Department Colloquia

A Framework for k-12 Science Education, its role in the US and its messages for a broader audience

Speaker: 
Helen Quinn, Stanford
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-03-14 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Jim Carolan
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Published in 2012 by the National Research Council, the Framework lays out a vision of what is important for all students to learn in school science. It builds on previous NRC work that attempts to bring research on learning into decisions on science teaching. It is the guiding document of an effort to develop a set of "Next Generation Science Standards" that are likely to be adopted by multiple states in the US.

Topological States in Graphene-Based Two-Dimensional Electron Systems

Speaker: 
Allan H. MacDonald, University of Texas
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-03-07 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Marcel Franz
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
The conduction and valence bands of bilayer graphene cross at the material’s honeycomb lattice Brillouin-zone corners. The band wavefunctions are conveniently described in a Bloch spin language in which the polar angle characterizes layer polarization and the azimuthal angle is equal to the momentum-dependent interlayer phase difference. The valence band pseudospin of bilayer graphene has a momentum space texture with vorticity equal to two.

Kepler: NASA's Exo-earth Census

Speaker: 
Natalie Batalha, San Jose State University
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-02-28 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Ingrid Stairs
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Twenty years ago, we knew of no planets orbiting other Sun-like stars, yet today, the roll call is nearly 1,000 strong. Statistical studies of exoplanet populations are possible, and words like "habitable zone" are heard around the dinner table. Theorists are scrambling to explain not only the observed physical characteristics but also the orbital and dynamical properties of planetary systems. The taxonomy is diverse but still reflects the observational biases that dominate the detection surveys. We've yet to find another planet that looks anything like home.

EXO and the quest for Majorana Neutrino Masses

Speaker: 
Giorgio Gratta, Stanford
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-01-17 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Tom Mattison
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
With the definitive evidence for neutrino oscillations collected in the last decade, we now believe that neutrino masses are non-zero. Oscillation measurements, however, only measure mass differences and give us little information about the absolute values of neutrino masses. The hypothetical phenomenon of neutrino-less double-beta decay can probe the neutrino mass scale with exquisite sensitivity.

Controlling the fluorescence emission from individual quantum dots

Speaker: 
Jordan Gerton, Utah (Experimental cond. matt and optics)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2012-11-01 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
HENN 201
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) are fluorescent nanometer-scale semiconductor crystals that have a number of interesting optical properties including large absorption cross-sections, spectral tunability, and high quantum efficiencies. Due to these properties, QDs have been employed in a wide variety of applications including next-generation solar cells, novel light sources, and as fluorescent labels in bioimaging. In many applications, it would be advantageous to control both the direction and intensity fluctuations of the emitted fluorescence.

Imaging Supermassive Black holes on Horizon Scales

Speaker: 
Avery Broderick
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2012-10-18 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Ingrid Stairs
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Supermassive black holes, the million to billion solar mass cousins of the more commonly described remnants of massive stars, are now believed to exist at the centers of nearly all galaxies, and power some of the most energetic phenomena in the universe, with cosmological implications. Nevertheless, due to their compact nature, it remains unclear how supermassive black holes grow, how they launch the ultra-relativistic outflows observed, if gravity in the vicinity of their horizons is well described by general relativity, and even if event horizons exist.

FINDING THE HIGGS BOSON: A TRIUMPH OF HUMAN CURIOSITY

Speaker: 
Kyle Cranmer, New York University
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2012-09-20 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Colin Gay, Robert Raussendorf
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
One of the great intellectual achievements of human kind is the standard model of particle physics. This theory describes how fundamental particles like electrons and quarks interact and gives us the building blocks for understanding the universe we see around us today. A key part of this theory is the Higgs field, which permeates space and time. Finding the Higgs boson - the experimental manifestation of this field - and measuring its properties has become one of the most fundamental scientific endeavors in history.

From Nuclear Forces to Nuclei

Speaker: 
Sonia Bacca, TRIUMF
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2012-09-27 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Robert Raussendorf
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Ab-initio nuclear theory aims at understanding nuclei starting from strongly interacting protons and neutrons. Forces among nucleons can be linked to fundamental quantum-chromodynamics through an effective field theory. Describing the complex nature of nuclei arising from such forces poses both conceptual and computational challenges. I will describe how we try to solve some of them. Then I will connect theoretical predictions of bound and break up observables for both stable isotopes and halo nuclei to experimental results from the major nuclear physics facilities, including TRIUMF.

Matter-wave clocks

Speaker: 
Holgar Müller, Berkeley
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2012-10-11 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
De Broglie's matter wave hypothesis describes particles as oscillators at the Compton frequency mc^2/h, where m is the particle's mass, c the speed of light, and h the Planck constant [1].

COLLOQUIUM CANCELLED!

Speaker: 
Paul Steinhardt, Princeton
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-01-24 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Moshe Rozali
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
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