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Event Date Summary
Paul Butler (Carnegie Institute of Washington) Thu. April 27th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Planets Around Nearby Stars
Modern science began with Copernicus speculating that the Earth is a
planet and that all the planets orbit the Sun.  Bruno followed up by
speculating that the Sun is a star, that other stars have planets, and
other planets are inhabited by life.   …Read more.

Juan de Pablo (University of Chicago) Thu. April 20th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Nanoparticles in liquid crystals, and liquid crystals in nanoparticles.
 
Liquid crystals are remarkably sensitive to interfacial interactions. Small perturbations at a liquid crystal interface can in fact be amplified over relative long distances, thereby providing the basis for a wide range of applications. …Read more.

Lutz Schimansky-Geier (Humboldt University at Berlin) Thu. April 13th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Active Brownian particles: From individual to collective behavior
Single self-propelled particles as well as ensembles of self-propelled particles are examples of non-equilibrium states and a topic of the interdisciplinary research at the borderline between physics and biology. …Read more.

Cristina Marchetti (Syracuse) Thu. April 6th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Active Matter: from colloids to living cells
Collections of self-propelled entities, from living cells to engineered microswimmers, organize in a rich variety of active fluid and solid states, with unusual properties. …Read more.

Michael Weiss (CWRU Biochemistry) Thu. March 30th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Origins, Evolution and Biophysics: an Ephemeral Golden Braid
Douglas Hofstradter’s celebrated 1979 book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (“GEB”), presented “a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll.”  In this talk we likewise seek to explore implicit themes and hidden connections that unite origins and evolution (in a broad sense) with biophysical principles underlying modern biochemistry and molecular genetics. …Read more.

Mark Wise (Caltech) Note non-standard time Thu. March 23rd, 2017
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Dark Matter Bound States and Indirect Dark Matter Signals
Most of the mass density in our universe is not composed of the familiar particles that make up atoms. Rather it is something different that goes by the name dark matter. …Read more.

Herbert Levine (Rice Bioengineering) Thu. March 9th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Can theoretical physics help cancer biology? The case of metastatic spread
In order to spread from the primary tumor to distant sites, cancer cells must undergo a coordinated change in their phenotypic properties referred to as the “epithelial-to-mesenchymal” transition.   …Read more.

Glenn Starkman (Physics) Thu. March 2nd, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

An Uncooperative Universe: Large Scale Anomalies in the CMB
The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is our most important source of information about the early universe. Many of its features are in good agreement with the predictions of the so-called standard model of cosmology — the Lambda Cold Dark Matter Inflationary Big Bang Theory. …Read more.

Corbin Covault (CWRU) Thu. February 23rd, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

A Cosmic Ray Astrophysicist’s Approach to the Optical Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence
 
For decades scientists have been searching the skies for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations using large radio telescopes.  …Read more.

Thu. February 16th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

…Read more.

The 2016 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? Thu. February 9th, 2017
4:00 pm-4:00 pm

Harsh Mathur on the prize in Physics; Michael Hinczewski on the prize in Chemistry; and Alan Tartakoff on the prize in Physiology or Medicine. Followed by a reception. 
Abstracts

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 was awarded to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz for the discovery of states of matter and transitions between these states of matter that could not be understood in terms of the conventional Landau paradigm. …Read more.

Thu. February 2nd, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

…Read more.

Lucile Savary (MIT) – Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecture Thu. January 26th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Quantum Spin Liquids
The search for truly quantum phases of matter is one of the center pieces of modern research in condensed matter physics. Quantum spin liquids are exemplars of such phases. …Read more.

Kathy Kash (CWRU Physics) Thu. January 19th, 2017
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Nitride Semiconductors: Beyond the Binaries
The binary nitride semiconductors and their alloys have led to transformations in both lighting and power electronics. They have also given us new physics such as polarization-induced topological insulators. …Read more.

Pavel Fileviez Perez (CWRU Physics) Thu. December 8th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

New Physics and Unification of Forces
The unification of fundamental forces in nature is one of the most appealing ideas for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. …Read more.

Mike Hinczewski (CWRU Physics) Thu. December 1st, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

…Read more.

Robert Owen (Oberlin College) Thu. November 17th, 2016
4:00 pm-4:00 pm

Numerical Relativity and Gravitational Radiation from Binary Black Hole Mergers
In September of 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves, propagating ripples in the structure of spacetime itself, confirming a nearly century-old prediction of Einstein’s general relativity, and providing an entirely new medium for astronomical observations. …Read more.

Marija Drndic (University of Pennsylvania) Thu. November 10th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

2D Materials Nanosculpting and Bioelectronics Applications
Electron beams constitute powerful tools to shape materials with atomic resolution inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM). I will describe experiments where we push the limits of device size to atomic scale in 2D materials beyond graphene (MoS2, WS2, MoTe2, black phosphorous) and expand their function and precision, while addressing fundamental questions about structure and properties at nanometer and atomic scales. …Read more.

Tao Han (University of Pittsburgh) Thu. November 3rd, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Physics Motivations for Future Colliders

With the milestone discovery of the Higgs boson at the CERN LHC, high energy physics has entered a new era. The Higgs boson is the last member in the “Standard Model” (SM) of particle physics, which describes the physical phenomena at high energies to a very high accuracy. …Read more.

Andrew Rappe (University of Pennsylvania) Thu. October 27th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Slush Structure and Dynamics in a Relaxor Ferroelectric
Ferroelectric materials undergo solid-solid structural phase transitions between phases with aligned dipoles and randomly oriented dipoles. Incorporating quenched Coulombic disorder by varying the charge of the ions on the lattice disrupts and changes the of this transition; instead of a sharp transition in a small temperature range, these oxide alloys exhibit “relaxed” transition over 100-200 K and are called “relaxor ferroelectrics.” In this talk I will describe how a first-principles based multi-scale model can reveal the dynamic and statically correlated motions of ions that lead to relaxor behavior, and I will discuss their promise for next-generation piezoelectric and dielectric material systems. …Read more.

Jim Van Orman (CWRU EEES) Thu. October 20th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Simulating Planetary Interiors in the Lab
This talk will provide an overview of experimental studies on the properties of planetary materials at high pressures, and the constraints they provide on the structure and evolution of planetary interiors. …Read more.

Mark Newman (University of Michigan) Thu. October 13th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Paul Erdos, Kevin Bacon, and the Six Degrees of Separation: The Statistical Physics of Networks
There are networks in every part of our lives: the Internet, the power grid, the road network, networks of friendship or acquaintance, ecological networks, biochemical networks, and many others.  …Read more.

Thu. October 6th, 2016
4:00 pm-4:00 pm

…Read more.

John Monnier (University of Michigan) Thu. September 29th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Imaging the Surfaces of Stars
Under even the best atmospheric conditions, telescope diffraction fundamentally limits the angular resolution for astronomical imaging. Using interferometry (Go, Michelson!), we can coherently combine light from widely-separated telescopes to overcome the single-telescope diffraction limit to boost our imaging resolution by orders of magnitude. …Read more.

Kurt Hinterbichler (CWRU Physics) Thu. September 22nd, 2016
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Massive Gravitons, the Cosmological Constant and New Directions in Gravity
The solution to the cosmological constant problem may involve modifying the very long-range dynamics of gravity by adding new degrees of freedom. …Read more.

Director: Peter Galison (Harvard). Movie. Note unusual end time. Thu. September 15th, 2016
4:00 pm-5:30 pm

Containment
Abstract
Can we contain some of the deadliest and most long-lasting substances ever produced? Left over from the Cold War are a hundred million gallons of highly radioactive sludge, thousands of acres of radioactive land, tens of thousands of unused hot buildings, all above slowly spreading deltas of contaminated ground water. …Read more.

Richard Schaller (Northwestern University). Not a physics colloquium but of potential interest to physicists. Note unusual location and time. Thu. September 8th, 2016
4:00 pm-6:00 pm

Chemistry Colloquium: Electronic and Thermal Interconversion and Migration in Energy-Relevant Materials
In order to produce energy efficient devices, thorough understanding of fundamental desired and undesired processes of energy and heat interconversion and migration are needed. …Read more.

Of Bodies Changed to New Forms – Tim Atherton Thu. April 21st, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Soft matter is a broad class of materials with many examples found in everyday life: foods, crude oil, many biological materials, granular materials, liquid crystals, plastics. All of these are unified by the property that they’re readily deformable because the elastic energy is of the same order of magnitude as the ambient thermal energy. …Read more.

Resonant Tunneling in a Dissipative Environment: Quantum Critical Behavior – Harold Baranger Thu. April 14th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The role of the surroundings, or environment, in quantum mechanics has long captivated physicists’ attention. Recently, quantum phase transitions (QPT)– a qualitative change in the ground state as a function of a parameter– have been shown to occur in systems coupled to a dissipative environment. …Read more.

Can Charge Qubits Compete with Spin Qubits for Quantum Information Processing? – HongWen Jiang Thu. April 7th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

onductor quantum dots (QDs) are a leading approach for the implementation of solid-state based qubits. In principle, either charge or spin can be used to encode a qubit. However, in the last ten years or so, a disproportionally large quantity of research has been devoted to spin qubits, mainly because of the relatively long single-qubit dephasing times for spin qubits. …Read more.

Controlling Coherent Spins at the Nanoscale: Prospects for Practical Spin-Based Technology – Jesse Berezovsky Thu. March 31st, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Despite living in a complex, room temperature, solid-state environment, the spin of electrons bound to a nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defect in diamond can exist in a delicate quantum superposition over relatively long timescales. …Read more.

Photophysics of Organic Materials: From Thin-Film Devices to Single Molecules and from Optoelectronics to Entomology – Oksana Ostroverkhova Thu. March 24th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Organic (opto)electronic materials have been explored in a variety of applications in electronics and photonics. They offer several advantages over traditional silicon technology, including low-cost processing, fabrication of large-area flexible devices, and widely tunable properties through functionalization of the molecules. …Read more.

Gravitational Waves Discovered: The Recent Detection of an Ancient Binary Black Hole Merger – Leslie E. Wade Thu. March 3rd, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

On September 14, 2015 the two ground-based interferometers that comprise the LIGO network directly observed the gravitational-wave signature of a 1.3 billion-year-old binary black hole merger. This incredible discovery is not only the first direct detection of gravitational waves, which cements Einstein’s prediction of their existence, it is also the first ever observation of two black holes merging. …Read more.

Non-Linear Optics of Ultrastrongly Coupled Cavity Polaritons – Mike Crescimanno Thu. February 18th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recent experiments at CWRU (Singer) have developed organic cavity polaritons that display world-record vacuum Rabi splittings of more than an eV.‭ ‬This ultrastrongly coupled polaritonic matter is a new regime for exploring non-linear optical effects.‭ ‬After an introduction to polariton physics, we‭ apply quantum optics theory to quantitatively determine various non-linear optical effects including types of‭ ‬low harmonic generation‭ (‬SHG and THG‭) ‬in single and double cavity polariton systems. …Read more.

Albert Michelson, the Michelson-Morley experiment, and the dichotomy between megaprojects and table-top science – Philip Taylor Thu. February 11th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

During the past 130 years the range of sizes and costs for scientific apparatus has expanded enormously. While some groundbreaking science is still done at modest cost, other experiments now require several billions of dollars to achieve their goals. …Read more.

A New Twist on Electromagnetism for Energy Conversion – Stephen Rand Thu. February 4th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In electromagnetism effects of the magnetic field are generally ignored. However in recent optical experiments intense magnetic light scattering has been observed as the result of a dynamic magneto-electric interaction that transcends the bounds of the multipole expansion through magnetic torque due to the Lorentz force. …Read more.

The 2015 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? – Kurt Runge (Chemistry), Jim Kazura (Physiology or Medecine), Andrew Tolley (Physics) Thu. January 28th, 2016
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Gravitational wave detection with precision interferometry – Nergis Malvalvala (unofficial colloquium) Fri. November 20th, 2015
10:15 am-11:15 am

Laser interferometer gravitational wave detectors are poised to launch a new era of gravitational wave astronomy and unprecedented tests of general relativity. I will describe experimental efforts worldwide to detect gravitational waves, and the progress to date. …Read more.

Remote entanglement in superconducting quantum information – Michael Hatridge Thu. November 12th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I’ll review material from the technical lectures and discuss the difference between entanglement via local and ‘remote’ interactions. I’ll discuss possible methods for constructing remote entangling measurements in superconducting quantum information and detail our experimental efforts to remotely entangle qubits via simultaneous readout and phase-preserving amplification. …Read more.

Intracellular Pressure Dynamics in Cells – Wanda Strychalski Thu. November 5th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Cell migration plays an essential role in many important biological processes such as wound healing, cancer metastasis, embryonic development, and the immune response. Recent advances in microscopy have led to an increasing number of qualitative observations of cell migration in 3D environments that closely mimic physiological conditions. …Read more.

Enabling High Performance Computational Physics with Community Libraries – Matt Knepley Thu. October 29th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will speak about the PETSc library, a community effort that I help lead, which provides scalable parallel linear and nonlinear algebraic solvers. It is very often used to solve complex, multiphysics problems arising from PDEs, and I will show examples from geophysics, fluid dynamics, electrostatics, neutronics, fracture mechanics, and molecular biology. …Read more.

Quantum Chromodynamics at Five Trillion Degrees Kelvin – Michael Strickland Thu. October 22nd, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Relativistic heavy ion collision experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory and at CERN have made it possible to turn back the clock to approximately one-millionth of a second after the big bang; a time when matter, as we know it, did not exist. …Read more.

In honor of Ben Segall’s 90th birthday – Arnold Dahm, Philip Taylor, Walter Lambrecht Thu. October 15th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Following brief reminiscences by Arnie Dahm and Phil Taylor, Walter Lambrecht will review some of Ben Segall’s early papers on the electronic band structure and optical properties of semiconductors. He will tell us what these papers were about, and place them in the context of the time. …Read more.

The Conformal Bootstrap: From Magnets to Boiling Water – David Simmons-Duffin Thu. October 1st, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Conformal Field Theory (CFT) describes the long-distance dynamics of numerous quantum and statistical many-body systems. The long-distance limit of a many-body system is often so complicated that it is hard to do precise calculations. …Read more.

