Physics and Space Science events

Nanosats of the BRITE space mission reveal the origins of fundamental structures in the wind of the supergiant star Zeta Puppis

Artist’s impression of the hot massive supergiant Zeta Puppis.
Image credit: Tahina Ramiaramanantsoa

A Canadian-led international team of astronomers recently discovered for the first time observational evidence explaining how features at the surface of the hot massive supergiant star Zeta Puppis induce the formation of fundamental structures in its wind.

The research team used the network of nanosatellites of the BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE) space mission - of which RMC Physics and Space Science Department Head Gregg Wade is the Canadian PI - to monitor the visible brightness changes coming from the surface of Zeta Puppis over about six months, and simultaneously monitored the behavior of the wind of the star from several ground-based professional and amateur observatories.

For more information, see the press release at the Center for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec.

Novel diffraction grating based biosensor

Dr. Sabat from the Department of Physics and Space Science at RMC, along with Dr. Escobedo and his PhD student Srijit Nair from Queen’s university, developed a light-based bio-molecular sensor for protein binding detection in fluids, via measuring a very small refractive index change of the fluid. This biosensor will prove very useful in biomedical applications because it allows the detection of very small concentrations of toxins or other biological molecules in liquids.   Further details, with a link to the published article.

Magnetic stars responsible for LIGO’s “heavy” stellar-mass black holes?

RMC research assistant (and Queen’s PhD candidate) Zsolt Keszthelyi, in collaboration with RMC Professor of Physics and Space Science Gregg Wade and an international team of collaborators, propose a novel mechanism - strong magnetic fields at the surfaces of hot stars - leading to the formation of “heavy” stellar-mass black holes as detected by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) collaboration in the source GW150914. Their results were recently featured in the popular press.

Physics News

CAP Lecture 2016

Sawyer Theatre The 2016 Canadian Association of Physicists Lecture was held Friday 12 February 2016 in Sawyer Theater.

This year's speaker was Dr Stephanie Simmons from Simon Fraser University and the title of her talk was The International Race for a Quantum Computer.

Date modified: