Incomplete announcement regarding UPASS

A recent email message from University Announcements stated that there would be an opt-out period for the Summer UPASS. This information appears to be in conflict with previous announcements stating that the 2014 referendum results indicated that students did not support having a Summer UPASS. The following is for clarification.In 2013 the Graduate Students participated in a referendum, the majority voted “yes” to having a one year trial bus pass split into three terms, lasting from September 2013 to August 2014.
In 2014 there was another referendum to consider keeping the bus pass into the future, beginning at the end of the trial period. The questions were split into two parts, the majority voted yes for the fall/winter bus pass, and voted “no” for the summer pass.The bus pass you have now, and will have access to this summer is part of the TRIAL PERIOD.
The decisions made based on this year’s referendum will take effect in Sept 2014. There will be no summer UPASS in 2015.If you have questions about UPASS please contact ac.ksasunull@ssapu.asg, or ac.ksasunull@as.asg


Symposium on Innovation in Nuclear Medicine in Saskatchewan

In memory of Dr. Sylvia Fedoruk, the Physics Graduate Students Council at the University of Saskatchewan (PEGASUS) presents: Innovations in Nuclear Medicine in Saskatchewan, a symposium and luncheon for students and industry members in Saskatchewan. 

The symposium on current research and recent developments in the province in the field of Nuclear Medicine will begin at 10:30 am on January 15th, 2013 in the GSA Commons, 1337 College Dr. Saskatoon.
Join us for the symposium and lunch, and meet people from a variety of disciplines who are interested in Nuclear Medicine, from academia and industry.
See poster for details: NM_symposium_jan15_13
RSVP by Jan 8. 2013 to Sarah at ac.ksasunull@cexe.susagep
Dr. Barbara Szpunar (Department of Physics and Engineering Physics)
Dr. Ian Swainson (Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Center for Nuclear Innovation)
Bryan Witt (Saskatoon Health Region, Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Services)
with a word from:
Dr. Stuart Houston
Matt Dalzell (Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Center for Nuclear Innovation)
Sarah Purdy(Department of Physics and Engineering Physics)


Studies of Resonant Magnetic Perturbations in the STOR-M Tokamak

Who (supervisor): Sayf Gamudi Elgriw (Chijin Xiao)
Venue: College of Engineering Research Day, Sept. 20, 2012.
Abstract: The active control of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities has been an intriguing topic in tokamak fusion research. Several methods have been developed to control the onset of MHD instabilities in tokamak plasmas. One of the methods involves the use of radial magnetic perturbations generated by helical coils wound around a tokamak. The purpose of influencing the plasma with resonant magnetic perturbations (RMP) is to manipulate the radial topology of magnetic islands through resonant interaction. A series of experiments has been carried out in STOR-M to examine the effect of the RMP on the (2, 1) tearing modes during an active MHD and low q ohmic discharge. The amplitude and frequency of (2, 1) island fluctuations were significantly reduced after the activation of RMP. Moreover, a phase of improved plasma confinement, characterized by a reduction in Hα emission level, a reduction of hard X-ray (HXR) emissions, and an increase in soft x-ray (SXR) emission, has been induced after the application of RMP. It has also been observed via ion Doppler spectroscopy (IDS) that RMP can strongly affect the plasma rotation in STOR-M. It has been found that during the RMP pulse, the toroidal velocity of CIII impurity (located at the plasma edge) increases in the co-current direction. However, the toroidal velocities of OV and CVI species (located near the plasma core) change direction from counter-current to co-current. Other effects of RMP, i.e. the reduction of floating potential and the increase of density, have been observed at the plasma edge using rake probes.

Crystal structure prediction via evolutionary algorithm

Who (supervisor): Niloofar Zarifi (John Tse)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, Aug 23, 2012.
 Abstract: The ability to predict the structure of a solid presents a challenge to the chemistry, physics, and material science communities. The difficulty of crystal prediction comes from the complexity of the potential energy landscape of a solid, which depends on many variables like unit cell parameters. Moreover, it may not be known how many atoms comprise the primitive unit cell. Particle swarm optimization and genetic algorithm are two powerful techniques to structure determination. These two methods are extremely successful to predict stable or metastable structures at given extreme condition.

