Events

IPAC organizes and hosts a number of meetings and conferences.

IPAC hosts seminars every Wednesday from 12-1pm in IPAC's Large Conference Room (102) except where noted.  Directions can be found on the visitor information page.  Pizza and soda are available for purchase at a modest fee. Some weeks, the Time Domain Forum talk (which is not a lunch talk) is held on Thursday afternoons at 2:30 pm.

To receive seminar notification emails, you may sign up here. If you are interested in presenting a talk or seminar, please contact Peter Capak (Extragalactic), or Peter Plavchan (Galactic/Solar System/Exoplanets). To present at the Time Domain Forum, contact Luisa Rebull.

Here is a partial list of astronomy-related talks in Pasadena:

Special Note: For more astronomy related talks around Pasadena, check the following list maintained by IPAC scientist Solange Ramirez.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Michael Murphy (Swinburne University of Technology) - Possible cosmological variations in the fine-structure constant?: a status update Science Talk Apr 16th, 2014 12:00 pm MR LCR

Large samples of archival high-resolution quasar spectra, from both Keck and VLT, have previously indicated possible evidence for cosmological variations in the fine-structure constant, alpha. While the data show an encouraging internal consistency, concluding that electromagnetism's strength really varies throughout the Universe would be extraordinary, so the evidence needs careful testing. We have pursued two main approaches: new quasar observations dedicated to the measuring alpha; and new, empirical tests to discover or rule out instrumental systematic effects, particularly relating to the wavelength calibration of echelle spectra. I'll report on these efforts, including new alpha measurements and potentially important systematic effects.