# Physics

## Particle/CERCA Seminars

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### Upcoming Events

 Event Date and Location Summary CANCELED: Maosheng Miao, California State University Northridge,Simulate to discover: from new chemistry under high pressure to novel two-dimensional materials Mon. April 24th, 2017 12:45 am-1:45 am at Rockefeller 221 (Miller Room) CANCELED. Will be rescheduled. Simulate to discover: from new chemistry under high pressure to novel two-dimensional materials   Maosheng Miao Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry California State University Northridge, California 91330, USA   The periodicity of the elements and the non-reactivity of the inner-shell electrons are two related principles of chemistry, rooted in the atomic shell structure. …Read more. External website: http://www.soliddft.org/ Ema Dimastrogiovanni (CWRU) Tue. April 25th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm at Miller room Title and Abstract – TBA …Read more. Paul Butler (Carnegie Institute of Washington) Thu. April 27th, 2017 4:00 pm-5:00 pm at Rockefeller 301 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. Sarah Shandera (Penn State) Tue. May 9th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm at Miller room Title and Abstract – TBA …Read more.

### Past Events

 Event Date Summary 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. David Pace, General Atomics, San Diego, The Fast and the Furious: Energetic Ion Transport in Magnetic Fusion Devices Wed. April 19th, 2017 12:45 am-1:45 am The Fast and the Furious: Energetic Ion Transport in Magnetic Fusion Devices D.C. Pace and the DIII-D National Fusion Facility Team General Atomics, P.O. Box 85608, San Diego, CA 92186-5608, USA David Pace Nuclear fusion has the potential to be an energy source that powers society without generating greenhouse gases or high-level radioactive waste. …Read more. Matthew Johnson (Perimeter Institute) Tue. April 18th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Mapping Ultra Large Scale Structure Anomalies in the CMB on large angular scales could find an explanation in terms of pre-inflationary physics or intrinsic statistical anisotropies. However, due to cosmic variance it is difficult to conclusively test many of these ideas using the primary cosmic microwave background (CMB) alone. …Read more. Louis F. Piper, Binghamton University, Shining new light on old problems in lithium ion batteries Mon. April 17th, 2017 12:45 am-1:45 am Shining new light on old problems in lithium ion batteries   Louis Piper Binghamton University, State University of New York   Improving the energy storage and release of lithium ion battery is largely limited to the cathode (positive electrode).  …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. David Chuss (Villanova) Tue. April 11th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) Precise observations of the cosmic microwave background have played a leading role in the development of the LCDM model of cosmology, which has been successful in describing the universe’s energy content and evolution using a mere six parameters. …Read more. Nandini Trivedi, The Ohio State University, Novel magnetic phases in spin-orbit coupled oxides Mon. April 10th, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Novel magnetic phases in spin-orbit coupled oxides Nandini Trivedi,   Department of Physics, The Ohio State University   Abstract: I will discuss puzzles about magnetism in some of the simplest oxide materials with a single electron in the d-orbital.   …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. Donghui Jeong (Penn State) Tue. April 4th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Non-linearities in large-scale structure: Induced gravitational waves, non-linear galaxy bias I will present my recent work on non-linearities in large-scale structures of the Universe. For the first part, I will discuss the gauge dependence of the scalar-induced tensor perturbations and its implication on searching the primordial gravitational wave signature from the large-scale structure. …Read more. Nate Stern, Northwestern University, Monolayer Semiconductor Opto-Electronics: Controlling Light and Matter in Two-Dimensional Materials Mon. April 3rd, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Monolayer Semiconductor Opto-Electronics: Controlling Light and Matter in Two-Dimensional Materials Nathaniel Stern Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University The discovery of monolayer two-dimensional semiconductors of atomic-scale thickness presents a new two-dimensional landscape in which to play with the interaction between light and matter. …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. Ben Monreal (CWRU) Tue. March 28th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Nuclei, neutrinos, and microwaves: searching for the neutrino mass in tritium decay When Enrico Fermi published his theory of beta decay in 1934—what we now call the weak interaction—he suggested how experiments could measure the neutrino mass: by looking at the shape of the energy distribution of beta decay electrons.   …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. Paul Kelly, University of Twente, Turning up the heat in first principles Quantum Spin Transport Wed. March 22nd, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Turning up the heat in first principles Quantum SpinTransport  Paul J. Kelly Faculty of Science and Technology and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands   The spin Hall angle (SHA) is a measure of the efficiency with which a transverse spin current is generated from a charge current by the spin-orbit coupling and disorder in the spin Hall effect (SHE). …Read more. Mauricio Bustamante (CCAPP, OSU) Tue. March 21st, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Prospecting for new physics with high-energy astrophysical neutrinos High-energy astrophysical neutrinos, recently discovered by IceCube, are fertile ground to look for new physics.  Due to the high neutrino energies — tens of TeV to a few PeV — we can look for new physics at unexplored energies.  …Read more. No Seminar, APS March Meeting and Spring Break Mon. March 13th, 2017 1:00 am-1:00 am 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. Robert Caldwell (Dartmouth) Tue. March 7th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Cosmology with Flavor-Space Locked Fields We present new models of cosmic acceleration built from a cosmological SU(2) field in a flavor-space locked configuration. We show that such fields are gravitationally birefringent, and absorb and re-emit gravitational waves through the phenomenon of gravitational wave — gauge field oscillations. …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. Francesca F. Serra, Johns Hopkins University, Control of liquid crystals through topography for optics and assembly Mon. February 27th, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Control of liquid crystals through topography for optics and assembly  Dr. Francesca Serra  Physics and Astronomy  Johns Hopkins University   Soft materials are a promising tool to explore controllable energy landscapes. …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. Hamza Balci, Kent State University, A Single Molecule Approach to Study Protein, Small Molecule, and G-Quadruplex Mon. February 20th, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm A Single Molecule Approach to Study Protein, Small Molecule, and  G-Quadruplex Interactions Hamza Balci Kent State University, Physics Department, Kent, OH   G-quadruplex (GQ) structures are non-canonical nucleic acid secondary structures that form in guanine-rich segments of the genome, most prominently at telomeres. …Read more. – Thu. February 16th, 2017 4:00 pm-5:00 pm Matthew Baumgart (Perimeter Institute) Tue. February 14th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm De Sitter Wavefunctionals and the Resummation of Time The holographic RG of Anti-De Sitter gives a powerful clue about the underlying AdS/CFT correspondence. The question is whether similar hints can be found for the heretofore elusive holographic dual of De Sitter. …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. Andrew Zentner (Pittsburgh) Tue. February 7th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm The Power-Law Galaxy Correlation Function For nearly 40 years, the galaxy-galaxy correlation function has been used to characterize the distribution of galaxies on the sky. In addition, the galaxy correlation function has been recognized as very nearly power-law like despite the fact that it is measured over a wide range of scales. …Read more. Saw-Wai Hla, Ohio University, Operating Individual Quantum Molecular Machines Mon. February 6th, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Operating Individual Quantum Molecular Machines Saw-Wai Hla  Department of Physics & Astronomy, Ohio University, OH 45701, USA and Nanoscience and Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, IL 60439, USA. …Read more. – Thu. February 2nd, 2017 4:00 pm-5:00 pm Kurt Hinterbichler (CWRU) Tue. January 31st, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Partially Massless Higher-Spin Gauge Theory The higher spin theories of Vasiliev are gauge theories that contain towers of massless particles of all spins, and are thought to be UV complete quantum theories that include gravity, describing physics at energies much higher than the Planck scale. …Read more. Mike Boss, NIST, Physics and Impact of Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Mon. January 30th, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Physics and Impact of Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Michael Boss, Applied Physics Division National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO Each year, millions of U.S. …Read more. Lucile Savary (MIT) — Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecturer Fri. January 27th, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Quantum Loop States in Spin-Orbital Models on the Honeycomb and Hyperhoneycomb Lattices In the quest for quantum spin liquids, the challenges are many: neither is it clear how to look for nor how to describe them, and definitive experimental examples of quantum spin liquids are still missing. …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. Lucile Savary (MIT) — Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecturer Tue. January 24th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Quantum Spin Ice Recent work has highlighted remarkable effects of classical thermal fluctuations in the dipolar spin ice compounds, such as “artificial magnetostatics.” In this talk, I will address the effects of terms which induce quantum dynamics in a range of models close to the classical spin ice point. …Read more. Michael Snure, AFRL, Two dimensional BN an atomically thin insulator, substrate, and encapsulation layer from growth to application Mon. January 23rd, 2017 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Two dimensional BN an atomically thin insulator, substrate, and encapsulation layer from growth to application Michael Snure Air Force Research Laboratory, Sensors Directorate, Wright Patterson AFB, OH Since free standing graphene was found in 2004, there has been an explosion of research on atomically thin two dimensional (2D) materials based isolated sheets of layered van der Waals solids.  …Read more. Lucile Savary (MIT) — Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecturer Mon. January 23rd, 2017 4:15 pm-5:15 pm A New Type of Quantum Criticality in the Pyrochlore Iridates The search for truly quantum phases of matter is one of the center pieces of modern research in condensed matter physics. …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. Claire Zukowski (Columbia U.) Tue. January 17th, 2017 11:00 am-12:00 pm Emergent de Sitter Spaces from Entanglement Entropy A theory of gravity can be holographically “emergent” from a field theory in one lower dimension. In most known cases, the gravitational theory lives in an asymptotically anti- de Sitter spacetime with very different properties from our own de Sitter universe. …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. Beatrice Bonga (Penn State) Tue. December 6th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm The closed universe and the CMB Cosmic microwave background (CMB) observations put strong constraints on the spatial curvature via estimation of the parameter $\Omega_k$. This is done assuming a nearly scale-invariant primordial power spectrum. …Read more. Christopher Wolverton, Northwestern University, Accelerating Materials Discovery with Data-Driven Atomistic Computational Tools Mon. December 5th, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Accelerating Materials Discovery with Data-Driven Atomistic Computational Tools Chris Wolverton Dept. of Materials Science and Eng., Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (USA) c-wolverton@northwestern.edu   Many of the key technological problems associated with alternative energies (e.g., thermoelectrics, advanced batteries, hydrogen storage, etc.) may be traced back to the lack of suitable materials. …Read more. Mike Hinczewski (CWRU Physics) Thu. December 1st, 2016 4:00 pm-5:00 pm Yi-Zen Chu (University of Minnesota, Duluth) Tue. November 29th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Causal Structure Of Gravitational Waves In Cosmology Despite being associated with particles of zero rest mass, electromagnetic and gravitational waves do not travel solely on the null cone in generic curved spacetimes. …Read more. Marie-Charlotte Renoult, Université de Rouen, Free falling jets of a viscoelastic solution Wed. November 23rd, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Title: Free falling jets of a viscoelastic solution Prof. Marie-Charlotte Renoult Université de Rouen, France Abstract: We conducted free falling jet experiments of a Newtonian solution with a polymer additive, i.e., a viscoelastic solution.Viscoelastic jets usually break up with the formation of beads-on-a-string (BOAS) structures, where large beads are connected by thin threads. …Read more. Daniel Winklehner (MIT) Tue. November 22nd, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm On the development and applications of high-intensity cyclotrons in neutrino physics and energy research The cyclotron is one of, if not the, most versatile particle accelerator ever conceived. Based on the (then revolutionary) principle of cyclic acceleration using RF frequency alternating voltage on a so-called dee, while particles are forced into circular orbits by a strong vertical magnetic field, many varieties have been developed in the 84 years since their invention by Lawrence in 1932. …Read more. Keji Lai, Univ of Texas, Austin/Microwave Imaging of Edge States and Electrical Inhomogeneity in 2D Materials Mon. November 21st, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm The understanding of various types of disorders in 2D materials, including dangling bonds at the edges, defects in the bulk, and charges in the substrate, is of fundamental importance for their applications in electronics and photonics. …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. Austin Joyce (Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, Chicago) Tue. November 15th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Soft limits, asymptotic symmetries, and inflation in Flatland There has been much recent interest in soft limits, both of flat space S-Matrix elements and of cosmological correlation functions. I will discuss the physics probed by soft limits in cosmology and explore the connection between cosmological soft theorems and asymptotic symmetries. …Read more. Salah Eddine Boulfelfel, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atomic-Scale Modeling of Activated Processes in the Solid State Mon. November 14th, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Atomic-Scale Modeling of Activated Processes in The Solid State Salah Eddine Boulfelfel School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology In the practice of solid-state chemistry, processes either thermally-activated or induced by external high-pressure are common events. …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. Rachel Rosen (Columbia University) Tue. November 8th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Non-Singular Black Holes in Massive Gravity When starting with a static, spherically-symmetric ansatz, there are currently two types of black hole solutions in massive gravity: (i) exact Schwarzschild solutions which exhibit no Yukawa suppression at large distances and (ii) solutions which contain coordinate-invariant singularities at the horizon.  …Read more. Jim Andrews, Youngstown State University, Coherent Perfect Polarization Rotation–Beyond the Anti-Laser Mon. November 7th, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm We describe the distinguishing characteristics of coherent perfect optical conversion processes using two-beam interference, as compared to single-beam ‘critical coupling’ processes.  We extend the application of two-port coherent conversion processes to magneto-optical (Faraday) rotation in structured systems and present our recent laboratory demonstration of coherent perfect polarization rotation (CPR) which is a conservative, reversible counterpart to coherent perfect absorption (CPA, or the so-called ‘anti­laser’).  …Read more. Tao Han (University of Pittsburgh) Fri. November 4th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Splitting and showering in the electroweak sector We derive the splitting functions for the Standard Model electroweak sector at high energies, including the fermions, massive gauge bosons and the Higgs boson. …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. Samo Kralj, University of Maribor, Effective Topological Charge Cancellation Mechanism Mon. October 31st, 2016 1:00 pm-2:00 pm Effective Topological Charge Cancellation Mechanism Samo Kralj1,2 1FNM, University of Maribor, Koroška 160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia 2Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39,1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Topological defects (TDs) appear almost unavoidably in continuous symmetry breaking phase transitions [1]. …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. Patrick Woodward, The Ohio State University, The magnetism of double perovskites containing osmium and rhenium Mon. October 24th, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Patrick M. Woodward Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University Over the past several years we have been synthesizing and studying the magnetic properties of A2MOsO6 and A2MReO6 (Mg, Zn, Cr, Fe, Co, Ni) double perovskites in a quest to understand how the sign and strength of the superexchange interactions change as a function of the relative filling of the 3d and 5d orbitals, as well as the geometry of the crystal structure. …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. Sean Bryan (Arizona State University) Tue. October 18th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Cosmology with Millimeter Wave LEKIDs: CMB, Spectroscopy, and Imaging with TolTEC Millimeter-wave cameras offer a unique window on the history and dynamics of the universe. Observations of CMB polarization are setting new constraints on cosmic inflation and gravitational lensing. …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. Stacy McGaugh (CWRU Astronomy) [note time] Tue. October 11th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm *Note that the seminar may be pushed back to 11:30-12:30. The Radial Acceleration Relation in Rotationally Supported Galaxies We report a correlation between the radial acceleration traced by rotation curves and that predicted by the observed distribution of baryons. …Read more. Nayana Shah, University of Cincinnati, Manifestations of spin-orbit coupling and topology in out-of-equilibrium hybrid superconducting systems Mon. October 10th, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Recently there has been a lot of excitement generated by the possibility of realizing and detecting Majorana fermions within the arena of condensed matter physics and its potential implication for topological quantum computing.  …Read more. Thu. October 6th, 2016 4:00 pm-4:00 pm 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. Zhaoning Song, University of Toledo,The Formation and Degradation of Metal Halide Perovskites Mon. September 26th, 2016 12:45 pm-1:45 pm Solar cells based on organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite materials, such as methylammonium lead iodide (CH3NH3PbI3), have been the subject of intense investigation during the past 5 years due to high power conversion efficiencies (>22%) and relatively low manufacturing costs. …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. Henriette Elvang (University of Michigan) Tue. September 20th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Scattering amplitudes and soft theorems I will give a pedagogical introduction to the spinor helicity formalism which provides a very efficient tool for studies of on-shell scattering amplitudes in 4 dimensions. …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. Bob Brown (CWRU) Tue. September 13th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Understanding Color-Kinematics Duality with a New Symmetry: From Radiation Zeros to BCJ I discuss a new set of symmetries obeyed by tree-level gauge-theory amplitudes involving at least one gluon. …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. Raymond Stora’ Last Discovery — Bryan Lynn (CWRU) Tue. September 6th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm I will discuss Raymond Stora’s final work on new Ward-Takahashi Identities of U(1) gauge theory. …Read more. Bryan Lynn (CWRU and University College London) Tue. September 6th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Raymond Stora’s last work …Read more. Make title Wed. August 31st, 2016 1:00 am-1:00 am Affiliation Here is the abstract     …Read more. Excursion Sets, Peaks and Other Creatures: Improved Analytical Models of LSS – Marcello Musso Tue. May 3rd, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will present recent developments in analytical methods to predict abundance, clustering, velocities and bias of Dark Matter halos. In the standard analytical approach, halos are identified either with sufficiently high peaks of the initial matter density field, or with the largest spheres enclosing a sufficiently high density. …Read more. Observation Of Interlayer Phonons in Transition Metal Dichalogenide Atomic Layers and Heterostructures – Rui He Mon. May 2nd, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Interlayer phonon modes in atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) heterostructures were observed for the first time. We measured the low-frequency Raman response of MoS2/WSe2 and MoSe2/MoS2 heterobilayers. We discovered a distinctive Raman mode (30 – 35 cm-1) that cannot be found in any individual monolayers (see Fig. …Read more. Do We Understand the Universe – Raul Jimenez Tue. April 26th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm Observations of the cosmos provide a valuable tool to study the fundamental laws of nature. The future generation of astronomical surveys will provide data for a sizeable fraction of the observable sky. …Read more. Do We Understand the Universe? – Raul Jimenez Tue. April 26th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm Observations of the cosmos provide a valuable tool to study the fundamental laws of nature. The future generation of astronomical surveys will provide data for a sizeable fraction of the observable sky. …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. New Directions in Bouncing Cosmologies – Anna M. Ijjas Tue. April 19th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk, I will discuss novel ideas to smooth and flatten the universe and generate nearly scale-invariant perturbations during a contracting phase that precedes a cosmological bounce. I will also present some recent work on the possibility of having well-behaved non-singular bounces. …Read more. The 17 Position Knob: Tuning Interactions With Rare Earths – Paul C. Canfield Mon. April 18th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Physicists see the rare earth group of elements as a powerful tool for tuning the properties of materials. Choice or control of rare earths can be used to modify (i) the size of the unit cell, (ii) the size of the local moment and degree of coupling, (iii) the size and direction of magnetic anisotropy, (iv) the amount of entropy that can be removed at low temperatures, (v) the degree of band filling, and / or (vi) the degree of hybridization. …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. Mapping the Phase Diagram of a One-Dimensional Topological Superconductor – Sergey Frolov Mon. April 11th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Download the abstract Tunneling spectroscopy measurements on one-dimensional superconducting hybrid materials have revealed signatures of Majorana fermions which are the edge states of a bulk topological superconducting phase. We couple strong spin-orbit semiconductor InSb nanowires to conventional NbTiN superconductors to obtain additional signatures of Majorana fermions and to explore the magnetic-field driven topological phase transition. …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. Beyond Precision Cosmology – Licia Verde Tue. April 5th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm The avalanche of data over the past 10-20 years has propelled cosmology into the “precision era”. The next challenge cosmology has to meet is to enter the era of accuracy. Because of the intrinsic nature of studying the Cosmos and the sheer amount of data available and coming, the only way to meet these challenges is by developing suitable and specific statistical techniques. …Read more. Nanoscopic Manipulation and Nanoimaging of Liquid Crystals – Charles Rosenblatt Mon. April 4th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Liquid crystals present a remarkable array of fascinating physical phenomena, and are now a >200 billion dollar world-wide industry. As liquid crystals most often are housed in a closed cell or sit atop a substrate, the treatment of the substrate plays a pivotal role. …Read more. Nanoscopic Manipulation and Nanoimaging of Liquid Crystals – Charles Rosenblatt Mon. April 4th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Liquid crystals present a remarkable array of fascinating physical phenomena, and are now a >200 billion dollar world-wide industry. As liquid crystals most often are housed in a closed cell or sit atop a substrate, the treatment of the substrate plays a pivotal role. …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. New Approaches to Dark Matter – Justin Khoury Tue. March 29th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk I will discuss a novel theory of superfluid dark matter. The scenario matches the predictions of the LambdaCDM model on cosmological scales while simultaneously reproducing the MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) empirical success on galactic scales. …Read more. Nanomaterials in Liquid Crystal Mediated Interactions – Rajratan Basu Mon. March 28th, 2016 4:00 pm-5:00 pm In liquid crystals (LC) the effect of nonmesogenic guest-nanoparticles on the LC’s bulk properties often rests on the molecular identification at the nanoscale in order to share and disseminate the information’ coded into the nanostructure of the nanoparticles. …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. Calibration of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Detectors – Madeline Wade Tue. March 22nd, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm Calibration is the critical link between the LIGO detectors and searches for gravitational-wave signals in LIGO data. The LIGO calibration effort involves constructing the external strain incident on each LIGO detector from the digitized readout of the LIGO photodetectors. …Read more. New Probes of Large-scale CMB Anomalies – Simone Aiola Tue. March 15th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm Inflation prescribes a homogenous and isotropic universe on large scales, and it generates density fluctuations which are expected to be spatially correlated over the whole Hubble volume. Such fundamental predictions have been tested with current Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) data and found to be in tension with our — remarkably simple — ΛCDM model. …Read more. APS March Meeting Mon. March 14th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Preview APS March Meeting Talks – Graduate Students Thu. March 10th, 2016 11:00 am-12:00 pm Sukrit Sucharitacul, Few-layer III-VI and IV-VI 2D semiconductor transistorsShuhao Liu, Imaging the long diffusion lengths of photo-generated carriers in mixed halide perovskite films Shuhao Liu, Imaging the long diffusion lengths of photo-generated carriers in mixed halide perovskite films Robert Badea, Magneto-optical mapping of the domain wall pinning potential in ferromagnetic films Robert Badea, Magneto-optical mapping of the domain wall pinning potential in ferromagnetic films Michael Wolf, Coupling a driven magnetic vortex to individual nitrogen-vacancy spins for fast, nanoscale addressability and coherent manipulation Michael Wolf, Coupling a driven magnetic vortex to individual nitrogen-vacancy spins for fast, nanoscale addressability and coherent manipulation …Read more. FMR-Drive Pure Spin Transport in Metals and Magnetic Insulators – Fengyuan Yang Mon. March 7th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Spintronics relies on the generation, transmission, manipulation, and detection of spin current mediated by itinerant charges or magnetic excitations. Ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) spin pumping is a powerful technique in understanding pure spin current. …Read more. Joining Forces Against the Dark Side of the Universe: The Cosmic Microwave Background and the Large Scale Structure – Shirley Ho Fri. March 4th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Despite tremendous recent progress, gaps remain in our knowledge of our understanding of the Universe. For example, we have yet pinned down the properties of dark energy, nor have we confirmed Einstein’s theory of Gravity at the largest scales. …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. Tailored Radiative Processes of Quantum Dots and 2D Materials – Maiken H. Mikkelsen Mon. February 29th, 2016 4:00 pm-5:00 pm Metal-dielectric nanocavities have the ability to tightly confine light to small mode volumes resulting in strongly increased local density of states. Placing fluorescing molecules or semiconductor materials in this region enables wide control of radiative processes including absorption and spontaneous emission rates, quantum efficiency, and emission directionality. …Read more. Aspects of Photonic Topological Insulators – Mikael Rechtsman Mon. February 22nd, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will present the observation of the topological protection of light – specifically, a photonic Floquet topological insulator. Topological insulators (TIs) are solid-state materials that are insulators in the bulk, but conduct electricity along their surfaces – and are intrinsically robust to disorder. …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. Testing Early Universe Physics with Upcoming Observations – Emanuela Dimastrogiovanni Wed. February 10th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Cosmology has seen tremendous progress thanks to precision measurements and is bound to greatly benefit from upcoming Large Scale Structure and Cosmic Microwave Background data. I will point out a number of interesting directions. …Read more. New Paradigm for Physics Beyond the Standard Model – Pavel Fileviez Perez Tue. February 9th, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm The great desert hypothesis in particle physics defines the relation between the electroweak scale and the high scale where an unified theory could describes physics. In this talk we review the desert hypothesis and discuss the main experimental constraints from rare decays. …Read more. Cosmology from the Megaparsec to the Micron – Amol Upadhye Fri. February 5th, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Two major challenges for cosmology over the next decade are to characterize the dark energy responsible for the cosmic acceleration and to weigh the neutrinos, the only Standard Model particles whose masses are not yet known. …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. Massive and Partially Massless Gravity and Higher spins – Kurt Hinterbichler Tue. February 2nd, 2016 11:30 am-12:30 pm On de Sitter space, there exists a special value for the mass of a graviton for which the linear theory propagates 4 rather than 5 degrees of freedom, known as a partially massless graviton. …Read more. Combined First-Principles Molecular Dynamics / Density-Functional Theory Study of Ammonia Oxidation on Pt(100) Electrode – Dmitry Skachkov Mon. February 1st, 2016 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A combined first-principles molecular dynamics/density functional theory study of the electrooxidation of ammonia is conducted to gain an atomic-level understanding of the electrocatalytic processes at the Pt(1 0 0)/alkaline solution interface and to probe the mechanistic details of ammonia electrooxidation on the metal surface. …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 Testing Eternal Inflation – Matthew Johnson Tue. December 8th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm The theory of eternal inflation in an inflaton potential with multiple vacua predicts that our universe is one of many bubble universes nucleating and growing inside an ever-expanding false vacuum. The collision of our bubble with another could provide an important observational signature to test this scenario. …Read more. Bigravity: Dead or Alive? – Adam Solomon Tue. December 1st, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Spurred in large part by the discovery of the accelerating universe, recent years have seen tremendous advances in our understanding of alternatives to general relativity, particularly in the large-distance and low-curvature régimes. …Read more. Non-adiabatic Transport in Single-Electron Transistors in the Kondo Regime – Andrei Kogan Mon. November 23rd, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Magnetic impurities in conductors alter the Fermi sea: A many-body state (A Kondo singlet) is formed that entangles itinerant carriers and the impurity site. This causes a sharp rearrangement of the density of states near the Fermi surface into a hierarchical set governed by a single energy parameter Tk, the Kondo temperature. …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. Chip-integrated Nanophotonic Structures for Classical and Quantum Devices – Antonio Badolato Mon. November 16th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Chip-integrated nanophotonics investigates the interaction of light with nanostructures integrated on a chip. Lying at the intersection of condensed matter physics, optics, nanotechnology, and materials science, nanophotonics draws upon expertise from broad areas of physics and engineering, while presenting major opportunities to advance fundamental physics and transformative photonic technologies. …Read more. Ultra-low field MRI – Michael Hatridge Fri. November 13th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs), consisting of two Josephson junctions in a closed superconducting loop, are exquisitely sensitive detectors of magnetic flux. In recent years, we have built magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners based around these detectors which are capable of in vivo imaging at ultra-low (132 microTesla) fields, rather than the several Tesla of conventional MRI. …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. 