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Alumni-evening of the University of Antwerp Physics Department

Alumni2On the 5th of May 2017, the Antwerp Young Minds section organized an alumni-evening for the Physics Department of the University of Antwerp, with the aim of bringing together the students, researchers and alumni of our department.
This event was a great occasion for our students and researchers to meet physicists who are now working outside academia and to learn more about future job opportunities. Furthermore, it provided alumni with the possibility to see their old friends and teachers again and to get to know the new generation of physicists. We were therefore glad to see that a lot of people attended the event.

After a short welcome drink, we began the evening with presentations of several alumni whom we had invited to speak about their career after graduation and to tell us more about their current occupation. Their occupations were:
• Validator at Argenta (a Belgian bank)
• Senior System Engineer at Verhaert
• Physics teacher in secondary education
• Junior ICT Analyst at Fluxys
The members of the audience always had the opportunity to ask questions in order to learn more about the different aspects of these professions.

The presentations where followed by an extensive reception, where everyone could enjoy a drink and a bite. This gave our students and researchers the possibility to freely speak with all of the attending alumni and to make important contacts for their own professional future.

Altogether, we received a lot of positive feedback from people who attended the event, which encourages us to repeat it the future.

Colloquium “Topology in atomic flatland”

Dalibard2On the 7th of March 2017, the Antwerp Young Minds section invited Professor Doctor Jean Dalibard to give a colloquium at the University of Antwerp about his work on topology-related effects in 2D quantum gases. The target audience were the students and researchers of the University of Antwerp physics department, many of whom attended the lecture.

Professor Jean Dalibard is a professor at Collège de France and researcher at the Kastler Brossel Laboratory. His research focuses on the study of quantum gases, in particular Bose-Einstein condensates, and explores, among other subjects, the properties of rotating and low dimensional gases. His work on topologic transitions and other topology-related effects in 2D quantum gases served as a very fascinating subject for the colloquium, especially because of its close connection to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Professor Dalibard began his talk with a general introduction on the subject of quantum gases in order to make those who might not yet be familiar with these systems acquainted with the topic. Subsequently, he focused on the key aspects of 2D quantum gases such as their topological transition to a superfluid state. He also addressed other topology-related effects in these systems, related to the creation of artificial gauge fields and quantum-Hall type phenomena. The colloquium as a whole was a great occasion for students to be introduced to the concepts of quantum gases, topology and the subject of last year’s Nobel Prize, while at the same time providing the researchers of our department with more profound insights into the underlying theory of these phenomena.

The lecture was followed by a reception, where the audience members and speaker could enjoy a drink and a bite. This also presented our students and researchers with the opportunity to speak with professor Dalibard in a more informal setting than the lecture itself.

The colloquium received a lot of positive feedback from the students and researchers who attended it.

The physics of imperfect graphene

rsz_dsc_7495On the 29th of September 2016 the Antwerp Young Mind section invited Professor Doctor Eva Y. Andrei to give a colloquium at the University of Antwerp about her work on imperfect graphene. The target audience were the students and researchers of the University of Antwerp physics department, many of whom attended the lecture.
Professor Eva Andrei is an experimental condensed matter physicist at the Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. Her research focuses on the electronic properties of graphene and other low dimensional materials and explores the effects of external perturbations on these types of systems. The experimental work done by her and her group led to several important discoveries, including the observation of the fractional quantum Hall effect in suspended graphene and the discovery of Van Hove singularities in twisted graphene layers. The speaker’s extensive experience and knowledge of these topics entitle her as an international authority on the subject of graphene.

Professor Andrei began her talk with a general introduction on the subject of graphene in order to make those who might not yet be familiar with this system acquainted with the topic. Subsequently, she focused on more specialized phenomena that emerge when the lattice of graphene is disrupted. In particular, she discussed her work on the effects of single atom vacancies on graphene’s electronic and magnetic properties. The colloquium as a whole was a great occasion for students to be introduced to the concepts of two-dimensional systems and graphene, while at the same time it provided the researchers of our department with a more profound overview of the theory and workings of imperfect graphene.

The lecture was followed by a reception, where the audience members and speaker could enjoy a drink and a bite. This also presented our students and researchers the opportunity to speak with professor Andrei in a more informal setting than the lecture itself.

Altogether, the colloquium was a great way for our university’s physics department to kick off the academic year.