Who and where is the graviton? – Claudia de Rham Thu. September 24th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One hundred years after “Die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation” by Albert Einstein (The Fields Equations of Gravitation) and perhaps at the eve of direct gravitational detection, the time is right to pause and ponder about the nature of the particle carrier of the gravitational force: the graviton. …Read more.

The Science of Climate Change and the Changing Climate of Science – Philip Taylor Thu. September 10th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Isn’t science supposed to be a field of study in which everybody eventually agrees on what is correct and what is mistaken? Yes, it is, but do we agree on how long it will be before “eventually” happens, especially when $5,000,000,000,000 per annum depends on whose science is correct? …Read more.

Cosmology with Planck’s Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background – Brendan Crill Thu. May 7th, 2015
2:15 pm-3:15 pm

The Planck satellite was launched in 2009 and mapped the full sky in nine bands from 30 to 857 GHz, and has produced the most accurate to-date full sky maps of the temperature and polarization of the cosmic microwave background. …Read more.

One century of neutrino mass experiments: from radium salts to microwaves – Benjamin Monreal Mon. April 27th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The neutrino mass is one of the longest-standing unanswered questions in particle physics. We’ve recently learned a tremendous amount about how the weak interaction mixes neutrino mass states together; we’ve learned that there are three different masses, and we’ve narrowed the ordering of these masses down to two possibilities; but we still haven’t learned what the masses actually are. …Read more.

A career in clean energy – Philip Farese Thu. April 23rd, 2015
11:30 am-12:30 pm

…Read more.

Novel measurement methods for probing magnetic nanoparticles – Yumi Ijiri Thu. April 16th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Magnetic nanoparticles are the focus of much current research with uses ranging from data storage in hard drives to targeted drug delivery in biomedical devices to smart fluids in automotive braking. …Read more.

Stochasticity in ecological dynamics – Karen Abbott Thu. April 9th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Population dynamics result from a combination of deterministic mechanisms (e.g. competition, predation) that drive nonlinear dynamics and stochastic forces that disrupt the neat patterns that would otherwise result. We often think of deterministic factors as being the most important, with their effects blurred secondarily by stochastic noise. …Read more.

Music, Sweet and Sour – David Farrell Thu. April 2nd, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Although the perceptual phenomena of consonance and dissonance in music have attracted interest across a wide variety of disciplines for two and a half millennia, theoretical progress to date has been very limited. …Read more.

Multiscale Self-organization of Emulsion Droplets – Jasna Brujic Thu. March 26th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Self-assembly of inanimate objects into well-defined 3D structures, such as folded proteins or DNA-origami, remains a mystery. Inspired by biological systems, we design and make droplets stabilized by lipid mixtures and functionalized with cell-cell adhesion proteins or DNA. …Read more.

Interacting particle models and phase transitions for social particles – Alethea Barbaro Thu. March 19th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Opportunities and Challenges for Extreme Optics – Nader Engheta Thu. February 26th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recent developments in condensed matter physics and nanoscience have made it possible to tailor materials with unusual parameters and characteristics. In my group, we have been exploring light-matter interaction in metamaterials and metastructures with extreme parameters, such as near-zero permittivity and near-zero permeability, and with extreme features such as very high phase velocity, very low energy velocity, extremely thin (one-atom-thick metasurfaces), subwavelength nonreciprocal vortices, extreme anisotropy, giant nonlinearity in phase-change dynamics, “static optics”, nanoscale computation in optical nanocircuits, and more. …Read more.

Chemistry in Art, Art in Chemistry, and the Spiritual Ground They Share – Roald Hoffmann Thu. February 12th, 2015
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

After looking at the evolution of pigments for the color blue, Roald Hoffman, Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters Emeritus at Cornell University and recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will discuss how scientific articles relating to chemistry also deal with representation of an underlying reality, and face questions that are essentially artistic. …Read more.

Teaching old materials new tricks: Making organic semiconductors crystallize on demand and metals emit light – Barry Rand Thu. February 5th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this seminar, we will focus on two aspects of our work that look at materials which have been studied for quite some time, but try to utilize them in new and interesting ways. …Read more.

The 2014 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? – Daniel Wesson from Neuroscience will give the Medicine or Physiology talk, Walter Lambrecht will give the Physics talk, and Andrew Rollins from Biomedical Engineering will give the Chemistry talk. Thu. January 29th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Physics: This year’s Nobel prize in Physics went to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for their groundbreaking work in the development of blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Walter will tell us how blue and subsequently white LEDs have become a vital energy-saving technology development, what difficulties had to be overcome to realize them, and how serendipity played a role in the key steps to unlock the potential of the key material gallium nitride to achieve them. …Read more.

Physics of the Piano – Nicholas Giordano Thu. January 22nd, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Why des a piano sound like a piano? A similar question can be asked of virtually all musical instruments. A particular note, such as middle C, can be produced by a piano, a violin, and a clarinet. …Read more.

Cooperation, cheating, and collapse in biological populations – Jeff Gore Thu. January 15th, 2015
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Natural populations can suffer catastrophic collapse in response to small changes in environmental conditions as a result of a bifurcation in the dynamics of the system. We have used laboratory microbial ecosystems to directly measure theoretically proposed early warning signals of impending population collapse based on critical slowing down. …Read more.

Spotting Majorana Fermions amidst Hofstadter butterflies and disordered landscapes – Smita Vishveshwara Thu. November 20th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In the hunt for Majorana particles, originally proposed in the context of particle physics, recent investigations have led to exciting prospects in superconducting wires, including possible experimental detection. This colloquium will first discuss how Majorana fermions can be present in ‘topological’ superconductors. …Read more.

Neutrino Oscillations at Work – Jenny Thomas Thu. November 6th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The observation that the three types of neutrino flavor oscillate among themselves led to the realisation that neutrinos have a very small but non-zero mass. This is extremely important because the supremely successful Standard Model of particle physics had expected, and indeed needed, the neutrinos to have exactly zero mass. …Read more.

Physics and Language – Harsh Mathur Thu. October 30th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

What Can We Learn about Language by Reading Millions of Books? (A Baker-Nord Digital Humanities Event) The dramatic growth of linguistic corpora enables the quantitative study of language
The dramatic growth of linguistic corpora enables the quantitative study of language on a scale that would have been unimaginable even five years ago. …Read more.

Constraining supersymmetry using molecules – Amar Vutha Thu. October 16th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Supersymmetry, and other theories that go beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, often predict the existence of new particles and interactions that act as sources of time-reversal violation. These, in turn, induce asymmetries in the charge distribution of electrons. …Read more.

Halide perovskites: their unusual combination of properties and its impact on solar cell applications – Walter Lambrecht Thu. October 9th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Hybrid organic/inorganic halide perovskites such as methylammonium lead iodide, (MA)PbI3, have recently burst on the solar cell scene with record efficiencies after only a few years of development. In this colloquium I will discuss some of the unique properties of these and related inorganic materials, such as CsSnI3 and their relation to their success in solar cell applications. …Read more.

The Standard Model and Beyond with Ultracold Neutrons – Leah Broussard Thu. September 25th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Ultracold Neutrons (UCN) provide an excellent laboratory for precision studies of the Standard Model of particle physics, and can be used as a unique tool to probe the properties of other materials. …Read more.

Quantum Mechanics Without Measurements – Robert Griffiths Thu. September 18th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In standard (textbook) quantum mechanics, “measurement” provides an essential link between the formalism and its physical interpretation, but physical measurements cannot be analyzed in fully quantum mechanical terms (the infamous “measurement problem”). …Read more.

The black hole information paradox and its resolution in string theory – Samir Mathur Thu. September 11th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Some 40 years ago Hawking found a remarkable contradiction: if we accept the standard behavior of gravity in regions of low curvature, then the evolution of black holes will violate quantum mechanics. …Read more.

Building Nuclear Bombs in Your Basement: the technology of nuclear proliferation – R. Scott Kemp Thu. September 4th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Technology has been long understood to play a central role in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Over the last thirty years, however, systematic improvements in information, design, modeling, and manufacturing tools have eased that challenge. …Read more.

Getting research news out: connecting with the press and DIY communication – Kate McAlpine Thu. August 28th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Although fewer daily papers keep reporters on the science beat, science reporting is still thriving online, from large news organizations to popular science magazines to news stories from scientific institutions. I’ll tell you about what I have observed as a reporter and de facto press officer about getting research stories into these outlets. …Read more.

Our MRI Startup Grows Up: QED and HealthCare in 2014 – Hiroyuki Fujita Thu. April 24th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Dr. Fujita’s talk will focus on his MRI company and give a “State of QED” address, and how its accomplishments plus smart business practices such as investing heavily in human and R & D have helped him build a company that is profitable and providing well-paying jobs in an advanced manufacturing environment. …Read more.

Chasing Inflation – John Ruhl Thu. April 17th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has provided one of our most robust and powerful tools for learning about the contents and history of the universe. Temperature anisotropies mapped over a wide range of angular scales have given strong support to the basic 6-parameter “Inflationary Lambda Cold Dark Matter” cosmological model, and allowed us to measure those parameters exquisitely. …Read more.

Super-Resolution Microscopies at the Frontiers of Cell Biology (co-sponsored by the Institute for the Science of Origins) – Bill Dougherty Thu. April 10th, 2014
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

The ultimate resolution of an image acquired by an optical system (a telescope or microscope) is governed by the laws of diffraction and can be expressed as a limit in an optical transfer function (OTF). …Read more.

Results from the LUX dark matter search, and prospects for the future – Tom Shutt Thu. April 3rd, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Arrested Development (of Emulsions) – Tim Atherton Thu. March 27th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Emulsions – dispersions of “guest” fluid droplets inside another “host” fluid – are very familiar in everyday life as food, consumer products and as raw materials such as crude oil. Despite their ubiquity, they exhibit fascinating and complicated physics. …Read more.

Nanoscale thermal transport – Alexis Abramson Thu. March 20th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Carbon nanostructures such as nanotubes, nanofibers and graphene have gained great attention over the past two decades. Owing to their unique properties, these nanomaterials have been proposed for use in a wide range of applications. …Read more.

Curvature and defects in liquid crystals and other soft materials: Differential geometry isn’t just for cosmology any more! – Jonathan Selinger Thu. February 27th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Liquid-crystal membranes have a coupling between curvature and orientational order: Defects in the orientational order can induce curvature, and conversely, curvature leads to an effective geometrical potential acting on defects. In this colloquium, we present basic introductions to liquid-crystal physics and to differential geometry, and discuss the fundamental origin of the coupling. …Read more.

The Hunt for the Missing Components of the Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy . . . . and Women in Physics. – Evalyn Gates Thu. February 20th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In spite of much discussion and a variety of efforts aimed at increasing the number of women in physics, the entry level into the field has hit a wall. For the past 15 years the percent of B.S. …Read more.

Mercury’s interior: New views from MESSENGER – Steven Hauck Thu. February 6th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

More than 35 years after Mariner 10 made its third and final flyby of the planet Mercury MESSENGER (short for MErcury, Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet in March of 2011. …Read more.

The 2013 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? – Martin Snider, Michael Weiss, Glenn Starkman Thu. January 30th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Dr. Martin Snider (Biochemistry) on the prize for Medicine or Physiology
Dr. Michael Weiss (Biochemistry)on the prize for Chemistry
Dr. Glenn Starkman (Physics) on the prize for Physics …Read more.

Next Steps in Neutrino Physics – Geralyn Zeller Thu. January 23rd, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Neutrinos are among the most abundant particles in the universe, yet there is a surprising amount of information we still do not know about them. The discovery of neutrino masses and mixing over a decade ago has raised a large number of challenging questions about neutrinos and their connections to the world we live in. …Read more.

The Physics of Climate Change – Michael Mann Thu. January 16th, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will review the basic scientific fundamentals behind human-caused climate change, including a discussion of physics-based theoretical climate models. I will motivate the use of a very simple (“zero-dimensional energy balance”) model of Earth’s climate. …Read more.

In proximity to novel physics: Topological Insulators coupled to Superconductors – Nadya Mason Thu. December 5th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Topological insulators (TI’s) are materials that are insulators in their interiors, but have unique conducting states on their surfaces. They have attracted significant interest as fundamentally new electronic phases having potential applications from dissipationless interconnects to quantum computing. …Read more.

Fukushima: Implications for the Understanding of Severe Accidents and the Future of Nuclear Energy – M.V. Ramana Thu. November 21st, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Like the earlier nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island (1979) and Chernobyl (1986), the multiple accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will have an impact on both our understanding of severe accidents and on the likely future deployment of nuclear power. …Read more.

Magnetism Without Magnetic Atoms: The Physics of the Vacancy Center in Graphene – Sashi Satpathy Thu. November 14th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Graphene is a material of considerable current interest owing to its linear band structure and excitations that behave as massless Dirac fermions. In this talk, I will focus on the physics of a vacancy in graphene and show that it forms a magnetic center and, quite interestingly, it is also a Jahn-Teller center due to the coupling between the vacancy electronic states and the local lattice modes. …Read more.

To Superconduct or Not to Superconduct; That is the Question – Michelson Postdoctoral Prizewinner Wei-Cheng Lee Thu. November 7th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Superconductor, a material losing resistivity below a critical temperature Tc, remains one of the grand challenges in physics. This field began in 1911 with the discovery of superconductivity in mercury at 4.2 K. …Read more.

Graphene at the Boundaries – Paul McEuen Thu. October 31st, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

With its remarkable structural, thermal, mechanical, optical, and electronic properties, graphene is a true interdisciplinary material. In this talk we will discuss experiments where graphene shows its many sides. For example, we will discuss atomic-scale imaging experiments of bilayer graphene that reveal the presence of 1D strain solitons between the layers. …Read more.

The Cosmic Gravitational Wave Background – Tom Giblin Thu. October 24th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

As we prepare for news from the Laser-Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) theoretical and computational physics are crawling over each other to identify cosmological sources of gravitational radiation in the LIGO sensitivity region. …Read more.

Dark Materials: the Topology of Insulators – Harsh Mathur Thu. October 17th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Topological insulators are insulating materials with conducting surfaces. In this talk I will introduce topology by its application to the analysis of tie knots. I will then describe the remarkable electrostatics of topological insulators that mimics the behavior of axion domain walls studied in particle physics. …Read more.