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. Josephson junctions and quantum microwave circuits 2: amplifiers – Michael Hatridge Tue. November 10th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Here we will take the concepts from lecture one and set out to construct from the same Josephson junctions very weakly non-linear circuits which operate as phase-preserving amplifiers. I’ll discuss some of the numerous chall enges in designing superconducting amplifiers which are robust and simple while achieving nearly ideal performance. …Read more. Michelson Postdoc Lecture – Michael Hatridge Mon. November 9th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Josephson junctions and quantum microwave circuits 1: qubits and cavities – Michael Hatridge Mon. November 9th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In this lecture I’ll review the basics of the Josephson junction and how it is used as the key building block in superconducting quantum information. I’ll show how we build coupled circuits consisting of a rather non-linear oscillator (which we use as our qubit) coupled to an (almost) linear oscillator/cavity which both shelters the qubit from the outside environment and allows for qubit control and quantum-non-demolition readout. …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. Supercooling-Driven Glass Behaviour in Systems Exhibiting Continuous Symmetry Breaking – Sami Kralj Wed. November 4th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Symmetry breaking is ubiquitous in nature and represents the key mechanism behind rich diversity of patterns exhibited by nature. One commonly introduces an order parameter field to describe onset of qualitatively new ordering in a system on varying a relevant control parameter driving a symmetry breaking transition. …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. Bi-gravity from DGP Two-brane Model – Yasuho Yamashita Wed. October 28th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We discuss whether or not bigravity theory can be embedded into the braneworld setup. As a candidate, we consider Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati two-brane model. We will show that we can construct a ghost free model whose low energy spectrum is composed of a massless graviton and a massive graviton with a small mass, fixing the brane separation with the Goldberger-Wise radion stabilization. …Read more. The Instability of de Sitter Space and Dynamical Dark Energy: Massless Degrees of Freedom from the Conformal Anomaly in Cosmology – Emil Mottola Tue. October 27th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Global de Sitter space is unstable to particle creation, even for a massive free field theory with no self-interactions. The Bunch-Davies state is a definite phase coherent superposition of particle and anti-particle solutions in both the asymptotic past and future, and therefore is not a true vacuum state. …Read more. Photogeneration and Charge Transport in Liquid Crystalline Organic Semiconductors – Sanjoy Paul Mon. October 26th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Organic semiconductors (OSCs) are emerging candidates for the applications in electronic and photonic devices due to material’s low cost and ease of processing. Many materials have been studied to understand the charge generation and transport physics, as well as to develop techniques for facile processing into light emitting diodes, thin film transistors, photovoltaics, and host of other devices. …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. Spins in 2D Materials – Roland Kawakami Mon. October 19th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Two-dimensional crystals such as graphene and monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) possess unique properties not found in bulk materials. These materials are atomically-thin, yet are strong enough to remain intact as free standing membranes. …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. Perspectives on WIMP Dark Matter – Pearl Sandick Tue. October 13th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm The question of the identity of dark matter remains one of the most important outstanding puzzles in modern physics. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) have long been the frontrunner dark matter candidate, with the supersymmetric neutralino serving as the canonical WIMP. …Read more. Static and Dynamic Flowers in Strained Graphene – Nancy Sandler Mon. October 12th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The coupling of geometrical and electronic properties is a promising venue to engineer conduction properties in graphene. In particular, different regimes can be achieved by manipulating confinement and strain fields, as shown in recent experiments on nanobubbles, drumheads oscillating membranes, and narrow strips deposited on patterned SiC substrates [1]. …Read more. The Standard Model of Particle Physics via Non-Commutative Geometry – Latham Boyle Fri. October 9th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will introduce Connes’ notion of non-commutative geometry, and explain how it offers a novel geometric perspective on certain otherwise unexplained features of the standard model of particle physics, and a more restrictive framework than effective field theory for exploring physics beyond the standard model. …Read more. The Status and Challenges of Lead Halide Perovskite Solar Cells – Yanfa Yan Mon. October 5th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Organic-inorganic methylammounium lead halide perovskites, CH3NH3PbX3 (X= Cl, Br, I), have revolutionized the field of thin-film solar cells. Within five years, the efficiency of lead halide perovskite-based thin-film solar cells have increased rapidly from 3.8% in 2009 to 20.1% for a planar CH3NH3PbI3-based thin-film solar cell in 2014. …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. An Anisotropic Universe Due to Dimension-changing False Vacuum Decay – James Scargill Tue. September 29th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk I will consider the observational consequences of models of inflation after false vacuum decay in which the parent vacuum has a smaller number of large dimensions than our current vacuum. …Read more. Device-compatible Defect Engineering of Rare Earth Doped Nitrides – Volkmar Dierolf Mon. September 28th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm LED-lighting is at the verge of replacing conventional incandescent light sources. These white LEDs are based on nitride technology which produces the blue emission, that is subsequently converted in a separate phosphorescent layer to provide the additional required colors. …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. Prospects for Measuring the Neutron-star Equation of State with Advanced Gravitational-wave Detectors – Leslie Wade Tue. September 22nd, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm It is widely anticipated that the first direct detections of gravitational waves will be made by advanced gravitational-wave detectors, such as the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories (LIGO) and the Virgo interferometer. …Read more. Quantum Magnetism in Low Dimensions: An Intriguing Phenomenon Connecting Biology with Physics – Yi-Kuo Yu Mon. September 14th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Magnetism is an important problem in many areas of science including biology, physics and material science. For example, many migratory animals (birds, whales and sea turtles) use magnetism to sense direction for their migrations; computer hard drives store information via magnetism; and so forth. …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. Buckling Instabilities and Recoil Dynamics in Free-Standing Liquid Crystal Filaments – Tanya Ostapenko Mon. May 18th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Quasi-one-dimensional free-standing fluid structures are not often found in nature, but may be formed by any material that can overcome capillary instability. Once this instability is suppressed, long filaments, with a length-to-diameter ratio greater than ï¿½, may form. …Read more. Quantum Phase Transitions in Magnets – Ribhu Kaul Mon. May 11th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm 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. Gravitational Signals from Noise in the Hubble Diagram – Edward Macaulay Tue. May 5th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Understanding the nature of the dark universe requires precise measurements of the background expansion history, and also the growth rate of density fluctuations. In this talk, I’ll consider both regimes with supernova lensing for the OzDES spectroscopic survey – which is measuring the redshifts of hundreds of supernova and thousands of galaxies identified by the Dark Energy Survey. …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 Thank You for Flying the ‘Vomit Comet’: Using Parabolic Flights to Examine Quantitatively the Stability of Liquid Bridges Under Varying Total Body Force – Greg DiLisi Mon. April 20th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Liquid bridges were flown aboard a Boeing 727-200 aircraft in a series of parabolic arcs that produced multiple periods of microgravity. During the microgravity portion of each arc, g_eff , the effective total body acceleration due to external forces became negligibly small so that cylindrical liquid bridges could be suspended across two coaxial support posts. …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. The Race for the Highest Energy Neutrinos in the Universe – Patrick Allison Tue. April 7th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm In 1969, Berezinsky and Zatsepin predicted a flux of ultra-high energy (greater than 1 EeV) neutrinos due to cosmic ray interactions with the cosmic microwave background. These ‘cosmogenic’ BZ neutrinos are virtually “guaranteed” – barring extreme changes in either fundamental physics or our understanding of the source of cosmic rays, these neutrinos must exist. …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. Macro Dark Matter – David Jacobs Tue. March 31st, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Dark matter is a vital component of the current best model of our universe, Lambda-CDM. There are leading candidates for what the dark matter could be (e.g. weakly-interacting massive particles, or axions), but no compelling observational or experimental evidence exists to support these particular candidates, nor any beyond-the-Standard-Model physics that might produce such candidates. …Read more. V2O5, a Strongly Correlated 2D System with 1D Aspects – Walter Lambrecht Mon. March 30th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm V2O5 is a layered material with chains within the layer. I will discuss how this is manifested in its electronic band structure. The quasiparticle self-consistent GW method in this material strongly overestimates the band gap. …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. Wave Turbulence in Preheating – Henrique de Oliveira Tue. March 24th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm We have studied the nonlinear preheating dynamics of several inflationary models. They include nonminimally coupled scalar fields and two-fields models. It is well established that after a linear stage of preheating characterized by the parametric resonance, the nonlinear dynamics becomes relevant driving the system towards turbulence. …Read more. Predictive First-principles Simulations of Excited Electrons and Ultrafast Electron-ion Dynamics in Complex Materials – Andre Schleife Mon. March 23rd, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Rapidly advancing high-performance super computers such as “Blue Waters” allow calculating properties of increasingly complex materials with unprecedented accuracy. In order to fully take advantage of leadership-class machines and to accurately describe modern materials, codes need to scale well on hundreds of thousands of processors. …Read more. Interacting particle models and phase transitions for social particles – Alethea Barbaro Thu. March 19th, 2015 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Graphene on Ir(111), Adsorption and Intercalation of Cs and Eu Atoms – Pedrag Lazic Mon. March 16th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Experimental and theoretical study of Cs and Eu atoms adsorption on graphene on Ir(111) will be presented [1,2]. Graphene on Ir(111) surface is an interesting system because graphene has almost pristine electronic structure in it due to its weak bonding character to iridum surface. …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. March Meeting Preview Talks – Graduate Students Mon. February 23rd, 2015 12:30 pm-1:45 pm APS March Meeting 2015 graduate student talks Jiayuan Miao: Molecular-dynamics study of the Case-II diffusion of methanol in PMMA Sukrit Sucharitakul: Field effect vs. Hall mobility in back-gated multilayered InSe FETs Nicholas J. …Read more. Mapping New Physics with the Cosmic Microwave Background – Jeff McMahon Mon. February 23rd, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is the afterglow of the big bang and the oldest light in the universe that can be observed. Faint signals in the pattern of the CMB provide information about the physics that govern the very early universe and the growth of large scale structure. …Read more. Optical Frequency Combs and Precision Spectroscopy – Jason Stalnaker Tue. February 17th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Atomic spectroscopy has a long history of providing tests of fundamental physics. This tradition continues as the precision and accuracy of spectroscopic techniques improve. I will discuss the impact that the development of stabilized optical frequency combs has had on precision spectroscopy and describe an ongoing effort to study the atomic spectra of lithium at Oberlin College. …Read more. Exploring Soft Matter with DNA – Tomasso Bellini Mon. February 16th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The combination of solubility, coded pairing and adjustable flexibility make DNA a unique polymer for designing highly-controlled self-assembled complex nanostructures and novel materials. The same tools can be exploited to produce DNA-based systems enabling the exploration of challenging topics in soft matter physics. …Read more. Numerical Relativity in Spherical Polar Coordinates – Thomas W. Baumgarte Thu. February 12th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm Numerical relativity simulations have made dramatic advances in recent years. Most of these simulations adopt Cartesian coordinates, which have some very useful properties for many types of applications. Spherical polar coordinates, on the other hand, have significant advantages for others. …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. The Chirality of SiO4 in Materials – David Avnir Wed. February 11th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm SiO4 is a common building block of many materials, both crystalline such as quartz, silicates and zeolites, and amorphous, such as silica. Although intuitively one would think that SiO4 is an achiral perfect tetrahedron, in the vast majority of silicon-oxide based materials, that tetrahedron is of lower symmetry, to the degree of being chiral. …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. Is Clustering Dark Energy Non-linear? The AP Resummation Approach – Stefano Anselmi Tue. February 3rd, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm In order to gain insights on the mysterious component driving the acceleration of the Universe the future surveys will measure with unprecedent precision the density power spectrum in the non-linear range of scales and redshifts. …Read more. Spin-dependent Scattering in Graphene: Electronic Birefringence and Kondo Transitions – Sergio Ulloa Mon. February 2nd, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Graphene, a monoatomic layer of carbon, is perhaps the simplest and most easily available material where electrons behave as massless Dirac particles. Apart from the many promising technological applications, the study of graphene (and other layered materials) has opened a number of interesting theoretical questions: the microscopic crystalline structure requires an additional degree of freedom (the pseudo spin) that gives rise to effects such as the Klein paradox or Veselago electron lenses. …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. Sterile Plus Active Neutrinos and Neutrino Oscillations – Leonard Kisslinger Mon. January 26th, 2015 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The talk will be based on recent neutrino oscillation experiments that have determined that there is almost certainly a sterile neutrino, with an estimate of the mixing angle. …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. New Accelerators for Neutrino Physics – Matt Toups Tue. January 20th, 2015 11:30 am-12:30 pm DAEδALUS is a proposed phased neutrino experiment, whose ultimate aim is to search for evidence of CP violation in the neutrino sector. The experiment will consist of several accelerator-based modules that produce decay-at-rest neutrino beams located at three different distances from a single, large underground neutrino detector. …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. The Break-up of Viscoelastic Jets and Filaments: The Beads-on-a-string Structure – Marie-Charlotte Renoult Mon. December 1st, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Capillary pressure can destabilize a thin stream of water and break it up into a succession of small droplets. The addition of a minute quantity (some part per million) of a long, flexible and water-soluble polymer is enough to modify the growth and morphology of this instability and leads, close to breakup, to the development of Beads-on-a-string structures (BOAS) where droplets are connected by thin threads. …Read more. The Universe as a Cosmic String – Florian Niedermann Tue. November 25th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm We are investigating modifications of general relativity that are operative at the largest observable scales. In this context, we are investigating the model of brane induced gravity in 6D, a higher dimensional generalization of the DGP model. …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. Imprints of the Standard Model in the Sky? – Daniel G. Figueroa Tue. November 18th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm The existence of the Standard Model (SM) Higgs implies that a gravitational wave (GW) background is generated by the decay products of the Higgs, soon after the end of inflation. Theoretically, all Yukawa and SU(2)L gauge couplings of the SM are imprinted as features in the GW spectrum. …Read more. New Ideas for Dark Energy and Also for Dust Discrimination in B-mode Maps – Marc Kamionkowski Fri. November 14th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Intergalactic Magnetic Fields – Tanmay Vachaspati Tue. November 11th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will describe theoretical motivation for the existence of parity violating (helical) intergalactic magnetic fields and recent and growing observational evidence for such fields. …Read more. Soft Materials Approaches to Carbon Nanotubes: from Gels to Composites – Mohammed F. Islam Mon. November 10th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Carbon nanotubes combine low density with exceptional mechanical, electrical and optical properties. Unfortunately, these nanoscale properties have not been retained in bulk structures. I will describe surface modification assisted self‐assembly of single wall carbon nanotube into macroscopic nanotube networks ‐ hydrogels and aerogels. …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. Peaks and Troughs in Large Scale Structure – Ravi K. Sheth Tue. November 4th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will reiew recent and substantial progress in modeling the cosmic web. This progress, which results from merging two different and decades old literature streams, leads to a number of new and interesting insights about how the biased tracers we will observe in the next generation of large scale structure datasets can better constrain cosmological models. …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. Soft Magnetic Materials for Energy Applications in Extreme Environments – Matthew A. Willard Mon. October 27th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A fundamental transformation of the transportation sector in the United States is underway. In parallel with advances in renewable energy resources for power generation, the rising use of electric and hybrid vehicles is reshaping the future of public transportation. …Read more. High Precision Cosmology with BAO Surveys: BOSS and Future 21cm BAO Surveys – Hee-Jong Seo Fri. October 24th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The large scale structure of matter and galaxies contains important information on the evolution of the Universe. Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO), which is one of the most promising large scale features, can provide an excellent standard ruler that enables us to measure the cosmological distance scales, and therefore dark energy properties. …Read more. On Demand 2D Electron Gas at LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Interfaces – Cheng Cen Mon. October 20th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The development of complex oxides over the past fifteen years has raised the prospect for new classes of electronic devices. In particular, it has been discovered that a high-mobility two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) can be formed at the interface between two high-k insulators: LaAlO3 and SrTiO3. …Read more. Sensing the ripples of time – Amar Vutha Fri. October 17th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Almost a century since the dawn of general relativity, we have yet to obtain direct evidence of one of its key predictions: gravitational waves. In this lecture, I will point out how the precisely regular vibrations of atoms in optical atomic clocks can be used to detect the minuscule ripples in time due to gravitational waves. …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. 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. The Shape of the Electron, and Why It Matters – Amar Vutha Tue. October 14th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm The universe, or at least the 5% of it that we understand, is described rather well by the Standard Model of particle physics. Yet even this non-dark sector of the universe conceals a great mystery: // where has all the anti-matter gone? …Read more. The shape of the electron, and why it matters – Amar Vutha Tue. October 14th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm The universe, or at least the 5% of it that we understand, is described rather well by the Standard Model of particle physics. Yet even this non-dark sector of the universe conceals a great mystery: // where has all the anti-matter gone? …Read more. “How Big is the Proton Anyway?” – Amar Vutha Mon. October 13th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The proton is a bound state of quarks and gluons, described by the low-energy limit of quantum chromodynamics. Recent measurements using muonic hydrogen have, however, called our understanding of proton physics into question. …Read more. How big is the proton anyway? – Amar Vutha Mon. October 13th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The proton is a bound state of quarks and gluons, described by the low-energy limit of quantum chromodynamics. Recent measurements using muonic hydrogen have, however, called our understanding of proton physics into question. …Read more. Precision Cosmology with Galaxy Surveys: Understanding Intrinsic Alignments and Redshift-space Distortions – Jonathan A. Blazek Fri. October 10th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Galaxy imaging and redshift surveys, designed to measure gravitational lensing and galaxy clustering, remain the most powerful probes of large-scale structure. Such surveys constitute a significant fraction of current and next-generation projects in the cosmology community (e.g. …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. Spin-charge Conversion in Interfacial Electron Liquids – Giovanni Vignale Mon. October 6th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Semiconductor quantum wells, inter-metallic interfaces, layered oxides, and monolayer materials are all promising platforms for the observation of spincharge conversion due to strong spin-orbit interaction in the quasi two dimensional electron liquid they host. …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. Healthy Theories Beyond Horndeski – Jerome Gleyzes Wed. September 3rd, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm In search for a candidate that could explain the current acceleration of the Universe, a lot of attention has been given recently to Galileon theories, or in their generalized form, Horndeski theories. …Read more. Interacting Spin-2 Fields – Johannes Noller Tue. September 2nd, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk I will discuss some recent progress in our understanding of the spin-2 sector, focussing on theories with two or more dynamical such fields. In particular I will highlight the existence of several dualities in such models (generalisations of Galileon dualities’), their decoupling limit phenomenology as well as the form of their interactions with other matter fields. …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. Recent Progress in Large-Scale Structure – Roman Scoccimarro Fri. May 9th, 2014 11:00 am-12:00 pm I will discuss recent progress in the understanding of how to model galaxy clustering. While recent analyses have focussed on the baryon acoustic oscillations as a probe of cosmology, galaxy redshift surveys contain a lot more information than the acoustic scale. …Read more. Atom Interferometry Fundamentals and its Applications in Space Science – Babak Saif Tue. May 6th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm Shape of the Universe – Daniel Müller Tue. April 29th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm The most recent observations indicate that the Universe is isotropic, with a small spatial curvature, which can be either positive, negative or zero. As is well known, Einstein’s theory of gravitation restricts the spatially isotropic sections of space time to be locally S^3, H^3 or E^3, respectively. …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. Testing Gravity via Lunar Laser Ranging – Tom Murphy Tue. April 22nd, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm Forty years ago, Apollo astronauts placed the first of several retroreflector arrays on the moon. Laser range measurements between the earth and the moon have provided some of our best tests to date of general relativity and gravitational phenomenology–including the equivalence principle, the time-rate-of-change of the gravitational constant, the inverse square law, and gravitomagnetism. …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. WIMP physics with direct detection – Annika H. G. Peter Tue. April 8th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm One of the best-motivated classes of dark-matter candidate is the Weakly-Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). In this talk, I will discuss WIMPs in the context of direct-detection experiments. First, I will discuss a new signal for WIMP dark matter: gravitational focusing in direct-detection experiments. …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 Probing Dark Energy Using Growth of Structure: The Role of Simulations – Hao-Yi Wu Tue. April 1st, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm The growth of cosmic structure provides a unique approach for measuring the dynamic evolution of dark energy and distinguishing different models of gravity. In this talk, I will focus on two of the most important methods for measuring the growth of structure: galaxy cluster counts and the redshift-space distortions of galaxy clustering. …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. Science with CMB Spectral Distortions: a New Window to Early-Universe Physics – Jens Chluba Tue. March 18th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm Since COBE/FIRAS we know that the CMB spectrum is extremely close to a perfect blackbody. There are, however, a number of processes in the early Universe that should create spectral distortions at a level that is within reach of present day technology. …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 Marvelous Success of the Standard Model of Cosmology – Lloyd Knox Wed. February 26th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The standard model of cosmology has been remarkably successful in its predictions for current data given earlier data. One can react with sadness for the lack of evidence for new physics, chase marginal anomalies, or marvel at the success and soldier on toward better measurements knowing new physics may be just around the corner. …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. 21cm Cosmology – Ue-Li Pen Tue. February 18th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm I present recent developments in a new window to map the large scale structure of the universe through intensity mapping using the collective unresolved emission of cosmic hydrogen 21cm emission. Initial maps have been made with various existing telescopes, and an ambitious survey, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is under construction. …Read more. Cosmology and Systematics of Multi-wavelength Galaxy Cluster Observables – Tomasz Biesiadzinski Tue. February 11th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm The current concordance lCDM cosmological model describes a universe where cold dark matter seeds structure formation and a cosmological constant drives its accelerated expansion. Precise measurements of various astronomical observables allow us to test this model and any deviations, if found, may lead to an improved cosmological theory. …Read more. Quantum-Limited Superconducting Detectors and Amplifiers for Cosmology – Philip Mauskopf Fri. February 7th, 2014 12:30 pm-1:30 pm 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. 