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Connect Issue 3, 2015



MESSENGER reveals age of Mercury’s magnetic field

Data from MESSENGER, the spacecraft that orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into the planet this spring, shows that the planet’s magnetic field is four billion years old.

“If we didn’t have these recent observations, we would never have known how Mercury’s magnetic field evolved over time,” said Catherine Johnson, UBC planetary scientist and lead author of the study. “It’s just been waiting to tell us its story.”

Physicists confirm 'd-wave pattern' of superconduction's 'doppelgänger'

In two complementary studies published in Nature Materials and Science, UBC researchers have confirmed that charge ordering forms a predominantly one dimensional ‘d-wave pattern’ in superconductors. The microscopic structure of high-temperature superconductors could hold the key to new technologies, including lossless power lines.



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Ask an Expert about Fish Bioacoustics
Biologist Abby Schwarz explains how fish pick up sounds in the water through their bodies and their internal ear. Free event.
July 5, 2015

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Peacocks are Way Cool Because…
Did you know peacocks produce their feather colours without any colourful pigments? Discover more at the Beaty.
August 2, 2015

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Photo Walkabout: Summer Evenings in the Garden
Photography fans, capture the UBC Garden during summer evening light. This workshop costs $10.
July 2015


Register kids for Grade 8 to 10 PHAS camps

UBC Physics and Astronomy is running its first Physics and Computer Science Summer Camps for Grade 8 to 10 students. Learn how to make an app, build complex electrical circuits, design items for 3D printing, visit university labs, and discover particle physics. Co-ed camps run twice (July 6-10, July 20-24, 2015) and a girls-only camp runs August 4-7.


UBC Science going retro

Was your UBC Science experience so last millennium? Let’s see the proof! Share your photos with UBC Science to show today’s young whippersnappers how it was done. We are looking for photos that showcase the personal, unique and funny side of UBC Science’s history, from 1915 up to 2000.



The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is supporting quantum materials research at UBC with a $1.4 million US grant.

UBC students and postdoctoral fellows in biological engineering and bioinformatics have received $3.3 million in grants from NSERC.

Microbial expert Laura Wegener Parfrey has been awarded a Young Investigator Grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program.

Zoologist Adam Ford and mathematician Niki Mavraki have been recognized with UBC Governor General’s Gold Medals for their outstanding academic work.

Congratulations to this spring's Killam Teaching Prize recipients Mona Berciu (PHAS), Mark Jellinek (EOAS), Gregor Kiczales (CS) and Roland Stull (EOAS).

Tech entrepreneur appointed CEO of InTouch Technology

Technology entrepreneur Sandra Wear (BSc, ’92) has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of InTouch Technology, maker of sales and retention software for health clubs. Previously she founded two tech companies, The DocSpace Company and Atalum Wireless.

Wear is the CEO of Canadian Women in Technology and co-founder of Be Like Ada, a coding boot camp for teenage girls.

Do you have fun and exciting news? Write us a little note and we’ll share it on our website.


New technique for isolating "light" scattering could allow us to understand Universe's formation

Astrophysicists have developed a new method for calculating the effect of Rayleigh scattering on the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

“The CMB sky is a snapshot of the early Universe, it is a single frame in the movie of  the Universe, and we have shown that Rayleigh signal gives us another fainter snapshot of the same scene at a slightly different time,” UBC physicist Kris Sigurdson explained.


The mathematics behind disease

UBC researcher Daniel Coombs uses mathematics to understand how viruses, such as HIV, function, change and spread within one person’s body and across individuals.

“We’re using microscopy to study how B-cells, a type of highly specialised immune cell, respond to infection. A technique called single particle tracking allows us to label proteins on the surface of the cells and track each cell individually,” Coombs explained.


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