Nobel Prize Lecture

January 11, 2017

Celebrate the 2016 Nobel Prizes with this talk focusing on the importance of the discoveries made in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine.

Dr. Igor Herbut, professor in the department of Physics will discuss the Physics prize awarded to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz for their pioneering work which introduced topological concepts into the physics of solids, thus explaining and predicting mysterious phase transitions in low-dimensional magnets and superfluids. 

Dr. Herbut will provide an elementary discussion of how topology, a branch of mathematics, may be used to discern different special configurations of two-dimensional magnets, and how these so-called vortices then drive the ferromagnetic transition in this case. Further examples of topological objects in physics and some of their intriguing consequences will be presented as well.

Dr. Neil Branda, Executive Director – 4D LABS and Professor & Canada Research Chair in Materials Science will discuss the Chemistry prize awarded awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines".

For years, many chemists have embraced the vision that appropriately designed molecules can behave like miniature machines. They advertised that these machines would be capable of performing important functions at the molecular level, which will influence how we treat disease and process information. In order for these machines to be built, the functional components had to be created first. This was achieved by Sauvage and Stoddart who showed how molecular rings and axles could be linked. Later, Feringa showed how the movement of these molecules could be turned on and off con-command. An overview of these achievements will be discussed along with some personal perspective about the practical aspects of the area.


 "Cellular self-eating: from yeast microscopy to human disease" by Dr. Sharon Gorski. Dr. Gorski is an Associate Professor in the department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and will discuss the Medicine prize awarded for discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.


Wednesday,  January 11, 2017

3:30 - 6 pm

IRMACS Theatre

Applied Sciences Building, SFU Burnaby 

Event is free, everyone welcome.

 

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