21-cm Intensity Mapping – Jeffrey Peterson Tue. January 28th, 2014 11:30 am-12:30 pm 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. Supersymmetry, Non-thermal Dark Matter and Precision Cosmology Tue. December 3rd, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm Within the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM), LHC bounds suggest that scalar superpartner masses are far above the electroweak scale. Given a high superpartner mass, nonthermal dark matter is a viable alternative to WIMP dark matter generated via freezeout. …Read more. Cosmic Bandits: Exploration vs. Exploitation in Cosmological Surveys – Ely Kovetz Tue. November 26th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm Various cosmological observations consist of prolonged integrations over small patches of sky. These include searches for B-modes in the CMB, the power spectrum of 21-cm fluctuations during the epoch of reionization and deep-field imaging by telescopes such as HST/JWST, among others. …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. Turning trajectories in multi-field inflation – Krzysztof Turzyński Tue. November 19th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm The latest results from the PLANCK collaboration, consistent with the simplest single-field models of slow-roll inflation and with no trace of non-Gaussianity, have extinguished many hopes of seeing specific aspects of New Physics directly in the sky. …Read more. Lorentz violation in gravity: why, how and where – Diego Blas Mon. November 18th, 2013 3:00 pm-4:00 pm Recent approaches to quantum gravity question the role of Lorentz invariance as a fundamental symmetry of Nature. This has implications for most of the observables in gravitational physics, also at low-energies. …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. Non-local quantum effects in cosmology – John Donoghue Tue. November 12th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm In general relativity, there are non-local quantum effects that come from the propagation of light particles including gravitons. I will review the effective field theory treatment which allows one to identify the reliable parts of the quantum loops. …Read more. New Possibilities in Transition-metal oxide Heterostructures – Wei-Cheng Lee Fri. November 8th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Heterojunction, the interface between two dissimilar crystalline materials, has been one of ideal platforms for the two-dimensional electronic systems (2DES). Examples include the quantum Hall effect which was first observed in the semiconductor heterostructures. …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. To Superconduct or Not to Superconduct; That is the Question? – 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. Novel Collective modes in Unconventional Superconductors – Wei-Cheng Lee Tue. November 5th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Unconventional superconductors are materials whose pairing mechanism is not due to the electron-phonon interaction as proposed by BCS theory. Up to date, known unconventional superconductors all exhibit symmetry-broken phases other than superconductivity in their phase diagrams, and it is widely-believed that the fluctuations associated with these symmetry-broken phases hold the key to the pairing mechanism of unconventional superconductors. …Read more. Orbital Aspect of Iron-based Superconductivity – Wei-Cheng Lee Mon. November 4th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In this talk, I will focus on the new classes of high-temperature superconductors, iron pnictides. While the magnetic interactions are certainly important in these materials, there have been significant evidences suggesting that the orbital degrees of freedom could play an important role as well. …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. Cosmology from conformal symmetry – Austin Joyce Tue. October 29th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm We will explore the role that conformal symmetries may play in cosmology. First, we will discuss the symmetries underlying the statistics of the primordial perturbations which seeded the temperature anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background. …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. Goldstone bosons with spontaneously broken Lorentz symmetry – Riccardo Penco Tue. October 15th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk, I will discuss some general properties of effective theories of Goldstone bosons in which Lorentz symmetry is spontaneously broken. I will first introduce an extension of Goldstone theorem to systems with a finite density of charge. …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. Slavnov-Taylor Identities for Primordial Perturbations – Lasha Berezhiani Tue. October 8th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will show that all consistency relations for the primordial perturbations derive from a single, master identity, which follows from the Slavnov-Taylor identity for spatial diffeomorphisms. This master identity is valid at any value of momenta and therefore goes beyond the soft limit. …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. Symmetry Breaking and Galileons – Garrett Goon Wed. October 2nd, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm Galileons, and related theories, have deep connections to spontaneous symmetry breaking. After reviewing the origins of Galileon theories, I motivate their interpretation as Goldstone Bosons and illustrate some of their special technical properties before proceeding to discuss applications and future directions. …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. CMB Lensing: reconstruction from polarisation & implications for cosmology from cross correlation with galaxies – Ruth Pearson Tue. September 24th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm CMB Lensing is a probe of the matter distribution between the surface of last scattering and today, which has been measured using CMB temperature data. Signal to noise for lensing reconstruction from CMB polarisation data is expected to be much better, since B modes on small scales should vanish in the absence of lensing. …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. Making the connection between galaxy voids, dark matter underdensities and theory – Paul Sutter Tue. September 10th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …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. Ordered self-assembly of molecules on gold substrates, for activated organic monolayers – Prof. Emmanuelle Lacaze Wed. July 17th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Photochromic molecules are characterized by a functional group whose configuration is modified by absorption of light, in a reversible manner. They could be at the basis of new electronic displays which would be activated by light irradiation. …Read more. Topological transition of graphene from quantum Hall metal to quantum Hall insulator – Prof. XiangRong Wang Fri. May 17th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In this talk, I will first review the basic electronic properties of graphene. In particular, I will explain why the recently observed insulating phase of graphene at charge neutrality point in high magnetic field quantum Hall (QH) experiments is a big surprising. …Read more. The Universe in a New Light: the First Cosmological Results from the Planck Mission – Bill Jones Tue. April 30th, 2013 2:30 pm-3:30 pm The precision and accuracy of the recently released Planck data are without precedent; the data from a single experiment provide all-sky images at wavelengths never before explored, covering more than three decades in angular scale with a signal dynamic range exceeding a factor of a million. …Read more. Detecting Modified Gravity in the Stars – Jeremy Sakstein Mon. April 29th, 2013 10:30 am-11:30 am Screened scalar-tensor gravity such as chameleon and symmetron theories allow order one deviations from General Relativity on large scales whilst satisfying all local solar-system constraints. A lot of recent work has therefore focused on searching for observational signatures of these models and constraining them. …Read more. Quantum Fluids of Light – David Snoke Mon. April 29th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In the past few years a new class of solid state optical systems has been developed in which photons have an effective mass and a repulsive interaction between each other. These renormalized photons are known as “polaritons”. …Read more. Semiconductor nanowires : from LEDs to solar cells – Silvija Gradecak Mon. April 22nd, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Semiconductor nanowires are quasi-one-dimensional single-crystals that have emerged as promising materials for the development of photonic and electronic devices with enhanced performance. Nanowires offer solutions to some of the current challenges in science and engineering, but realization of their full potential will be ultimately dictated by the ability to control their structure, composition, and size with high accuracy. …Read more. Senior Project Symposium Sat. April 20th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm 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. In search for hints of resonance in the CMB power spectrum – Daan Meerburg Tue. April 16th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm We investigate possible resonance effects in the primordial power spectrum using the latest CMB data. These effects are predicted by a wide variety of models and come in two flavors, one where the oscillations are log spaced and one where the oscillations are linearly spaced. …Read more. Mapping spin-orbit effects in semiconductors – Vanessa Sih Mon. April 15th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Spin-orbit coupling is a consequence of relativity but can be observed and used at the device scale to electrically initialize and manipulate electron spin polarization. Understanding how to exploit spin-orbit effects in non-magnetic semiconductors may enable the development of new devices with enhanced functionality and performance, such as spin-based devices that combine logic and storage and fast optical switches for information processing. …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. Black Hole Space-Times from S Matrices – Ira Rothstein Tue. April 9th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk I will show how to generate classical space-times directly from S matrices. The method makes no use of Einsteins’ equations nor, for that matter, any space-time action at all. …Read more. Short-range order in nematic liquid crystals formed by reduced symmetry molecules – Sam Sprunt Mon. April 8th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Small molecules constructed from familiar chemical components, but with an unconventional (reduced symmetry) molecular shape, hold promise for developing nematic liquid crystals with macroscopic biaxiality or even polarity. These properties, realized over practical temperature ranges using thermotropic compounds, could open new avenues in technologies including optical displays, mechanical sensors, and low-cost personal power generation. …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. Testing gravity with pulsars, black holes and the microwave background – Lam Hui Tue. April 2nd, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm We will discuss 3 topics: 1. a way to detect gravitational waves using binaries; 2. a way to test general relativity using black holes; 3. a way to connect superhorizon fluctuations with the observed statistical asymmetry of the universe. …Read more. Hybrid Quantum Devices with Single Spins in Diamond – Gurudev Dutt Mon. April 1st, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Single spins associated with defects in diamond have emerged as a promising and versatile experimental system. They can be used as qubits in optically connected quantum networks, as sensors for magnetic imaging with sub-micron resolution, as readout heads for detecting and engineering quantum states of nano-mechanical oscillators, and even as probes in biological systems. …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. Neutrinoless double beta decay results from EXO-200 – Carter Hall Tue. March 26th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm Neutrinoless double beta decay has never been definitively observed, although for the last ten years one group has claimed to see a 6-sigma positive effect in 76Ge. Recently the EXO-200 experiment produced the first independent check on this claim using 136Xe. …Read more. Point defect studies in ZnO: oxygen vacancy and p-type doping – Walter Lambrecht Mon. March 25th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In the first part of the talk, I will tell you about the controversy about the position of the defect levels for the oxygen vacancy in ZnO and how we tried to resolve it. …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. Semiconductor nanocrystals for room-temperature coherent electronics: A flexible platform for manipulating spin coherence – Jesse Berezovsky Mon. March 4th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm One route towards future electronics is to exploit interactions between coherent electron spin states and photons in semiconductor structures. This will require an understanding of the coherent evolution of spin states, the eventual decoherence of these states, and how these states interact with light, all in a scalable room-temperature system. …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. CMB Non-Gaussianity from Recombination and Fingerprints of Dark Matter – Cora Dvorkin Tue. February 26th, 2013 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk, I show that dark matter annihilation around the time of recombination can lead to growing ionization perturbations, that track the linear collapse of matter overdensities. This amplifies small scale cosmological perturbations to the free electron density by a significant amount compared to the usual acoustic oscillations. …Read more. Shedding some light on liquid crystalline organic semiconductors – Brett Ellman Mon. February 25th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We live in a world whose technology is ruled by a small set of inorganic semiconductors, notably silicon. Research on organic semiconductors (OSCs), molecular materials based on organic compounds, seeks to supplement the reigning paradigm rather than to supplant it. …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. Nanostructures in Motion: Probing Surface Science and Fracture Mechanics at Molecular Level – Zenghui Wang Mon. February 18th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nanomaterials, since their debut, have greatly advanced human knowledge from many aspects. For example, carbon-based nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotube and graphene, have been the subjects of intensive study over the last two decades and greatly improved our understanding of phenomena happening at the nanoscale. …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. Self-Assembly and Packing of Polyhedra into Complex Structures – Michael Engel Mon. February 11th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Isolating the role of building block shape for self-assembly and packing provides insight into the ordering of molecules and the crystallization of colloids, nanoparticles, proteins, and viruses. We investigated a large group of polyhedra whose phase behavior arises solely from their anisotropic shape. …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. Routing Light with Spatial Solitons: Light Localization and Steering in Liquid Crystals – Antonio DeLuca Mon. February 4th, 2013 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nematic Liquid Crystals (NLCs) support strong nonlinear effects, most of them due to the high birefringence and non-local response. Light self-confinement via reorientational nonlinearity and nonlocality, yields to the creation of robust light filaments named ‘optical spatial solitons’, which can trap, switch and route optical signals. …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. Odd tensor modes from particle production during inflation – Lorenzo Sorbo Tue. December 4th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Several mechanisms can lead to production of particles during primordial inflation. I will review how such a phenomenon occurs and I will discuss how it can lead to the generation of tensor modes with unusual properties that might be detected in the not-so-far future. …Read more. Terahertz plasmons and magnetoplasmons in graphene – Hugen Yan Mon. December 3rd, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Plasmons in metal surfaces and clusters have been extensively studied due to their potential applications in sensing, imaging, light harvesting and optical metamaterials. Graphene is a semimetal with tunable conductivity and hence can support plasmons as well. …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. Quantum Dots and Magnetic Quantum Dots for Biomedical Imaging and Separations – Jessica Winter Mon. November 26th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Quantum dots, semiconductor nanocrystals, have unique optical properties, including narrow emission bandwidths, broad excitation spectra, and remarkable photostability, which have made them excellent candidates for biological imaging. Since their introduction into the biological milieu in 1998, they have been applied for in vitro and in vivo imaging, diagnostic testing, and multiplexing. …Read more. Advances in Solving the Two-Body Problem in General Relativity: Implications for the Search of Gravitational Waves – Alessandra Buonanno Tue. November 20th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Compact binary systems composed of black holes and neutron stars are among the most promising sources for ground-based gravitational-wave detectors, such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) and its international partners. …Read more. Quench dynamics in one-dimensional systems – Aditi Mitra Mon. November 19th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm How an interacting many-particle system which is initially out of equilibrium evolves in time, is a challenging question, especially for large system sizes where numerical simulations are difficult. The most puzzling issue is understanding the onset of thermalization, a process in which the system completely looses memory of its initial state, with the long time behavior characterized by only one or two parameters. …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. Effective Field Theory for Fluids – Rachel Rosen Tue. November 13th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk I will present the low-energy effective field theory that describes the infrared dynamics of non-dissipative fluids. In particular, I will use the techniques of non-linear realizations developed by Callan, Coleman, Wess and Zumino, and Volkov to construct the effective theory based on the symmetry-breaking pattern of the fluid. …Read more. Playing with monomolecular layers: model biological systems and liquid crystal alignment layers – Elizabeth Mann Mon. November 12th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Self-assembly within biological membranes controls structure, from the nano- to the microscale. The same physical processes also apply to synthetic systems. Here, I survey two different model systems for structure and dynamics within molecularly thin films. …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. Recent Results from CDMS II and The SuperCDMS Dark-matter Program – Raymond Bunker Tue. November 6th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment (CDMS II) was designed to directly detect dark matter by simultaneously measuring phonon and ionization signals caused by particle interactions in semiconductor targets, allowing event-by-event discrimination of signal from background via the relative sizes of the two signals. …Read more. Half Metallic Ferromagnetism in Complex Oxides and Implications for Spintronics – Nandini Trivedi Mon. November 5th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will discuss the mechanism behind the remarkable properties of double perovskites like Sr2FeMoO6 that show half-metallic ground states with 100% polarization and a ferromagnetic Tc above room temperature. I will conclude with a broad overview of other remarkable properties that can be achieved by changing the transition metal atoms. …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. FUNCTIONAL FILMS AND CERAMICS – Alp Sehirlioglu Mon. October 29th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The presentation summarizes our recent efforts in developing new functional materials with a focus on operation in extreme environments. Discussion will include both fundamental aspects of behavior and the path to next generation of devices and applications. …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. Qubit-Coupled Mechanics – Matt LaHaye Mon. October 22nd, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm There is a rapidly growing effort to integrate quantum technologies with mechanical structures in order to manipulate and measure quantum states of mechanics for applications ranging from quantum computing to sensing of weak forces to fundamental explorations of quantum mechanics at massive scales. …Read more. Michelson Postdoc Prize talk 3:Many-body interactions in two-dimensional crystals – KinFai Mak Fri. October 19th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The problem of electrons in 2D is one of the most important topics in contemporary condensed matter physics. Coulomb interactions between charge carriers in 2D are dramatically enhanced with the much-reduced dielectric screening compared to their bulk counterpart. …Read more. Manybody interactions in two-dimensional crystals – Kin Fai Mak Fri. October 19th, 2012 2:30 pm-3:30 pm The problem of electrons in 2D is one of the most important topics in contemporary condensed matter physics. Coulomb interactions between charge carriers in 2D are dramatically enhanced with the much-reduced dielectric screening compared to their bulk counterpart. …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. Beyond graphene: band insulators and topological insulators – Kin Fai Mak Thu. October 18th, 2012 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Beyond graphene, there exists 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. Michelson Postdoc Prize talk 2:Optics with Dirac electrons – KinFai Mak Tue. October 16th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Optical spectroscopy provides an excellent means of understanding the distinctive properties of electrons in the two-dimensional system of graphene. Within the simplest picture, one has a zero-gap semiconductor with direct transitions between the well-known conical bands. …Read more. Optics with Dirac electrons – Kin Fai Mak Tue. October 16th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Optical spectroscopy provides an excellent means of understanding the distinctive properties of electrons in the two-dimensional system of graphene. Within the simplest picture, one has a zero-gap semiconductor with direct transitions between the well-known conical bands. …Read more. Michelson Postdoc Prize talk 1:Novel two-dimensional systems: graphene and beyond – KinFai Mak Mon. October 15th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The past few years have witnessed a surge of activities in the study of graphene, a stable sheet comprised of just a single atomic layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice structure. …Read more. Novel two-dimensional systems: graphene and beyond – Kin Fai Mak Mon. October 15th, 2012 4:15 pm-5:15 pm The past few years have witnessed a surge of activities in the study of graphene, a stable sheet comprised of just a single atomic layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice 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. Kicking Chameleons: Early Universe Challenges for Chameleon Gravity – Adrienne Erickcek Tue. October 9th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Chameleon gravity is a scalar-tensor theory that mimics general relativity in the Solar System. The scalar degree of freedom is hidden in high-density environments because the effective mass of the chameleon scalar depends on the trace of the stress-energy tensor. …Read more. Multiferroic vortices in hexagonal manganites – Weida Wu Mon. October 8th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Topological defects are pervasive in complex matter such as superfluids, liquid crystals, and early universe. They have been fruitful playgrounds for many emergent phenomena. Recently, vortex-like topological defects with six interlocked structural antiphase and ferroelectric domains merging into a vortex core were revealed in multiferroic hexagonal manganites. …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. A new window on primordial non-Gaussianity – Enrico Pajer Tue. October 2nd, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm We know very little about primordial curvature perturbations on scales smaller than about a Mpc. I review how mu-type distortion of the Cosmic Microwave Background spectrum provides the unique opportunity to probe these scales over the unexplored range from 50 to104 Mpc-1$. …Read more. Into the flat land: Transport studies of ultra-dilute GaAs two-dimensional hole systems in zero field – Jian Huang Mon. October 1st, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Low temperature charge transport studies of high purity electron systems encompass fundamental subjects of disorder and electron-electron interaction. 50 years after Anderson’s theory of localization for non-interacting electrons, the question on whether and how electron-electron interaction qualitatively alters the picture is still unsettled. …Read more. “How we fixed the Hubble Space Telescope” – James Breckinridge Thu. September 27th, 2012 4:15 pm-5:15 pm The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) – a new tool to probe the dark energy driven expansion history of the universe from z=1-3 – Matt Dobbs Tue. September 25th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm The most surprising discovery in cosmology since Edwin Hubble observed the expansion of the Universe isthat the rate of this expansion is accelerating. This either signals that a mysterious Dark Energy dominatesthe energy density of the Universe, or that our understanding of gravity on large scales is incorrect. …Read more. Valley-Electronics in 2D Crystals – Di Xiao Mon. September 24th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In many crystals the Bloch bands have inequivalent and well separated energy extrema in the momentum space, known as valleys. The valley index constitutes a well-defined discrete degree of freedom for low-energy carriers that may be used to encode information. …Read more. Non-Gaussianity from general inflationary states – Nishant Agarwal Tue. September 18th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will describe the effects of non-trivial initial quantum states for inflationary fluctuations within the context of the effective field theory for inflation. We find that besides giving rise to large non-Gaussianities from inflation, general initial states can also have interesting implications for the consistency relation of the bispectrum. …Read more. Novel Ferroelectric Polymers as High Energy Density and Low Loss Dielectrics – Lei Zhu Mon. September 17th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The state-of-the-art polymer dielectrics have been limited to nonpolar polymers with relatively low energy density and ultra low dielectric losses for the past decades. With the fast development of power electronics in pulsed power and power conditioning applications, there is a need for next generation dielectric capacitors in areas of high energy density/low loss and/or high temperature/low loss polymer dielectrics. …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. Boosting the Universe: Observational consequences of our motion – Amanda Yoho Tue. September 11th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), photons from the earliest epoch that are able to free stream towards us, provides a unique opportunity to learn about many properties of the universe we live in. …Read more. Interfacial Charge Transfer in Nanomaterial Based Light Harvesting Devices – Mat Sfire Mon. September 10th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We purposefully design and study “molecular-like” interfacial interactions between the multidimensional nanometer-scale building blocks that compose larger-scale functional light harvesting devices. Using time-resolved optical spectroscopy, we aim to understand the nature of discrete interfacial electronic states and their role as crucial intermediates promoting efficient interactions between extended systems (e.g., charge transfer). …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. The interplay between high and low redshift universe – Azadeh Moradinezhad Dizgah Tue. September 4th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm 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. Supersymmetry, Naturalness, and the LHC: Where Do We Stand? – Matthew Reece Tue. May 1st, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm The LHC has accumulated a large luminosity and has already begun ruling out a wide range of theoretical scenarios. I will discuss the theoretical implications of current LHC searches for supersymmetry and the first tentative Higgs measurements. …Read more. Optical Material Science: Electrodynamics of Nanoscale Assembly, and Lifetime and Degradation Science for Photovoltaics – Roger H. French Mon. April 30th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The optical properties and electronic structure of materials are critical to the development of new optical materials,(1) novel processes of nanoscale assembly, and the viability of advanced energy technologies. They are the origin of the electrodynamic van der Waals-London dispersion (vdW-Ld) interactions (2) which play a universal role in wetting, interfacial energies, and nanoscale assembly.(3) The challenge of nanotechnology is for science to span more than nine orders of magnitude in dimension. …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. Gravitational Wave Detection with Pulsars: the NANOGrav collaboration – Dan Stinebring Tue. April 24th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm The effort to detect long-wavelength gravitational waves with a pulsar timing array (PTA) is progressing well, with three major international groups intensifying their efforts and increasingly sharing data and techniques. *Your* PTA, the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational waves (NANOGrav) is making excellent progress. …Read more. Magnetoresistance in Two Dimensions – Arnold J. Dahm Mon. April 23rd, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We present measurements of the magnetoresistivity of a weakly interacting 2D electron liquid in an unexplored region near the boundary of the 2D electron gas supported by a liquid helium surface. …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. Hunting for de Sitter vacua in the String Landscape – Gary Shiu Tue. April 17th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Results from observational cosmology suggest that our universe is currently accelerating. The simplest explanation is that we are living in a universe with a positive cosmological constant. In this talk, I will describe some recent attempts in constructing such solutions in string theory and discuss the difficulties one encounters in finding metastable de Sitter vacua. …Read more. Electronic structure of disordered solids – David A. Drabold Mon. April 16th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Understanding the physics of structurally disordered materials is a challenge to experimentalists and theorists alike. In this talk, I discuss the character of electronic states in disordered materials and emphasize the interplay between structure and electronic 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. Bosonic and Fermionic Non-thermal Dark Matter Isocurvature Perturbations and Non-Gaussianities – Daniel Chung Tue. April 10th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Dark matter candidates in a broad class of non-thermal models produce primordial isocurvature perturbations and non-Gaussianities. We discuss the model dependence of such scenarios. In particular, fermionic superheavy dark matter requires non-gravitational interactions to be observationally interesting. …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. Ghost-free multi-metric interactions Tue. April 3rd, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm The idea that the graviton may be massive has seen a resurgence of interest due to recent progress which has overcome its traditional problems. I will review this recent progress, and show how the theory can be extended to write consistent interactions coupling together multiple massive spin-2 fields. …Read more. The role of molecular beam epitaxy in fundamental physics through an example: assessing the impact of disorder on the v=5/2 fractional quantum Hall effect – Mike Manfra Fri. March 30th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Thirty years after its initial discovery, the fractional quantum Hall effect continues to challenge our understanding of electronic correlations in low dimensions. Throughout this history advances in molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) have played an important role. …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. Chromo-Natural Inflation – Peter Adshead Tue. March 27th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will describe a new model for inflation – Chromo-Natural Inflation – consisting of an axionic scalar field coupled to a set of three non-Abelian gauge fields. The model’s novel requirement is that the gauge fields begin inflation with a rotationally invariant vacuum expectation value (VEV) that is preserved through identification of SU(2) gauge invariance with rotations in three dimensions. …Read more. Micro and Nano Technology at the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility – Robert Hower Fri. March 23rd, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm This seminar will give an overview of micro and nano technologies at the University of Michigan Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF). In addition, we will present examples of research accomplishments and applications of these technologies in diverse fields including but not limited to Electrical Engineering, Physics, Life Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. …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. Testing the concordance cosmology with weak gravitational lensing – Ali Vanderveld Tue. March 20th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Weak gravitational lensing, whereby the images of background galaxies are distorted by foreground matter, can be a powerful cosmological probe if systematics are sufficiently controlled. In particular, I will show how we may use weak lensing to robustly test the standard cosmological constant-dominated “concordance model” of cosmology by using in-hand expansion history data to make predictions for future observations. …Read more. Anisotropic response in molecular crystals and the development of Modulated Orientation Sensitive Terahertz Spectroscopy (MOSTS) – Andrea Markelz Mon. March 19th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Since the mid 1980’s there have been predictions of protein structural vibrations with ~ 1meV energies, which corresponds to the terahertz frequency range. These large scale motions involve the correlated movement of many atoms and are associated with the conformational motions involved in protein function. …Read more. III-Nitride Light-Emitting Diodes for Solid-State Lighting – Hongping Zhao Mon. March 12th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies have significant importance for achieving sustainable energy systems in modern society. Lighting accounts for more than 22% of the total electrical energy usage in US, and technologies based on solid state lighting (SSL) utilizing semiconductor-based material has tremendous promise to replace the existing lighting devices. …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. HgTe as a Topological Insulator – Laurens Molenkamp Mon. March 5th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm HgTe is a zincblende-type semiconductor with an inverted band structure. While the bulk material is a semimetal, lowering the crystalline symmetry opens up a gap, turning the compound into a topological insulator. …Read