Computational Studies on Alternative Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Who (supervisor): Jianjun Yang (John Tse)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, Aug 16, 2012.
Abstract: Lithium ion batteries are widely used in portable electronics because of their high energy density and low weight, and they are currently intensively investigated for more demanding applications such as electrical vehicles and for the stationary power backup systems. To improve its performance, computational modeling has become an essential component in design of new battery materials in addition to the physical work in laboratories. This talk will outline the major challenges of the current Li-ion batteries and summarize several successful computations on the alternative materials.  My own research work on the Li-ion battery materials will be introduced at the end.

Coupling the Higgs Boson to the Nucleon

Who (supervisor): Fred Sage (Rainer Dick)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, Aug 9, 2012.
Abstract: The talk will explore possible methods of computing an effective Higgs-nucleon coupling. While the interaction of the Higgs with fundamental particles in the Standard Model of particle physics is well understood, how it couples to composite particles like the nucleon is less well understood. The physics of the Higgs boson itself will be reviewed, and then previous attempts at finding such a coupling will be discussed. Finally, several potential new methods will be given brief descriptions.


F-region plasma structures in the polar cap

Who (supervisor): Gareth Perry (J.P. St. Maurice)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, July 12, 2012.

The spatial and temporal evolution of an F-region plasma patch, detected over Resolute Bay, has been studied with a suite of instruments. For this case study, the Resolute Incoherent Scatter Radar – North (RISR-N) is used to construct a three-dimensional image of the plasma parameters of the patch. Three Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) systems along with optical imagers at Resolute Bay and Qaanaaq, Greenland are used to provide a multi-instrument overview of the both the patch and the high latitude F region during the event. SuperDARN was used to track the patch for nearly an hour, from the cusp region to Resolute Bay. During a 10 minute period, the patch was detected and identified in the RISR-N, Optical Mesosphere Thermosphere Imagers (OMTI) and SuperDARN instruments, yielding a unique opportunity to study the patch with multiple instruments. Of the more interesting findings of this study, one indicates significant density fluctuations within the patch, without any clear evidence for an external driver such as precipitation. The techniques and results of this case study will be described in this presentation, along with the insight which they provide to patch research. Also, a brief introduction to space physics will be given.

New Age Solar Cells: Dye-Sensitized and Nanocrystal Approaches

Who (supervisor): Paul Bazylewski (Gap Soo Chang)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, July 5, 2012.
Abstract: Recently, organic semiconductor materials have received significant attention as potential solar cell materials. This is due to appealing properties that cannot be achieved with conventional inorganic semiconductors (silicon), such as low-cost solution based fabrication of large-area, mechanically flexible devices. Solution processing is low temperature and therefore ideal for flexible plastic substrates which cannot withstand the high temperatures required for inorganic processing. To date, significant progress has been made in polymer/small molecule bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices, achieving power conversion efficiencies (PCE) up to 8%. Although promising, this PCE falls below the benchmark for commercialization of ~10%. Therefore research has branched off to explore different device architectures and new materials, with the most successful approaches to date being dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and hybrid nanocrystal-organic solar cells (HSC). These devices take advantage of organic dyes and unique properties of nanocystals such quantum confinement to improve PCE. This talk will outline the state of the art of these two new approaches, and introduce the research collaboration I am currently undertaking to develop high efficiency solar cell devices.

Plasma Ion Implantation for materials engineering

Who (supervisor): Sarah Purdy (Michael Bradley)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, June 21, 2012.

Plasma Ion Implantation is a materials processing technique that can be used to modify the surface and subsurface structure of a material. A voltage bias applied to a conductive target immersed in plasma introduces a buried layer of impurities in the existing material. This processing technique has been applied to the modification of Si to produce silicon-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) with some success. Bulk silicon is not a light emitter due to its indirect band gap, but any photonic integration for multicore processing needs to be silicon based in order to be scalable for mass production. The work presented here is based on introducing carbon to a silicon wafer to introduce a buried layer of SiC – a known blue light emitter. With the introduction of a buried layer with significantly different stoichiometry from the native material, we see the appearance of delaminated blister features in the layer.

Band gap investigation of photocatalytic energy materials

Who (supervisor): Eamon McDermott (Alex Moewes)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, June 14, 2012.
 Abstract: Eamon will give a brief overview of his research into the near-band gap electronic structure of energy materials, including semiconductor photocatalysts and lithium organics for use in alloying battery electrodes

Click here for a PDF version of Eamon’s talk