Isostatic Lattice: From Jamming to Topological Surface Phonons – Tom Lubensky Thu. October 10th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Frames consisting of nodes connected pairwise by rigid rods or central-force springs, possibly with preferred relative angles controlled by bending forces, are useful models for systems as diverse as architectural structures, crystalline and amorphous solids, sphere packings and granular matter, networks of semi-flexible polymers, and protein structure. …Read more.

Modeling and simulating cellular processes in the brain: a mathematical challenge – Daniela Calvetti Thu. October 3rd, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Abstract: Understanding human brain is one of the greatest challenges of science, not the least because, almost by definition, it is too complex to be understood by a human brain. The brain accounts for about 2% of our body weight, yet it consumes about 20% of the oxygen we intake, showing how central the energy metabolism must be for signalling. …Read more.

Michelson and Morley –the men, the experiment, and the 1987 Centennial Celebration – Various + P. Taylor Thu. September 26th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Michelson-Morley experiment is arguably the most important measurement ever performed in the history of science. If its result had been different, then our whole conception of space and time would be very far from the picture that Einstein gave us in his special theory of relativity. …Read more.

Green commercial buildings: are they saving energy or are they just making us feel good? – John Scofield Thu. September 19th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

US buildings consume roughly 40% of the nation’s primary energy and are responsible for a similar fraction of our greenhouse gas emission. There is tremendous documented potential for lowering both of these figures through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements in buildings. …Read more.

To wet or not to wet? That is the Question – Milton Cole Thu. September 12th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

If one looks at a leaf of a plant after a rainfall, one sees water droplets of varying sizes. What determines this “wetting” behavior? The answer, known in principle for two centuries, involves the surface tension of the water itself, as well as the two surface tensions at the water-leaf interface (liquid-leaf and vapor-leaf). …Read more.

Light or Dark? Mass and Gravity in the Universe – Stacy McGaugh Thu. September 5th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We now have a well developed cosmological paradigm, LCDM, in which most of the mass-energy is composed of unknown dark components. This picture provides a satisfactory description of large scale structure but has serious failings on the small scales of individual galaxies. …Read more.

“Look to the Stars” – an episode starring Case’s first Physics Professor – Albert A. Michelson Thu. August 29th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The semester’s first colloquium will be somewhat out of the ordinary – a screening of an old TV episode. The highly popular and long-running series Bonanza was a staple of American television from the late 1950s until the early 1970s, and continues in syndication. …Read more.

Some Experiences Gained in Starting and Growing Optical Companies – James C. Wyant Thu. April 18th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

This talk will describe some experiences gained in starting and growing two optical companies, WYKO Corporation (1984-1997) and 4D Technology (2002-present). Both companies designed, manufactured, and sold computerized interferometric systems for the measurement of surface shape and surface roughness. …Read more.

Origin of rigidity in granular solids – Bulbul Chakraborty Thu. April 11th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Granular materials such as sand or rice grains behave in ways that are often counterintuitive. An example is “footprints on sand” which owe their origin to a phenomenon known as dilatancy. …Read more.

The discovery of a new particle. Is it the Higgs? – Daniela Bortoletto Thu. April 4th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

On July 4th 2012 physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s highest-energy proton accelerator, at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland announced the discovery of a new particle that is about 135 times heavier than a proton. …Read more.

Random laser, bio-inspired laser, and time-reversed laser – Hui Cao Thu. March 28th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this talk, I will review our studies of photonic nanostructures of random morphology. First, I show how we can trap light in such structures to make random lasers. Next, learning from the non-iridescent color generation by isotropic nanostructures in bird feathers, we use short-range order to enhance light confinement and improve lasing efficiency in artificial nanostructures. …Read more.

Hamiltonian Theory of Fractional Chern Bands – R. Shankar Thu. March 7th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

It has been known for some time that a system with a filled band will have an integer quantum Hall conductance equal to its Chern number, a toplogical index associated with the band. …Read more.

Molecular interactions: linking physics and biology – Yi-Kuo Yu Thu. February 28th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Molecular interactions determine, for example, how transcription factors recognize their DNA binding sites, how proteins interact with each other, and consequently how a biological system functions. Since both proteins and DNAs are significantly charged, electric interactions are among the most important when studying biomolecular interactions. …Read more.

Many Worlds, the Born Rule, and Self-Locating Uncertainty – Sean Carroll Thu. February 21st, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A longstanding issue in attempts to understand the Everett (Many-Worlds) approach to quantum mechanics is the origin of the Born Rule: why is the probability given by the square of the amplitude? …Read more.

Electrostatic charging of flowing granular materials – Dan Lacks Thu. February 14th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Contact charging occurs when two materials are brought into contact and then are separated. As a result of the contact, charge is transferred such that one material becomes charged positively and the other becomes charged negatively. …Read more.

The 2012 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? – George Dubyak (Physiology and Biophysics), Paul Tesar (Genetics), Harsh Mathur (Physics) Thu. February 7th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Three 15-minute talks on the 2012 Nobel prizewinners and their work.
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics: Making Gedanken Experiments Real.
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Serge Haroche and David Wineland for experimental methods that allow the measurement and manipulation of individual quantum systems. …Read more.

Unifying theory for universal quake statistics: from compressed nanopillars to earthquakes – Karin Dahmen Thu. January 31st, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The deformation of many solid and granular materials is not continuous, but discrete, with intermittent slips similar to earthquakes. Here, we suggest that the statistical distributions of the slips, such as the slip-size distributions and their cutoffs, all follow approximately the same regular (power-law) functions for systems spanning 13 decades in length, from tens of nanometers to hundreds of kilometers; for compressed nano-crystals, amorphous materials, sheared granular materials, lab-sized rocks, and earthquakes. …Read more.

The Two-Envelope Paradox – Edwin Meyer Thu. January 24th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One of the most puzzling paradoxes in philosophy, mathematics and finance is the two-envelope paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_envelopes_problem). It is many years old, but it still generates 5-10 publications each year as many disciplines each have their own viewpoints and methods of attack. …Read more.

Unparticles in Strongly Correlated Electron Matter – Philip Phillips Thu. January 17th, 2013
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Several years ago, Howard Georgi introduced the concept of unparticles. Unparticle stuff has no particular mass. In fact, the mass of unparticle stuff looks the same on any number of scales in contrast to particle matter which has a definite mass. …Read more.

Unveiling the Mystery of Mass – Christoph Paus Thu. December 6th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One of the prime reasons the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built is to resolve the question how particles acquire their mass. While it is very simple to measure particle masses, and we have a model (the Standard Model of Particle Physics) which explains quite accurately all presently available measurements, the seemingly trivial mechanism of how particle acquire their mass remains a mystery. …Read more.

Statics and Dynamics of Colloidal Particles in Liquid Crystals – Oleg Lavrentovich Thu. November 29th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Colloids and liquid crystals are two important classes of soft matter, usually explored independently of each other. The most studied colloids represent a dispersion of solid or liquid particles in an isotropic fluid such as water. …Read more.

Nuclear Q & A – William Fickinger Thu. November 15th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

This talk addresses key questions associated with nuclear energy and weapons technologies and their impact on society. The intended audience includes journalists, politicians, scientists, political-scientists, activists, and students from high-schoolers through post-docs. …Read more.

Electro-active polymers and high-power-density energy storage – Jerry Bernholc Thu. November 8th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The usual means of storing electrical energy are either batteries, where the current induces chemical reactions, or capacitors, where especially chosen dielectrics enhance the stored energy. Since capacitors can be discharged far more quickly than batteries and fuel cells, they have much higher power densities. …Read more.

Biosensing with Magnetic Nanoparticles – John Weaver Thu. November 1st, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In Biology, many tools exist to study individual cells in culture but there is a paucity of tools to study the microenvironment in which cells live and grow in vivo. The microenvironment is the complex milieu of chemical and physical signaling that enables cells to form and function as organisms. …Read more.

The First Quasars in Cosmic Structure Formation – Tiziana DiMatteo Thu. October 25th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

As we are just attempting to understand how galaxy formation is connected to the growth of supermassive black holes, one fundamental challenge remains. Observations show us that the first quasars were assembled when the universe was only a tenth of its current age, yet their black holes are as massive as the ones in today’s galaxies. …Read more.

Beyond graphene: band insulators and topological insulators – Kin Fai Mak Thu. October 18th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Beyond graphene there exist a rich family of two-dimensional crystals with a broad spectrum of electronic properties, which remain largely unexplored. For instance, a valley Hall semiconductor emerges by breaking the sublattice symmetry in the honeycomb structure. …Read more.

Gamma-ray Pulsars with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope [joint with Astronomy] – David J. Thompson Thu. October 11th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Pulsars, which are rapidly rotating magnetized neutron stars, are natural laboratories for physics under extreme conditions. Gamma radiation has now been seen from more than 100 pulsars, thanks to observations with the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. …Read more.

Decades of Achievement — a tribute to nine of our number having birthdays ending in a zero – Various Thu. October 4th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Three physics faculty have their 50th birthday this year, three have their 60th, and three their 80th. We celebrate their achievements in this mini-symposium. …Read more.

“How we fixed the Hubble Space Telescope” – James Breckinridge Thu. September 27th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Gate Controlled Spin-Orbit Interaction and 1D Thermoelectric Transport in InAs Nanowires – Xuan Gao Thu. September 13th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

InAs nanowires provide an interesting nanomaterial platform for spintronic device and thermoelectric energy conversion applications, owing to their strong quantum confinement and spin orbit interaction (SOI) effects. Manipulating the SOI and thermoelectric transport in InAs nanowires is thus of great interest for both fundamental quantum transport and applied nanotechnology research. …Read more.

The Intersection between Science and Politics: How Science is Used and Abused in Congress – Chris Martin Thu. September 6th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

After spending a year working as a staffer in the US Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Dr. Chris Martin of Oberlin College brings a scientist’s perspective to how national policy reacts to and in turn drives science. …Read more.

Development of the II-IV Nitride Semiconductors; Considerations from Science, Technology and Sociology – Kathy Kash Thu. August 30th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Ever since the profound effect of the invention of the transistor in 1947, the impact of inorganic semiconductors on our technology world has continued to expand. The III-nitrides (GaN, AlN and InN) are a current example of a class of semiconductors that is increasing ‘exponentially’ in its impact on technology. …Read more.

Smectics! – Randall Kamien Thu. April 26th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The homotopy theory of topological defects in ordered media fails to completely characterize systems with broken translational symmetry. I will demonstrate that the topological problem can be transformed into a geometric problem in one higher dimension. …Read more.

Combining superconductors and ferromagnets: a new type of symmetry? – Norman Birge Thu. April 19th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Physicists are constantly on the lookout for new symmetries in the ground states of quantum systems. Familiar examples include ferromagnets, which break spin-rotation symmetry, and superconductors, which break gauge symmetry. When a superconductor (S) and a ferromagnet (F) are put into contact with each other, interesting things happen, and the combined S/F hybrid system exhibits altogether new properties. …Read more.

Stars, galaxies and cosmology in the nearby Universe [joint with Astronomy] – Alan McConnachie Thu. April 12th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The basic tenets of the prevailing cosmological paradigm – Lambda-Cold Dark Matter – are generally well understood and robust to large scale observables, such as the cosmic microwave background and galaxy clustering. …Read more.

Lasers and Anti-lasers – A. Douglas Stone Thu. April 5th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A laser is an optical device that transforms incoherent input energy (the pump), into coherent outgoing radiation in a specific set of modes of the electromagnetic field, with distinct frequencies. There is a threshold pump energy for the first lasing mode, and above that energy the laser is a non-linear device, and non-linear interactions strongly affect the emission properties of the laser. …Read more.

The Life and Death of a Drop: Topological Transitions and Singularities – Sidney Nagel Thu. March 29th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Because fluids flow and readily change their shape in response to small forces, they are often used to model phenomena as diverse as the dynamics of star formation or the statics of nuclear shape. …Read more.

Multilayer Polymer Photonics: From “Origami” Lasers to Optical Data Storage to Cavity Polaritons – Ken Singer Thu. March 22nd, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The National Science Foundation Center for Layered Polymer Systems (CLiPS), in its sixth year at CWRU, is focused on a novel multilayer co-extrusion technique, which is a highly scalable roll-to-roll process capable of producing many square meters of periodic layered films in minutes. …Read more.

The Red Revolution: How Seismology of Red Giants is Transforming Stellar Physics and Stellar Population Studies [joint with Astronomy] – Marc Pinsonneault Thu. March 8th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Space missions have uncovered a rich, and high amplitude, pulsation spectrum in red giant stars. The information encoded in the pulsation frequencies is transforming our understanding of stars. At one level, crucial information (such as mass, radius, and age) can be used for stellar population studies. …Read more.

Pollockian Mechanics: Painting with Viscous Jets – Andrzej Herczyński Thu. February 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Beginning around 1945, an American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock invented and perfected a new artistic technique based on pouring and dripping liquid pigment onto a canvas stretched horizontally on the floor. …Read more.

Viscosity of Strongly Interacting Fermions – Mohit Randeria Thu. February 16th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The viscosity of strongly interacting quantum fluids has recently been examined in diverse areas of physics – black holes and string theory, quark-gluon plasmas and cold atoms – which, at first sight, appear to have little in common. …Read more.

The 2011 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? – Glenn Starkman, Arthur Heuer, and Mansun Sy Thu. February 9th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

GLENN STARKMAN (Dept. of Physics) will present on the Nobel Prize in Physics: The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to leaders of two collaborations that in 1998 discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. …Read more.

Oriented assembly of microparticles by capillarity – Kate Stebe Thu. February 2nd, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Particles with well defined shapes can be directed to assemble into complex structures by capillarity. Here we explore two themes. First, we explore the assembly of microparticles with well-defined shapes on otherwise planar interfaces to form structures with preferred orientations and with mechanical responses that depend subtly on particle shape. …Read more.

Higgs Boson – on the road to discovery – Sergo Jindariani Thu. January 26th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Higgs boson is an important piece of the Standard Model of particle physics that has yet to be experimentally observed. I will give a short review of high energy colliders and particle detectors and will describe the challenges of discovering a Higgs boson with these machines. …Read more.

Fundamental Physics from Large-Scale Structure – Dragan Huterer Thu. January 19th, 2012
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A little more than a decade after the discovery of the accelerating universe, the nature of dark energy remains one of the greatest known yet unsolved problems in cosmology and physics. …Read more.

