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Past Events

Event Date Summary
Laura Gladstone (CWRU Physics) Thu. April 26th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Report from the International Conference on Women in Physics: Reaching Towards Equity and Inclusion
In July 2017, I was one of the US delegates to the IoP International Conference on Women in Physics, held in Birmingham, UK. The conference brought together feminist scientists from around the world to share their work and inspiration, to mentor each other, and to share best practices. Each country’s delegation summarized the status and main obstacles for women physicists in their country. In this talk, I will briefly describe the status within several countries, then explain the issues presented in the US country poster: implicit bias,

Continue reading… Laura Gladstone (CWRU Physics)

Jacob Scott (Cleveland Clinic) Thu. April 19th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Learning to perturb the evolutionary mechanisms driving drug resistance in cancer and microbes: an integrated theoretical and experimental approach.

The evolution of resistance remains an elusive problem in the treatment of both cancer and infectious disease, and represents one of the most important medical problems of our time. While the illnesses are different on several non-trivial levels including timescale and complexity, the underlying biological phenomenon is the same: Darwinian evolution. To comprehensively approach these problems, I have focussed my attention on building a broad suite of investigations centered around the causes and consequences of the evolutionary process in these contexts.

Continue reading… Jacob Scott (Cleveland Clinic)

Dimitar Sasselov (Harvard University) Thu. April 12th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Ocean Worlds: from Familiar to Exotic and Extreme Planets
Water is a common molecule in the the galaxy and an abundant bulk component of planets – like Neptune, far from their stars. Liquid water – a precious solvent, might be significantly more rare. Exoplanet exploration is both motivated by the search for surface liquid water and is helping us understand the wide diversity of ocean worlds. Such understanding is necessary if we are to succeed in the search for planetary conditions that could lead to the emergence of life.

Continue reading… Dimitar Sasselov (Harvard University)

Jesse Berezovsky (CWRU Physics) Thu. April 5th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

The Broken Symmetry of Music: Applying Statistical Physics to Understand the Structure of Music

The ubiquity of music throughout history and across cultures raises a fundamental question: Why is this way of arranging sounds such a powerful medium for human artistic expression? Though there are myriad musical systems and styles, there are certain characteristics that are nearly universal, including a restriction to a discrete set of sound frequencies (pitches). In this talk, I will present a bottom-up approach to a theory of musical harmony, starting from two basic (and conflicting) principles: a system of music is most effective when it 1.

Continue reading… Jesse Berezovsky (CWRU Physics)

TBA Thu. March 29th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Continue reading… TBA

Sebastian Deffner (Univ Maryland Baltimore County) Thu. March 22nd, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Quantum speed limits: from Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to optimal quantum control

One of the most widely known building blocks of modern physics is Heisenberg’s indeterminacy principle. Among the different statements of this fundamental property of the full quantum mechanical nature of physical reality, the uncertainty relation for energy and time has a special place. Its interpretation and its consequences have inspired continued research efforts for almost a century. In its modern formulation, the uncertainty relation is understood as setting a fundamental bound on how fast any quantum system can evolve. In this Colloquium we will discuss important milestones,

Continue reading… Sebastian Deffner (Univ Maryland Baltimore County)

Spring Break Thu. March 15th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

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APS March Meeting Thu. March 8th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

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Lindley Winslow (MIT) Thu. March 1st, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

First Results from CUORE: 

Majorana Neutrinos and the Search for Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay

The neutrino is unique among the Standard Model particles. It is the only fundamental fermion that could be its own antiparticle, a Majorana particle. A Majorana neutrino would acquire mass in a fundamentally different way than the other particles and this would have profound consequences to particle physics and cosmology. The only feasible experiments to determine the Majorana nature of the neutrino are searches for the rare nuclear process neutrinoless double-beta decay. CUORE uses tellurium dioxide crystals cooled to 10 mK to search for this rare process.

Continue reading… Lindley Winslow (MIT)

Ilya Gruzberg (Ohio State University) Thu. February 15th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Mysteries of the quantum Hall staircase

Quantum Hall effects are a very rich subject in condensed matter physics with many connections to other areas, intrinsic intellectual beauty, and numerous applications. After more than 35 years after the initial discovery, there are new surprising and unexpected phenomena being discovered in this area, both in experiments and in theory. A visual manifestation of the effects is the plot of the Hall resistance as a function of magnetic field, featuring prominent, precisely quantized steps, also called plateaux, and thereby resembling a staircase. The walk up this staircase is a journey in time,

Continue reading… Ilya Gruzberg (Ohio State University)

The 2017 Nobel Prizes: What were they given for? Thu. February 8th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Harsh Mathur (Physics) on the prize in Physics; Phoebe Stewart (Pharmacology) on the prize in Chemistry; Peter Harte (Genetics and Genome Sciences) on the prize in Physiology or Medicine; Mariana Carrera (Weatherhead) on the prize in Economics. 

On 14 September 2015 the LIGO collaboration detected gravitational waves from the merger of a pair of black holes a billion light years distant from the Earth. The discovery constitutes the first direct observation of gravitational waves almost a century after they were predicted by Einstein and is the culmination of a fifty year long experimental quest. LIGO is simultaneously a laboratory for fundamental gravitational physics and an observatory of a new kind that promises to revolutionize astronomy.

Continue reading… The 2017 Nobel Prizes: What were they given for?

Peter Armitage (Johns Hopkins) Thu. January 18th, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

On Ising’s model of ferromagnetism

The 1D Ising model is a classical model of great historical significance for both classical and quantum statistical mechanics. Developments in the understanding of the Ising model have fundamentally impacted our knowledge of thermodynamics, critical phenomena, magnetism, conformal quantum field theories, particle physics, and emergence in many-body systems. Despite the theoretical impact of the Ising model there have been very few good 1D realizations of it in actual real material systems. However, it has been pointed out recently, that the material CoNb2O6, has a number of features that may make it the most ideal realization we have of the Ising model in one dimension.  

Continue reading… Peter Armitage (Johns Hopkins)

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