Pizza lunch talks

The API pizza lunch talks are informal, weekly meetings where people give a half hour overview of their work (or perhaps a totally different topic), in an informal atmosphere. Pizza meeting is not a colloquium, but is intended to inform and stimulate discussion about the topic.

More information (including tips for speakers, contact points and the latest API articles & circulars).


Past lunch talks

Slowly solving a 40 year old mystery in black hole variability

Phil Uttley — API -- UvA

Almost since the discovery of the first confirmed accreting black holes in X-ray binary systems, we have known that their X-ray emission varies rapidly and that the variations seen in higher energy X-rays lag behind the variations seen in lower-energy X-rays.

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Thursday 23 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

The late evolution of cataclysmic variables

Juan Hernandez — API -- UvA

Accreting white dwarfs from main-sequence companions (commonly known as cataclysmic variables, CVs) are one of the most abundant interacting binaries in our Galaxy. Recent observational breakthroughs have provided direct tests to evolution model predictions of CVs.

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Thursday 16 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Numerical Simulations of the Merging Cluster of Galaxies Cygnus A

Timo Halbesma — API -- UvA

The archetype FR-II galaxy Cygnus A lies in a moderately rich cluster of galaxies in which two subclusters are about to undergo a major merger. The active galactic nucleus (AGN) Cygnus A shows strong interactions with the cluster environment, a process called AGN feedback.

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Thursday 9 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Unusual scattering variability of the Crab Pulsar

Laura Driessen — API -- UvA

The Crab pulsar is a well-known, bright pulsar with interesting features such as giant pulses, glitches and anomalous scattering. We observed the Crab at 350MHz over two years with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope to investigate a period of anomalous scattering that occured from late 2012 to early 2013.

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Thursday 2 March 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

General relativistic MHD simulations of tilted accretion disks and jets

Matthew Liska — UvA -- API

In the past decade numerical general relativistic MHD simulations have shown that tilted accretion disks can precess at a constant rate around spinning black holes. This is an interesting result since it may be able to explain low frequency quasi periodic oscillations, which in turn contain a wealth of information about the black hole and the inner accretion flow.

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Thursday 23 February 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Mass-Radius Diversity of Super-Earth Planets: the Role of the Rocky Core

Allona Vazan

Although we don't have such planets in our own solar system, super-Earths are the most abundant class of planets known to date in our galaxy. Those planets exhibit a great diversity in their mass-radius relation. Most studies attempt to relate this diversity to composition, but the thermal evolutio can play a key role in this diversity.

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Thursday 16 February 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Interactive exploration of Newtonian n-body simulations, numerical methods and chaos

Shabaz Sultan

Newtonian gravity between two bodies is mathematically fairly straightforward and can be solved analytically. But starting from three bodies there is no known general solution, requiring computational modelling to study behaviour of a system over time.

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Thursday 2 February 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

The footprint of cometary dust in the lab

Lucas Ellerbroek

Comets are thought to be the most pristine bodies in the solar system that have survived to this day. In-situ measurements of cometary dust therefore provide a unique window on dust growth mechanisms during the onset of planet formation in the early solar nebula.

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Thursday 26 January 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

Air shower photographer’s choice: Silicon photomultipliers

Maurice Stephan — API -- UvA

The detection of extensive air showers with optical telescopes is a well-established technique to study gamma rays and cosmic rays in the very-high and ultra-high energies ranges. Recent instruments use photomultiplier tubes as the photosensitive component.

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Thursday 19 January 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174

FRB121102: A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far-Far Away

Jason Hessels — API -- UvA

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-duration flashes of radio light, whose large dispersive delay with frequency suggests that they come from deep in extragalactic space. Their origin presents an exciting astrophysical puzzle.

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Thursday 12 January 2017, 12:00. Location: C4.174