Science Unplugged

A cool event is coming up this week, planned by the Faculty of Science,  “Science Unplugged”. It is intended to be a faculty-wide internal event to bring together faculty members, postdocs and graduate students. The primary goals are to build a stronger sense of community and foster cross-disciplinary interactions. It’s meant to incorporate both intellectual and social aspects. The idea evolved, in part, from the faculty’s strategic planning consultations. This event will feature three short TED-style talks to generate excitement, one of them given by yours truly! There will be free food and refreshments too.

Thursday March 10
3:30 pm
Underground Restaurant

Registration is encouraged for this event, so please do so at the following link:

Hope to see you there!


Holiday Party Dec 14

This year’s Physics and Astronomy Holiday Party will be a festive lunch on Dec 14. Free lunch, drinks, prizes and festive physics cheer for all. This is a nice chance for the department to come together to celebrate the end of term and the beginning of the holiday season. If there is one day to be on campus in December, it’s on December 14th. Don’t miss it!

Mon Dec 14
Chemistry Lounge (CB 330)

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Ratify the PAGE Constitution

PAGE needs your help!
To keep PAGE up and running, we must meet a new requirement from the GSA (Graduate Students Association). It is now mandatory to have an official PAGE Constitution, and have it ratified by the PHAS graduate students. Attached is our newly updated constitution. To establish this document as our official constitution, we’re having a vote. Please add your name to the Doodle poll to signify your approval of the constitution. To make the GSA happy, let’s get as much participation on this as possible!

Calling all York U Science Alumni

We want to pass along an invitation from the York U Science Alumni Network (YUSAN). They are having an inaugural meeting next Tuesday Nov 17 with free buffet dinner, raffle, and speeches from the Master of Bethune and the Dean of Science for how the Alumni can interact with York. The details are shown on the attached poster, and one can register at
The meeting is open to anyone from York University with a science degree. So if you received your BSc or MSc from York, why not attend!
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Conference Keynote Speaker: Thomas Jennewein

We are extremely fortunate to be able to welcome Professor Jennewein to York as the Graduate Conference Keynote speaker. Please join us for his special address during the conference on Thurs Oct 29 at 11:30am in LSB 106. Lunch will follow for all attendees at 12:30 in LSB 107.
Prof Jennewein is an Associate professor at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo. Prof. Jennewein directs the Quantum Photonics Laboratory at IQC which conducts research into entangled-photon sources, quantum teleportation, and secure communication via entangled-photons.

The Quantum Photonics laboratory is attempting to demonstrate the first-ever entangled-photon link between the ground and an orbiting satellite. Dubbed the Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat), the Quantum Photonics lab is working to develop a space-qualified quantum receiver for this purpose and hopes to use it to demonstrate a communication link between the ground and space that is secured via Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). QKD is a method for securing optical communication lines by using entangled photon-pairs to carry encryption keys between two stations. Entangled photon-pairs with randomly generated polarization states may be used to generate strings of random numbers–the encryption “keys”. The advantage of distributing these keys via entangled photon-pairs is that the uncertainty principle guarantees this signal may not be intercepted and re-transmitted with high fidelity. The presence of an eavesdropper in a QKD system will become immediately apparent as the photon-pairs become disentangled and the error-rate in the communication line increases. The Quantum Photonics laboratory has demonstrated a number of entangled-photon sources and high-sensitivity single photon detectors over the years which will form the building blocks for the proposed ground-to-space QKD link.

The Quantum Photonics lab have demonstrated some notable milestones on the road to space based QKD. Just this past summer the team demonstrated a free-space QKD link between a stationary ground-station and a receiver in a vehicle moving at 33km/h in order to simulate the angular velocity of an orbiting satellite. In 2011 the team successfully demonstrated a QKD link over a high-loss (50dB) channel, simulating the expected loss in a ground-to-space link.

The Quantum Photonics lab has also had tremendous success in the generation of polarization entangled photon pairs and triplets through spontaneous parametric down-conversion. The Quantum Photonics group made waves (particles for you classicists) recently for their demonstration of three-photon polarization entanglement in an experiment which closes the locality loophole. This work was the first of its kind and was able to realize three-photon entanglement between three widely separated locations (> 600m). Professor Jennewein was also a part of the team that, in 2012, demonstrated quantum teleportation over a free-space channel of 143km between two observatories in the Canary islands.

Come to hear first hand about the work that he and his team have been doing, as well as his visions for the future of quantum communication and quantum photonics.