more. An estimator for statistical anisotropy from the CMB bispectrum – Ema Dimstrogiovanni Tue. February 28th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Various data analysis of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation present anomalous features that can be interpreted as indications of statistical isotropy breaking. Some models of inflation involving vector fields predict statistical anisotropy in the correlation functions of primordial curvature perturbations. …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. Local Primordial non-Gaussianity in Large-scale Structure – Marilena LoVerde Tue. February 21st, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Primordial non-Gaussianity is among the most promising of few observational tests of physics at the inflationary epoch. At present non-Gaussianity is best constrained by the cosmic microwave background, but in the near term large-scale structure data may be competitive so long as the effects of primordial non-Gaussianity can be modeled through the non-linear process of structure formation. …Read more. High Tc superconductivity in cuprates: A status report – Mohit Randeria Fri. February 17th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm 25 years after their discovery, the microscopic problem of high Tc superconductivity in cuprates is still not “solved”. I will focus on summarizing the experiments that show us that the observed phases, with varying carrier concentration, challenge three paradigms of 20th century condensed matter physics. …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. Inflation, or What? – William Kinney Tue. February 14th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cosmological inflation is the leading candidate theory for the physics of the early universe, and is in beautiful agreement with current cosmological data such as the WMAP Cosmic Microwave Background measurement. …Read more. Quantum Signatures of Optomechanical Instability and Synchronization in Optomechanical Arrays – Jiang Qian Mon. February 13th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Optomechanical systems couple light stored in an optical resonant cavity to the motion of a mechanical motion of the cavity walls. Single optomechanical cells have been successfully fabricated in a wide variety of systems. …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. Quantum Kinetics and Thermalization of Hawking Radiation – Dmitry Podolsky Tue. February 7th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Hawking’s discovery of black holes radiance along with Bekenstein’s conjecture of the generalized second law of thermodynamics inspired a conceptually pleasing connection between gravity, thermodynamics and quantum theory. However, the discovery that the spectrum of the radiation is in fact thermal, together with the no-hair theorem, has brought along with it some undesirable consequences, most notably the information loss paradox. …Read more. Condensates and quasiparticles in inflationary cosmology – Daniel Boyanovsky Mon. February 6th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Correlation functions during inflation feature infrared effects that could undermine a perturbative study. I will discuss self-consistent mechanisms of mass generation that regulates infrared physics, and introduce a method based on quantum optics to obtain the decay width of quantum states. …Read more. Fe pnictide superconductors – David Singh Mon. February 6th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The 2008 discovery of high temperature superconductivity in doped LaFeAsO by Kamihara and co-workers provided the second class of high Tc materials, the other being the cuprate family discovered in 1986 by Bednorz and Mueller. …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. Gravitational Waves from Cosmological Phase Transitions – Tom Giblin Tue. January 31st, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cosmological phase transitions occurred. I will talk about recent advances in modeling possible phase transitions when these transitions are mediated by scalar fields. I will discuss first- and second-order transitions, at various scales, and show how we can compute the background of stochastic gravitational waves produced during (and after) these transitions. …Read more. The Incredible Shrinking Tuning Forks – Nanowire Electromechanical Systems at Radio and Microwave Frequencies – Philp Feng Mon. January 30th, 2012 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nanoscience today enables many fascinating low-dimensional structures and new materials with previously inaccessible properties. Nanostructures with mechanical degrees of freedom offer compelling characteristics that make them interesting for both fundamental studies and technological applications. …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. Spatially Covariant Theories of a Transverse, Traceless Graviton – Godfrey Miller Tue. January 24th, 2012 11:30 am-12:30 pm General relativity is a generally covariant, locally Lorentz covariant theory of two transverse, traceless graviton degrees of freedom. According to a theorem of Hojman, Kuchar, and Teitelboim, modifications of general relativity must either introduce new degrees of freedom or violate the principle of local Lorentz covariance. …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. Graphene Optics and Electronics – Marcus Freitag Mon. December 5th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Graphene is a two-dimensional material with conical bands that touch at the Dirac or Charge-Neutrality point. Its zero bandgap and atomically thin body allow it to switch between n-type and p-type conduction when assembled into a field-effect transistor geometry. …Read more. Dark matter bounds from direct and indirect searches – Aravind Natarajan Tue. November 22nd, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm I discuss ways of constraining dark matter properties using a combination of direct and indirect dark matter measurements. The DAMA, CoGeNT, and CRESST experiments have obtained tentative evidence for low mass WIMPs. …Read more. Charge carrier dynamics in heterostructured semiconductor nanocrystals and nanocrystal solids – Michail Zamkov Mon. November 21st, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In the first part, I will present a novel strategy for processing of colloidally stable semiconductor nanoparticles (also known as nanocrystals or quantum dots) into all-inorganic solid films, deployable for photovoltaic applications. …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. Light does not always travel on the light cone – Yi-Zen Chu Tue. November 15th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Massless particles such as photons and gravitons do not travel solely on the null cone in a generic curved spacetime. They propagate at all speeds equal to and less than c. …Read more. A physicist walks into a biology department… – Robin Snyder Mon. November 14th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I present two recent projects in theoretical ecology and point out the connections to math loved by physicists. The first concerns life in a variable environment: when should an organism buffer itself against environmental variation and when should it try to take advantage of environmental variation? …Read more. Holographic Quantum Quench – Sumit Das Fri. November 11th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm The holographic correspondence between non-gravitational field theories and gravitational theories in one higher dimension can be used to study non-equilibrium behavior of strongly coupled quantum field theories. One such phenomenon is that of quantum quench, where a coupling of the field theory is time dependent and typically asymptotes to constants at early and late times. …Read more. A Paradise Island for Deformed Gravity – Florian Kuehnel Tue. November 8th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will discuss our recently-proposed model (hep-th/1106.3566) of deformations of general relativity that are consistent and potentially phenomenologically viable, since they respect cosmological backgrounds. These deformations have unique symmetries in accordance with unitarity requirements, and give rise to a curvature induced self-stabilizing mechanism. …Read more. The search for Majorana Fermions in semiconductor nanowires – Roman Lutchyn Mon. November 7th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The exploration of topological phases of matter is one of the main challenges in condensed matter physics. Among the exciting recent developments in this direction are the discoveries of the new phases of matter with many intriguing properties such as topological insulators and superconductors. …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. Measuring the dark sector with clusters of galaxies – Douglas Clowe Tue. November 1st, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Since Zwicky (1933), we have known that clusters of galaxies have gravitational potentials which are too large to be explained by the amount of visible baryons under the assumption of a Newtonian gravitational force law. …Read more. Theoretical studies of magnetic and structural thermodynamics using effective Hamiltonians – Kirill Belashchenko Mon. October 31st, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Effective configurational and spin Hamiltonians are commonly used to study magnetic and structural thermodynamics. For some purposes, such as the description of phase transitions in substitutional alloys, they can be routinely constructed by high-throughput first-principles calculations. …Read more. Carving Out the Space of Conformal Field Theories – David Simmons-Duffin Fri. October 28th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Conformal Field Theories (CFTs) are theories that are symmetric under changes of distance scale, like a fractal or a Russian doll. They are basic building blocks of more general Quantum Field Theories, which can describe how nature works at its most fundamental level. …Read more. Photorefractive Polymers for an Updatable Holographic Display – Cory Christenson Mon. October 24th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Holography is a technique commonly used to display objects in three-dimensions, as it has the potential to accurately reproduce all features of the light from a real object. Holographic telepresence has been a compelling fantasy for decades, but modern science has failed to deliver such a system, primarily due to the computational power required and the lack of a suitable recording material. …Read more. Energetics and Electronic Structure of Point Defects in Oxide Semiconductors: A Density Functional Approach – Fumiyasu Oba Fri. October 21st, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Because of the crucial roles of point defects in the physical properties of pristine and doped oxide semiconductors, a fair amount of experimental research has been devoted to their characterization in previous decades. …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. Understanding Chameleon Scalar Fields via Electrostatic Analogy – Kate Jones-Smith Tue. October 18th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm The late-time accelerated expansion of the universe could be caused by a scalar field that is screened on small scales, as in chameleon or symmetron scenarios. We present an analogy between such scalar fields and electrostatics, which allows calculation of the chameleon field profile for general extended bodies. …Read more. Variational Studies on the Kagome Lattice – Jesse Kinder Mon. October 17th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The two dimensional kagome lattice is a highly frustrated spin system. When spins are placed on the vertices of the lattice with an antiferromagnetic interaction, there is no unique classical ground state. …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. Measuring the electronic properties of single semiconductor nanowire heterostructures using advanced optical spectroscopies – Leigh M. Smith Mon. October 10th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm There has been intense interest in recent years to control the electronic structure in quasi one-dimensional nanowires through the fabrication of novel axial and radial heterostructures. Unlike materials in higher dimensions, nanowires have the unique ability to grow axial or radial heterostructures between almost any two materials regardless of lattice mismatch or strain. …Read more. Moving spins with heat: spin-Seebeck effect in a ferromagnetic semiconductor and Polarization-induced pn-junctions in wide band gap semiconductor nanowires – Roberto Myers Mon. October 3rd, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Many proposed spin-based devices require transfer of spin into non-magnetic materials, which is usually accomplished by driving a charge current from a ferromagnet into a non-magnetic material. Heat can also be used to transfer spins into non-magnetic material using the spin-Seebeck effect, as demonstrated by Uchida et al. …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. How Asymmetric Dark Matter May Alter the Conditions of Stardom – Andrew Zentner Tue. September 27th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Numerous recent experimental results have reinforced interest in a class of models dubbed “Asymmetric Dark Matter” (ADM), in which the relic dark matter density results from a particle-antiparticle asymmetry. Early models of this sort were invoked to explain the fact that the cosmic baryon and dark matter densities are of the same order, yet in the standard cosmology, they are produced by distinct physical processes. …Read more. First-principles electronic structure calculations in energy research – Emmanouil (Manos) Kioupakis Mon. September 26th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm As the world strives to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, materials innovations can help catalyze the switch to renewable energy and the engineering of energy-efficient devices. Powered by modern high-performance computers, s first-principles methods can provide an understanding of fundamental materials processes at the microscopic level and play an important role in the development of novel energy materials and devices. …Read more. How the genome folds – Erez Lieberman Aiden Fri. September 23rd, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm I describe Hi-C, a novel technology for probing the three-dimensional architecture of whole genomes by coupling proximity-based ligation with massively parallel sequencing. Working with collaborators at the Broad Institute and UMass Medical School, we used Hi-C to construct spatial proximity maps of the human genome at a resolution of 1Mb. …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. Lumps and bumps in the early universe: (p)reheating and oscillons after inflation – Mustafa Amin Tue. September 20th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Our understanding of the universe between the end of inflation and production of light elements is incomplete. How did inflation end? What did the universe look like at the end of inflation? …Read more. The metal insulator transition of VO2: Shining new (synchrotron-based) light on an old problem – Louis Piper Mon. September 19th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The origin of the abrupt metal-insulator transition (MIT) in VO2 has been a subject of debate for several decades and remains an important problem for condensed matter physics. The change from high temperature metallic rutile phase to low temperature insulating monoclinic occurs abruptly at 360 K for bulk VO2. …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. Probing crystal defects by their vibrational modes – Sukit Limpijumnong Tue. July 5th, 2011 11:00 am-12:00 pm First principles calculations can be used to study many material properties from a fundamental point of view. This talk will cover the calculations of natural vibration frequencies (local vibrational modes) of impurities and defects in crystals. …Read more. Uniform Peak Conductivity in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes – Jesse Kinder Mon. June 27th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A carbon nanotube is a one-dimensional system in which confinement of charge carriers and an unusual band structure lead to a variety of interesting effects. Many electronic and optical properties of a nanotube depend strongly on its geometry — the way in which a two-dimensional lattice of carbon atoms is rolled up to form the nanotube. …Read more. Sign reversal in dielectric anisotropy and dielectric relaxation in bent core liquid crystals – Jagdish Vij Mon. June 13th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We investigate the nematic phase of a 4-cyanoresorcinol bisbenozate compound by varying its chain length from C4 to C9 using dielectric and electro-optic spectroscopy. The frequencies and dielectric strengths of the various modes are determined. …Read more. Experimental observation and manipulation of topological surface states – Yulin Chen Mon. May 9th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators (TIs) are a new state of quantum matter with a bulk gap generated by the spin orbit interaction and odd number of relativistic Dirac fermions on the surface. …Read more. To the GUT Scale – the Majorana Neutrino – Lindley Winslow Fri. May 6th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm To connect our current results and those from future reactor and long baseline experiments to the preferred theory for neutrinos at the highest energy scales – a theory which explains tiny neutrino masses and enormous asymmetries of matter versus antimatter in the universe- we need one last ingredient. …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. Colloquium: It’s Chooz Time Folks! – 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. Three Neutrino Oscillation – The Missing Pieces – Lindley Winslow Tue. May 3rd, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Out of the whirlwind of results of the last decade, a new picture is emerging. As we fit together the results, there are several missing pieces. They are the third and smallest mixing angle θ13, the neutrino mass hierarchy, and CP violation in the lepton sector. …Read more. Strong-arming electron spin dynamics – Jason Petta Mon. May 2nd, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A single electron spin in an external magnetic field forms a two-level system that can be used to create a spin qubit. However, achieving fast single spin rotations, as would be required to control a spin qubit, is a major challenge. …Read more. The Neutrino and Oscillation: A Revolution – Lindley Winslow Mon. May 2nd, 2011 4:15 pm-5:15 pm In the last decade three key experiments KamLAND, SNO, and Super Kamiokande have revolutionized our understanding of the neutrino and have provided the first piece of evidence for physics beyond the standard model. …Read more. Massive gravitons and enhanced gravitational lensing – Mark Wyman Tue. April 26th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm The mystery of dark energy suggests that there is new gravitational physics at low energies and on long length scales. On the other hand, low mass degrees of freedom in gravity are strictly limited by observations within the solar system. …Read more. Scanning tunneling microscopy studies of single magnetic ions in GaAs – Jay Gupta Mon. April 25th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The scaling of electronic devices such as field effect transistors to nanometer dimensions requires more precise control of individual dopants in semiconductor nanostructures, as statistical fluctuations can impact device performance and functionality. …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. Electron-electron interaction and transport in bilayer graphene – Jun Zhu Mon. April 18th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Bilayer graphene, or two layers of graphene stacked together in Bernal stacking, is a unique two-dimensional electron system with hyperbolic bands and a band gap tunable by the application of an electric field through the two layers. …Read more. Nano is more than size: The role of geometry in the electronic structure of carbon nanostructures – Vince Crespi Fri. April 15th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The atomic-scale order of highly deformable yet chemically inert carbon frameworks animates a wide range of novel structural, optical, and electronic phenomena. For example, the division of surrounding space into two disconnected zones by an impenetrable suspended graphenic sheet enables adsorption of otherwise highly co-reactive species, such as alkali and halogen, in opposite subspaces, with an intense cross-sheet charge transfer that produces a new variant of ionic binding with a uncompensated electrostatic dipoles. …Read more. Financial Mathematics for Physicists – Bryan Lynn Thu. April 14th, 2011 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Learning about Aspects of Clusters and Cosmology from Weak and Strong Gravitational Lensing Approaches – Mandeep Gill Tue. April 12th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will cover several aspects of current astrophysics that can be probed by various regimes of lensing in simulations and data –from galaxy cluster substructure to what we can learn about cosmology from cluster weak lensing ensembles. …Read more. Thick-wall tunneling in a piecewise linear and quadratic potential – Pascal Vaudrevange Tue. April 12th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm After reviewing the basics of Coleman deLuccia tunneling, especially in the thin-wall limit, I discuss an (almost) exact tunneling solution in a piecewise linear and quadratic potential. A comparison with the exact solution for a piecewise linear potential demonstrates the dependence of the tunneling rate on the exact shape of the potential. …Read more. Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells – Randy Ellingson Mon. April 11th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Earth’s need for clean energy becomes more evident with each demonstration of the shortcomings of fossil and nuclear energy sources. All carbon-free and nuclear-free energy sources will play important roles in our energy future, but only solar energy can in principle provide all of our energy needs. …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. Gravitational wave astronomy in the next decade – Xavier Siemens Tue. April 5th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm In the next decade two types of gravitational wave experiments are expected to result in the direct detection of gravitational waves: Advanced ground-based interferometric detectors and pulsar timing experiments. In my talk I will describe both types of experiments and their sensitivities to various types of gravitational wave sources. …Read more. Ab-initio Heat Transfer: Predicting thermal transport in nanostructures and materials from the atoms up – Derek Stewart Mon. April 4th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm While electronic transport has been the focus of intensive research for nearly a century, thermal transport has proven difficult to quantify and model. However, a predictive model for thermal conductivity can improve our understanding of thermoelectric materials, thermal resistance barriers, nanoscale heat transport, and even geologic heat transfer. …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. Testing Dark Energy with Massive Galaxy Clusters – Michael Mortonson Tue. March 29th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Existing observations of the cosmic expansion history place strong restrictions on the rate of large scale structure growth predicted by various dark energy models. In the simplest Lambda CDM scenario, current observations enable percent-level predictions of growth, which can be interpreted in terms of the expected abundance of massive galaxy clusters at high redshift. …Read more. Toward Graphene-Based Photovoltaics – Liang-shi Li Mon. March 28th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Solution-processable thin-film solar cells can be competitive with silicon-based ones in terms of electricity output/cost ratio and therefore have great potential in solar energy utilization. Due to the requirement for efficient light harvesting, however, so far the most successful low-cost thin-film solar cells require materials containing either rare or toxic metals. …Read more. New observational power from halo bias – Sarah Shandera Tue. March 22nd, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Non-Gaussianity of the local type will be particularly well constrained by large scale structure through measurements of the power spectra of collapsed objects. Motivated by properties of early universe scenarios that produce observationally large local non-Gaussianity, we suggest a generalized local ansatz and perform N-body simulations to determine the signatures in the bias of dark matter halos. …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. Constraining the cosmic growth history with large scale structure – Rachel Bean Tue. March 15th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm We consider how upcoming, prospective large scale structure surveys, measuring galaxy weak lensing, position and peculiar velocity correlations, in tandem with the CMB temperature anisotropies, will constrain dark energy when both the expansion history and growth of structure can be modified, as might arise if cosmic acceleration is due to modifications to GR. …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. What to do with 350,000 astronomers – Chris Lintott Fri. February 18th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Since its launch in 2007, the Galaxy Zoo project has involved hundreds of thousands of volunteers in the morphological classification of galaxies. Project PI Chris Lintott will review the results – which include a new understanding of the importance of red spirals – and their implications for our understanding of galaxy formation. …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. Astrophysics with Gravitational-Wave Detectors – Vuk Mandic Tue. February 8th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm Gravitational waves are predicted by the general theory of relativity to be produced by accelerating mass systems with quadrupole moment. The amplitude of gravitational waves is expected to be very small, so the best chance of their direct detection lies with some of the most energetic events in the universe, such as mergers of two neutron stars or black holes, Supernova explosions, or the Big-Bang itself. …Read more. InN and ZnO: Unexpected Commonalities – Steven Durbin Mon. February 7th, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm InN is an infrared bandgap semiconductor (although it hasn’t always been that way); ZnO is an ultraviolet bandgap material used in applications from gas sensors to breakfast cereals. Surprisingly, these ostensibly disparate materials are more closely related than we might think: for both, p-type doping is problematic, the surface exhibits significant electron accumulation, and undoped samples are characterized by a large background electron concentration. …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. New and Old Massive Gravity – Claudia de Rham Tue. February 1st, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Accurate and efficient solutions of wave propagation problems in periodic media – Catalin Turc Mon. January 31st, 2011 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Many devices designed to guide and control waves rely on periodic structures on the wavelength scale: these include diffraction gratings (used to squeeze multiple signals onto a single optical fiber, and in our highest-powered lasers), photonic crystals (the most promising route to energy-efficient ultra-fast optical computation on a chip), meta-materials (allowing the control of waves in ways impossible in naturally-occurring media), and solar cells. …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. A new method for cosmological parameter estimation from Supernovae Type Ia data – Marisa March Tue. January 18th, 2011 11:30 am-12:30 pm We present a new methodology to extract constraints on cosmological parameters from SNIa data obtained with the SALT lightcurve fitter. The power of our Bayesian method lies in its full exploitation of relevant prior information, which is ignored by the usual chisquare approach. …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. K-essence Interactions with Neutrinos: Flavor Oscillations without Mass – Christopher Gauthier Tue. December 7th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this talk we discuss a novel means of coupling neutrinos to a Lorentz violating background k-essence field. K-essence is a model of dark energy, which uses a non-canonical scalar field to drive the late time accelerated expansion of the universe. …Read more. Ferromagnetic semiconductors and the role of disorder – Bruce Wessels Mon. December 6th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Magnetic semiconductors having Curie temperature greater than 300 K are of interest for a wide variety of spintronic device applications. Short-range order has been reported to stabilize ferromagnetism in transition metal-doped III-V compound semiconductors. …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. Chemical Design of Magnetic Nanomaterials – Ana Cristina Samia Mon. November 29th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nanosized magnetic materials continue to attract great interest due to their wide range of potential applications from data storage to medical diagnostics and therapy. Each application demands unique magnetic characteristics of the nanoparticles. …Read more. Imaging 3D spatiotemporal hemodynamics of single cortical vessels in vivo using two-photon laser scanning microscopy – Peifang Tian Mon. November 22nd, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The dynamics response of individual cerebral vessels to sensory-stimuli is crucial to form a mechanistic understanding of functional imaging technologies, such as functional MRI (fMRI), as well as for understanding neurovascular dysfunction, as occurs in stroke and dementia. …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. Light from Cosmic Strings – Tanmay Vachaspati Tue. November 16th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Stories of Large Scale Graphene – Yong Chen Mon. November 15th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Graphene has rapidly risen in the past few years to become one of the most actively researched topics in condensed matter physics and nanoscience due to its numerous remarkable properties and potential applications. …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. Modeling defects, microstructure, and shape evolution in orientationally ordered soft materials: nematic elastomers and lipid vesicles – Robin Selinger Mon. November 8th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Liquid crystal elastomers, sometimes called “artificial muscles,” combine the elastic properties of rubber with the molecular order properties of liquid crystals. These fascinating materials stretch, shrink, bend or flap in response to changes in temperature, illumination, or applied fields, due to strong coupling between orientational order and elastic strain. …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. Testing the No-Hair Theorem with Astrophysical Black Holes – Dmitrios Psaltis Tue. November 2nd, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Kerr spacetime of spinning black holes is one of the most intriguing predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The special role this spacetime plays in the theory of gravity is encapsulated in the no-hair theorem, which states that the Kerr metric is the only realistic black-hole solution of the vacuum field equations. …Read more. Cosmological Constraints from Peculiar Velocities – Arthur Kosowski Fri. October 29th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Peculiar velocities of galaxies and clusters are induced during the formation of structure in the universe via gravitational forces. As such, they provide a potentially powerful route to constraining both the growth of structure and the expansion history of the universe. …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. Polymeric materials for printable electronic applications: from synthesis to device characterization – Genevieve Sauve Mon. October 25th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Conjugated polymers are considered by many as leading candidates to produce the next generation of electronics. This belief is based upon several factors: (a) they can be solution-processed using established printing technologies to give flexible, lightweight functional thin films, allowing for low-cost and large-scale production. …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. Absorption/Expulsion of Oligomers and Linear Macromolecules in a Polymer Brush – Sergei Egorov Mon. October 18th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The absorption of free linear chains in a polymer brush was studied with respect to chain size and compatibility with the brush by means of Monte Carlo simulations and Density Functional Theory / Self-Consistent Field Theory at both moderate and high grafting densities using a bead-spring model. …Read more. IR issues in Inflation – Richard Holman Fri. October 15th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm I review some problems involving IR divergences in de Sitter space that give rise to behavior such as secular growth of fluctuations and discuss the use of the Dynamical Renormalization Group as a tool to resum and reinterpret these divergences. …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. The Angular Distribution of the Highest-Energy Cosmic Rays – Andrew Jaffe Tue. October 12th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Fractionalization in Mesoscopic Rings – Smitha Vishveshwara Mon. October 11th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A spectacular phenomenon that can occur in strongly correlated low dimensional systems is that of fractionalization. In such electronic systems, quasiparticles excitations can carry a fraction of the electron’s charge and can have anyonic quantum statistics which is neither fermionic nor bosonic. …Read more. Bulk viscosity and the damping of neutron star oscillations – Mark Alford Fri. October 8th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm How do we learn about the phases of matter beyond nuclear density? They are to be found only in the interior of neutron stars, which are inaccessible and hard to observe. …Read more. Exciton-Plasmon Interactions and Fano Resonances in Nanostructures – Alexander Govorov Mon. October 4th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Coulomb and electromagnetic interactions between excitons and plasmons in nanocrystals cause several interesting effects: energy transfer between nanoparticles (NPs), plasmon enhancement, reduced exciton diffusion in nanowires (NWs), exciton energy shifts, Fano interference effect, and non-linear phenomena [1-3]. …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. CMB in a Box – Raul Abramo Tue. September 28th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm First, I will show that the line-of-sight solution to cosmic microwave anisotropies in Fourier space, even though formally defined for arbitrarily large wavelengths, leads to position-space solutions which only depend on the sources of anisotropies inside the past light-cone of the observer. …Read more. Embedded nanopillars for solar cell applications – Jingbiao Cui Mon. September 27th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nanopillar radial junctions achieved by embedding nanopillars in absorbing thin films have potential for improved performance in solar cells due to increased junction area and improved charge carrier collection. This type of structure is still in its initial stage of development by using expensive and complicated microfabrication processes. …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. Does Quantum Mechanics Imply Gravity? – Harsh Mathur Tue. September 21st, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Studies of reflection-band defects in 1D polymeric photonic crystals – Guilin Mao Mon. September 20th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Disorder or variation of the periodic structure of 1D-photonic crystal can lead to defects in the reflection band, characterized by one or more spectrally narrow transmission peaks inside that band. At or near such defects, changes in the effective group velocity of the light result in interesting optical phenomena such as Faraday rotation enhancement and gain enhancement in a distributed feedback (DFB) photonic crystal laser. …Read more. Triboelectric Charging in Granular Systems – Daniel Lacks Mon. September 13th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Have you ever received a shock when you touched a doorknob after shuffling across a carpeted floor? The culprit, known as triboelectric charging, is also responsible for phenomena as innocuous as a rubbed balloon that makes your hair stand on end, or as dramatic as a lightning strike. …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. Galileon Inflation and Non-Gaussianities – Andrew Tolley Tue. September 7th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will discuss a new class of inflationary models based upon the idea of Galileon fields, scalar fields that exhibit non-linearly realized symmetries. These models predict distinctive non-Gaussian features in the primordial power spectrum, and I will discuss how they relate with, and can be distinguished from, canonical inflation, k-inflation, ghost inflation, and DBI-inflationary models. …Read more. Massively parallel Density functional calculations for thousands of atoms: KKRnano – Alexander Thiess Mon. August 30th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Existing highly precise density functional method for electronic structure calculations are mostly restricted to the treatment of at maximum a few hundred inequivalent atoms. This limitation leaves many open questions in material science e.g. …Read more. Michelson Lectures — High-Energy Physics with Low-Energy Symmetry Studies – David Hanneke Fri. May 14th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Discrete symmetries — charge conjugation (C), parity inversion (P), time reversal (T), and their combinations — provide insight into the structure of our physical theories. Many extensions to the Standard Model predict symmetry violations beyond those already known. …Read more. High-Energy Physics with Low-Energy Symmetry Studies – David Hanneke Fri. May 14th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Discrete symmetries — charge conjugation (C), parity inversion (P), time reversal (T), and their combinations — provide insight into the structure of our physical theories. Many extensions to the Standard Model predict symmetry violations beyond those already known. …Read more. Michelson Lectures — Cavity Control in a Single-Electron Quantum Cyclotron: An Improved Measurement of the Electron Magnetic Moment – David Hanneke Thu. May 13th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 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. 