Can that really be so? A light-hearted look at the concept of force in classical, quantum, and statistical mechanics – Philip Taylor Thu. December 8th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Some folk think that there are four types of force. Napoleon thought there were two. I am going to talk about three types. Of these, the most interesting by far is the entropic force, which is the one that drives us to explore the unknown. …Read more.

Closing In On Dark Matter – Dan Hooper Thu. November 17th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A variety of direct and indirect searches for dark matter are currently underway, a number of which have even reported observations which could be interpreted as hints of a signal. In this talk, I will discuss why particle physicists think that dark matter is likely to be made up of WIMPs, and how experiments are finally reaching the sensitivities needed to test the WIMP-hypothesis. …Read more.

Computational Thermodynamics: First Principles Prediction of Crystal Structures and Alloy Phase Diagrams – Michael Widom Thu. November 3rd, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

As Feynman noted, rules of chemistry are determined “in principle” by physics, but just as knowing the rules of chess do not immediately make one a great chess player, deriving chemistry from physics has challenged scientists for the past century. …Read more.

Development of a magnetic-resonance-imaging-guided radiation-therapy device to treat cancer patients – James Dempsey Thu. October 20th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Nearly two-thirds of all cancer patients in the U.S. receive radiation therapy to treat their illness. Many advanced technologies have been developed to create precise and optimized ionizing radiation treatments where patients are modeled as static objects. …Read more.

Electronic liquid crystal correlations in the pseudogap phase of high Tc cuprates – Michael Lawler Thu. October 13th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The pseudogap phase of cuprate oxides is one of the most perplexing phases in condensed matter physics; it is a poor metal that, at lower temperatures, becomes one of the best superconductors. …Read more.

Temperature-accelerated dynamics and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of thin-film growth – Jacques Amar Thu. September 29th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Thin-films are used in a variety of applications ranging from semiconductor technology to industrial coatings, sensors, and photovoltaic devices. In addition, understanding thin-film growth is a challenging scientific and technical problem which requires an understanding of surface and interface physics. …Read more.

Culturomics: Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books – Erez Liebermann-Aiden Thu. September 22nd, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4 per cent of all books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of ‘culturomics,’ focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that were reflected in the English language between 1800 and 2000. …Read more.

Almost Quantum Mechanics – Benjamin Schumacher Thu. September 15th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

To understand how quantum mechanics works, it is useful to imagine alternative “foil” theories that work differently. Modal quantum theory is a discrete toy model that is similar in structure to ordinary quantum theory, but based on a finite field instead of complex amplitudes. …Read more.

Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. – Richard Denning Thu. September 8th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Dr. Denning will describe what actually happened in the Fukushima accident and provide an evaluation of the failure in safety practices that led to severe fuel damage. He will also discuss the expected health, environmental, and economic consequences of the event. …Read more.

Why are there so many interpretations of quantum mechanics? – Pierre Hohenberg Thu. September 1st, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The foundations of quantum mechanics have been plagued by controversy throughout the 85 year history of the field. It is argued that lack of clarity in the formulation of basic philosophical questions leads to unnecessary obscurity and controversy and an attempt is made to identify the main forks in the road that separate the most important interpretations of quantum theory. …Read more.

“It’s Chooz Time Folks!” – Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecturer Lindley Winslow, Wed. May 4th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The last decade has seen a revolution in our understanding of the tiniest fundamental particle, the neutrino. The results of several experiments have shown that neutrinos oscillate and therefore have mass. …Read more.

Exploring the Energy (and Lifetime) Frontiers with the CMS Experiment – Christopher Hill Thu. April 21st, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In November 2010, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN completed its first physics run of proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV. These data, which have been analyzed in recent months, have provided us with our first glimpse of the energy frontier. …Read more.

Financial Mathematics for Physicists – Bryan Lynn Thu. April 14th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty – Rob Nelson Thu. April 7th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will review the technical history of nuclear weapons, the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms race and efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons after the end of the Cold War. I will then focus on technical issues related to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty, which the U.S. …Read more.

Black Holes and Thermodynamics – Jennie Traschen Thu. March 31st, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In 1971 Hawking published the Area Theorem, which shows that the area of a black hole either increases or stays the same. Two years later, Bardeen, Carter, and Hawking proved a theorem which relates the changes in the mass of a black hole, to changes in its area. …Read more.

Dark Energy: constant or time variable? (… and other open questions) – Bharat Ratra Thu. March 17th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Experiments and observations over the last decade have persuaded cosmologists that (as yet undetected) dark energy is by far the main component of the energy budget of the universe. I review a few simple dark energy models and compare their predictions to observational data, to derive dark energy model-parameter constraints and to test consistency of different data sets. …Read more.

The 2010 Nobel (Sciences) Prize-fest – Tim Atherton, Yanming Wang, and Paul Tesar Thu. March 3rd, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Three 15-minute talks on the 2010 Nobel prizewinners and their work …Read more.

The New World of Gamma Ray Astronomy – Lucy Fortson Thu. February 24th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

With the third generation ground-based gamma-ray telescopes delivering over a hundred new TeV emitting objects and with the new Fermi satellite providing greatly improved sensitivity in the GeV energy regime, gamma ray astronomy is entering a golden age. …Read more.

From Lasing in Soft-Composite Materials to Optical Transparency in Metamaterials – Giuseppe Strangi Mon. February 21st, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Lasing materials range from periodic systems such as photonic crystals to partially ordered and disordered dielectric materials that scatter light diffusively. Soft materials, in particular liquid crystals, may be manipulated easily and have interesting optical properties. …Read more.

The Persistent Mystery of the Highest Energy Cosmic Ray – Corbin Covault Thu. February 17th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One of the longest-standing mysteries of fundamental astrophysics is the origin and nature of the highest energy cosmic rays. These particles are the most energetic in the universe, arriving to the Earth from all directions in outer space. …Read more.

Two packing problems – Narayanan Menon Thu. February 10th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will discuss progress in two ongoing sets of experiments on the packing of macroscopic objects. The first of these is a neglected aspect of the old problem of packing identical spheres. …Read more.

Pi-conjugated organic materials: properties, applications and the importance of interfaces – Mats Fahlman Thu. February 3rd, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Electronics applications such as light emitting devices for lighting and flat panel displays, transistors, solar cells and sensors based on p-conjugated organic materials are presently being developed and have in some cases reached the market. …Read more.

A Biophysical Perspective of Understanding Nanoparticles at Large – Pu-Chun Ke Thu. January 27th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this talk I will present a biophysical perspective that describes the fate of nanoparticles in both the aqueous phase and in living systems. Specifically, I will show the correlations between the physicochemistry of fullerenes and their uptake, translocation, transformation, transport, and biodistribution in mammalian and plant systems, at the molecular, cellular, and whole organism level. …Read more.

Advanced Materials Stabilized by Interfacial Particles – Paul S. Clegg Thu. January 20th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Emulsions, typically droplets of oil in water, are widely used in, e.g. cosmetics, paints, foods and polymer synthesis. The surface of the droplet, where the two liquids meet, is energetically expensive; to make the droplets long lived this energy cost is often reduced by adding a molecular surfactant. …Read more.

Aggregating Dyes and Chromonic Liquid Crystals – Peter Collings Thu. January 13th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Chromonic liquid crystals form when molecules aggregate into anisotropic shapes at high enough density to promote orientational order. There is strong evidence that in some systems the aggregates are simple columnar stacks of molecules and that the aggregation process is governed by free energy changes that are independent of the size of the aggregate. …Read more.

Smart Polymeric Materials: From Fundamental Science to New Technologies – Mark G. Kuzyk Wed. January 12th, 2011
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Dye doped polymers, which were originally designed for nonlinear-optical applications, combine the good optical quality and processabilty of the host polymer with the optical and electrical properties of the dopant. Combining the nonlinear-optical and photomechanical properties in a single material may lead to utrasmart morphing materials with emergent properties. …Read more.

Cosmology with the South Pole Telescope – John Ruhl Thu. December 2nd, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The South Pole Telescope is dedicated to mapping several thousand square degrees of the southern sky at millimeter wavelengths. Four years into the survey, we are using the data to better understand the formation of large scale structure in the universe, and to constrain the character of the elusive Dark Energy which dominates the energy density of the universe but is (so far) not at all understood. …Read more.

Electroweak stars: Electroweak Matter Destruction as an Exotic Stellar Engine – Dejan Stokovic Thu. November 18th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Stellar evolution from a protostar to neutron star is of one of the best studied subjects in modern astrophysics. Yet, it appears that there is still a lot to learn about the extreme conditions where the fundamental particle physics meets strong gravity regime. …Read more.

Rethinking MR: Collecting information instead of images – Mark Griswold Thu. November 11th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides exquisite depiction of anatomy and function without the ionizing radiation found in e.g. CT or PET. However, significant drawbacks still exist. This is primarily due to the limited speed and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of MRI, and most important, the fact that these two quantities are linked to each other. …Read more.

The quest for dilute ferromagnetism in semiconductors: Guides and misguides by theory – Stephan Lany Thu. November 4th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Semiconductivity (SC) and ferromagnetism (FM) are an unlikely couple, each having quite different desires in regard of the electronic band structure (High density of states at the Fermi level for FM, but low or moderate for SC). …Read more.

Heterovalent ternary compounds, a new form of semiconductor property engineering: from electronic energy bands to lattice dynamics – Walter Lambrecht Thu. October 28th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Over the last five years or so, my group has studied the properties of a new family of nitride semiconductors, the II-IV-N2, the compounds, such as ZnGeN2, ZnSiN2. One can view this as a new way to modify the properties of GaN semiconductors. …Read more.

Strands of Superconductivity at the Nanoscale – Paul Goldbart Thu. October 21st, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Superconducting circuitry can now be fabricated at the nanoscale, e.g., by depositing suitable materials on to single molecules, such as DNA or carbon nanotubes. I shall discuss various themes that arise when superconductivity is explored in this new regime, including the thermal passage over and quantum tunneling through barriers by the superconducting condensate as a whole, as well as a strange, hormetic effect that magnetism can have on nanoscale superconductors. …Read more.

From quantum mechanics to radiology to business, starting with the basic physics of vascular imaging – Mark Haacke Thu. October 14th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

TBA …Read more.

Morphology and dynamics of polymers at interfaces – Mesfin Tsige Thu. September 30th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The surface and interfacial properties of polymers play a key role in many technological applications ranging from telecommunication to biotechnology. Most of the intended applications strongly depend on wetting and adhesion phenomena. …Read more.

High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: new design strategies, new applications – Joseph Heremans Thu. September 23rd, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Thermoelectric energy converters are solid state devices that convert thermal to electrical energy, and are used in heat pumps and power generators. They have no moving parts, conveying them the inherent advantages of compactness and robustness that have traditionally been offset by their low efficiency. …Read more.

Spin torque effects in magnetic tunnel junctions – Olle Heinonen Thu. September 9th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The prediction by Slonczewski and Berger that currents in magnetic heterostructures can exert a torque on the magnetization in the structures has lead to intense research over the past decade. This is both because of a new area of fundamental physics made possible by coupling DC currents and spin dynamics, as well as technological applications, such as magnetic random access memories and nano-scale high-frequency oscillators, in spintronics. …Read more.

Cavity Control in a Single-Electron Quantum Cyclotron: An Improved Measurement of the Electron Magnetic Moment – David Hanneke Thu. May 13th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Measurements of the electron magnetic moment (the “g-value”) probe the electron’s interaction with the fluctuating vacuum. With a quantum electrodynamics calculation, they provide the most accurate determination of the fine structure constant. …Read more.

William Herschel and the Invention of Modern Astronomy – Michael D. Lemonick Thu. May 6th, 2010
2:00 pm-3:00 pm

In 1781, William Herschel became the first person in human history to discover a new planet. This feat was enough to make his reputation and enable him to give up his day job to concentrate on the heavens full-time. …Read more.

Understanding and predicting material properties: insight from quantum simulations – Giulia Galli Thu. April 29th, 2010
11:00 am-12:00 pm

We discuss the progress and successes obtained in recent years in predicting fundamental properties of systems in condensed phases and at the nanoscale, using ab-initio, quantum simulations. Our examples will focus on nanostructured materials for opto-electronic, photovoltaic and thermoelectric applications, and on solvation processes in simple aqueous solutions. …Read more.

Organic Spintronics – Valy Vardeny Thu. April 22nd, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Organic semiconductors have been used as active layer in devices such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), photovoltaic cells, field-effect transistors, and lasers. Recently there has been a growing interest in spin and magnetic field effects in these materials. …Read more.

Water on the Surface of the Moon – Jessica Sunshine (jointly with Astronomy) Thu. April 15th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Although the Moon was widely thought to be anhydrous, OH and H2O absorptions were detected on the lunar surface by infrared spectrometers on three different spacecraft. Complimentary data from Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-cubed; M3) on Chandrayaan-1, the IR spectrometer on Deep Impact, and VIMS on Cassini have mapped widespread hydration at the 0.1 wt% level. …Read more.

Deterministic Isoeffective Dose – Proposal for a New Unit – The Barendsen (Bd) – Barry Wessels, Thu. April 8th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

2=1: The Gentle Art of Lying Thu. April 1st, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Even talented students struggle with fundamental concepts in mathematics and physics. They cannot reason with graphs and have no feel for physical magnitudes. Their instincts are Aristotelian; in their gut they believe that force is proportional to velocity. …Read more.

The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time – Sean Carroll Thu. March 25th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Over a century ago, Boltzmann and others provided a microscopic understanding for the tendency of entropy to increase. But this understanding relies ultimately on an empirical fact about cosmology: the early universe had a very low entropy. …Read more.

The Demographics of Exoplanets – Scott Gaudi Thu. March 4th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The physical processes that govern planet formation, migration, and evolution are imprinted on the orbital element and mass distributions of exoplanets. Theories of planet formation and evolution have matured to the point where specific predictions for these distributions have been made, yet there are relatively few robust comparisons of these predictions with observations. …Read more.

From the Bottom Up: Self-Assembled One-Dimension Soft Materials – Jiyu Fang Mon. March 1st, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Molecular self-assembly mediated by noncovalent bonds is becoming increasingly popular as a “bottom up” approach in forming nano- and meso-scale soft materials. One of the most attractive aspects of this approach is the prospect of assembling structures with molecular precision under experimentally straightforward and inexpensive conditions. …Read more.

