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Unboxing Quantum: Tiny Devices and Huge Detectors

June 15, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Talk summary:

Gravitational-wave observatories based here on Earth let us see events in space, such as black holes merging. The two LIGO observatories in the U.S. have 4-kilometer-long arms and a range of sophisticated components, and they are undergoing upgrades over the next few years to improve their performance. What does the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute have to do with this? How do our researchers contribute to the worldwide effort to upgrade the LIGO detectors? And how will our research, which uses devices so tiny they can’t be seen by the naked eye, make an impact on these massive observatories? And, importantly, how does a person’s lived experience affect their career in science? This event will take place during Pride Month, and will include discussion of what it is like to be queer in quantum materials research.

Speaker details:

Kirsty Gardner is an experimental physicist and postdoctoral fellow at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute where she supports the UBC arm of the LIGO project through the Atomistic approach to emergent properties of disordered materials Grand Challenge. Gardner completed her PhD at the University of Alberta.