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. 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. Michelson Lectures — Optical Atomic Clocks – David Hanneke Tue. May 11th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm The most precise measurement techniques involve time, frequency, or a frequency ratio. For example, for centuries, accurate navigation has relied on precise timekeeping — a trend that continues with today’s global positioning system. …Read more. Michelson Postdoctoral Lecture 2:Optical Atomic Clocks – David Hanneke Tue. May 11th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The most precise measurement techniques involve time, frequency, or a frequency ratio. For example, for centuries, accurate navigation has relied on precise timekeeping — a trend that continues with today’s global positioning system. …Read more. Optical Atomic Clocks – David Hanneke Tue. May 11th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The most precise measurement techniques involve time, frequency, or a frequency ratio. For example, for centuries, accurate navigation has relied on precise timekeeping — a trend that continues with today’s global positioning system. …Read more. Michelson Lectures — Entangled Mechanical Oscillators and a Programmable Quantum Computer: Adventures in Coupling Two-Level Systems to Quantum Harmonic Oscillators – David Hanneke Mon. May 10th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm The two-level system and the harmonic oscillator are among the simplest analyzed with quantum mechanics, yet they display a rich set of behaviors. Quantum information science is based on manipulating the states of two-level systems, called quantum bits or qubits. …Read more. Michelson Postdoctoral Lecture 1: Entangled Mechanical Oscillators and a Programmable Quantum Computer: Adventures in Coupling Two-Level Systems to Quantum Harmonic Oscillators – David Hanneke Mon. May 10th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The two-level system and the harmonic oscillator are among the simplest analyzed with quantum mechanics, yet they display a rich set of behaviors. Quantum information science is based on manipulating the states of two-level systems, called quantum bits or qubits. …Read more. Entangled Mechanical Oscillators and a Programmable Quantum Computer: Adventures in Coupling Two-Level Systems to Quantum Harmonic Oscillators – David Hanneke Mon. May 10th, 2010 4:15 pm-5:15 pm The two-level system and the harmonic oscillator are among the simplest analyzed with quantum mechanics, yet they display a rich set of behaviors. Quantum information science is based on manipulating the states of two-level systems, called quantum bits or qubits. …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. Cosmological Bubbles and Solitons: A Classic(al) Effect – Tom Giblin Tue. April 27th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cosmological bubble collisions arising from first order phase transitions are a generic consequence of the Eternal Inflation scenario. I will present our computational strategy for generating and evolving these bubbles in 3+1 dimensions and in a self-consistently expanding background. …Read more. Atom Mapping and Correlated Functional Imaging of Nanowires – Lincoln J. Lauhon Mon. April 26th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nanowires are nanoscale in two dimensions and microscale in a third dimension, providing a wealth of opportunities to exploit novel nanoscale electronic, optical, magnetic, and thermal properties in devices with well-defined microscale electrical contacts. …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. Controlling Spin and Magnetism in Quantum Dots – Rafal Oszwaldowski Mon. April 19th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A promising approach for the next generation of applications for information storage and processing comes from the field of spintronics (spin-electronics) that seeks to use spin of carriers, rather than just their charge [1]. …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. Diffusion Tensor Imaging: A Guided Tour – Cheng Guan Koay Thu. April 15th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a noninvasive magnetic resonance (MR) technique for investigating tissue microstructure and white matter architectural organization in the brain. In this talk, we will present a basic introduction to DTI and give a guided tour through recent developments in the analysis of diffusion tensors from the least squares estimations of the diffusion tensor to the elliptical cone of uncertainty for characterizing uncertainty of the major eigenvector (or principal axis) of the diffusion tensor. …Read more. CP Violation in Bs->J/psi phi: Evidence for New Physics? – Karen Gibson Tue. April 13th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm CP violation in the Bs->J/psi phi system has been one of the most discussed topics in particle physics in the past two years, in large part due to anomalously high, although statistically limited, measurements of the CP violating phase made by the Tevatron experiments. …Read more. Through A Glass, Darkly: Obtaining Quantitative Information from Microscope Images of Liquid Crystals – Tim Atherton Tue. April 13th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Liquid Crystalline phases are identified by their beautiful textures when viewed under the polarizing microscope. These two-dimensional textures contain much information about the ordering of the liquid crystal, but it is generally difficult to extract quantitative information from them since the mapping from the order parameter field to the image is not injective. …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 Quantum Effects in Gravitational Collapse of a Reisner-Nordström Domain wall Tue. April 6th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm We will investigate the formation of RN black holes by studying the collapse of a charged spherically symmetric domain wall. Utilizing the Functional Schrödinger formalism, we will also investigate time-dependent thermodynamic properties of the collapse and compare with the well known theoretical results. …Read more. Hard tetrahedra and Quasi-Crystals – Rolfe G. Petschek Mon. April 5th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will describe the packing of hard tetrahedra. Contrary to recent speculations, Monte Carlo simulations show that at finite temperatures this Platonic solid packs with quite high volume fractions and has very complicated, probably quasi-crystalline phases and (likely) a modestly complicated phase diagram. …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. String theory cosmic strings – Dimitri P. Skliros Tue. March 30th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will discuss the first construction of coherent states in the covariant formalism for both open and closed strings with applications to cosmic strings in mind. Furthermore, I provide an explicit map that relates three different descriptions of cosmic strings: classical strings, lightcone gauge quantum states and covariant vertex operators. …Read more. Periodic networks in heterogeneous materials: theory and multiscale homogenization for soling heat transfer and deformation problems – Viktoria Savatorova Mon. March 29th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm All materials consist of some heterogeneity. In many cases heterogeneity can affect the properties of the whole sample, and this fact stimulates the desire to create heterogeneous materials with definite desired properties. …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. Tunneling in Flux Compactifications – Jose Blanco-Pillado Tue. March 23rd, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm We identify instantons representing several different transitions in a field theory toy model for string theory flux compactifications and described the observational signatures of such processes. …Read more. Primordial magnetic fields: evolution and observable signatures – Tina Kahniashvili Tue. March 16th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will discuss the evolution of the primordial magnetic field accounting for MHD instabilities in the early Universe. I will address different cosmological signatures of the primordial magnetic fields and will discuss the observational tests to limit the amplitude and correlation length of the magnetic fields, as well as their detection prospects. …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. ArDM Experiment – Carmen Carmona Tue. March 2nd, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Argon Dark Matter (ArDM) project aims at operating a large noble liquid detector to search for direct evidence of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP) as Dark Matter in the universe. …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. A Theory Program to Exploit Weak Gravitational Lensing to Constrain Dark Energy – Andrew Zentner Fri. February 26th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Weak gravitational lensing is one of the most promising techniques to constrain the dark energy that drives the contemporary cosmic acceleration. I give an overview of the dark energy problem, focusing on the manner in which weak gravitational lensing can determine the nature of the dark energy. …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. Ultrafast physics in photosynthesis: Mapping sub-nanometer energy flow – Naomi Ginsberg Thu. February 25th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In the first picoseconds of photosynthesis, photoexcitations of chlorophyll molecules are passed through a network of chlorophyll-binding proteins to a charge transfer site, initiating the conversion of absorbed energy to chemical fuels. …Read more. Shedding light on the nature of dark matter with gamma-rays – Jennifer Siegal-Gaskins Tue. February 23rd, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Detection of gamma rays from the annihilation or decay of dark matter particles is a promising method for identifying dark matter, understanding its intrinsic properties, and mapping its distribution in the universe. …Read more. Non-gaussianities and the Inflationary Initial State – Andrew Tolley Fri. February 19th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm The potential discovery of primordial non-gaussianities would revolutionize our understanding of early universe cosmology, giving a whole new perspective on the physics responsible for inflation. I will review the different possible physical mechanisms that can give rise to non-gaussianities, and discuss in detail those which are distinctive in telling us about the inflationary quantum state. …Read more. Single cell studies using microfluidic devices – Amy Rowat Thu. February 18th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Cells that are genetically identical can exhibit differences in phenotype, however, such variation remains masked in bulk measurements. To capture variability among individual cells, as well as the behavior of subpopulations of cells, requires studies with single cell resolution. …Read more. Dark Matter via Many Copies of the Standard Model – Alex Vikman Tue. February 16th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Recently it was realized that the strong coupling scale in gravity substantially depends on the number of different quantum fields present in nature. On the other hand, gravity theory with an electroweak strong coupling scale could be responsible for a solution of the hierarchy problem. …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. Hierarchy in the Phase Space and Dark Matter Astronomy – Niayesh Afshordi Fri. February 12th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Understanding small scale structure in the dark matter distribution is important in interpreting many astrophysical observations, as well as dark matter (direct or indirect) detection searches. With this motivation, I introduce a theoretical framework for describing the rich hierarchy of the phase space of cold dark matter haloes, due to gravitationally bound sub-structures, as well as tidal debris and caustics. …Read more. Imaging coherent electron transport in graphene – Jesse Berezovsky Thu. February 11th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The coherent flow of electrons through a graphene device is an intriguing physical problem, which must be understood for future quantum technologies. We have developed a low-temperature scanning probe technique for mapping the effect of a single movable scatterer on coherent transport in graphene. …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. Shading Lambda – Claudia de Rahm Tue. February 2nd, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm The idea of degravitation is to tackle the cosmological constant problem by modifying gravity at large distances such that a large cosmological constant does not backreact as much as anticipated from standard General Relativity. …Read more. Principles and Applications of Extrinsic (Doped) Organic Semiconductors – Calvin Chan Mon. February 1st, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Organic semiconductors have garnered much attention for many promising applications, including organic light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic cells, thin-film transistors, thin-film batteries and spintronic devices. Despite this demand, robust and efficient organic electronic devices have been limited by the quality of organic semiconductor materials and a poor understanding of their underlying physics. …Read more. Dark Matter Substructure in the Milky Way: Properties and Detection Prospects – Louie Strigari Tue. January 26th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cosmological observations have converged on a standard model of Lambda-Cold Dark Matter (LCDM), in which the Universe is dominated by yet unknown components of dark matter and dark energy. When confronted with observations of our own Milky Way, this theory of LCDM leads to the prediction of a significant population of bound, unseen dark matter substructures, ranging possibly from Earth mass scales up to observed dwarf galaxy mass scales. …Read more. Gigahertz dynamics of a strongly driven single spin in diamond – G. D. Fuchs Mon. January 25th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nitrogen vacancy (NV) center spins in diamond have emerged as a promising solid-state system for quantum information and communication. Techniques to manipulate a single spin have been used to study the long room temperature spin coherence times of NV centers as well as their interactions with nearby electron and nuclear spins. …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. On triviality of$\lambda\phi^{4}$theory in$D=4$– Dmitry Podolsky Tue. January 19th, 2010 11:30 am-12:30 pm e introduce a new non-perturbative method suitable for analyzing scalar quantum field theories at strong coupling based on mapping between quantum field theories in$dS_{D}\times M_{N}$spacetime and statistical field theories in Euclidean space$M_{N}. …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. ZnGeAs2: A Novel Semiconductor for Photovoltaics – Tim Peshek Mon. January 4th, 2010 12:30 pm-1:30 pm > I will motivate the fabrication of tandem thin film devices based solely on II-IV-V2 compounds as a target for wide-scale PV deployment. Third generation solar cells must overcome the Shockley-Queisser (SQ) limitation of single diode solar cells; the fabrication of multiple junction solar cells is one avenue to circumvent the SQ limit. …Read more. Spin Fluctuations in Magnetic Quantum Dots – Andre Petukhov Mon. December 14th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Pulsar Kicks With Active and Sterile Neutrinos – Leonard Kisslinger Fri. December 4th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm In 2007 my coworkers and I completed the calculation of the velocity given to a neutron star in the period of 10-20 seconds after the gravitational collapse of a massive star by active neutrinos. …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. Quantum Simulation of Strongly Correlated Quantum Dots Out of Equilibrium – Jong Han Mon. November 30th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The study of strong correlation physics out of equilibrium has become one of the most exciting fields in condensed matter theory of today. The physical systems of interest include quantum dots displaying the zero-bias-anomaly (ZBA) due to the Kondo phenomena. …Read more. Nongaussian Fluctuations from Particle Production During Inflation – Neil Barnaby Tue. November 24th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm In a variety of inflation models, the motion of the inflaton may trigger the production of some iso-curvature particles during inflation, for example via parametric resonance or a phase transition. Inflationary particle production provides a new mechanism for generating cosmological perturbations (infra-red cascading) and can also slow the motion of the inflaton on a steep potential. …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. Gravitational Waves, Laser Interferometers and Multimessenger Astrophysics – Laura Cadonati Tue. November 10th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and its sister project Virgo are currently acquiring data, aiming at the first direct detection of gravitational waves. These elusive ripples in the fabric of space-time, carriers of information on the acceleration of large masses, are a key prediction of General Relativity; their detection will activate a fundamental, new probe into the universe. …Read more. From Water Splitting to Hydrogen Storage: The Art of First-Principles Predictions in Materials Design – Shengbai Zhang Mon. November 9th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Green and renewable energy is important to our environment, for sustainable energy supply, and offers new opportunities for economical growth. In the past, materials research has played an essential role in the development of the science bases necessary for green energy technology. …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. Three thoughts about black holes and cosmology – Latham Boyle Tue. November 3rd, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will present three ideas about black holes and cosmology. First, I will discuss a way of understanding the simple patterns which emerge from the notoriously thorny numerical simulations of binary black hole merger, and some of the directions where this understanding may lead. …Read more. Quantum Mechanics of Point Defects and Diffusion in α-Al2O3 – Arthur Heuer Mon. November 2nd, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Ab-initio DFT calculations have been made of native point defects – aluminum vacancies and interstitials and oxygen vacancies and interstitials – and point defect clusters, in both pure sapphire (α-Al2O3) and sapphire doped with the aliovalent solutes Mg and Ti. …Read more. Computer Simulations of Self-Assembly of Metallo-Supramolecular Networks – Elena Dormidontova Sat. October 31st, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Using Monte Carlo simulations we studied formation of reversible metallo-supramolecular networks based on 3:1 ligand-metal complexes between end-functionalized oligomers and metal ions. The fraction of 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1 ligand-metal complexes in reversibly associated structures was analyzed as a function of oligomer concentration, c and metal-to-oligomer ratio. …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. Magnetic Properties of Rare Earth Doped GaN – John M. Zavada Mon. October 26th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Rare earth (RE) doped GaN has been widely investigated for applications in displays and optical applications due to the strong visible infared (IRR) emissions from RE3+ ions in such a wide-band-gap material. …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. Using anisotropy to identify a dark matter signal in diffuse gamma-ray emission with Fermi – Jennifer Siegal-Gaskins Tue. October 20th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm Dark matter annihilation in Galactic substructure will produce diffuse gamma-ray emission of remarkably constant intensity across the sky, making it difficult to disentangle this Galactic dark matter signal from the extragalactic gamma-ray background. …Read more. Nanoscale memristive devices for memory and logic applications – Wei Lu Mon. October 19th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Memristor (a word created from “memory” and “resistor” ) has been claimed as the ” missing circuit element”and research on nanoscale memristor devices has gained substantial interest recently after the development of a simple device model last year. …Read more. Measuring small scale CMB temperature and polarization anisotropies with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope – Mike Niemack Fri. October 16th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a six-meter telescope on the Atacama plateau, Chile that was built to characterize the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with arcminute resolution. Since 2008 ACT has been used to measure the temperature anisotropies in the CMB in three bands between 140 – 300 GHz with the largest arrays of transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers ever fielded for CMB observations. …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. A birds-eye view of nonlinear optics: using scale invariance to optimize the molecular response – Mark Kuzyk Wed. October 14th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nonlinear optical materials show great promise in a broad range of applications from cancer therapies and medical imaging to increasing the speed of the internet. Making such applications possible requires molecules that interact more strongly with light. …Read more. New Perspectives on Indirect, Astrophysical Dark Matter Limits – Andrew Zentner Fri. October 9th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm High-Energy neutrinos from the annihilations of dark matter captured within the Sun is thought to be a relatively clean, indirect probe of dark matter physics. In addition, this probe is sensitive to the dark matter-proton cross section so it can be used to cross-check direct searches, and does not rely on a large annihilation cross section in order to be observed in near-term experiments such as IceCube. …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. Thermal Transport and Thermoelectric Energy Conversion in Nanomaterials – Li Shi Mon. October 5th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The high charge carrier mobility and thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes and graphene have attracted interest in their applications for nanoelectronics and thermal management. On the other hand, the suppressed lattice thermal conductivity of semiconducting nanowires and thin films may give rise to enhanced figure of merit of thermoelectric materials. …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. Band structure information from soft x-ray spectroscopy – Andrew Preston Mon. September 28th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The optical and electric properties of a material are entirely dependent on the ordering of its electrons. In crystalline materials quantum effects constrain the electrons to bands that are best described in terms of crystal momentum. …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. CMB Polarization Power Spectra from Two Years of BICEP Data – Cynthia Chiang Tue. September 22nd, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm BICEP is a bolometric polarimeter designed to measure the inflationary B-mode polarization of the cosmic microwave background at degree angular scales. During three seasons of observing at the South Pole (2006–2008), BICEP mapped ~2% of the sky chosen to be uniquely clean of polarized foreground emission. …Read more. Formation and properties of Cu_2S-CdS and Ag_2S-CdS Nanorod Heterostructures – Denis Demchenko Mon. September 21st, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A partial cation exchange has been used to synthesize Cu_2S-CdS and Ag_2S-CdS nanocrystal heterostructures, with two very different morphologies. Cu^+ cation exchange takes place preferentially at the ends of CdS nanorods, Cu_2S segments grow into the nanorod from both ends. …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. Recent Advances in Organic (Opto)electronic Materials – Oksana Ostroverkhova Wed. September 16th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm There is growing interest in using organic (opto)electronic materials for applications in electronics and photonics. In particular, organic semiconductor thin films offer several advantages over traditional silicon technology, including low-cost processing, the potential for large-area flexible devices, high-efficiency light emission, and widely tunable properties through functionalization of the molecules. …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. Ballistic Quasiparticles in Superfluid 3He: A Non-Newtonian Gas – George Pickett Mon. May 18th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We can cool superfluid 3He to below 100 microkelvin where the number of unpaired 3He atoms is only of the order of 1 in 10^8. Here these quasiparticle excitations move ballistically as they are so tenuous that collisions are highly improbable. …Read more. Cryogenic Dark Matter Search . Current Results and Future Background Discrimination – Cathy Bailey Tue. May 5th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) is searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) with cryogenic germanium particle detectors. These detectors discriminate between nuclear recoil candidate and electron recoil background events by collecting both phonon and ionization energy from recoils in the detector crystals. …Read more. Chirality and Kondo Physics in Graphene – Herb Fertig Mon. April 27th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Graphene, a two-dimensional network of carbon atoms, exhibits unique electronic properties because it supports low energy, massless, Dirac-like quasiparticles. The quantized Hall effect in this system has an unusual set of plateaus, whose locations may be interpreted in terms of a geometric “Berry’s phase” related to the chirality of the Dirac particles. …Read more. String shots from a spinning black hole – Ted Jacobson Fri. April 24th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm The dynamics of relativistic current carrying string loops moving axisymmetrically on the background of a Kerr black hole are characterized. In one interesting type of motion, a loop can be ejected along the axis, some internal elastic or rotational kinetic energy being converted into translational kinetic energy. …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. Landau Level Spectroscopy of Graphene – Zhigang Jiang Mon. April 20th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Graphene, a single atomic sheet of graphite, is a monolayer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The unique electronic band structure of graphene exhibits an unusual low-energy linear dispersion relation, radically different from the parabolic bands common to all previous two-dimensional systems. …Read more. Simulation, signatures and backgrounds at the LHC – Johan Alwall Thu. April 16th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In the final lecture I will go into details of how to distinguish New Physics at the LHC. I introduce Monte Carlo simulation, the standard tool used for data mining at colliders, and then go on to describe different types of signatures we can expect from new physics, and the Standard Model backgrounds mimicking these signatures. …Read more. New Physics at the LHC – Johan Alwall Wed. April 15th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In this second lecture, I further discuss the problems with the Standard Model and why there should be new physics beyond the Standard Model. I will present different classes of solutions, including Supersymmetry, Little Higgs models, and models for Extra Dimensions, as well as their general signatures at the LHC. …Read more. Fundamentals of the LHC – Johan Alwall Tue. April 14th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm In this introductory lecture I will present why we have built the LHC, and discuss the underlying physics of a hadron collider. This includes the fundamentals of QCD (the theory for the strong interaction), features such as jets and hadronization, and an introduction to the physics of the Standard Model, including Electroweak symmetry breaking. …Read more. Fundamentals of the LHC – Johan Alwall Tue. April 14th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In this introductory lecture I will present why we have built the LHC, and discuss the underlying physics of a hadron collider. This includes the fundamentals of QCD (the theory for the strong interaction), features such as jets and hadronization, and an introduction to the physics of the Standard Model, including Electroweak symmetry breaking. …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. First-principles theory of coloration on WO3 upon charge insertion – Peihong Zhang Mon. April 13th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Electrochromic