Dynamical Imaging using Spatial Nonlinearity – Jason W. Fleischer Thu. February 25th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

It is well known that one cannot image directly through a nonlinear medium, as intensity-dependent phase changes distort signals as they propagate. For this reason, nearly all nonlinear imaging techniques are point-by-point methods that rely on the frequency dependence of multi-photon effects, such as two-photon fluorescence and harmonic generation. …Read more.

Structural relaxations beyond the colloidal glass transition – Veronique Trappe Mon. February 15th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Colloidal dispersions consist of small particles that are immersed in a molecular fluid. The particles move by diffusion, driven by the thermal motion of the molecules surrounding them. However, as the particle concentration increases, the diffusion of the particles becomes increasingly hindered due the presence of their neighbors; consequently, the structural relaxation time, describing the time-scale over which the system reconfigures, increases. …Read more.

Photonics with Organic-Inorganic Nanostructures – Manfred Eich Mon. February 8th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The presentation will outline the physics of photonic crystals and photonic nanowires employing silicon and organic materials. Dispersion properties and slow light effects will be discussed as well as nonlinear optical phenomena in such structures. …Read more.

On a Few Challenges in Soft Condensed Matter Physics – Igor Sokolov Thu. February 4th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Soft Condensed Matter (SCM) is a broad area of science, which includes studying liquids, colloids, gels, polymers, foams, biomaterials, etc. The common feature shared by all SCM materials is the energy associated with their behavior, which is comparable with the ambient thermal energy. …Read more.

Effects of osmotic stress on DNA packing and capsid stability in simple viruses – Rudi Podgornik Thu. January 21st, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will address the problem of DNA packing in the bacteriophage capsid. I will show that it can be formulated in the framewrok of a liquid crystalline nematic nanodrop model. The elastic equilibrium condition can be written as a first intergral of the EL equations and gives the elastic stresses in the system. …Read more.

The 2009 Nobel (Sciences) Prize-fest – Kathy Kash, William Merrick, Ken Singer, and Derek Taylor Thu. January 14th, 2010
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Come hear about the Nobel prizes in Chemistry, Medicine or Physiology, and Physics from local experts. …Read more.

Dynamical Processes in Extrasolar Planetary Systems – Fred Adams Thu. December 3rd, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Over the past decade, observations have sparked a renaissance of planetary studies, with nearly 400 planets discovered in orbit about external stars and an ever-increasing inventory of our solar system. These planetary systems display an unexpected diversity in their observed orbits and in the types of bodies found. …Read more.

Probing electrons in a flatland: optical spectroscopy of graphene – Jie Shan Thu. November 19th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Graphene, a single atomic layer of sp2-hybridized carbon atoms, has been the subject of intense scientific interest recently. Many of the most intriguing transport and optical properties of graphene relate directly to its two-dimensional (2D) electronic band structure, with its linear dispersion relation for the low-energy excitations near the K-point of the Brillion zone. …Read more.

The Uncanny Physics of Superhero Comic Books – James Kakalios Thu. November 12th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

While it is not quite true that one can learn physics from superhero comic books, it is the motivation for a Freshman Seminar class I teach at the University of Minnesota entitled: “Everything I Know About Science I Learned from Reading Comic Books”. …Read more.

Neutrino Physics Beyond SNO – Mark Chen Thu. November 5th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A follow-up experiment to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is being developed, called SNO+. With a liquid scintillator replacing the heavy water, SNO+ will examine neutrino phenomena at lower energies than SNO. …Read more.

Close Encounters with the Quantum Berry Phase – Hari Manoharan Thu. October 29th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

If we deform a material and restore it precisely back to its starting point, our everyday intuition tells us that the material before and afterwards is identical. This is true classically, and was believed to be true quantum mechanically until recently. …Read more.

Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope: The First Year – Peter Michelson Thu. October 22nd, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has completed its first year of observations. The two instruments on Fermi cover more than 7 decades in energy: the Large Area Telescope (LAT) is a wide field-of-view pair-conversion telescope covering the energy range from 20 MeV to more than 300 GeV; the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor complements the LAT in its observations of transient sources and is sensitive to X-rays and g-rays with energies between 8 keV and 40 MeV. …Read more.

Weighing the Universe – Neta Bahcall Thu. October 15th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

How do we weigh the Universe? Where is the Dark Matter? I will discuss these questions and show that several independent methods, including the observed abundance of rich clusters , the baryon-fraction in clusters, the observed Mass-to-Light function from galaxies to superclusters, and other large-scale structure observations, all reveal a universe with a low mass density of ~20% of the critical density. …Read more.

How RNA helicases unwind – Eckhard Jankowsky Thu. October 8th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Virtually all aspects of RNA metabolism involve RNA helicases, enzymes that remodel RNA and RNA-protein complexes in an ATP-dependent fashion. How RNA helicases catalyze such reactions is a key question in RNA metabolism, with implications ranging from understanding the regulation of gene expression to delineating the cellular response to viral infections. …Read more.

Combining computation and experiment to accelerate the discovery of new hydrogen storage materials – Donald J. Siegel Thu. October 1st, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The potential of emerging technologies such as fuel cells (FCs) and photovoltaics for environmentally-benign power generation and conversion has sparked intense interest in the development of new materials for high density energy storage. …Read more.

A van der Waals DFT Approach to Modeling Water – Timo Thonhauser Thu. September 24th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this colloquium I will discuss my recent work in electronic-structure theory, which allows us to more accurately study water from first-principles. First, I will address a shortcoming of standard density functional theory, which gives poor results for systems with van der Waals interactions such as bulk water. …Read more.

Dots for Dummies – Ramamurti Shankar Thu. September 17th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will provide an introduction to quantum dots, a problem where disorder, interactions and finite size combine to make a perfect storm. Yet it is just this combination that makes an exact solution possible. …Read more.

When Coal was an Alternative Energy: Engineering, Efficiency, and American Foreign Relations in the Age of Steam – Peter Shulman Thu. September 10th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

This talk examines how American foreign relations and national security between 1840 and 1920 were shaped by developments in geology, steam engineering, and the science of logistics. At the same time, technical experts trained their research on the combustion and distribution of coal, the design of steam engines, and the rational management of resources to address new challenges faced by the United States’ growing power in world affairs. …Read more.

How the CMB challenges cosmology’s standard model – Glenn Starkman Thu. September 3rd, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is our most important source of information about the early universe. Many of its features are in good agreement with the predictions of the so-called standard model of cosmology — the Lambda Cold Dark Matter Inflationary Big Bang. …Read more.

LUX, LZ, and the Limits of our Ability to Directly Detect Dark Matter – Tom Shutt Thu. August 27th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Overwhelming cosmological and astrophysical evidence suggests that the dominant mass in the universe is in the form of as-yet-unidentified dark matter. The most favored candidate for dark matter is weakly interacting particles (WIMPs), which are also a generic prediction in supersymmetry. …Read more.

Making sense of non-Hermitian Hamiltonians – Carl Bender Thu. April 23rd, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The average quantum physicist on the street believes that a quantum-mechanical Hamiltonian must be Dirac Hermitian (symmetric under combined matrix transposition and complex conjugation) in order to be sure that the energy eigenvalues are real and that time evolution is unitary. …Read more.

Hunting for New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider – Johan Alwall Mon. April 13th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I discuss different types of New Physics scenarios, their motivation and how to see them at the LHC. I give an overview of the difficulties associated with distinguishing New Physics among the backgrounds from the Standard Model, and finally present some best- and worst-case scenarios for the LHC. …Read more.

Higher Temperature Superconductors — Why, Where and How? – Malcolm Beasley Thu. April 9th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

There is a growing realization that the present high temperature superconductors will not lead to electric power applications of superconductivity above 77K for fundamental reasons. In this talk we analyze these reasons and the fundamental questions they raise about the possibilities of useful very high temperature superconductors. …Read more.

Optical Nanotomography of Anisotropic Fluids – C. Rosenblatt Thu. April 2nd, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The physical properties of anisotropic fluids can be manipulated on very short length scales of 100 nm or less by appropriate treatment of the confining substrate(s). This facilitates the use of ordered fluids, such as liquid crystals, in a variety of applications ranging from displays to switchable optical elements such as gratings and lenses. …Read more.

Our Miserable Future?: From Inflation to Eternity – Lawrence Krauss Thu. March 26th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The last decade or two have represented the golden age of observational cosmology, producing a revolution in our picture of the Universe on its largest scales, and perhaps also its smallest ones. …Read more.

Cosmology on small scales: the structure of (mostly) dark matter halos [joint colloquium with Astronomy] – Carlos Frenk Thu. March 12th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The standard model of cosmology — the “Lambda cold dark matter” model — is based on the idea that the dark matter is a collisionless elementary particle, probably a supersymmetric particle. …Read more.

Dynamics in the Dark – Andrew Tolley Thu. March 5th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

If Dark Energy is dynamical, it would indicate the existence of new physics beyond the standard model coupled to gravity. Just as supersymmetry and large extra dimensions have been invoked to solve the Higgs hierarchy problem, it seems natural that this new physics is tied to whatever resolves the cosmological constant hierarchy problem. …Read more.

Bent-core nematic liquid crystals: Opportunities and mysteries – Jim Gleeson Thu. February 26th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this talk, we review recent progress with a new class of liquid crystalline materials. These materials, which are based upon molecules having a reduced symmetry class, exhibit unexpected behavior, both quantitatively and qualitatively. …Read more.

Atomic-Scale Spectroscopy of Single-Molecule Junctions – Georgy Nazin Thu. February 12th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Molecular junctions have attracted a great deal of attention recently due to their importance in the new field of Molecular Electronics. Electron transport in such junctions is a result of a complex interplay of many factors, including molecular electronic structure, adsorption configuration, and chemical environment. …Read more.

Structure and dynamics of non-equilibrium colloidal suspensions – Jacinta Conrad Mon. February 9th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Colloidal suspensions are ubiquitous in industrial and technological applications; moreover, the precise control over the interparticle interactions allows such suspensions to serve as excellent model systems for a variety of complex fluids and soft materials. …Read more.

Surfaces and Interfaces in Nanoscale Electronic Materials: from Understanding to Engineering – Pengpeng Zhang Mon. February 2nd, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Surfaces and interfaces play a critical role in determining properties and functions of nanomaterials, in many cases simply dominating bulk properties, owing to the large surface- and interface-to-volume ratio. One can further engineer and improve the performance of nanoscale devices through the control of surface and interface chemistry. …Read more.

The 2008 Science Nobel Prizes – what were they given for? – Tanmay Vachaspati, Jonathan Karn, Piet de Boer Thu. January 29th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this mini-symposium, Tanmay Vachaspati from Physics, and Jonathan Karn and Piet de Boer, from Molecular Biology and Microbiology, will describe the work for which the 2008 Nobel Prizes in Physics, Physiology and Medicine, and Chemistry, respectively, were awarded. …Read more.

How Do Physics and Nanotechnology Advance the Research on Renewable Energy? – Zhifeng Ren Tue. January 13th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Physics played an extremely important role in the electronics technology. Now nanotechnology is playing a leading role in the future technologies as important as physics did. Understanding the physics at the nanoscale is essential to the advancement and commercialization of any nanotechnology that is being studied. …Read more.

Electronics Based on Crystalline Organic Semiconductors – Art Ramirez Thu. January 8th, 2009
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Organic semiconductors are widely discussed for applications requiring large area and low processing cost. Thin film organics are already used in applications not requiring high speed or efficiency, such as display LEDs. …Read more.

Seeing and Moving Magnetic Nanoparticles – Sara Majetich Tue. January 6th, 2009
3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Monodomain magnetic nanoparticles act in many ways like giant spins. They differ from bulk magnets because they can move, and they differ from atomic magnetic moments because they can be imaged and tracked individually. …Read more.

Magnetism in Reduced Dimensions: Exchange Bias (2D) and Myoglobin-based Single-Electron Transistors (0D) – D. Lederman Thu. December 18th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this talk I will outline two major efforts in my lab relating to magnetism: exchange bias, a subject that has occupied me for the past fifteen years, and protein-based single-electron transistors, which my group has studied during the past three years. …Read more.

Physics of Self-Assembly of Nanoporous Particles: What Defines Their Shape – Igor Sokolov Mon. December 8th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Growth of even simple crystals is a rather hard problem to describe because of the non-equilibrium, kinetic nature of the process. Recently a synthesis of extraordinary curved nanoporous silica colloidal shapes, such as rods, discoids, spheres, tubes and hollow helicoids has been reported. …Read more.

Shining (some) light on dark matter – Daniel Boyanovsky Thu. December 4th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Most of the matter in the Universe is dark, and is supposed to be SOME particle that interacts very weakly with other particles and has not YET been found. I will summarize the observational evidence for dark matter and offer a pedagogical description of gravitational collapse, galaxy formation, and the microphysics of dark matter, describing the difference between cold, hot and warm dark matter candidates. …Read more.

First Principles Methods for the Design of Materials [joint with Chemistry] – Gerbrand Ceder Thu. November 20th, 2008
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

First principles methods can now be used to predict many properties of materials. Even crystal structure and surface chemistry, long elusive to computational modeling, can now be predicted with novel methods. …Read more.

The Glass Transition and its Relevance for Biological Systems – Alexei Sokolov Thu. November 13th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

For thousands of years people have been using glass transition processes and glasses in their everyday life. For hundreds of years researchers have been studying the glass transition phenomenon. However, understanding the microscopic mechanism underlying the tremendous slowing down of structural relaxation remains one of the main challenges in current condensed matter physics. …Read more.

Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origins – Robert Hazen Thu. November 6th, 2008
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Professor Robert Hazen is a respected and widely published geochemist who studies chemical evolution and the origin of life and has a mineral “hazenite” named after him. …Read more.

Physics and Baseball: An Intersection of Passions – Alan M. Nathan Thu. October 30th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I have been a physicist for all my professional life. I have been a baseball fan even longer. And in recent years, I have figured out that I can do both physics and baseball at the same time. …Read more.

Complex Interstellar Molecules [joint colloquium with Astronomy] – Eric Herbst Thu. October 16th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In the last thirty years, astronomers have detected a large number of molecules in the gas and solid phases of interstellar clouds, which are large and inhomogeneous accumulations of matter in between stars in our galaxy and others. …Read more.

