Maynooth)

Abstract: We shall describe a link between Hilbert’s sixteenth problem (part (i)) concerning real algebraic curves and condensed matter physics. The central result is some work of Kenyon and Okounkov (2006). The physics involves so called dimer problems for periodic bipartite and non-bipartite graphs. A differential geometric approach will be introduced to help clarify matters. It transpires that real K-theory underlies the systems studied.

Time: Tuesday 20th March 2018, 2.30pm.

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