matrials exchibit reversible and persistent change of the optical properties, hence the color, upon applying an electrical pulse that injects both electrons and compensating ions into the materials. Despite much research effort, a first-principles theory for the coloration mechanism in this material has not emerged. …Read more. Hunting for New Physics at the LHC – Johan Alwall Mon. April 13th, 2009 4:15 pm-5:15 pm At this colloquium 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. Screening Plasmonic Materials using Nanopyramidal Arrays – Teri Odom Mon. April 6th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are responsible for optical phenomena including negative refraction, surface enhanced Raman scattering, and nanoscale focusing of light. Although many materials support SPPs, the choice of metal for most applications has been based on traditional plasmonic materials such as Ag and Au because there have been no side-by-side comparisons of different materials on well- defined, nanostructured surfaces. …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. The curvaton inflationary model, non-Gaussianity and isocurvature – Maria Beltran Tue. March 31st, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm The inflationary paradigm has become one of the most compelling candidates to explain the observed cosmological phenomena. However, the data is still inconclusive about the particular details of the inflationary model. …Read more. Fast Protonic Conductivity in Crystalline Materials: Highly Sulfonated Aromatics – Yuriy Tolmachev Tue. March 31st, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells are expected to replace internal combustion engines as power sources in transportation during our lifetime. The talk will discuss briefly main issues impeding commercialization of PEFC technology as well as the PEFC research at Kent State. …Read more. Large-Scale Structure in Modified Gravity – Roman Scoccimarro Fri. March 27th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cosmic acceleration may be due to modifications of general relativity (GR) at large scales, rather than dark energy. We use analytic techniques and N-body simulations to find out what observational signatures to expect in brane-induced gravity, with focus on new nonlinear effects not present in GR. …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. Dark Stars – Katie Freese Tue. March 17th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm We have proposed that the first phase of stellar evolution in the history of the Universe may be Dark Stars (DS), powered by dark matter heating rather than by nuclear fusion. …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. Cascading Gravity and Degravitation – Claudia de Rham Tue. March 3rd, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cascading gravity is an explicit realization of the idea of degravitation, where gravity behaves as a high-pass filter. This could explain why a large cosmological constant does not backreact as much as anticipated from standard General Relativity. …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. Testing global isotropy and some interesting cosmological models with CMB – Amir Hajian Tue. February 24th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm Simplest models of the Universe predict global (statistical) isotropy on large scales in the observable Universe. However there are a number of interesting models that predict existence of preferred directions. In this talk I will present results of using CMB anisotropy maps to test the global isotropy of the Universe on its largest scales, and will show how that can help us constrain interesting models such as topology of the Universe and anisotropic cosmological models (e.g. …Read more. Dipole in a Magnetic Field, Work, and Quantum Spin – Robert Deissler Mon. February 23rd, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Place an atom in a nonuniform static external magnetic field and, because of the interaction between the atom’s magnetic moment and the magnetic field gradient, the atom will accelerate. This, of course, is what occurs in the classic Stern-Gerlach experiment. …Read more. Hilltop Quintessence – Sourish Dutta Tue. February 17th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm We examine hilltop quintessence models, in which the scalar field is rolling near a local maximum in the potential, and w is close to -1. We first derive a general equation for the evolution of the scalar field in the limit where w is close to -1. …Read more. Synthesis of Novel Fuel Cell Membranes with Aligned Proton Conducting Pathways – Matt Yates Mon. February 16th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Novel approaches have been developed to engineer the microstructure of proton conducting membranes to enhance proton transport. Polymer composite and ceramic membranes were synthesized in which proton conducting pathways are aligned through the plane of the membrane. …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. Molecular materials for dynamic holography and lasing applications – Jarek Mysliewiec Wed. February 4th, 2009 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The subject of the presentation will be focused on molecular materials like liquid crystals, photochromic polymers or modified DNA-dye systems and their possible applications for lasing and dynamic optical information recording. …Read more. Can the WMAP Haze really be a signature of annihilating neutralino dark matter? – Daniel Cumberbatch Tue. February 3rd, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm Observations by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite have identified an excess of microwave emission from the centre of the Milky Way. It has been suggested that this {\it WMAP haze} emission could potentially be synchrotron emission from relativistic electrons and positrons produced in the annihilations of one (or more) species of dark matter particles. …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. Multi-brane Inflation in String Theory – Amjad Ashoorioon Tue. January 27th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will talk about two inflationary scenarios in which the cooperative behavior of multiple branes give rise to inflation. In the first one, which we call cascade inflation, assisted inflation is realized in heterotic M-theory and by non-perturbative interactions of N M5-branes. …Read more. High temperature superfluidity in high energy heavy ion collisions at RHIC and forward physics with TOTEM at LHC – Tamas Csorgo Tue. January 13th, 2009 11:30 am-12:30 pm Five important milestones have been achieved in high energy heavy ion collisions utilitizing the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at BNL: – a new phenomena – which was proven to signal a new state of matter – this state of matter was found to be a perfect fluid, with temperatures reaching 2 terakelvins and more – the degrees of freedom were shown to be the quarks – and the kinematic viscosity of this matter at extemely high temperatures were found to be less than that of a superfluid 4He at the onset of superfluidity. …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. Bent-core nematic liquid crystals: Opportunities and mysteries – Jim Gleeson Mon. December 1st, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Anthropy and entropy – Irit Maor Tue. November 25th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Phonon expansion and dispersion: Condensed matter channels: Material diagnosis – Dov Hazony Mon. November 24th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Propagating basic acoustic pulses may behave as phonons. They can be characterized and utilized to evaluate channels through which they have travelled. …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. On the Challenge to Unveil the Microscopic Nature of Dark Matter – Scott Watson Tue. November 18th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm Despite the successes of modern precision cosmology to measure the macroscopic properties of dark matter, its microscopic nature still remains elusive. LHC is expected to probe energies relevant for testing theories of electroweak symmetry breaking, and as a result may allow us to produce dark matter for the first time. …Read more. Terahertz Time-Domain Measurement of Ballistic Electron Resonance in a Single-walled Carbon Nanotube – Zhaohui Zhong Mon. November 17th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The terahertz (~ 100 GHz to 10 THz) electrical properties of nanomaterials are of relevance both to the fundamental science of low-dimensional systems and to the operation of next-generation smaller and faster electronics. …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. Room temperature ferromagnetism in semiconducting oxides – Chandran Sudakar Mon. November 10th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Diluted magnetic semiconductors are formed when magnetic transition metal ions are doped in small concentrations into a semiconductor host lattice. The first reports of ferromagnetism being observed at room temperature in a dilutely doped semiconducting oxide film attracted a great deal of attention, but were also met with considerable skepticism. …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. Spin injection, transport, and control in Silicon – Ian Appelbaum Mon. November 3rd, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The intrinsic angular momentum of an electron (spin) – and its associated magnetic moment – can encode information: spin “up” or “down” can be interpreted as “0” or “1”, and potentially be used as the physical realization of a new paradigm of computing beyond electronics. …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. Coupling nanomechanical motion to electromagnetic fields through the Casimir effect and surface evanescent waves – HoBun Chan Fri. October 24th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The miniaturization of mechanical devices opens new opportunities for investigating and exploiting novel phenomena that occur for components in close proximity. The Casimir force, for example, originates from the zero-point quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic fields. …Read more. South Pole Telescope: From conception to first discovery – Zak Staniszewski Tue. October 21st, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm The South Pole Telescope recently discovered three new galaxy clusters in their CMB maps via the Sunyaev Zel’dovich (SZ) effect (Staniszewski et al. 2008). These are the first galaxy clusters discovered using this promising new technique. …Read more. Charge Transport Phenomena in MilliKelvin Germanium and Detectors of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search – Kyle Sundqvist Mon. October 20th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) seeks to detect putative weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPS), which could explain the dark matter problem in cosmology and particle physics. By simultaneously measuring the number of charge carriers and the energy in non-thermalized phonons created by particle interactions in intrinsic Ge and Si crystals at a temperature of 40 mK, a signature response for each event is produced. …Read more. Primordial Nongaussianity and Large-Scale Structure – Dragan Huterer Fri. October 17th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm The near-absence of primordial nongaussianity is one of the basic predictions of slow roll, single-field inflation, making measurements of nongaussianity fundamental tests of the physics of the early universe. I first review parametrizations of nongaussianity and briefly review the history of its measurements from the CMB and large-scale structure. …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. In Search of the Coolest White Dwarfs – Evalyn I.Gates Tue. October 14th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cool white dwarf stars are among the oldest objects in the Galaxy. These relics of an ancient stellar population offer a window into the early stages of the galaxy and its formation, and more data on the oldest and coolest white dwarfs may help resolve the interpretation of microlensing searches for MACHOs in the galactic halo. …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. High Resolution Spectroscopy of the Quantum Hall Liquid – Oliver Dial Mon. October 13th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The single particle spectrum of an electronic system is a measure of the ease of inserting a single, whole electron into the system at a particular energy. A peak in this spectrum indicates that there is a long-lived state available for electrons at that particular energy — in essence, that it is possible to form a quasiparticle at that energy. …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. The White Elephant: Upsilon Physics at the BaBar B-factory – Steve Sekula Tue. October 7th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm For a decade, the PEP-II/BaBar B-factory has been a flagship experiment in precision measurements in the flavor sector, notably in the decays of B and charm mesons. Before its shutdown in April, the B-factory took a new direction and secured the world’s largest samples of Upsilon(3S) and Upsilon(2S) mesons and performed an extensive scan above the Upsilon(4S) resonance. …Read more. Pedigrees and Partition Functions – Joseph Abraham Mon. October 6th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will review some key concepts and computations in statistical genetics and discuss some analogies with the calculations on disordered spin systems. No prior knowledge of genetics is assumed. …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 Electrical, Mechanical, and Electromechanical Studies of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene – James Hone Wed. September 24th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm This talk will report on studies of the properties of carbon nanotubes of known chiral index, as determined by Rayleigh scattering spectroscopy. These properties include the mechanical stiffness, the electromechanical response, and basic electrical transport properties. …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. Parameterizing dark energy – Zhiqi Huang Tue. September 16th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm Dark energy is parameterized by the time evolution of its equation of statew(z)$. For a very wide class of quintessence (and phantom) dark energy models, we parameterize$w(z)with physical quantities related to the scalar field potential and initial conditions. …Read more. Heterostructured quantum dots: growth and characterization – Kurt Eyink Mon. September 15th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Quantum dots (QDs) have been receiving considerable attention lately due to the unique properties, which arise due to the confinement of the electron and holes in a lower band gap material. …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. Collective molecular motor using chiral liquid crystalline thin films – Hiroshi Yokoyama Mon. September 8th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The effect of dark matter halos on reionization and the H21 cm line – Aravind Natarajan Fri. September 5th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm If much of the dark matter in the Universe consists of WIMPs, their annihilation releases energy, some of which ionizes the IGM. We calculate the contribution to the optical depth due to particle annihilation in early halos. …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. Astrophysical probes of dark matter – Roberto Trotta Fri. May 9th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The nature and properties of dark matter are one of the outstanding questions in cosmology. A well-motivated cold dark matter candidate is the lightest supersymmetric particle, the neutralino, whose properties however might remain underconstrained even if supersymmetry is discovered at the LHC in the next few years. …Read more. Precision cosmology for the 21st century – Roberto Trotta Thu. May 8th, 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. 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. Probing dark energy with cosmology – Roberto Trotta Tue. May 6th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm In order to pin down the fundamental nature of dark energy, and thus to understand what most of the Universe is actually made of, new and more precise observations are required, along with more efficient and reliable statistical techniques to interpret those observations correctly and to understand the implications they have for our theoretical models of the Universe. …Read more. Probing dark energy with cosmology – Roberto Trotta Tue. May 6th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In order to pin down the fundamental nature of dark energy, and thus to understand what most of the Universe is actually made of, new and more precise observations are required, along with more efficient and reliable statistical techniques to interpret those observations correctly and to understand the implications they have for our theoretical models of the Universe. …Read more. Bayes in the sky – Advanced statistical tools for cosmology – Roberto Trotta Mon. May 5th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Increasingly refined cosmological observations, ranging from temperature anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background to the distribution of galaxies in the modern Universe, are leading to the formulation of a “concordance model” of cosmology. …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. Near-field optical scanning spectroscopy of photonic nanostructures – Alexander Mintairov Mon. April 21st, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will describe the experiments of using high spatial resolution near-field temperature-dependent magneto-photoluminescence to study optical and structural properties of variety semiconductor quantum dots emitting from violet to near-infrared. The probing of the mode fields in micro-disk and photonic crystal cavities using near-field technique will also be discussed. …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. Ab-initio Assisted Process and Device Simulation for Nanoelectronic Devices – Wolfgang Windl Mon. April 14th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The continuing miniaturization of traditional semiconductor devices deep into the nano-realm and novel concepts such as molecular devices require an unprecedented attention to the detailed geometry and electronic properties on the atomic scale. …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. Astrophysics and Particle Physics with IceCube – Tyce DeYoung Tue. April 8th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm The IceCube neutrino observatory under construction at the South Pole is designed to detect high energy (TeV-PeV) neutrino emission from astrophysical objects, such as the sources of galactic and extragalactic cosmic rays. …Read more. Some examples of theory and computation of properties of transition metal nitrides – Sanjay Khare Mon. April 7th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A convergence of many factors has caused the emergence of growing synergy between theoretical and experimental research in condensed matter and materials science. Our current research interests that are benefiting from this symbiosis will be briefly discussed. …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. Laboratory studies of atmospheric aerosol nucleation – Shan-Hu Lee Mon. March 31st, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Flow diagram and Quantum critical behavior of the two-dimensional metal-insulator transition (2DMIT) – Alex Punnoose Mon. March 24th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Early speculation that an electron gas in two dimensions is always an insulator was upset when experiments in relatively high mobility systems showed signs of metallic behavior. Systematic experiments forced us to re-examine the interplay between electron-electron interactions and disorder. …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. UHECR Phenomenology – Glennys Farrar Tue. March 18th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will review some very general properties that must characterize any relativistic UHECR accelerator, and I will list some key observational constraints on the accelerators. In combination these make it unlikely that any of the conventional source candidates can be solely responsible for the observed cosmic rays about about 60 EeV. …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. Challenging the Cosmological Constant – Nemanja Kaloper Thu. February 28th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm We outline a dynamical dark energy scenario whose signatures may be simultaneously tested by astronomical observations and laboratory experiments. The dark energy is a field with slightly sub-gravitational couplings to matter, a logarithmic self- interaction potential with a scale tuned to ~ 10 -3 eV, as is usual in quintessence models, and an effective mass m phi influenced by the environmental energy density. …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. Universal Gelation of Particles with Short-ranged Attraction – Peter J. Lu Thu. February 28th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Nanoscale or colloidal particles are exceptionally important in many realms of science and technology. They can dramatically change the properties of materials, imparting solid-like behavior to a wide variety of complex fluids, from yoghurt to cast ceramics. …Read more. Observing Dark Energy with the Next Generation of Galaxy Surveys – Ofer Lahav Tue. February 26th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm The talk will discuss the design and forecasting for measuring properties of Dark Energy and Dark Matter from new deep imaging surveys, in particular the “Dark Energy Survey” and the DUNE satellite. …Read more. Metallic and Magnetic Nanostructured Thin Films Mon. February 25th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The correlation between structure and magnetism in magnetic materials continues to offer exciting opportunities at the nano-scale. For example the fabrication of novel magnetic materials in ultra-thin film form has led to perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and in some cases also enhanced magneto-optical behavior. …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. k-Essence: superluminal propagation, causality and emergent geometry – Alexander Vikman Tue. February 19th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm K-essence models – scalar field theories with non-quadratic kinetic terms – are considered candidates for dynamical dark energy and inflation. One of the most interesting features of these nonlinear theories is that perturbations around nontrivial backgrounds propagate with a speed different from the speed of light. …Read more. Macrophase ordering in ionomers under external potential – Elshad Allahyarov Mon. February 18th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Coarse-grained molecular-dynamics simulations were used to study the morphological changes induced in a Nafion-like ionomer by the imposition of a strong electric field. We observe that proton transport through this polymer electrolyte membrane is accompanied by morphological changes that include the formation of structures aligned along the direction of the applied field. …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. Physics Beyond the Horizon – Niayesh Afshordi Tue. February 12th, 2008 4:30 pm-5:30 pm The history of human knowledge is often highlighted by our efforts to explore beyond our apparent horizon. In this talk, I will describe how this challenge has now evolved into our quest to understand the physics at/beyond the cosmological horizon, some twenty orders of magnitude beyond Columbus’s original plan. …Read more. Ubiquity of Entanglement – Stanislaw Szarek Mon. February 11th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Entanglement is thought to be the critical resource in quantum computing and quantum communication. We explain how this physical concept is related to ideas and problems in mathematics, and particularly in functional analysis, convex analysis and high- dimensional geometry. …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. Demystifying the Large-Scale Structure and Evolution of the Cosmos – Constantinos Skordis Tue. February 5th, 2008 11:30 am-12:30 pm In the last two decades, cosmology has undergone a revolution, with a large influx of high quality data. There is now a consensus cosmological standard model, Lambda-CDM, based on General Relativity as the theory of gravity, and which requires only about 4% of the energy budget of the universe to be in known baryonic form. …Read more. Bilayer Quantum Hall Effect – Bahman Roostaei Mon. February 4th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In a closely spaced double quantum well (DQW), electrons are thought to form an interlayer coherent state when a perpendicular magnetic field is applied such that the total Landau level filling factor one. …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. Nanotubes beyond carbon: theory of gallium nitride and boron nanotubes – Sohrab Ismail-Beigi Mon. January 28th, 2008 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Although atomically-thin nanotubes of other elements are now fabricated, carbon nanotubes are probably the best known examples of nano-materials. They provide ideal cases for studying a variety of nanoscopic effects: e.g., geometric and quantum confinement of electrons, enhanced Coulomb interactions in one dimension, and curvature effects. …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. Cosmological Unification of String Theories – Simeon Hellerman Fri. January 18th, 2008 1:00 pm-2:00 pm Recent developments have greatly extended our understanding of quantum gravity in cosmological environments. A new set of exact time-dependent solutions has been found to the equations of motion of string theory, that interpolate among string theories of dramatically different character. …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. The Accelerating Universe: Landscape or Modified Gravity? – Sergei Dubovsky Tue. January 15th, 2008 4:30 pm-5:30 pm The most remarkable recent discovery in fundamental physics is that the Universe is undergoing accelerated expansion. To achieve a proper understanding of its physical origin forces us to make a hard choice between dynamical and enviromental scenarios. …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. Late Time Behavior of False Vacuum Decay – James Dent Fri. December 7th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The late time behavior of decaying states is examined with regards to its deviation from the usual exponential form of decay. We will look at the origins of this well-established result in quantum mechanics and discuss the issues that arise in a field theory setting. …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. What do WMAP and SDSS really tell about inflation? – Wessel Valkenburg Tue. December 4th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm We present new constraints on the Hubble function H(phi) and subsequently on the inflationary scalar potential V(phi) from WMAP 3-year data combined with the Sloan Luminous Red Galaxy survey (SDSS-LRG), using a new methodology which appears to be more generic, conservative and model-independent than in most of the recent literature, since it depends neither on the slow-roll approximation, nor on any extrapolation scheme for the potential beyond the observable e-fold range, nor on additional assumptions about initial conditions for the inflaton velocity. …Read more. Near-field optical scanning spectroscopy of photonic nanostructures – Alexander Mintairov Mon. December 3rd, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will describe the experiments of using high spatial resolution near-field temperature-dependent magneto-photoluminescence to study optical and structural properties of variety semiconductor quantum dots emitting from violet to near-infrared. The probing of the mode fields in micro-disk and photonic crystal cavities using near-field technique will also be discussed. …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. Bekenstein-Sanders theory of modified gravity – Constantinos Skordis Tue. November 27th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Gravitational Radiation from Supermassive Black Hole Binaries – Andrew Jaffe Tue. November 20th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Evidence for Supermassive Black Holes at the centers of galaxy bulges, combined with the paradigm of hierarchical structure formation, implies the existence of binary Supermassive Black Holes. It is expected that these binaries themselves will eventually coalesce in what would be the brightest gravitational-radiation events in the astrophysical universe. …Read more. Scanning Inflation – Pascal Vaudrevange Tue. November 20th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm The shapes of the primordial power spectra are the key quantities to unravel the physics of the inflationary epoch. We propose a new framework for parametrizing the spectra of primordial scalar and tensor perturbations, stressing the statistical trajectory nature of the relevant quantities and the importance of priors which can lead to spurious results like an apparent detection of tensor modes. …Read more. Phonons in ZnGeN2 and related materials: experiment and theory – Tim Peshek and Tula Paudel Mon. November 19th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm This seminar will consist of three practice talks for the MRS Fall meeting. Tim will first talk about an experimental determination of the free energy of formation of GaN from its elements. …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. Thermo-acoustic waves near the liquid-vapor critical point : the sound of heat – Pierre Carlès Wed. November 14th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A fluid near its liquid-vapor critical point exhibits puzzling heat transfer dynamics, as temperature relaxation becomes faster and faster near the critical point (an observation which contradicts the expected critical slowing down of diffusive processes). …Read more. Sterile neutrinos as subdominant warm dark matter – Dan Cumberbatch Tue. November 13th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm In light of recent findings which seem to disfavor a scenario with (warm) dark matter entirely constituted of sterile neutrinos produced via the Dodelson-Widrow (DW) mechanism, my colleagues and I investigated the constraints attainable for this mechanism by relaxing the usual hypothesis that the relic neutrino abundance must necessarily account for all of the dark matter. …Read more. Identifying defect structures by first principles XANES – Sukit Limpijumnong Mon. November 12th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm First principles calculations allow one to model materials from fundamental quantum mechanics without bias. Because the calculations contain detailed atomic coordinates and electron distributions as well as their wave functions, most measurable properties including the X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structures (XANES) can be simulated. …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. Synthesis and Characterization of GaGdN – Cammy Abernathy Mon. November 5th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The past decade has seen a rise in interest in the area of dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMSs). In part, this has been directed by a push towards harnessing the spin of electrons for device usage in the field of spintronics. …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. Baryogenesis, Electric Dipole Moments, and the Higgs Boson – Michael Ramsey-Musolf Tue. October 30th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Explaining the predominance of visible matter over antimatter remains one of the outstanding puzzles at the interface of cosmology with particle and nuclear physics. Although the Standard Model cannot account for the matter-antimatter asymmetry, new physics at the electroweak scale may provide the solution. …Read more. Controlling light on the nanoscale: imaging and spectroscopy with ultrahigh spatial and temporal resolution – Markus Raschke Mon. October 29th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Gravitational Breakthrough or Experimental Error? – Martin Tajmar Wed. October 24th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Accelerometer measurments indicate that a circular field is induced when the rotation rate of a Niobium superconducting ring changes. If found to be genuine, this would be the first-ever gravitational-like field induced by controllable means. …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. Extragalatic Cosmic Rays: a Prescription to Avoid Disaster – Corbin Covault Tue. October 16th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm The origin of the highest energy cosmic rays has remained a persistent mystery for decades. Now we seem to be on the verge of getting a new handle on where in the universe these things come from. …Read more. Polyelectrolytes: A Field-Theoretic Perspective – Yuri Popov Mon. October 15th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Field-theoretic methods are not new to polymer physics. Their basic idea is to replace the particle-based description of the polymer in terms “monomers” or “beads” with a description in terms of collective variables, or fields (e.g. …Read more. Stabilizing Atmospheric CO_2 [joint colloquium with Chemistry] – Gregory H. Rau Thu. October 11th, 2007 4:30 pm-5:30 pm “Spinning” and “twisting” a light beam and other wavefront-shaping tricks performed with suitably patterned liquid crystals – Lorenzo Marrucci Thu. October 11th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The so-called “helical modes” of an electromagnetic wave are characterized by a helical shape of the wavefront. They carry quantized angular momentum of an orbital kind, as opposed to the spin-like angular momentum that can be associated with circularly polarized waves. …Read more. Disorder, Interactions, and Crossovers in Quantum Dots – Ganpathy Murthy Mon. October 