Human Detectors: A Scientific Approach to Increasing the Number of Women in Science – Evalyn Gates Mon. October 13th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

What do the search for the mysterious dark matter that pervades the Universe, and the search to understand the underrepresentation of women in university physical science departments have in common? Both challenges require a lot of hard work and a clear understanding of the problem – including a careful analysis of the detectors we use and the unavoidable backgrounds that affect our results. …Read more.

Designing Self-Propelled Polymeric Capsules and Gels – Anna Balazs Thu. October 9th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Using simulation and theory, we demonstrate how nanoparticles can be harnessed to regulate the interaction between two initially stationary microcapsules on a surface and promote the self-propelled motion of these capsules along the substrate. …Read more.

Survival of Cooper pairs in the insulating phase: “super-insulators” – Sambandamurthy Ganapathy Thu. October 2nd, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will present experimental results from our study of 2D thin films that are driven through the superconductor-insulator quantum phase transition. In particular, the microscopic transport behavior of the films at high magnetic fields will be presented. …Read more.

Darwin Celebration Lecture – Judge John E. Jones III Thu. September 25th, 2008
5:00 pm-6:00 pm

…Read more.

CWRU Theory Passes Fermilab Test 30 Years Later – Robert W. Brown Thu. September 18th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The standard model had become everyone’s favorite as the fundamental theory of the world by the mid-1970’s. So, even before the bosonic carriers of the weak force (the W+, W-, and Z0) were officially discovered, our CWRU theory group had proposed proton-collider experimental tests of whether the weak bosons would show that they had the interaction couplings predicted by the standard model. …Read more.

Critical Dipoles and Singular Potentials – David Griffiths Thu. September 11th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Schrodinger equation for a point charge in the field of a stationary electric dipole admits bound states when the dipole moment exceeds a certain critical value. It is not hard to see why this might be the case, but it is surprisingly difficult to calculate the critical dipole moment. …Read more.

The Search for Special Nuclear Material Using Particle Physics Techniques – David Koltick Thu. September 4th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One of the most devastating attacks a terrorist group could mount would be to detonate an atomic bomb in a city. If exploded in Manhattan during working hours, for example, a bomb with a yield of only 1 kiloton could kill 200,000 people outright and flatten eleven city blocks. …Read more.

[Entrepreneuship colloquium] The Possibilities Toolbox: Surprising Revelations – Kimberly Wiefling Tue. August 26th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In “The User Illusion” Tor Norretranders notes that there is a significant gulf between perception and reality. Consciousness has a bandwidth. We routinely ignore most of the information entering our senses, information that doesn’t fit our worldview. …Read more.

Precision cosmology for the 21st century – Roberto Trotta Wed. May 7th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The detailed study of cosmic microwave background anisotropies has contributed to transform cosmology into a quantitative, data driven field. Techniques such as weak gravitational lensing and baryonic acoustic oscillations have the potential to become new powerhouses of precision cosmology over the next decade, taking cosmology into a new era of exciting discoveries. …Read more.

Astronomy with Radioactivities [joint colloquium with Astronomy] – Dieter Hartmann Thu. April 24th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The production and distribution of new isotopes is a key topic of the astrophysical theme of chemical evolution. We distinguish Galactic Chemical Evolution (GCE), which is concerned with abundances in stars and the Interstellar Medium (ISM), and Cosmic Chemical Evolution (CCE), which extends this research to galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and the Intergalactic Medium (IGM). …Read more.

A Neutron Electric Dipole Moment? – Brad Filippone Thu. April 17th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

For more than fifty years physicists have searched for a neutron Electric Dipole Moment (EDM) beginning with a search for Parity violation by Purcell and Ramsey. Today the search is motivated by a possible “large” violation of Charge-Parity (CP) symmetry which is suggested by the observation of substantially more matter than antimatter in the Universe. …Read more.

Wrinkling, Folding and Crumpling of Thin Sheets – Narayanan Menon Thu. April 10th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Under the action of external forces, thin sheets tend to bend out of plane rather than stretch. For weak forcing, this leads to the distinctive wrinkling instabilities that you see on your skin. …Read more.

Rydberg Electron Wave Packets: Observing and Manipulating Electrons within an Atom – Carlos Stroud Thu. April 3rd, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We will review a series of calculations and experiments that my research group has carried out over the past few years in which we have used picosecond and femtosecond laser pulses to image and manipulate electrons within an atom. …Read more.

The Quantum Mechanics of Global Warming – Brad Marston Thu. March 20th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Quantum mechanics plays a crucial, albeit often overlooked, role in our understanding of the Earth’s climate. In this talk three well known aspects of quantum mechanics are invoked to present a simple physical picture of what may happen as the concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide continue to increase. …Read more.

Thermodynamics of carrier-mediated magnetism in semiconductors – A. G. Petukhov Thu. March 6th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We propose a model of carrier-mediated ferromagnetism in semiconductors that accounts for the temperature dependence of the carriers. The model permits analysis of the thermodynamic stability of competing magnetic states, opening the door to the construction of magnetic phase diagrams. …Read more.

Out of Darkness: The Quest for Lambda – Nemanja Kaloper Fri. February 29th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recent astronomical observations are forcing us to face the cosmological constant problem, which is perhaps the greatest challenge of modern fundamental physics. Solving it seems to require a paradigm shift in our thinking about nature. …Read more.

Quasicrystals in Medieval Islamic Architecture – Peter J. Lu Thu. February 28th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The conventional view holds that girih (geometric star-and-polygon) patterns in medieval Islamic architecture were conceived by their designers as a network of zigzagging lines, and drafted directly with a straightedge and a compass. …Read more.

When Obsessions Collide: Golf and Physics – Robert Grober Thu. February 21st, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The revolution in low power microelectronics has enabled the development of electronically enabled golf clubs, radically changing the relationship between the golfer and the golf club. These intelligent sensor systems provide quantitative measurements of the golf swing with unprecedented detail. …Read more.

Beyond Concordance Cosmology – C. Contaldi Thu. February 14th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Cosmology has well and truly entered its ‘precision era’. The wealth of observations has led to ever tightening constraints on cosmological model parameters. Some of the most fundamental aspects of physics in the models however remain hidden behind the phenomenology of pseudo-parameters. …Read more.

Metallic Behavior and the Metal-Insulator Transition in Strongly Correlated 2D Holes – Xuan Gao Thu. February 7th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The celebrated scaling theory of localization asserted that all two- dimensional (2D) Fermionic systems are insulators. However, experiments in the 1990’s have revealed an intriguing metallic state and metal-insulator transition in various 2D semiconductor systems, where the carriers are strongly correlated. …Read more.

Generalized Nematics: Hints for the GUTS / Electroweak Transition? – Rolfe Petschek Thu. January 31st, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Nematics are materials that have only orientation order, usually described by a non-zero, uniaxial average for a traceless symmetric second rank tensor. I review our knowledge about orientational order involving a single traceless symmetric second rank tensor order parameter or a single vector order parameter. …Read more.

Information Engines and the Second Law – Benjamin Schumacher Thu. January 24th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Maxwell’s demon, which extracts work from a thermodynamic system by acquiring information about it, has for more than a century been a favorite thought-experiment in the foundations of statistical physics. The demon has variously been viewed as a threat, an exception, an exemplar, and a means for extending the Second Law. …Read more.

Magnetic exchange interactions – Walter Lambrecht Thu. January 17th, 2008
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this talk I will discuss the origins of magnetic exchange interactions in the underlying electronic structure from a first-principles point of view. I will start from the textbook examples of the Heisenberg Hamiltonian, the Stoner theory of itinerant magnetism and various indirect exchange couplings. …Read more.

Computing the Cosmos: Illuminating the Dark Side with Clusters of Galaxies [joint colloquium with Astronomy] – Gus Evrard Thu. December 13th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Clusters of galaxies emerge at dense peaks in the vast cosmic web of large-scale structure that threads the universe. The non-linear dynamics governing their formation has been extensively studied using computational N-body and gas dynamical techniques, and many population properties are now well understood (or, at least, well calibrated) from this first-principles approach. …Read more.

From Jackson Homework to Quality Electrodynamics – Hiroyuki Fujita Thu. December 6th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recent advances of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner design involve an ever-increasing number of receiver channels (32-128), which is required to realize the full potential of the so-called parallel imaging techniques that have been very rapidly developed over the last few years to improve the temporal and spatial resolution of MRI. …Read more.

Breaking News from the Auger Observatory – Corbin Covault Thu. November 29th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The world’s largest cosmic ray observatory has recently reported a new result that represents a major step forward in our understanding of the origins of the highest energy cosmic rays. The astrophysical origins of the highest energy cosmic rays have remained a persistent mystery for decades. …Read more.

The Cosmic Microwave Background: Cosmology, Topology and Probability – Andrew Jaffe Thu. November 15th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) gives us a glimpse of the Universe as it was only a few hundred thousand years old. The tiny fluctuations — one part in 100,000 — that we observe in the CMB trace out the fluctuations that would eventually become the galaxies and clusters that we see today. …Read more.

Thu. November 8th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

For a price, it is possible to acquire unearned academic degrees from non-existent universities that market diplomas over the internet. The most sophisticated of these diploma mill cartels, based in Spokane, Washington, is now the subject of a multi-agency criminal investigation. …Read more.

Chromonic Liquid Crystals – Oleg Lavrentovich Thu. November 1st, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) are formed by molecules with rigid polyaromatic cores and ionic groups at the periphery that form aggregates while in water [1]. Light scattering experiments demonstrate that the isotropic-to-nematic pretransitional behavior does not follow the classic Landau – de Gennes model, as the length of aggregates changes with temperature [2]. …Read more.

Fundamentals of Supernova Cosmology [joint with Astronomy] – Robert P. Kirshner Thu. October 18th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The use of thermonuclear supernova explosions as standard candles led to the discovery of cosmic acceleration and the search for the nature of dark energy. How good are these standard candles? …Read more.

Stabilizing Atmospheric CO_2 [joint colloquium with Chemistry] – Gregory H. Rau Thu. October 11th, 2007
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

…Read more.

Energy options [joint colloquium with Chemistry] – John Deutch Thu. October 4th, 2007
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

…Read more.

Science And Science Fiction – Robert Scherrer Thu. September 27th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will explore the similarities and differences between the process of writing science fiction and the process of “producing” science, specifically theoretical physics. What are the ground rules for introducing unproven new ideas in science fiction, and how do they differ from the corresponding rules in physics? …Read more.

Real-time polarization spectroscopies: applications in thin film growth and photovoltaics – Robert Collins Thu. September 20th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Photovoltaics (PV) technologies based on thin films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and polycrystalline cadmium telluride (pc-CdTe) have met with considerable success over the past few years. These thin film PV devices are deposited by chemical and physical vapor deposition methods on low cost substrates. …Read more.

Energy Transport in One-dimensional Systems – Onuttom Narayan Thu. September 13th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In quasi one dimensional systems, the flow of energy has many unusual features. In the first part of this talk, I will show that the heat conductivity diverges in the thermodynamic limit in a large class of such systems. …Read more.

The Physics Enterprise – C. Rosenblatt Thu. September 6th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A (mostly pictorial) history of how American physics evolved from Ben Franklin’s kite to the tens of billions of dollars spent annually in physics and physics-related research today. …Read more.

Michelson Postdoctoral Prize lecture – Adam Bolton Wed. May 2nd, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

How to Efficiently Convert Electrical Energy into Light Using Organic Materials – Zakya H. Kafafi Thu. April 26th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

How to Efficiently Convert Electrical Energy into Light Using Organic Materials …Read more.

Low Temperature Physics and Physicists Six Decades Ago – B. S. Chandrasekhar Thu. April 19th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I shall describe what the field looked like when I entered it as a foot-soldier, i.e. research student, more than half a century ago: what was known, who knew it and looked for more, how they did it. …Read more.

An Explanation for Dayton Miller’s Anomalous “Ether Drift” Result – Tom Roberts Thu. April 12th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In 1933 Dayton Miller published the results of his voluminous observations using his ether drift interferometer, and proclaimed that he had determined the “absolute motion of the earth”. This result is in direct conflict with the prediction of Special Relativity, and also with numerous related experiments that found no such signal or “absolute motion”. …Read more.

Jamming – Andrea Liu Thu. April 5th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

All around us things seem to get jammed. Before breakfast, coffee grounds and cereal jam as they refuse to flow into our filters and bowls. On the way to work, we are caught in traffic jams. …Read more.

Binary black holes and their echoes in the Universe – Pablo Laguna Thu. March 29th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A new window in astronomy will open once gravitational-wave interferometers detect “first light.” These detectors will give us a revolutionary view of the Universe, complementary to the electromagnetic perspective. The detection and characterization of gravitational waves is a formidable undertaking, requiring innovative engineering, powerful data analysis tools as well as careful theoretical and numerical modeling. …Read more.

Plasmons in metallic nanostructures – Peter Nordlander Thu. March 22nd, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The recent observation that certain metallic nanoparticles possess plasmon resonances that depend very sensitively on the shape of the nanostructure has led us to a fundamentally new understanding of the plasmon resonances supported by metals of various geometries. …Read more.

2007 Distinguished Lecture: Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions Tue. March 20th, 2007
5:30 pm-6:30 pm

…Read more.

Self-assembled Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces – Steven Tait Thu. March 1st, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Producing nanometer-scale architectures on surfaces is a current technological and scientific challenge. A natural alternative to current fabrication methods is the self-assembly approach, which allows atomic and molecular building blocks to organize themselves into useful nanostructures and is a fundamental principle for growth in all living organisms. …Read more.

Controlled Fabrication and Imaging of Nano-Scale Devices – Douglas Strachan Thu. February 22nd, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Molecular-scale devices hold the potential for a wide range of electronic applications requiring new fundamental scientific understanding.ÊOne of the biggest challenges in developing molecular-scale devices is to fabricate precisely and monitor the formation of the nanometer-scale electrodes.ÊWe have developed a technique that employs an applied current with feedback for controllably electromigrating a nano-scale electrode down to the quantum regime.ÊThe technique permits high-resolution imaging in a transmission electron microscope, which shouldhave far reaching applications in the design and study of these extremely small devices. …Read more.

The Sensitivity Limits of Nanowire Bio-Sensors – Xuan Gao Wed. February 14th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Nanowire field effect transistors (NWFETs) are emerging as powerful sensors for bio-molecule detection. I will discuss the interplay of device parameters such as gate bias and NW diameter on the sensitivity of NWFET sensors. …Read more.

