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Let's Talk About Science 2016

Come listen to proteins with light, detect other planets, and discover your place in the world.


We are very excited to welcome Professor Reuven Gordon, from the University of Victoria, Canada, and world renowned expert in Nanoplasmonics. He will talk to us about “Nano-opto-bio-mechanics: listening to single proteins with light”. Dr. Gordon and his team developed and then improved upon a new method to gently trap, unfold, manipulate and study tiny active objects as minuscule as viruses and proteins without inflicting any damage.
Also joining us is Professor Nuno Santos, from the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, FCUP, to talk to us about the ESPRESSO project. Dr. Nuno Santos is a leading researcher in the search for extrasolar planets and an expert on the study of the different stellar astrophysics aspects of stars with orbiting planets.
Dr. Sofia Miguens, a professor and philosopher at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto, is the author of numerous books and articles on several topics in philosophy of mind and language, epistemology and cognitive science, moral and political philosophy, and history of 20th century philosophy. Her talk entitled “Who am I? Thinking of Ourselves as Beings-in-the-world” will take us on a debate on personal identity.

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Program

14:30 Opening Remarks

14:45 Reuven Gordon (University of Victoria, Canada)
Nano-Opto-Bio-Mechanics: listening to single proteins with light

15:45 Coffee Break

16:15 Nuno Santos (Dep. Physics and Astronomy - FCUP)
The ESPRESSO project: finding other worlds
16:45 Sofia Miguens (Dep. Philosophy - FLUP)
Who Am I? Thinking about Ourselves as Beings-in-the-world

17:15 Closing Remarks

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When?

October 17th, 2016

Where?

University of Porto,
Faculty of Science,
Department of Physics and Astronomy,
Room -120 (Anfiteatro Prof. João Bessa Sousa)

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Reuven Gordon

Reuven Gordon is the Canada Research Chair in Nanoplasmonics and a Professor in ECE, University of Victoria (Canada).
He has over 135 papers (7 invited), 4 book chapters, 3 patents (+4 applications). His recent distinctions include promotion to OSA Fellow, the Craigdarroch Silver Medal, an AGAUR Visiting Professorship and an Accelerate BC Industry Impact Award.

Summary

Nano-Opto-Bio-Mechanics: listening to single proteins with light
Nanoparticles in the single digit nanometer range can be easily isolated and studied with low optical powers using nanoaperture tweezers. We have studied individual proteins and their interactions with small molecules, DNA and antibodies. We have also pioneered a new way to “listen” to the vibrations of nanoparticles in the 100 GHz – 1 THz range; the approach is called extraordinary acoustic Raman (EAR). EAR gives unprecedented low frequency spectra of individual proteins in solution, allowing for identification and analysis, as well as probing their role in biological functions.

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Nuno Santos

Nuno C. Santos is a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences/CAUP and Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of FCUP. In 2009 he was awarded a Starting Grant by the European Research Council that allowed him to set up a team working on the search for extrasolar planets.
He is the author of over 250 scientific papers in international journals. In 2010 he was awarded the Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize for his study of different stellar astrophysics aspects of stars with orbiting planets.

Summary

The ESPRESSO project: finding other worlds
ESPRESSO, the Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations, will be the next VLT high resolution spectrograph. With its unique technological capabilities, ESPRESSO will allow to explore new frontiers in most domains of astrophysics that require precision and sensitivity. The main scientific drivers of ESPRESSO are the search and characterization of rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of quiet, nearby G to M-dwarfs and the analysis of the variability of fundamental physical constants.

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Sofia Miguens

Sofia Miguens is a Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Porto. She was a Visiting scholar at New York University (Fall 2000), a Visiting Research Fellow at Institut Jean Nicod-Paris (2007-2008) and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney – Australia (2013).
She is author of six books and has published numerous articles, review articles and book chapters in Portuguese, English and French on several topics in philosophy of mind and language; epistemology and cognitive science; moral and political philosophy and history of 20th century philosophy.

Summary: 

Who Am I? Thinking about Ourselves as Beings-in-the-world
In this talk I compare two ways how ‘being-in- the–world’ is conceived of in current debates of personal identity. I will focus on British philosophers Derek Parfit and Paul Snowdon. They have contrasting positions on personal identity: one is neo-Lockean, the other animalist. I will be investigating the nature and value of our intuitions in these matters. 



Organization

Ricardo André
President of SPIE Chapter

Nuno Silva
Vice-President of SPIE Chapter

Catarina Monteiro
Secretary of SPIE Chapter

André Gomes
Treasurer of SPIE Chapter

Sponsors

Soon...


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