Keynote Lecture Abstracts 2021

Please see below the keynote lecture abstracts for CUPC 2021. On this page, you can find abstracts for the following Keynote Lecturers:

Please refer to our list of Keynote Lecturers for the speakers’ biographies.

Nanoengineering materials from the bottom-up: a new approach towards understanding long outstanding challenges in condensed matter science

Dr. Al-Amin Dhirani, Thursday, November 4th, 2:00 – 3:15 pm (EST), 2021

Chemists have made tremendous advances in synthesizing a variety of nanostructures with control over their size, shape, and chemical composition. We also have a degree of control over their assembly to make macroscopic materials.  This suggests an opportunity: to fabricate materials from the nanoscale up with a wide range of tuned and even new behaviours.  

To explore this opportunity, our group has been studying a prototype system of two nano-building blocks with contrasting electronic behaviour, namely “conducting” (gold) nanoparticles and nominally “insulating” (alkanedithiol) or “semiconducting” (phenylenedithiol) molecular crosslinkers.  A goal of this talk is to provide a survey of the rich range of material electronic behaviours that even just these two simple building blocks can generate, e.g. single electron effects, metal-insulator transitions, semiconductor transistor-like conductance gating, and, most recently, strongly correlated electronic behaviour.  Being able to generate new materials with strongly correlated electrons is particularly exciting as this phenomenon is known to lie at the heart of some of the most exotic, widely studied and still outstanding challenges in condensed matter science (e.g. high Tc superconductivity in the cuprates and others).  

The talk will survey both new insights and new opportunities that arise as a result of using this nanoengineering approach.  The talk will also outline how such materials have provided inspiration for new technologies.

Phase Transitions, Everywhere

Dr. Eric De Giuli, Friday, November 5th, 6:15 – 7:30 pm (EST), 2021

In everyday life we are familiar with common phases of matter: liquid, gas, solid. It turns out that these are just the tip of the iceberg. When we as physicists turn our attention to complex systems, new phases appear, and between them, often remarkable phase transitions. In this talk I will explain how the phase transition paradigm can help organize our understanding of disparate complex systems, and why the hunt for new phases is so exciting. Along the way I will present a survey of my own work, covering exotic phases from glass and sand to ecosystems, and even language.

Quantitative Computed Tomography Imaging of Lung Disease:  Emerging Methods and New Insights

Dr. Miranda Kirby, Saturday, November 6th, 2:00 – 3:15 pm (EST), 2021

Computed tomography (CT) imaging allows lung structure to be visualized, and numerous quantitative methods have been developed to extract information from these images in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  This talk will review the well-established and emerging quantitative CT imaging methods in COPD, and discuss the potential to derive new insights from these methods for providing a better understanding of COPD progression, and also how these new methods may be used for predicting COPD outcomes.

At the Dawn of a Cosmic Revolution

Dr. Nathalie Ouellette, Saturday, November 6th, 6:15 – 7:30 pm (EST), 2021

Thanks to the next generation of space- and ground-based telescopes, we have never been closer to answering many of humanity’s great questions. How unique is the Earth among the billions of exoplanets in our galaxy? Are we alone in the Universe? How were the very first stars and galaxies created after the Big Bang? Truly, we are living in a golden age for astronomy and space science, be it through human and robotic exploration or observations through telescopes. Beyond all the incredible scientific discoveries waiting to be found, astronomy is finding itself at the centre of the emerging field of science communication and as a key gateway science to get youth interested in STEM fields and to increase the scientific literacy of society. And perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of this cosmic journey is that Canadian scientists are finding themselves at the forefront of it all! During this talk, I will go over some of the upcoming astronomy projects that will be taking place over the next decade and why we should all be excited about Canada’s key role in the field of astrophysics.

Laser Cooling of Antihydrogen

Dr. Takamasa Momose, Sunday, November 7th, 2:00 – 3:15 pm (EST), 2021

Our recent results on laser cooling of anti-hydrogen will be presented. In addition, on-going projects on antihydrogen experiments will be discussed.