Optoelectronic devices based on a semiconducting polymer homojunction – Janelle Leger Thu. February 8th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Junctions between p and n type semiconductors are the fundamental structure upon which nearly all semiconductor technology is based. The stabilization of such junctions within a solution-processed semiconductor has great potential in the continuing expansion of organic electronic and/or photonic devices. …Read more.

Colossal magnetoresistive manganites and high temperature superconductors: so different, yet so similar – Norman Mannella Thu. February 1st, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Transition metal oxides constitute a prototype for complex electron systems in which electrons organize collectively and give raise to spectacular macroscopic properties, with the most prominent examples being high temperature superconductivity and colossal magnetoresistance. …Read more.

Bohr’s Vision, Delbruck’s Quest, and the Ironic Origins of Molecular Biology – Neil Greenspan Thu. January 18th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

April 25th, 2003, marked the 50th anniversary of the publication, in Nature (171:737-738, 1953), of the paper by James D. Watson and Francis H. C. Crick describing the double-helical structure of DNA. …Read more.

Surface texture in the A and B phases of superfluid He-3 probed by surface state electrons – Kimitoshi Kono Thu. January 11th, 2007
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We performed conductivity measurements of the 2D Wigner solid, which is an triangular array of electrons, on the surface of superfluid He-A and B phases under magnetic fields. The He-A phase has a nodal point of energy gap at North and South Poles of the Fermi sphere and is anisotropic. …Read more.

Music Theory and Physics – Dmitri Tymoczko Thu. December 7th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I’ll talk about how music theorists encounter structures familiar from physics — symmetry groups, eigenvectors, gravitational fields, even — believe it or not — local U(1) gauge invariance. …Read more.

Dark Energy: Taking Sides on the Issue [Joint Colloquium with Astronomy] – Rocky Kolb Thu. November 30th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

All evidence for dark energy is indirect (as is the evidence for acceleration of the universe). In this colloquium I will discuss different approaches for interpreting the data usually said to be evidence for dark energy. …Read more.

Electronic Motion in Molecular Circuits: Elastic Scattering and Beyond – Mark Ratner Thu. November 16th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Current experimental efforts are clarifying quite beautifully the nature of charge transport in so-called molecular junctions, in which a single molecule provides the channel for current flow between two electrodes. The theoretical modeling of such structures is challenging, because of the uncertainty of geometry, the nonequilibrium nature of the process, and the variety of available mechanisms. …Read more.

Nanoparticle Liquid Crystals as Negative Index Materials – Peter Palffy-Muhoray Thu. November 9th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Light propagation in negative index materials (NIMs) is most unusual: light wave and energy travel in opposite directions. NIMs open the door to fundamentally new optical phenomena, and offer enormous potential for new device applications. …Read more.

The Cusp at Optimum Doping in the Low-Temperature Hall Number of the High-Temperature Superconductors – Greg Boebinger Wed. October 25th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

After a brief overview of recent achievements at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) using our pulsed, powered, and persistent magnets, I will focus on a series of my own experiments that utilized 60T pulsed magnetic fields to suppress the superconducting state in the high-temperature superconductors. …Read more.

Pollock’s Paintings: Are They Really Fractal? – Ellen Landau and Kate Jones-Smith Thu. October 19th, 2006
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Ellen:Motivated by a desire to assert the quality of his medium through gesture and materiality, Jackson Pollock’s allover paintings appear to stem from undirected manic motor activity, belying the extreme control of process which actually generated their abstract imagery. …Read more.

Physics is Fun — Odyssey of a Physics Entrepreneur – Ned Rasor Thu. October 12th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The personal realization that physics is fun and addicting began with a chain of accidental discoveries: discovery of physics as a non-academic profession, discovery of engineering physics, discovery of solid state and gaseous electronics, discovery of the management trap, and discovery of independent free-enterprise startups. …Read more.

Dancing Fluids in Controlled Gravity – Charles Rosenblatt Thu. October 5th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Magnetic levitation techniques, whereby a strong magnetic field gradient partially or completely counteracts the Earth’s gravitational force, are applied to a variety of fluids problems.Ê Static properties are studied as a function of the effective gravitational force, and dynamic behavior is investigated by varying the magnet current temporally over time scales as fast as tens of milliseconds.Ê Results for the stability, collapse dynamics, and resonance behavior of liquid bridges in air will be presented.Ê Additionally, results on gravitationally-driven fluid interface instabilities will be discussed, showing how this technique facilitates measurements in regions of parameter space that are not possible using extant methods. …Read more.

Is the Universe Out of Tune? – Glenn Starkman Thu. September 28th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

It is a widely held view among cosmologists that our standard theory of cosmology — inflationary Lambda Cold Dark Matter — is so successful that cosmology now consists almost entirely of determining the parameters of the standard model to greater and greater accuracy. …Read more.

Many worlds in one – Alex Vilenkin Thu. September 21st, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The new worldview that has emerged from recent developments in cosmology suggests that remote parts of the universe are in the state of explosive, accelerated expansion, called “inflation”. “Normal” regions, where inflation has ended, form islands in the ever-inflating sea. …Read more.

“Recycling” Nuclear Power Plant Waste: Technical Difficulties and Proliferation Concerns – Ed Lyman Thu. September 14th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One of the most vexing problems associated with nuclear energy is the inability to find a technically and politically viable solution for the disposal of long-lived radioactive waste. The U.S. plan to develop a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada is in jeopardy, as a result of managerial incompetence, political opposition and regulatory standards that may be impossible to meet. …Read more.

There is plenty of room at the bottom – Norman Tien Thu. September 7th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Richard Feynman gave a classic talk in 1959 envisioning the field of nanotechnology and inviting people to enter a new field of physics. Now, nearly 50 years later, we shall look at the issues and ideas that he presented and see how far we have moved toward his vision. …Read more.

Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics: What we have learned and what we would like to discover – Nicole Bell Wed. May 3rd, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Our knowledge of neutrino physics has undergone dramatic improvement in the last few years. We are now in the position to make confident predictions taking neutrino oscillations into account, opening the possibility to search for truly exotic particle physics within the neutrino sector, and to use neutrinos as reliable probes of astrophysics and cosmology. …Read more.

DNA Microtubules: a physical approach to synthetic biology – Deborah Fygenson Thu. April 27th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Microtubules are self-assembling/self-destructing tubular crystals of the protein tubulin that underpin the structure of most cells. Their dramatic dynamic instability has generated interest among biologists and physicists alike since its discovery in 1984, but still awaits a physical explanation. …Read more.

Confinement and Salt-Induced Long-Range Attraction in Colloids – Elshad Allahyarov Thu. April 13th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One of the long-standing problems in colloid science is whether there is like-charge attraction or repulsion between colloid particles in confinement and whether there are stable facets and voids in colloidal crystals. …Read more.

String Theory and Cosmology – Henry Tye Thu. April 6th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recent advances in string theory leads naturally to an inflationary scenario that can be tested via cosmological observations. …Read more.

Nematic Elastomers: Liquid Crystals and Fluid Solids – Robert Meyer Thu. March 30th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The combination of a nematic or cholesteric liquid crystal and a crosslinked polymer network, either an elastomer or a gel, is a classic example of a hyper-complex fluid system. The orientational interaction between polymer chains of the network and the long range ordering of the nematic phase links the two systems together. …Read more.

A New Approach to Monte Carlo Methods in Statistical Physics – David Landau Thu. March 23rd, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

The two hydrogen economies – George Crabtree Thu. March 9th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Hydrogen offers a compelling solution to the energy challenges of supply, security, pollution, and climate change. Although today’s technology enables several routes for producing, storing, and using hydrogen, none of them are yet competitive with fossil fuels for cost, performance, or reliability. …Read more.

Green Chemistry – Theory and Practice – Paul Anastas Thu. February 23rd, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Science Under Attack, from the White House to the Classroom: Public Policy, Science Education, and the Emperor’s New Clothes – Lawrence Krauss Thu. February 16th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Science is currently under attack on many fronts, and scientists need to play a part in helping defend science. The popular debate about the teaching of intelligent design in public schools presents a perplexing quandary for scientists and policy makers. …Read more.

Relativity as a General Audience Course: The Inventor’s Paradox and the Explainer’s Paradox – Dan Styer Thu. February 9th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Through a decade of teaching special relativity to general-audience students, I have evolved a teaching strategy that combines numerical, algebraic, and qualitative reasoning. The course treats only space-time aspects of relativity, with no mention of momentum-energy. …Read more.

The Origin of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays: New Clues from the Pierre Auger Observatory – Corbin Covault Thu. January 26th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The origin of the highest energy cosmic rays has remained a profoundmystery for decades. Physicists are generally interested in cosmic ray sources as potential “beam generators”, providing a source of particles (including, perhaps, neutrinos) with energies far beyond that which could ever be achieved by particle accelerators on Earth. …Read more.

Single atom and single molecule manipulation with a scanning tunneling microscope – Saw-Wai Hla Thu. January 19th, 2006
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The fascinating advances in single atom/molecule manipulations with the scanning-tunneling-microscope (STM)-tip allow scientists to fabricate artificial atomic scale structures, to study local quantum phenomena or to probe physical and chemical properties of matter at single atom and molecule level. …Read more.

Problem Solving and the Use of Math in Physics Courses – Joe Redish Thu. December 1st, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Mathematics is an essential element of physics problem solving, but as professionals, we often fail to appreciate exactly what we are doing with it. Math may be the language of science, but math-in-physics is a distinct dialect of that language that requires both more subtlety and more skills than are typically taught in math courses. …Read more.

Plasmas as a Prototypical Complex System: Self-Organized Criticality as a Paradigm for Plasma Transport – David Newman Thu. November 17th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In nature there are many systems that exhibit some form of self-organization. Among these are forest fires, earthquakes, sandpiles, maybe sunspots and even life itself. Investigations into the similarity of the dynamics of such systems have been undertaken by using simple cellular automata models. …Read more.

World Year of Physics Event – Isaacson, Varmus, Wilczek, Krauss Mon. November 14th, 2005
12:30 pm-1:30 pm

2005 has been named by the United Nations and several other international organizations as the World Year of Physics, in honor of the ‘miracle year’, 1905, in which Albert Einstein wrote 5 seminal papers, each of which dramatically changed the way we think about the Universe. …Read more.

The calculation of electronic excitations in condensed matter – Lorin Benedict Thu. November 3rd, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

For twenty or more years, it has been possible to perform computations of material-specific ground state properties of solids, liquids, and molecules which agree very well with experiments. These calculations make use of theories in which the many-electron problem is replaced with an effective one-particle (mean field) problem. …Read more.

Bending the quantum Hall effect: Novel one-dimensional metallic and insulating states – Matthew Grayson Thu. October 20th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Abstract: One-dimensional conductors are the wires that will connect the circuits of tomorrowÕs nanoworld, so it is important to characterize their possible conducting phases. We study a novel one-dimensional wire state which arises at the corner of two quantum Hall systems joined at a 90¡ angle, and observe both metallic,Êcritical,Êand insulating 1D behavior. …Read more.

Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness – John Rigden Thu. October 13th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In the short duration of six months, one week, and two days, Einstein, in 1905, wrote five papers that stand today at the bedrock of physics. In the context of 1905, only one of these papers was revolutionary. …Read more.

2005 Robert Cherry Teaching Award Finalist Lecture: A Simple View of MRI and Its Rich View of Us – Robert Brown Thu. October 6th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

With a reported 60 million scans made each year and the frequent news articles on what we are learning about our brain and how we think, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a major clinical and research phenomenon. …Read more.

The Origins of Microstructure: Dynamics and Patterning of Topological Defects in Soft and Hard Condensed Matter – Robin Selinger Thu. September 29th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Most condensed matter is riddled with defects that interrupt long-range order. Your house key, for instance, contains a network of grain boundaries and dislocations without which it would be too soft to hold its shape. …Read more.

A Pocket-Sized Telling of the Genesis of the Greatest Ideas of the Greatest Thinker of All Time OR How Analogy Showed Einstein the Light, and How Light Showed Einstein the Universe – Douglas Hofstadter Thu. September 15th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Call it hubris or call it hubris squared, but somebody had to tackle it in this, the centenary of Albert Einstein’s “Annus Mirabilis” — “Miraculous Year” in Latin — and so I, once a physicist of sorts, and now a cognitive scientist fascinated by how people think, and in particular by the universality of analogy-making in human thinking, ranging from the most modest to the most exalted acts of cognition, inevitably found myself turning my metaphorical gaze to the above-mentioned thinker par excellence and reading his own papers as well as books and papers about him, in which, somewhat to my surprise and certainly to my deep gratification, the density of beautiful yet simple analogies was not only high but indeed overwhelming, which fact lent unexpectedly strong support to my long-standing thesis that intuitive, artistic analogy-making is the mental mainspring in the development of concepts in physics, and given that this thesis was so happily confirmed in the salient case of the Newton of the twentieth century, I have now framed a celebratory talk in which my goal is to summarize my findings with as much clarity as I know how to muster, presenting in particular the gist of the genesis of, and highlighting the key role of analogy in, EinsteinÕs discovery of (in chronological order) the quantum of light, the theory of special relativity, the equivalence of energy and mass, the quantum of sound, the principle of equivalence, and of course, last but not least, the theory of general relativity, the entire event lasting no more than an hour, or at least so I most fondly hope… …Read more.

High Temperatures Superconductors: Recent Progress and Open Questions – Nandini Trivedi Thu. September 8th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Nanoscience with X-rays – Eric Isaacs Thu. April 21st, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Future nanoscience and nanotechnologies, from quantum computation to light harvesting for energy and advanced medical therapies, will be based on new nanoscale materials and materials architectures that include quantum dots, photonic crystals, laterally confined inorganic and organic thin films and single molecules. …Read more.

Order on Curved Surfaces: Scars in Sphereland – Mark Bowick Thu. April 14th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Particles on a flat surface usually pack into a simple triangular lattice. How does this change if curvature is switched on? The minimum energy configuration for repulsively interacting particles on curved surfaces is a challenging problem with applications to mathematical physics, computer science and a variety of biological, chemical and condensed matter systems. …Read more.

Molecular and Phase Chirality in Polymer Networks – Eugene Terentjev Thu. April 7th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Nature appears to be inherently chiral. From the atomic scale with asymmetric carbon bonds, to much larger length scales like our hands or even spiral galaxies, all have the same common feature of lacking inversion symmetry, while not characterized by any vector (dipolar) property. …Read more.

Precision Results from Lattice QCD – Claude Bernard Thu. March 31st, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

At present the only means of carrying out nonperturbative calculations of the Strong Interactions from first principles is through large scale numerical simulations of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) on the lattice. These simulations promise to make possible stringent experimental tests of the Standard Model, as well as searches for new physics. …Read more.

Do Quantum Dots Break Time-reversal Symmetry? – Harsh Mathur Thu. March 17th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Semiconductor quantum dots that contain a few hundred electrons have fascinating electronic properties shaped by the interplay of electron-electron interaction and randomness (due to chaotic scattering of electrons from device boundaries). …Read more.

Transparent Conducting Oxides – Timothy Coutts Thu. March 3rd, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In this talk, I shall begin by presenting some generalities about transparent conducting oxides (TCOs), including work at NREL, their typical properties and their relevance to solar cells. I shall demonstrate how a badly selected TCO can severely impact the performance of a new generation of high performance thin-film solar cells. …Read more.

Searching for dark matter with liquid xenon – Tom Schutt Thu. February 24th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Towards First Glimpses of the Universe in Neutrinos – John Beacom Thu. February 17th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

With the exception of the Sun and Supernova 1987A, no astrophysical sources of neutrinos have been detected yet. However, emerging developments give us great confidence that “first light” on extragalactic neutrino sources will soon be attained by terrestrial neutrino detectors. …Read more.

Quantum-Limits in Mesoscopic Physics: From Quantum Noise to Qubits and Nanomechanics – Aashish Clerk Thu. February 10th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A number of recent experiments in mesoscopic physics have raised anew the question of what constitutes an “ideal” quantum detector, that is a detector which produces a minimal disturbance of the system being probed. …Read more.

Optical Signatures of the Aharonov-Bohm Phase in Carbon Nanotubes – Junichiro Kono Thu. February 3rd, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Single-walled carbon nanotubes, tubular crystals of sp2-bonded carbon atoms that are just one atom thick, come in different varieties, each with a subtle difference in structure and properties – some of them are metals and others are semiconductors. …Read more.

Connecting the Dark Side and Fundamental Physics – Mark Trodden Thu. January 27th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The universe is composed of normal matter, dark matter and a component that is causing cosmic acceleration. The existence of all three of these components poses a challenge to fundamental physics; the nature of dark matter remains unknown, dark energy or its equivalent is a complete mystery and even baryons, which we see all around us, should have annihilated with their antiparticles long before galaxies formed. …Read more.

Functional and Morphological Imaging of the Human Brain using Magnetic Resonance Imaging – E. Mark Haacke Thu. January 20th, 2005
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Magnetic resonance imaging is an ever developing area that makes it possible to image the human body in vivo. The development of nuclear magnetic resonance in physics has led to multiple Nobel Prizes in various fields. …Read more.

Dynamics of electron-phonon systems – Stuart Trugman Thu. December 9th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We consider the quantum physics of correlated systems, with a focus on electron-phonon coupled systems. The static and dynamic formation properties of a polaron quasiparticle are calculated with surprising accuracy, and compared to experiment. …Read more.

Aerosil Nanoparticles in Liquid Crystals: Order, Disorder, Transitions and lots more – Dan Finotello Thu. December 2nd, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Surfactant and Geometric Effects on Interfacial Stability – David Rumschitzki Thu. November 18th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

Ultrafast Dynamics in Complex Materials – Antoinette J. Taylor Mon. November 15th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will discuss the development and application of novel optical spectroscopic techniques to the study of ultrafast dynamics in complex materials. I will first describe all-optical pump probe and optical-pump far-infrared probe experiments on (a) colossal magnetoresistance manganites, (b) superconductors, and (c) heavy fermion materials. …Read more.

Prospects for CMB observations – Stephan Meyer Thu. November 11th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation observation is the most important and cleanest probe of the early universe. Currently, most of the information comes from the large-scale temperature spatial power spectrum which is directly coupled to early universe physics and largely uncontaminated by astrophysical foreground emission. …Read more.

Solar photovoltaics – Larry Kazmerski Thu. November 4th, 2004
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has advanced rapidly since the crystalline-silicon solar cell of a half-century ago. Have we arrived at our final destination? No, not yet. This presentation examines the current, near-term, and next-generation PV technologies-looking back to where we have been and forward to where we are going – and provides a critical evaluation of our needed research directions. …Read more.

Putting the Mechanics back into Quantum Mechanics – Keith Schwab Thu. October 21st, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

I will discuss our recent experiments where we have made the closest approach to the quantum limit for continuous position detection of a mechanical structure, a factor of ~5 from the uncertainty principle limit. …Read more.

Observation of Superflow in Solid Helium – Moses Chan Thu. October 14th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We report on the observation of non-classical rotational inertia behavior in solid He-4 confined to an annular channel in a sample cell under torsional motion, demonstrating superfluid behavior. The effect shows up as an abrupt drop in the resonant oscillation period as the sample cell is cooled below 230 mK. …Read more.

Physics and Society – Bill Fickinger, Cyrus Taylor, and Phil Taylor Thu. October 7th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The three speakers will describe some of the contributions physicists are currently making to the well-being of the nation. …Read more.

Our energy challenge – Richard Smalley Thu. September 23rd, 2004
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Within the next few decades, we must find an energy source of at least 10 terawatts (TW) of cheap, clean power. In order for the billions of people in the developing world to achieve and sustain a modern lifestyle, we really need 50 TW. …Read more.

Ferroelectric liquid crystals: Realities and possibilities – Rolfe Petschek Thu. September 16th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Ferroelectric liquid crystals are of scientific interest and also have a variety of potential applications. I will review the various ways in which people have proposed to, claimed to, or succeeded in making ferroelectric liquid crystals, and suggest why it is “hard”. …Read more.

Reception to welcome new members of the department Thu. September 9th, 2004
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

…Read more.

The Fourth Decade … and my introductory physics class this fall – Robert Brown Thu. September 2nd, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A lecture given on the occasion of receiving the national 2004 AAPT Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award I describe the beginning of my fourth decade of undergraduate teaching, a story that has astonished me with how fast it is changing. …Read more.

Out of gas: the end of the age of oil – David Goodstein Thu. August 26th, 2004
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

The world will start to run out of cheap, conventionally produced oil soon, possibly within this decade. This talk will discuss the reasoning that leads to this conclusion and the likely consequences if it is correct. …Read more.

Recent Discoveries in Neutrino Physics – Karsten Heeger Wed. April 28th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Neutrino mass and mixing are amongst the major discoveries of recent years. From the observation of neutrino flavor change in solar and atmospheric neutrino experiments to the measurements of neutrino mixing with terrestrial neutrinos, recent experiments have revealed new particle properties of neutrinos and provided the first hint of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. …Read more.

Organic-Based Magnets: New Materials, New Phenomena, And New Applications – Art Epstein Thu. April 22nd, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Magnets utilizing organic groups with essential spin have been reported since the mid-1980s. Though initial organic-based magnets (OBMs) had magnetic ordering temperatures (Tc’s) below 5K, OBMs now have Tc’s up to 400K. …Read more.

Revitalizing the Upper-Division Physics Curriculum – Corinne Manogue Thu. April 15th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Paradigms in Physics Program at Oregon State University has totally reformed the entire upper-division curriculum for physics and engineering physics majors. This has involved both a rearrangement of content to better reflect the way professional physicists think about the field and also the use of a number of reform pedagogies which place responsibility for learning more firmly in the hands of the students. …Read more.

Helix-Coil Transition of Worm-like Polymers – Gustavo Carri Thu. April 8th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Many macromolecules like proteins and polypeptides are known to form secondary structures called a-helices at low enough temperatures or under appropriate solvent conditions. The transition from the ordered state (a-helix) at low temperatures to the disordered one (random coil) at high temperatures is called the helix-coil transition. …Read more.

Physics Education Research: Closing the gap between what we teach and what is learned – Chandralekha Singh Thu. April 1st, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Despite our best and most sincere efforts, there is an alarming disconnect between what we teach and what students learn and understand. The goal of physics education research is to help close this gap. …Read more.

Quantum Computers and Decoherence: Exorcising the Demon from the Machine – Daniel Lider Thu. March 18th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recently discovered algorithms indicate that quantum computers may one day enable exponentially faster computation than is fundamentally possible using their classical counterparts. The realization of this promise hinges above all on the ability to protect quantum computers against the deleterious effect of the interaction with their environment, leading to decoherence. …Read more.

Quenched Disorder in Soft Materials: Helical Polymers and Liquid-Crystalline Elastomers – Jonathan Selinger Mon. March 8th, 2004
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

In statistical mechanics, the term “quenched disorder” refers to heterogeneity that is fixed, unable to respond to changes in a material. Thermal fluctuations and quenched disorder are two distinct types of randomness that can control the statistical mechanics of condensed matter. …Read more.

Causal sets as the deep structure of spacetime – Fay Dowker Thu. February 26th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

One approach to solving the problem of quantum gravity is based on the causal set hypotheis, which states that the deep, quantum structure of spacetime is discrete and is what is known in mathematics as a “partial order” or “poset”, a kind of extended family tree. …Read more.

The Full Mottness: Asymptotic Slavery – Philip Phillips Thu. February 12th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Vast progress in theoretical solid state physics has been made by constructing models which mimic the low-energy properties of solids. Essential to the success of this program is the separability of the high and low energy degrees of freedom. …Read more.

Shedding Light on Dark Energy with SNAP – Gregory Tarle Thu. February 5th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Recent experiments have confirmed that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, driven by a presently unknown form of “dark energy.” To determine what the dark energy is as opposed to that it is will require a new generation of experiments of unprecedented precision. …Read more.

Physics Tricks for Fun and Profit: a Physicist’s Adventures in Theoretical Ecology – Robin Snyder Thu. January 29th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.

The D0 Experiment at the Fermilab Tevatron: Recent Results and Prospects – Mike Hildreth Thu. January 15th, 2004
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Last summer, the Tevatron experiments released the first physics results based on the substantial quantity of data collected so far in Run II. I will give an overview of the broad physics program that will be accessible with the expected Run II dataset that is 20-100 times larger than what we have now. …Read more.

Structural Studies of Alzheimer’s Amyloid Fibrils by NMR: Where’s the Physics? – Rob Tycko Thu. May 9th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Amyloid fibrils are filamentous structures with remarkably similar morphologies formed by a variety of polypeptides with remarkably dissimilar amino acid sequences. We are using novel nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to investigate the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils, especially amyloid fibrils that deposit in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. …Read more.

Cosmic Inflation and the Arrow of Time – Andreas Albrecht Thu. May 2nd, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Cosmic inflation claims to make the initial conditions of the standard big bang “generic”. But Boltzmann taught us that the arrow of time arises from very non-generic (“low entropy”) initial conditions. …Read more.

QCD and Natural Philosophy – Frank Wilczek Thu. April 25th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

QCD allows us — indeed, invites us — to address some basic questions from a new perspective, and with much greater precision than was possible before. These include the origin of mass, the feebleness of gravity, the `specialness’ of the parameters required to support life (anthropic principle), the nature of fundamental versus effective theories, and the computability of physical laws. …Read more.

The Universe’s Unseen Dimensions – Gia Dvali Thu. April 18th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The visible world could lie on a membrane floating in higher-dimensional space. The extra dimensions would explain the weakness of gravity and the origin of the minuscule “dark” energy in the Universe. …Read more.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Applied Physics and Electromagnetics – William A. Edelstein Thu. April 11th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the most novel and important medical imaging modality since the advent of the X-ray. MRI grew out of the long development by physicists of atomic spectroscopy, atomic and molecular beam resonance and, finally, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in condensed matter. …Read more.

Exciting the Eccentricity of Extrasolar Planets – Re’em Sari Thu. April 4th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The detection of extrasolar planets is one of the great scientific discoveries of the past decade. Most of these planets planets move on orbits with substantial eccentricities. The origin of these large eccentricities is an unsolved puzzle. …Read more.

Nonlinear Optics, Quantum Optics and Ultrafast Phenomena with X-Rays from Synchrotrons and Free-Electron Lasers – Bernhard Adams Thu. March 28th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

In the last few decades, x-ray physics has made tremendous advances, and the development is expected to accelerate with the advent of x-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL). An XFEL will emit transversely fully coherent x-ray pulses of ca. …Read more.

Laser-induced phase transformations on a nanoscale – Vladislav Yakovlev Thu. March 14th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Nanotechnology, once a wonderful dream, is now becoming a reality. In order to selectively modify and construct nanodevices we have to understand how materials transform from one form to another on a nanoscale. …Read more.

New Physics and Cosmology from Extra Dimensions – Nemanja Kaloper Thu. March 7th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Consistent formulations of string theory require the existence of additional spatial dimensions. These extra dimensions can play a crucial role in determining the properties of our Universe, shedding new light on some of the greatest mysteries of nature, such as the observed weakness of gravity. …Read more.

What’s Kelvin’s Problem? – Randall D. Kamien Thu. February 28th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

We discuss the physics and mathematics of sphere packing and minimal surfaces and use these to explain the crystal symmetries found in macromolecular, supramolecular micellar materials and charged colloids. In the case of molecular assemblies, we argue that the packing entropy of the hard micellar cores is frustrated by the entropic interaction of their brush-like coronas. …Read more.

Getting a Handle on Spintronics with Optical Spin Electrodes – Jay Kikkawa Thu. February 21st, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

Spintronics is an emerging field aimed at using the electron’s spin instead of its charge for information processing and computation. This talk will describe how basic research in this field employs beams of light that behave analogously to conventional electrodes. …Read more.

Luminosity in the Fermilab Tevatron – Mike Martens Thu. February 7th, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

The Fermilab Tevatron collides protons with antiprotons to create luminosity at a center of mass energy of 1.96 Tev. This talk will start with a description of the steps performed as protons and antiprotons make their way through the chain of Fermilab accelerators before reaching the Tevatron. …Read more.

The good The Bad and the Ugly; Particle Astrophysics in the 21st Century – Lawrence Krauss Thu. January 31st, 2002
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

…Read more.


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