Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Series

Spring 2014

 

Talks are scheduled for Thursdays at 12:40 PM in Room N304 of the Science and Engineering Building, unless otherwise indicated. Pizza and beverages are served at 12:20PM.

All are welcome!

Date

Talk

Thursday
April 3

Emily Maher

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

"Neutrinos and the MINERvA Experiment"

Abstract: Neutrinos are one of the most abundant, but least understood particles in the universe. Neutrinos are everywhere, but they rarely interact. The MINERvA experiment was designed to study these rare neutrino interactions in order to shed light on the neutrino itself. MINERvA also uses neutrinos to study the nucleus. In this talk, I will discuss why neutrinos are important to our understanding of the universe. I will also discuss what an experimental particle physicist actually does. Then I will explain the motivations, experimental design, and recent results of the MINERvA experiment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
April 8

(note the day, the time and room are still the same)

Greg Hallenbeck

Cornell

Physics & Astronomy Visitor Candidate Talk

"The Mystery Hydrogen in Virgo's Dwarf Galaxies"

Abstract: Clusters of galaxies are efficient at transforming dwarf galaxies from being gas-rich and star-forming into gas-poor "dead" dwarf ellipticals. This occurs via well-understood mechanisms which remove gas from the galaxies, preventing future star formation. Using ALFALFA, a survey of neutral Hydrogen in the local universe, we have identified a small sample of dwarf elliptical galaxies which are "dead" yet have significant amounts of Hydrogen remaining. Where do such galaxies come from? Is it necessary to alter the standard gas-removal evolutionary model? Or do they represent a rare, alternate evolutionary process?

 

 

Thursday
April 10

Available

 

Tuesday
April 15

(note the day, the time and room are still the same)

 

Mady Behravan

Yeshiva University

Physics & Astronomy Visitor Candidate Talk

"Temperature Dependent Electrical Conductivity of Heteroepitaxial Diamond "

Abstract: Temperature dependent electrical conductivity of heteroepitaxial diamond grown by chemical vapor deposition has been investigated. Owing to its extremely low conductivity at room temperature, measurements of current-voltage characteristics were made above 300 0C. The results can be explained by a thermally activated conductivity with single activation energy. Similar type of behavior has been reported previously for Natural Type IIa diamond, suggesting the presence of electronic states at comparable concentrations in materials of completely different origin.

 

Thursday
April 17

An-Chang Shi

McMaster University

"Soft Matter: Where Physics Meets Chemistry and Biology"

Abstract: Soft matter refers to materials that are condensed yet also compliant. Typical soft materials include polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, and biological materials. The softness is one of the reasons why these materials are extremely attractive for many applications in modern technology. Another intriguing property of soft materials is their ability to self-assemble into complex organized structures. Traditionally, soft matter is a research area populated by chemists and biologists, emphasizing the synthesis and characterization of these materials. Since middle 70’s, many physicists turned their attentions to this important area of research, bringing with them the insights from physics. The infusion of physics ideas into soft matter research has led to many progresses. At the same time, many new physical concepts and ideas emerge from soft matter research. My lecture starts with a brief survey of soft condensed matter and its physical properties, and ends with some of our recent studies in this fascinating research area.


Tuesday
April 22

(note the day, the time and room are still the same)

Brock Russell

Physics & Astronomy Visitor Candidate Talk

"Supernovae, Stellar Winds, and X-rays"

Abstract: Supernovae are extremely powerful explosions that spread important stellar matter throughout the Universe. In this talk, we will discuss stellar evolution of massive stars from formation to supernova. I will describe in detail the physics of core-collapse supernovae and discuss what happens when the shock from the supernova plows into the gas surrounding the star. The X-rays resulting from this can tell us a great deal about the star itself. I will also describe thermonuclear supernovae (Type Ia), which result from a different set of circumstances. While Type Ia supernovae are considered standard candles and are thus important for determining distance in the Universe, there is still a lot we don’t know about them. We’ll talk about how we can use what we’ve learned about core-collapse supernovae to discover more about the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae, and I’ll discuss some results related to this.

Thursday
April 24

 

Available

 

Thursday
May 1

 

Available

Thursday
May 8

 

No Colloquium due to Steinmetz

Thursday
May 15

Enrique Galvez

Colgate University

 

Thursday
May 22

 

 

Mike Mastroianni '08

 

 

Thursday
May 29

 

Rhett Allain

Southeastern Louisiana University

Thursday
June 5

End of the Year Department Picnic


Schedule for Fall 2014

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Last Updated: April 1, 2014