AUPA☾ 2014

AUPAC 2014 @ Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3 — Jan. 31 - Feb. 2

The Atlantic Universities Physics & Astronomy Conference (AUPAC) is an annual conference featuring talks by physics, astrophysics, and astronomy undergraduate students from Atlantic Canadian universities. This year's conference takes place January 31st to February 2nd 2014 and is hosted by Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The program for the conference can be downloaded on the schedule page.

Invited Speakers

Norm Murray

Institution: University of Toronto
Research Interests: Nonlinear Dynamics, Solar System Dynamics, Active Galactic Nuclei
Talk Title: Star Formation in Self-gravitating Turbulent Fluids.
Abstract: I will describe a model of star formation in self-gravitating turbulent gas. I treat the turbulent velocity field as a dynamical variable, and assume that it is adiabatically heated by the collapse. The theory predicts the run of density, infall velocity, and turbulent velocity, and the rate of star formation. Unlike the case in self-similar solutions, the turbulent pressure is dynamically important at all radii, a result of the adiabatic heating powered by the collapse. The infall velocity is significantly smaller than the turbulent velocity, making the infall difficult to detect observationally. The accreted (stellar) mass grows super-linearly with time, roughly as the square of the time since the star of the collapse. The model shows that for objects with virial parameters near one, the large scale effects of gravity, not the turbulence, set the star formation rate.

Luigi Gallo

Institution: Saint Mary's University
Research Interests: Active Galactic Nuclei, Narrow-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies, Ultraluminous Infared Galaxies
Talk Title: Approaching the Event Horizon: X-ray Observations of Supermassive Black Holes.
Abstract: Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are powered by accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes. The X-rays originate closest to the black hole in an environment that is modified by extreme temperature and gravity -- a region just before the material disappears beyond the event horizon. I will discuss recent enhancements in our understanding of AGN that have come about from high-quality X-ray observations. I will discuss what this tells us about the black hole environment and even about the black hole itself.

Kevin Hewitt

Institution: Dalhousie University
Research Interests: Materials Experiments, Raman Spectroscopy, Medical Imaging, Superconductivity, Combinatorial Materials
Talk Title: Molecular Imaging for Early Detection of Cancer.
Abstract: The early detection of cancer has a dramatic impact on survival rates. Molecular Imaging - that is, the in vivo visualization and quantification of the molecular signatures of disease, is considered the means by which this early detection will be possible. It is considered the future of medical imaging because, rather than image the products of the molecular changes, it images the molecular markers themselves. It requires: (i) the selection of appropriate cellular and sub-cellular targets, (ii) the development of biocompatible molecular imaging probes and (iii) a molecular specific imaging modality with high spatial/temporal resolution and sensitivity. I will discuss our contributions to the latter two aspects of this interdisciplinary continuum, wherein we image a protein marker that is common to cancers of the head and neck, prostate, kidney, ovary, breast, skin, pancreas, bladder and lung. The promise and limitations of this technique will be illustrated in an interactive presentation.