8th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In ballistic/chaotic quantum dots the single-particle states are controlled by Random Matrix Theory below the Thouless scale. The three pure Random Matrix ensembles correspond to dots without an orbital B field and no spin- orbit coupling (Orthogonal), dots without an orbital field and with spin-orbit coupling (Symplectic), and dots with an orbital field (Unitary). …Read more. Energy options [joint colloquium with Chemistry] – John Deutch Thu. October 4th, 2007 4:30 pm-5:30 pm Looking for the Spin Hall Effect in all the Wrong Places – Nitin Samarth Mon. October 1st, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The spin and anomalous Hall effects are related phenomena that arise from spin-dependent electrical transport in solids in the presence of spin-orbit coupling. Conventional wisdom has motivated many experimental studies of these effects in systems where spin-orbit coupling effects are inherently strong. …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. Defect structures in nematic liquid crystal shells – Alberto Fernandez-Nieves Mon. September 24th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We use double emulstions drops to experimentally realize a system to investigate the defect structure in spherical shells of nematic liquid crystal. The ground state of this system is predicted to exhibit a tetrahedral arrangement of four surface defects in a structure reminiscent of a baseball. …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. Frustration Phenomena in Liquid Crystals in Contact with Patterned Substrates – Tim Atherton Mon. September 17th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Recent experimental advances in fabricating micropatterned surfaces offer the display industry the possibility of constructing new types of display with such desirable properties as bistability, enhanced contrast ratio and reduced power consumption. …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. Elasticity of Polymer Gels (and a Cytoskeleton in the Closet) – Gavin Buxton Mon. September 10th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Using computer simulations we can investigate the elastic properties of random elastic networks of struts. As the connectivity of the network increases a transition is observed between systems which deform through the bending of the struts to systems which deform through the stretching of the struts. …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. Dark matter, small-scale structure, and dwarf galaxies – Louie Strigari Tue. September 4th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm The standard model of cold dark matter predicts the existence of thousands of small dark matter halos orbiting the Milky Way, and steep cusps in the central regions of dark matter halos. …Read more. Odd circuits: stability and jamming in hard granular materials – Nicolas Rivier Mon. May 21st, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A dry granular material is modelled as a graph of spherical grains linked by purely repulsive contacts. Its stability (jamming) is insured by odd circuits that prevent the grains from rolling on each other. …Read more. Finding and Using Strong Galaxy-Galaxy Lenses in the SDSS – Adam Bolton Fri. May 4th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Theory and Phenomenology of Strong Gravitational Lensing – Adam Bolton Thu. May 3rd, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Michelson Postdoctoral Prize lecture – Adam Bolton Wed. May 2nd, 2007 4:15 pm-5:15 pm All I Really Need to Know about Elliptical Galaxies – Adam Bolton Wed. May 2nd, 2007 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Some problems in the non-linear optics of liquid crystals – Tim Sluckin Mon. April 30th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Michelson Postdoctoral Lecture – Adam Bolton Mon. April 30th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The Modern Practice of Optical Astronomy – Adam Bolton Mon. April 30th, 2007 4:00 pm-5:00 pm 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. String Gas Cosmology and Structure Formation – Robert Brandenberger Tue. April 24th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Understanding the very early universe is linked inextricably with understanding the resolution of cosmological singularities. I will discuss “string gas cosmology”, one of the approaches making use of string theory to obtain an improved picture of the early universe cosmology. …Read more. ACES seminar: Molecularly Engineered Interfaces for Organic Optoelectronics – Zakya Kafafi Mon. April 23rd, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The Origin of the Big Bang: the status of inflation after WMAP – Slava Mukhanov Fri. April 20th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will discuss at a colloquium level the robust model independent predictions of inflation and compare these predictions with the results of the observations of the fluctuations of the cosmic mictrowave background radiation. …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. Prospects for a New Type of High Energy Physics Facility: a Muon Collider – Tom Roberts Fri. April 13th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm In a few years, after Fermilab’s Tevatron turns off and initial LHC results are available, the High Energy Physics community will be at a crossroads: what type of facility to consider next? …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. Ongoing Mysteries in Astrophysics – Don Driscoll Wed. April 11th, 2007 4:00 pm-5:00 pm We are at the brink of a Golden Age of Astrophysics with the promise of answers to many long-outstanding questions, including: What is the nature of Dark Matter? What source powers Active Galactic Nuclei? …Read more. Ongoing Mysteries in Astrophysics – Donald Driscoll Wed. April 11th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We are at the brink of a Golden Age of Astrophysics with the promise of answers to many long-outstanding questions, including: What is the nature of Dark Matter?What source powers Active Galactic Nuclei?Where do Gamma-Ray Bursts come from?Where do the highest energy Cosmic Rays come from? …Read more. Bioinspired molecular optoelectronics – Volodimyr Duzhko Fri. April 6th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The versatility and rich functionality of living cells in Nature inspire researchers from many disciplines. For example, artificial replication of photosynthesis, which is an efficient solar-to-chemical energy conversion process in plants, promises a breakthrough in reducing our dependence on exhaustible and environmentally harmful fossil energy sources. …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. New avenues to computational technology: novel spin transport effects at the nanoscale – Ewelina Hankiewicz Mon. April 2nd, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The exponential increase of computational speed over time through miniaturization, known as Moore’s law, is now a thing of the past. This increase in speed is no longer due to our ability to make smaller devices, but in the control of heat dissipation. …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. Probability in cosmology: from Bayes theorem to the anthropic principle – Roberto Trotta Tue. March 27th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …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. EBEX, a CMB B-mode polarization experiment – Tomotake Matsumura Tue. March 20th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm I present a balloon-borne cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment, E and B experiment(EBEX). EBEX is designed, i) to detect or set an upper limit (T/S less than 0.03) on the inflationary gravity-wave background polarization anisotropy signal (primordial B-mode), ii) to measure the CMB polarization anisotropy signal induced by gravitational lensing (lensing B-mode), and iii) to measure galactic dust emission (120 GHz – 450 GHz) in order to monitor foreground contamination. …Read more. Warped Passages: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions Tue. March 20th, 2007 5:30 pm-6:30 pm Host: NOTE: The event is free, but registration is required, at http://www.case.edu/events/dls/register.html …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 From nano to micro: hierarchical ordering at the nanoscale – Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin Mon. March 19th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The overall goal of controlling structural and electronic materials properties at nanometer length scales can be thought of as the intersection of two distinct but correlated challenges. The first is the synthesis/fabrication of individual nanoscale structures and the second is the arrangement of those structures into tailored nano- and micro-scale assemblies. …Read more. Voids of Dark Energy – Sourish Dutta Tue. March 6th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm The present-day acceleration of the Universe is one of the greatest mysteries of modern cosmology. In the framework of general relativity, the expansion could be caused by either a “cosmological constant”, or a dynamical dark energy component (DDE). …Read more. Reconstructing dark energy using Maximum Entropy – Caroline Zunckel Fri. March 2nd, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Even in what has been termed an age of `precision cosmology’ certain anomalies on a range of astrophysical scales are observed and demand the existence of unseen types of matter or modifications to our current gravitational theory. …Read more. Current, maximum power and optimized efficiency of Brownian heat engine – Mulugeta Bekele Fri. March 2nd, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A tiny heat engine is modeled as a Brownian particle in a sawtooth potential (with or without load) moving through a highly viscous medium driven by the thermal kick it gets from alternately placed hot and cold heat reservoirs. …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. Unraveling Electronic and Spin Structure with Photoemission – Oleg Krupin Mon. February 26th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Angle-resolved photoemission is widely recognized as a versatile tool for studies of the electronic structure and Fermi surface topology of new structures and materials with electronic and magnetic properties potentially interesting for modern electronics and future spintronics applications. …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. Electrical Transport in Individual Nanostructures – Zhixian Zhou Tue. February 20th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Understanding the fundamental physical properties of individual nano scale materials is an essential and fundamental part of the research in nanoscience, since these nanostructures are not only potential building blocks of nanotechnology but also provide unique opportunities for studying a wealth of quantum mechanical phenomena. …Read more. Ultrafast non-equilibrium phenomena of the integer quantum Hall system – Keshav Dani Mon. February 19th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The non-equilibrium properties of a system are typically understood by assuming instantaneous scattering between particles. However, for very early (femtosecond) timescales, one sees that the interactions are not instantaneous. They are instead the quantum interference of particle wavefunctions which last for a finite duration in time. …Read more. Do quantum excitations of the inflaton decay? – Cristian Armendariz-Picon Fri. February 16th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The properties of the primordial perturbations seeded during a stage of inflation are determined by the quantum state of the inflaton. This state is usually assumed to be the “vacuum”, since one expects excited states to decay into the state of lowest energy. …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. Heisenberg’s XY model and the Development of Mammalian Visual Cortex – Peter Thomas Mon. February 12th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The architecture of the primary visual cortex, the first cortical area devoted to processing visual information, exhibits fascinating spatial organization. Individual nerve cells in this area are strongly tuned to respond to specific orientations (edges, contours, line segments) in the visual field. …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. Engineering Defect Dynamics in Liquid Crystal Cells – Rolfe Petschek Mon. February 5th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Defects and slow dynamics of defects in a type of liquid crystal cell that allows the manufacture of wide-viewing angle flat panel liquid crystal displays is a very significant problem or “deal breaker”. …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. Cosmic (super)strings: Gravitational wave bursts, stochastic background, and experimental constraints – Xavier Siemens Tue. January 30th, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm I discuss gravitational wave experimental signatures (bursts and stochastic background) of cosmic strings. I will show burst rates that are substantially lower (about a factor of 1000) than previous estimates suggest and explain the disagreement. …Read more. Transition metal and rare-earth nitrides: a new route to magnetic semiconductors – Walter Lambrecht Mon. January 29th, 2007 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Transition metal and rare-earth nitrides have both potential as magnetic semiconductors. I will present two case studies: Mn-doped ScN, which, unfortunately, might be a spinglass instead of a ferromagnetic semiconductor, and Gd-doped GaN, which was claimed to have COLOSSAL magnetic moments. …Read more. Quantum cosmology and the conditions at birth of the universe – Serge Winitzki Tue. January 23rd, 2007 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cosmology ultimately aims to explain the initial conditions at the beginning of time and the entire subsequent evolution of the universe. The “beginning of time” can be understood in the Wheeler-DeWitt approach to quantum gravity, where homogeneous universes are described by a Schroedinger equation with a potential barrier. …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. The life and death of dark matter halos: predictions for neutralino annihilation Tue. December 12th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm The concordance cosmological model predicts that structures in the Universe form via hierarchical merging, beginning with the smallest dark matter mini-halos. The mass of the smallest halo is set by the initial thermal motion of dark matter particles. …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. Aethereal Gravity – Brendan Foster Tue. December 5th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm Hints from quantum gravity suggest the existence of a preferred frame. One way to accommodate such a frame in general relativity without sacrificing general covariance is to couple the metric to a dynamical, timelike, unit-norm vector field–the “aether”. …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. The Quintessence Potential: Need for Features and Tracking? – Martin Sahlen Tue. November 28th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm We reconstruct the potential of a quintessence field from current observational data, including new supernova data, plus information from the cosmic microwave background and from baryon acoustic oscillations. We model the potential using Pade approximant expansions as well as Taylor series, and use observations to assess the viability of the tracker hypothesis. …Read more. Nonlinear Optics in Multilayer Polymer Films – Kenneth Singer Mon. November 27th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Case Western was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. This 5 year ~20M once renewable grant is housed in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering and is named the Center for Layered Polymer Systems (CLiPS). …Read more. Exploring the Dark Energy Domain – Dragan Huterer Tue. November 21st, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm One of the great mysteries of modern cosmology is the origin and nature of dark energy – a smooth component that contributes about 70% of the total energy density in the universe and causes its accelerated expansion. …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. Probing Dark Energy – Josh Frieman Tue. November 14th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Terahertz spectroscopy of InMnAs – Jason Deibel Mon. November 13th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS’s) based on III-V semiconductors such as GaAs and InAs have drawn considerable interest over the past two decades as possible materials for use in spintronic devices. These are devices in which both the charge and spin of the electron are exploited. …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. Semiconductor Spintronics – Igor Zutic Mon. November 6th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Spin-polarized transport and the related field of spintronics [1] rely on lifting of spin degeneracy in various physical properties. A different behavior for “spin up” and “spin down” in metallic magnetic structures has been shown to lead to large magnetoresistive effects which were successfully applied to computer hard drives and nonvolatile magnetic random access memory. …Read more. Fabrication and Characterization of Functional Nanostructures and Applications – Richard Mu Mon. October 30th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm My talk may consist of two folds. First, I would like to take this unique opportunity to give a brief introduction of Fisk University, and research and educational activities in general. …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. Is the Adiabatic approximation Inconsistent? – Solomon Duki Mon. October 23rd, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The adiabatic theorem is the basis of an approximation scheme that was discovered at the dawn of quantum mechanics and that has been in widespread and continuous use ever since. Applications range from two-level systems (such as nuclei undergoing magnetic resonance or atoms interacting resonantly with a laser field) to quantum field theory (where a low-energy effective theory is derived by integrating out fast, high-energy degrees of freedom). …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. Black Hole Formation, Evaporation and the Information Loss Problem – Dejan Stojkovic Tue. October 17th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm We use the full quantum treatment to study formation of a black hole as seen by an asymptotic observer. Using the Wheeler-de Witt equation to describe a collapsing shell of matter (a spherical domain wall), we show that the black hole takes an infinite time to form in the quantum theory, just as in the classical treatment. …Read more. X-Ray Emission and Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering: new probes of electronic structure in complex materials – Kevin Smith Mon. October 16th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Detailed electronic structure measurements are required in order to fully understand many physical phenomena in solids. While photoemission spectroscopy is often the electronic structure probe of choice, there are many sample and environmental constraints that must be satisfied before meaningful data can be obtained with this spectroscopy. …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. Solution Processable Organic Photovoltaics – Sean Shaheen Mon. October 9th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Organic photovoltaics (OPV) have demonstrated power conversion efficiencies under AM1.5 illumination of 5%, a value high enough to attract attention from industry and national laboratory researchers. I will discuss issues in the photophysics, charge transport, molecular morphology and band structure that limit current devices and discuss new materials and device approaches that may yield higher efficiencies. …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. Nuclear astrophysics underground – Heide Costantini Tue. October 3rd, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm Cross section measurements for quiescent stellar burning are hampered mainly by extremely low counting rate and cosmic background. Some of the main reactions of H-burning phase have been measured at the LUNA facility (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics) taking advantage of the very low background environment of the Underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. …Read more. Electromechanical coupling effects in semiconductor heterostructures – Lok C. Lew Yan Voon Mon. October 2nd, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Electromechanical coupling effects are known to significantly impact the physical properties of wurtzite (nitrides, ZnO, …) semiconductor nanostructure devices. However, there has not been to date a systematic study of the fully-coupled multiphysics problem and there are discrepancies within and between experimental and theoretical studies. …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. Searching for double beta decay with the Enriched Xenon Observatory – Carter Hall Tue. September 26th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm Neutrinoless double beta decay has recently become a top priority for the global experimental neutrino physics program. Double beta decay has the potential to resolve the scale of the neutrino mass spectrum, and is also the only practical tool we have for understanding the particle/anti- particle nature of the neutrino. …Read more. Positron annihilations at the Galactic Center: Generating more questions than answers – Hasan Yuksel Tue. September 26th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm The bulge of our Galaxy is illuminated by the 0.511 MeV gamma-ray line flux from annihilations of nonrelativistic positrons. The emission is strongly concentrated at the Galactic Center, in contrast to gamma-ray maps tracing nucleosynthesis (e.g., the 1.809 MeV line from decaying ^26Al) or cosmic ray processes (e.g., the 1-30 MeV continuum), which reveal a bright disk with a much less prominent central region. …Read more. Simulating non-equilibrium processes over extended time and length scales using parallel kinetic Monte Carlo and parallel accelerated dynamics – Jacques Amar Tue. September 26th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A long-standing obstacle to the understanding of non-equilibrium processes in condensed-phase systems is that many important processes occur on time-scales that are not easily accessible with conventional methods such as molecular dynamics. …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. Expulsion of bend from a smectic liquid crystal: Anology to a type-I superconductor – Ruiting Wang Mon. September 18th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Using an atomic force microscope to nanopattern a substrate for liquid crystal alignment, a bend distortion is imposed on a liquid crystal. In regions of large bend the smectic-A phase melts into the nematic phase, and the width of the melted region is measured as a function of temperature. …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. Suppression of superconductivity in the Hubbard model at intermediate coupling by buckling and breathing phonons – Mark Jarrell Mon. September 11th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Recent quantum Monte Carlo Dynamical Cluster calculations show that the Hubbard model displays superconductivity at temperatures relevant to the cuprate high temperature superconductors [1] suggesting that spin fluctuations may be responsible for superconductivity in these materials [2]. …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 Magnetic Moments/ Galactic Positrons and Annihilating Dark Matter – Nicole Bell Fri. May 5th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Neutrino Magnetic Moments: The detection of a neutrino magnetic moment comparable to present limits would be an unequivocal indication of physics beyond the Standard Model. However, the existence of a neutrino magnetic moment implies contributions to the neutrino mass via electroweak radiative corrections. …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. 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. Cosmological Neutrinos: Relic Neutrino Abundance and Neutrino Mass Constraints – Nicole Bell Tue. May 2nd, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Neutrinos play unique roles in many epochs of the Universe’s evolution. Important information can be gleaned from neutrino evolution during the big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) era, for example, the best limit on the Universe’s lepton number results from considering BBN constraints together with large angle neutrino mixing. …Read more. Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecture – Nicole Bell Mon. May 1st, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm Astrophysical Neutrinos: Revealing Neutrino Properties at the Highest Energies …Read more. Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecture – Nicole Bell Mon. May 1st, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Astrophysical Neutrinos: Revealing Neutrino Properties at the Highest Energies …Read more. Astrophysical Neutrinos: Revealing Neutrino Properties at the Highest Energies – Nicole Bell Mon. May 1st, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm High energy neutrino astronomy opens a window on the universe that is not accessible with photons, offering an opportunity to obtain information about both astrophysical sources and fundamental particle physics. Neutrino telescopes, such as IceCube, will have the ability to measure both the energy spectrum and flavor content of high energy neutrino fluxes. …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. Phonon Anharmonicity and Phase Transitions in Bulk and Nanoparticle ZnSe under High Pressure – Bernard Weinstein Mon. April 24th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Resonant multi-phonon interactions strongly modify the life-times of the TO(Gamma) and LO(Gamma) normal modes in many bulk semiconductors.[1] The optically active confined and surface/interface modes in nanoparticles[2] are subject to enhanced anharmonic coupling because of the loss of q-conservation, the mixing of LO and TO polarities, and the presence of surfactant. …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. The structure of a vortex and critical current through the BCS-BEC crossover – Mohit Randeria Mon. April 10th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Recently, there has been dramatic progress in experimental studies of the BCS-BEC crossover in trapped atomic Fermi gases. In this talk I will begin with a brief overview of the field and comparison of experiments and theory. …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. Accelerated expansion from structure formation – Syksy Rasanen Tue. April 4th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm I discuss the backreaction of inhomogeneities on the expansion of the universe. The average behaviour of an inhomogeneous spacetime is not given by the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker equations. The new terms in the exact equations hold the possibility of explaining the observed acceleration without a cosmological constant or new physics. …Read more. Fractional vortices and composite domain walls in nanomagnets – Oleg Tchernyshyvov Mon. April 3rd, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We provide a simple explanation of complex magnetic patterns observed in ferromagnetic nanostructures. To this end we identify elementary topological defects in the field of magnetization: ordinary vortices in the bulk and vortices with half-integer winding numbers confined to the edge. …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. Molecular Imaging with Ultrafast Electron Diffraction – Chong-Yu Ruan Mon. March 27th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Ultrafast molecular imaging represents an emerging frontier.In particular, recent developments in the ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) have demonstrated the ability to image the rearrangements of chemical bonds in complex systems with resolutions of ~0.01A and ~1 ps, respectively. …Read more. A New Approach to Monte Carlo Methods in Statistical Physics – David Landau Thu. March 23rd, 2006 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Treading a Fine Line: One-Dimensional Semiconductor Physics in Carbon Nanotubes – Michael Fuhrer Mon. March 20th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The growth of individual, long (> 1 mm), high-quality single- or few-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on substrates by chemical vapor deposition has allowed the careful study of the intrinsic electronic properties of this material. …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. DEAP and CLEAN Detectors for Low-Energy Particle Astrophysics – Andrew Hime Tue. March 7th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm The unique properties of scintillation light in liquid neon and liquid argon make possible conceptually simple, massive, and highly sensitive detectors of low-energy solar neutrinos and cosmological dark matter. I will describe the program underway for the design and construction of two novel and complementary detectors dubbed DEAP (Dark matter Experiment with Argon and Pulse shape discrimination) and CLEAN (Cryogenic Low Energy Astrophysics with Neon). …Read more. Electron Interactions and Phase Coherence in Metals – Norman Birge Mon. March 6th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm At low temperatures, conduction electrons in disordered metals maintain quantum phase coherence over times often exceeding one nanosecond — several orders of magnitude longer than the time between elastic collisions. Phase coherence is broken by inelastic collisions, which also relax the energy distribution of the electrons toward thermal equilibrium. …Read more. In Search of Particle Dark Matter – Dan Hooper Tue. February 28th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm In recent years, we have learned a great deal about dark matter, but are still ignorant of its identity. The key to uncovering this mystery is likely to lie in some combination of direct and indirect detection techniques, as well as with collider experiments. …Read more. Point defects in ZnGeP2 – Walter Lambrecht Mon. February 27th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm ZnGeP2 is a semiconductor material used in nonlinear optical frequency conversion. To advance these applications it is necessary to gain a better understanding of the native point defects in this material. …Read more. Green Chemistry – Theory and Practice – Paul Anastas Thu. February 23rd, 2006 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Galaxy Clustering in the SDSS Redshift Survey – Idit Zehavi Tue. February 21st, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm The ongoing Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is providing a wealth of information enabling extensive large-scale structure studies. I will present measurements of galaxy clustering with the SDSS redshift survey, using a sample of about 200,000 galaxies, and concentrating on the two-point correlation function. …Read more. The determination Liquid Crystal Device parameters by means of renormalized transmission spectroscopic ellipsometry – Munehiro Kimura Mon. February 20th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm 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. Experiments with New Soft Solids – Patrick Mather Mon. February 13th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The design and synthesis of soft polymeric materials with tailored properties is an area of emphasis in our group. This talk will focus on two unique materials, covering synthesis through properties, revealing structure property relationships as we now understand them. …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. Frontiers in spectroscopy with the scanning tunneling microscope – Jay Gupta Mon. February 6th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The scanning tunneling microscope is a versatile tool to study nanoscale structures with atomic resolution through a combination of manipulation and spectroscopic capabilities. By a process of inelastic scattering, tunneling electrons can probe vibrational, configuration and spin-flip excitations with single-atom sensitivity at low temperatures (T less than 5K). …Read more. Electronic Properties of InSb Quantum Wells and Mesoscopic Structures – Michael Santos Mon. January 30th, 2006 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In narrow-gap semiconductors, electrons have properties that are much different than in free space. For example, the effective mass in InSb is nearly two orders of magnitude smaller than the mass in free space. …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. Cosmogenic Radioisotopes in Low Background Experiments – The WARP Experiment at Gran Sasso – Cristiano Galbiati Tue. January 24th, 2006 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will discuss results from recent studies on production of radioisotopes by muon-induced showers in neutrino detectors located deep underground. Cosmogenic radioisotopes represent one of the most significant and important classes of background for experiments on solar neutrinos. …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. Oscillatory interlayer coupling in Co/Pt multilayers with perpendicular anisotropy – Fengyuan Yang Mon. December 5th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm 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. Quantitative modeling of single-molecule RNA force-extension experiments – R. Bundschuh Mon. November 28th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Single-molecule force-extension experiments are an emerging tool for the study of biomolecules. For a molecule like RNA that has to fold into a specific structure in order to perform its biological function a crucial question is if such experiments can reveal this structure. …Read more. Between gases and liquids: the paradoxes of near-critical fluidsdynamics – Pierre Carles Mon. November 21st, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The thermophysical properties of fluids near their liquid-vapor critical point are governed by universal critical phenomena, formalized theoretically after the works of Kaddanoff, Widom and Wilson in the early seventies and afterwards. …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. TeV gamma-rays and the largest masses and annihilation cross sections of neutralino dark matter – Stefano Profumo Tue. November 15th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Motivated by the interpretation of the recent results on the TeV gamma radiation from the Galactic center, including the new 2004 HESS data, as a by-product of dark matter particles annihilations, we address the question of the largest possible neutralino masses and pair annihilation cross sections in supersymmetric 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. Chaotic Processes in Planet Migration and Orbital Evolution – Fred Adams Tue. November 8th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Nearly 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered to date, and their observed orbits display an unexpected diversity. This talk considers a collection of processes for planet migration and orbital evolution, including those operating on a range of time scales. …Read more. Low-dimensional Transport in Nanoscaled Materials – Philip Kim Mon. November 7th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The use of modern state-of-the-art device fabrication techniques and the development of new methods of nanosclae material synthesis/manipulation enable us to investigate at the mesoscopic scales. In these length scales the nanoscaled materials have exhibited a variety of unique physical phenomena due to the enhanced quantum confinement of electrons in reduced dimensions. …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. Mid-infrared Hall effect in ferromagnetic oxides and semiconductors – John Cerne Mon. October 31st, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Strongly correlated materials ranging from diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS) to transition-metal oxides, such as ruthenate perovskite (RP) compounds and high temperature superconductor cuprates, are revolutionizing fundamental concepts in condensed matter physics and show great potential for applications to spin-based electronics and multifunctional devices. …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. Prospects for Measuring nu-N Coherent Scattering at a Spallation Source Tue. October 18th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Coherent neutral current neutrino-nucleus elastic scattering has never been observed. Although the cross-section is very high, nuclear recoil energies are very small. However, detection of the process may be possible for the new generation of low-threshold detectors. …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. On virialization with dark energy – Irit Maor Tue. October 11th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm We review the inclusion of dark energy into the formalism of spherical collapse, and the virialization of a two-component system, made of matter and dark energy. We compare two approaches in the literature. …Read more. Prospects for Measuring nu-N Coherent Scattering at a Spallation Source – Kate Scholberg Tue. October 11th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Coherent neutral current neutrino-nucleus elastic scattering has never been observed. Although the cross-section is very high, nuclear recoil energies are very small. However, detection of the process may be possible for the new generation of low-threshold detectors. …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. Wormholes, Dark Energy, and the Null Energy Condition – Roman Buniy Tue. October 4th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm We show that violation of the null energy condition implies instability in a broad class of models, including classical gauge theories with scalar and fermionic matter as well as any perfect fluid. …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. Can black hole events from cosmic rays be observed at the Auger Observatory? – Dejan Stojkovic Tue. September 27th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm It has been argued that neutrinos originating from ultra-high energy cosmic rays produce black holes deep in the atmosphere in models with TeV-scale quantum gravity. Such black holes would initiate quasi-horizontal showers of particles far above the standard model rate, so that the Auger Observatory would observe hundreds of black hole events. …Read more. Cell signalling Biophysics of GTPase-protein interactions: an overview of ideas and ongoing activities – Matthias Buck Mon. September 26th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Quantum metric fluctuations in cosmological and black hole spacetimes – Albert Roura Tue. September 20th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm It is expected that a number of quantum aspects of the gravitational field and its interaction with the remaining matter fields can be studied within a low-energy effective field theory approach provided that the typical scales involved are much larger than the Planck length. …Read more. ZIP-ping for Dark Matter – Michael Dragowsky Mon. September 19th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Astrophysical evidence has long implied the existence of non-luminous matter on the scale of galaxies. In the last few years experimental cosmology has emerged as a precision science, providing further evidence for non-luminous matter on extragalactic distance scales. …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. What is the Cosmological Significance of a Discovery of Wimps at Colliders or in Direct Experiments? – Jacob Bourjaily Tue. September 13th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Although a discovery of wimps either at colliders or indirect experiments would have enormous implications for our understanding of particle physics, it would imply less than one would like about our understanding of the dark matter in the universe or in the galactic halo: it surely is possible that discovered particles account for only a little of the total dark matter. …Read more. Ground- and Excited-State Attributes of Hexanuclear Rhenium(III) Chalcogenide Clusters – Thomas Gray Mon. September 12th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm High Temperatures Superconductors: Recent Progress and Open Questions – Nandini Trivedi Thu. September 8th, 2005 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Luttinger Liquid and Beyond: Crystallization and Free-Spin Regime in 1D – Yaroslav Tserkovnyak Fri. May 13th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In the final talk of the series, I will discuss some fundamental aspects of the physics of interacting electrons in 1D that go beyond the conventional Luttinger-liquid phenomenology. Strongly- interacting low-density electrons form a Wigner-crystal arrangement on finite length scales. …Read more. Collective Spin Dynamics in Magnetic Nanostructures – Yaroslav Tserkovnyak Thu. May 12th, 2005 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Ferromagnetism exhibits exciting novel phenomena when the system size is shrunk to submicron scale. Especially interesting are heterostructures with ferromagnetic and nonmagnetic regions combined in multilayer cake-like structures. I will briefly review the field of mesoscopic magnetoelectronics, where such structures are incorporated in Ohmic circuits, focusing on the scattering- matrix approach. …Read more. Electron Interference and Correlations as Seen by Momentum-Conserving Tunneling in 1D – Yaroslav Tserkovnyak Tue. May 10th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Tunneling between parallel quantum wires of high purity is a powerful tool in investigating electron correlation effects in one dimension. In particular, it turns out that conductance interference patterns due to the finite size of the tunnel junction encode a wealth of information about the dispersion of the elementary excitations in the system as well as the gate confinement of the wires. …Read more. Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecture – Yaroslav Tserkovnyak Mon. May 9th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Lecture 1: SPONTANEOUSLY-SYMMETRY-BROKEN ARCHIMEDES SCREWS: In the first technical lecture, I will use the tool box developed in treating time-dependent magnetoelectronic problems to consider a more general class of nonequilibrium phenomena in heterostructures with arbitrary spontaneous symmetry breaking. …Read more. Spontaneously-Symmetry-Broken Archimedes Screws – Yaroslav Tserkovnyak Mon. May 9th, 2005 4:15 pm-5:15 pm In the first technical lecture, I will use the tool box developed in treating time-dependent magnetoelectronic problems to consider a more general class of nonequilibrium phenomena in heterostructures with arbitrary spontaneous symmetry breaking. …Read more. Boundary Localized Symmetry Breaking and Topological Defects – Matthew Martin Fri. May 6th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm I discuss the structure of topological defects in the context of recent extra dimensional models where the symmetry breaking terms are localized. These defects develop structure in the extra dimension which differs from the case where symmetry breaking is not localized. …Read more. Monte Carlo simulations of inhomogeneous order in nematic liquid crystal cells: optical applications – Antoni C. Mitus Tue. May 3rd, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm We will present the results of Monte Carlo simulations of nematic liquid crystals described by Lebwohl-Lasher-Rapini model. Detailed information on local order makes possible a calculation of diffractive index in case of inhomogeneous NLC order due to inhomogeneous electric field on the surface, resulting from laser illumination. …Read more. The Ages of the Oldest Stars – Brian Chaboyer Tue. April 26th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm The ages of the oldest stars in the Milky Way yield a reliable lower limit to the age of the universe and provide important information on the early formation history of our Galaxy. …Read more. Forces on Small Scales – Liwei Chen Mon. April 25th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has become an indispensable tool in nanoscience and nanotechnology. In this talk, I will not only show routine application of topographical imaging with nanometer resolution, but also demonstrate further studies that benefit from quantitative measurements of small forces. …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. Scanned Probe Magnetic Resonance: The Magnetic Resonance Force Microscope – Chris Hammel Mon. April 18th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm 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. Focused laser beams and liquid crystals: Three-dimensional imaging and control of topological defects and measurements of colloidal interactions – Oleg Lavrentovich Mon. April 11th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Orientational order is a universal feature of numerous soft-matter systems, most notably liquid crystals. These systems are extremely flexible, producing a rich variety of complex 3D patterns of order parameter. Non-destructive techniques to study and control these patterns are in a great demand. …Read more. Gravity and Horizon Entropy – Ted Jacobson Fri. April 8th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm I will argue that if (i) entanglement entropy density across any surface is a universal finite constant η, and (ii) local Lorentz symmetry holds, then the spacetime metric must satisfy the Einstein equation, with Newton’s constant equal to 1/(4 hbar η). …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. Spin separation in cyclotron motion – Leonid Rokhinson Mon. April 4th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The ability to manipulate spin of charge carries in a controllable fashion is central to the rapidly developing field of spintronics, as well as for the development of spin-based devices for quantum information processing. …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. Technique for WIMP dark matter detection using pulse-shape discrimination in noble liquids – Mark Boulay Tue. March 29th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm It has long been known that a large fraction of our universe is composed of non-luminous or dark matter. The effects of dark matter have been observed since the 1930’s by studying velocity dipersions in galaxy clusters, and several direct searches for particle dark matter are ongoing. …Read more. Investigations of Light Harvesting and Enhanced Nonlinear Optical Properties in Organic Dendrimers and Branched Macromolecules – Theodore Goodson III Mon. March 28th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Organic conjugated macromolecules have received great attention due to their use in optical and electronic applications. Certain molecular aggregate systems have shown enhanced nonlinear optical properties by virtue of excitonic coupling in the multi-chromophore system. …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. Indirect signals from Dark Matter – Francesc Ferrer Fri. March 4th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Abstract: The only evidence so far for the presence of Dark Matter in our Galaxy is through its gravitational interactions. Several experiments, however, have recently observed the emission of gamma-rays from the Galactic Center that could be caused by the annihilation of Dark Matter particles. …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. Correlations Stablize Blue Phases – Lech Longa Mon. February 28th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm A Geometric approach to Distinguish Between a New Source and Random Fluctuations: Applications to High-Energy Physics – Ramani S. Pilla Fri. February 25th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm One of the fundamental problems in the analysis of experimental data is determining the statistical significance of a putative signal. Such a problem can be cast in terms of classical “hypothesis testing”, where a null hypothesis describes the background and an alternative hypothesis characterizes the signal as a perturbation of the background. …Read more. Searching for dark matter with liquid xenon – Tom Schutt Thu. February 24th, 2005 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Ultra-high energy neutrinos – Mike Duvernois Tue. February 22nd, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm The search for GZK neutrinos, and its connection to the highest-energy cosmic rays will be discussed. In particular, we’ll look at the current generation of astrophysical and cosmological neutrino search experiments (Auger, Icecube, and ANITA) and the next generation of Terraton detectors for neutrino measurements. …Read more. Magnetoresistance in Parallel Fields – Julia Meyer Mon. February 21st, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm In addition to its large scale in-plane properties, transport in (quasi) two-dimensional electron systems is sensitive to microscopic details in the transverse direction. An efficient tool to study the interplay between both is a parallel magnetic field, which probes the structure of wave functions perpendicular to the plane. …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. CMB/LSS correlation as a probe of dark energy – Levon Pogosian Tue. February 15th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Recent detection of the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect via cross-correlation of the CMB with large scale structure provided another piece of evidence for the existence of Dark Energy. Although cross-correlation measurements are limited by large statistical uncertainties, they probe physical processes that are only weakly constrained by the CMB spectra and the SNIa luminosity curves. …Read more. Sensitive Detection of Radiation Trapping in a Cold Dilute Gas – Samir Bali Mon. February 14th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Radiation trapping in an illuminated gas of atoms refers to the reabsorption of spontaneously emitted photons. This reabsorption prevents the formation of colder denser atomic samples for quantum degenerate studies in ultracold trapped gases. …Read more. Brane cosmology with an anisotropic bulk – Dani Steer Fri. February 11th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm In the context of brane cosmology, a scenario where our universe is a 3+1-dimensional surface (the “brane”) embedded in a five-dimensional spacetime (the “bulk”), we focus on geometries for which the brane is anisotropic though still homogeneous. …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. Challenge of Public and Workforce Education in Nanotechnology: Science vs Science Fiction – David Smith Mon. February 7th, 2005 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Dave will discuss nanotechnology education as a challenge in both the areas of public education in science (for the K-99 audience ) and as another battle of hype against reality; science fiction against science. …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. The future of dark energy measurements – Dragan Huterer Tue. February 1st, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Evidence for the existence of some form of dark energy — a smooth component that causes the accelerated expansion of the universe and contributes about 70% of the total energy density — is by now very solid. …Read more. Theoretical Constraints on the Dark Energy Equation of State – Mark Trodden Fri. January 28th, 2005 11:30 am-12:30 pm Modern cosmological observations indicate that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. This is typically described in terms of the equation of state parameter of a hypothetical new component of the cosmic energy budget, presumed to be driving the acceleration. …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. First-principles investigations of p-type doping in ZnO – Sukit Limpijumnong Mon. December 6th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm ZnO is one of the top candidates for blue light optoelectronics because of its wide bandgap properties. However, fabricating high quality p-type ZnO has proven to be difficult. While none of the group-I doping yields p-type behavior and Nitrogen doping shows only limited success, doping with larger group-V elements, which should cause high strain and has low solubility on the oxygen site, show some preliminary surprising success. …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 Observing the Cosmic Infrared Background with Frequency Selective Bolometers – Thushara Perera Tue. November 30th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm TBA …Read more. Optical control in semiconductor dots for quantum operations – Duncan Steel Mon. November 29th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Semiconductor quantum dots have optical properties similar to simple atomic systems, unlike higher dimensional semiconductor structures that are dominated by manybody physics associated with the continuum states. They also provide a potentially ideal electronic structure appropriate for quantum computing. …Read more. Surfactant and Geometric Effects on Interfacial Stability – David Rumschitzki Thu. November 18th, 2004 4:15 pm-5:15 pm Bayesian Analysis of the WMAP Data – Ben Wandelt Tue. November 16th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm The desire to solve the three cosmological conundra of dark matter, dark energy and initial conditions drives us to demand more from cosmological observations. We require methods that link observations to theory in a convenient and lossless way. …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. Entropy Applications to Engineering and Health Science – Miron Kaufman Mon. November 8th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will describe two applications of entropy. The first one is relevant to mixing in polymer processing. The other one is relevant to developing a diagnostic tool for low back pain. …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. Inflation, strings and the CMB – Ana Achucarro Tue. November 2nd, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm In the last year there has been a sudden renewal of interest in cosmic (super)string networks. I will explain why and will discuss – in a non-technical way – some new cosmological models coming from superstring/supergravity theory, and how to constrain these models by their cosmic string production after inflation. …Read more. Resonant charge carrier tunneling in nanocrystalline Si/amorphous SiO2 superlattices – Volodimyr Duzhko Mon. November 1st, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Electronic transport and charge carrier trapping in the nanocrystalline Si/amorphous SiO2 superlattices were investigated by impedance spectroscopy, dc photoconductivity, and transient photocurrent measurements. The method for evaluation of the density of interface traps from the impedance spectroscopy measurements was developed to controll the quality of the superlattices. …Read more. Possible evidence for spatial fluctuations in dark energy – Christopher Gordon Tue. October 26th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm The WMAP cosmic microwave background (CMB) first year data was anomalously smooth on the largest spatial scales. We have recently shown that spatial fluctuations in the dark energy, that is causing the expansion of the Universe to speed up, may partially cancel the fluctuations in the CMB on the largest scales. …Read more. Exploring the terahertz region with a narrowband tunable source – Peter Powers Mon. October 25th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The generation of widely tunable coherent terahertz (THz) frequencies is of great interest for a variety of applications in basic and applied sciences. Broadband THz sources, particularly those based on femtosecond lasers, have already shown much promise in addressing these applications. …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. Confronting Inflation with Observation – William Kinney Tue. October 19th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm Inflationary cosmology is a compelling model for the early universe, but until recently it has not been subject to precise experimental test. In the last year, new observations have made it possible not only to test the general predictions of inflation, but also to distinguish among (and rule out) particular models of inflation. …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 of the black hole-brane interaction – Dejan Stojkovic Tue. October 12th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm In models with extra dimensions that accommodate a TeV-scale gravity, small black holes that can be described by classical solutions of Einstein’s equations can exist. We study interaction of such black holes with our world — a brane embedded in a higher dimensional space. …Read more. Old Method, New Results: Ultra-High Mobility in a Simple Organic Crystalline Semiconductor – Brett Ellman Mon. October 11th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Devices based on organic semiconductors are a new, growing sector of the electronics market. For use as, e.g., field-effect transistors, a primary determinant of the utility of a material is the mobility, the proportionality coefficient between charge velocity and electric field. …Read more. Racetrack Inflation – Jose Blanco-Pillado Sat. October 9th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm Four dimensional effective actions of many of the currently studied extra-dimensional theories seem to contain massless scalar fields called moduli. Giving these fields a potential is crucial to make these theories compatible with observations. …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. Coherent time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy of surfaces and interfaces – Alex V. Benderskii Mon. October 4th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Time- and frequency-domain 3-wave mixing spectroscopies (infrared + visible Sum Frequency Generation, SFG) are presented as the lowest-order nonlinear techniques that are both surface-selective and capable of measuring vibrational coherences. Application to ordered Langmuir-Blodgett monolayers shows vibrational quantum beats in time domain, which are connected to the frequency-domain spectrum by a simple Bloch-type model. …Read more. First Results from the CAPMAP Experiment – Phil Farese Tue. September 28th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm CAPMAP is a dedicated 40 and 90 GHz CMB polarization experiment. Observing with a 7m radio telescope from Holmdale, NJ CAPMAP intends to measure the primary polarization of the CMB at small (60′-4′) angular scale where the signal is maximum. …Read more. The mystery of the thermotropic biaxial nematic phase – Satyen Kumar Mon. September 27th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The biaxial nematic phase was predicted more than three decades ago and discovered in lyotropic liquid crystalline systems by Yu and Saupe in 1980. However, several attempts to invent and synthesize new thermotropic materials likely to form this phase did not succeed. …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. A Gas of Excitons: Moving and Trapping Electronic Quasi-Atoms – David Snoke Mon. September 20th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm An exciton is bound state of a free, negatively charged electron and a postively charged hole in a semiconductor. Excitons act in many ways like hydrogen atoms which can move through a semiconductor and interact with each other much like a gas of atoms. …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. Affleck-Dine Leptogenesis Induced by the Flaton of Thermal Inflation – Wan-il Park Tue. September 14th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm We propose a simple model in which MSSM plus neutrino mass term, (LH_u)^2 is supplemented by a minimal flaton sector to drive the thermal inflation, and make two crucial assumptions: the flaton vacuum expectation value generates the mu-term of the MSSM and m_L^2 +m_{H_u}^2<0. …Read more. Spin injection from ferromagnetic Fe contacts into GaAs/AlGaAs spin LEDs – Athos Petrou Mon. September 13th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Electron spin injection efficiencies up to 40% have been obtained in Fe/AlGaAs(n) Schottky barriers. The spin polarized electrons are collected by a GaAs well and recombine with unpolarized holes. The optical polarization of the emitted excitonic electroluminescence yields a direct measurement of the electron spin polarization in the well. …Read more. Reception to welcome new members of the department Thu. September 9th, 2004 4:30 pm-5:30 pm Results from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Salt Phase and the Future of the SNO Detector – Darren Grant Tue. September 7th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is a heavy water Cherenkov detector designed to be sensitive to the total flux of Boron- 8 solar neutrinos. The addition of NaCl to the detector enhances the Neutral Current signal, and therefore improves the measurement of the total solar flux. …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. BPS bounds of F- versus D-term strings and their cosmological implications – Filipe Freire Tue. August 24th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm Supersymmetry seems to facilitate the bringing together of inflationary models with particle physics. We give an overview of inflation models in supersymmetric theories. These models often lead to the production of cosmic strings after inflation. …Read more. Defect dynamics in nematic liquid crystals – Maurizio Nobili Thu. August 12th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Solar Evidence for Neutrino Transition Magnetic Moments and Sterile Neutrinos – David Caldwell Fri. July 9th, 2004 1:30 pm-2:30 pm While KamLAND apparently rules out Resonant-Spin-Flavor-Precession (RSFP) as an explanation of the solar neutrino deficit, the solar neutrino fluxes in the Cl and Ga experiments appear to vary with solar rotation. …Read more. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Project – Arthur Kosowsky Fri. June 11th, 2004 2:00 pm-3:00 pm The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a custom-designed 6-meter microwave telescope employing superconducting bolometer array detectors, which will be located in the Atacama Desert of the Chilean Andes in 2006. It will provide maps of the cosmic microwave background at arcminute resolution and micro-Kelvin sensitivity over a hundred square degrees of sky. …Read more. Optical rectification and electro-optic sampling in the THz regime using electro-optic polymers – Michael Hayden Mon. May 10th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm I will describe the adaptation of electro-optic (EO) polymer technology to terahertz (THz) generation and detection. The generation of wide bandwidth THz radiation (mid-IR to far-IR) with a smooth frequency response using low power laser sources is very desirable for scientific and technological applications such as vibrational analysis of biomolecules, medical imaging, non-contact electrical measurements, and homeland security. …Read more. Understanding the Particle Nature of Neutrinos – Karsten Heeger Fri. April 30th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Neutrino mass and oscillation have been convincingly demonstrated in the recent atmospheric, solar, and reactor neutrino data. Some of the fundamental neutrino properties, however, are yet unknown. The data do not tell us the absolute mass scale of neutrinos and whether neutrinos are their own antiparticles. …Read more. Measuring ϴ13 and the Search for Leptonic CP Violation – Karsten Heeger Thu. April 29th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Non-accelerator neutrino oscillation experiments have provided strong evidence for the mixing of the three known neutrino states. Precision oscillation studies may hold the clue to understanding the matter- antimatter asymmetry in the Universe. …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. 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. Evidence for Neutrino Oscillation and Massive Neutrinos: The Resolution of the Solar Neutrino Problem at SNO and KamLAND – Karsten Heeger, Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lecture Mon. April 26th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Unambiguous evidence for novel neutrino properties has recently been obtained from observations of solar and reactor neutrinos. Combined with previous solar neutrino experiments the results from SNO and KamLAND are evidence for neutrino oscillation. …Read more. Evidence for Neutrino Oscillation and Massive Neutrinos: The Resolution of the Solar Neutrino Problem at SNO and KamLAND – Karsten Heeger Mon. April 26th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Unambiguous evidence for novel neutrino properties has recently been obtained from observations of solar and reactor neutrinos. Combined with previous solar neutrino experiments the results from SNO and KamLAND are evidence for neutrino oscillation. …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. Terrestrial Mini-Bang: Transmuting a Color Glass Condensate into Quark Gluon Plasma at RHIC – Raju Venugopalan Tue. April 20th, 2004 11:30 am-12:30 pm The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory is currently completing run 5. We discuss some of the remarkable and unexpected results emerging from experiments on Gold-Gold collisions at the ultrarelativistic energies of RHIC as well as results from Deuteron-Gold and Proton-Proton collisions at the same energies. …Read more. Surface Structure Determination of a Diacetylene of Monomer and Polymer LB Monolayers by AFM as Compared to Electron Diffraction – J. B. Lando Mon. April 19th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Langmuir Blodget (LB) monolayer films of the lithium salt of 10,12-nonacosadiynoic acid monomer and polymer LB monolayers were studied by AFM and electron diffraction. The fast Fourier transform of the AFM image was compared to electron diffraction results. …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. Octonions and Fermions – Corinne A. Manogue Wed. April 14th, 2004 2:30 pm-3:30 pm Ten dimensional supersymmetric theories of physics such as superstring theory are at heart just higher dimensional generalizations of the Dirac equation. An enduring problem with these theories is how to reduce the spacetime dimension to the four we live in. …Read more. Quantum Criticality near Zero Temperature Phase Transitions – Meigan Aronson Mon. April 12th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm It is possible to drive magnetic ordering temperatures in certain metallic magnets to zero temperature by means of applied field, pressure, or compositional variation. We have been using neutron scattering measurements to study the development of dynamic and spatial correlations near one such T=0 antiferromagnetic transition in the heavy fermion system CeRu2Ge2, doped with Fe. …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. Exoplanets, The Galactic Habitable Zone and the Age Distribution of Complex Life in the Milky Way – Charley Lineweaver Wed. April 7th, 2004 2:30 pm-3:30 pm As we learn more about the Milky Way Galaxy, extrasolar planets and the evolution of life on Earth, qualitative discussions of the prerequisites for life in a Galactic context can become more quantitative. …Read more. Magnetic interactions and properties of 3d-5d/4d nano-particles: exchange interactions mediated by non-magnetic metallic atoms – Oleg N. Mryasov Mon. April 5th, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm The search for technological solutions for ultra high density magnetic storage devices requires to achieve thermal stability and higher signal to noise ratio for dramatically decreasing media grain size and geometrical dimensions of the field sensing elements. …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. Magnetic Resonance of Hyperpolarized Noble Gases – Jason C. Lea Woods Mon. March 1st, 2004 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Laser polarization of 3He and 129Xe generates nuclear spin polarizations 100,000 times greater