Physics and Astronomy Calendar

semester, 2019


Tuesday, January 1st 2019

Monday, January 14th 2019
10:00 am:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.
12:30 pm:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.

Tuesday, January 15th 2019
10:00 am:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.
1:00 pm:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.

Wednesday, January 16th 2019
10:00 am:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.
12:30 pm:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.

Thursday, January 17th 2019
08:00 am:
Untitled in Physics
08:00 am:
Untitled in Physics
10:00 am:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.
1:00 pm:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.

Friday, January 18th 2019
10:00 am:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.
12:30 pm:
Physics Force in Northrop
Physics Force show for elementary students. The show is free but reservations are required.

Saturday, January 19th 2019
11:00 am:
This Physics Force show is open to the public. Tickets are $3 (see abstract below)

Tickets are $3, children under 10 are free.

Purchase tickets at Northrop box office.
Phone: 612-624-2345

4:00 pm:
This Physics Force show is open to the public. Tickets are $3 (see abstract below)

Tickets are $3, children under 10 are free.

Purchase tickets at Northrop box office.
Phone: 612-624-2345


Monday, January 21st 2019

Tuesday, January 22nd 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Organizational Meeting

Wednesday, January 23rd 2019
1:30 pm:
There will be no seminar this week.
To be announced

Thursday, January 24th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
To be announced
There will be no Journal Club this week due to faculty candidate presentation
12:15 pm:
Faculty candidate presentation in Physics 301-20 Tate
Speaker: Stephen Taylor, California Institute of Technology
Subject: Frontiers Of Multi-Messenger Gravitational-Wave Astrophysics
Candidate for the MIfA faculty position

The bounty of gravitational-wave observations from LIGO and Virgo has opened up a new window onto the warped Universe, as well as a pathway to addressing many of the contemporary challenges of fundamental physics. I will discuss how catalogs of stellar-mass compact object mergers can probe the unknown physical processes of binary stellar evolution, and how these systems can be harnessed as standard distance markers (calibrated entirely by fundamental physics) to map the expansion history of the cosmos. The next gravitational-wave frontier will be opened within 3-6 years by pulsar-timing arrays, which have unique access to black-holes at the billion to ten-billion solar mass scale. The accretionary dynamics of supermassive black-hole binaries should yield several tell-tale signatures observable in upcoming synoptic time-domain surveys (like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope), as well as gravitational-wave signatures measurable by pulsar timing. Additionally, pulsar-timing arrays are currently placing compelling constraints on modified gravity theories, cosmic strings, and ultralight scalar-field dark matter. I will review my work on these challenges, as well as in the exciting broader arena of gravitational-wave astrophysics, and describe my vision for the next decade of discovery.

3:35 pm:
Speaker: Roger Steuwer, U of Minnesota
Subject: From the Old to the New World of Nuclear Physics, 1919-1939
Refreshments in atrium after the Colloquium.

These two interwar decades, as I discuss in my new book, The Age of Innocence: Nuclear Physics between the First and Second World Wars (Oxford University Press. 2018), saw the nascent field of nuclear become the dominant field of experimental and theoretical physics owing to an international cast of gifted physicists. Prominent among them were Ernest Rutherford and James Chadwick, George Gamow, the husband and wife team of Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie, John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, Ernest Lawrence, Enrico Fermi, Niels Bohr, Gregory Breit and Eugene Wigner, and Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch. Their fundamental discoveries and pioneering inventions arose from a quest to understand nuclear phenomena; none were motivated by a desire to find a practical application for nuclear energy. In this sense, they lived in an “Age of Innocence.” They did not, however, live in isolation. Their research reflected their idiosyncratic personalities; it was shaped by the physical and intellectual environments of the countries and institutions in which they worked; and it was buffeted by the turbulent political events after the Great War--the harsh postwar treaties, the runaway inflation in Germany and Austria, and the intellectual migration from Germany and later from Austria and Italy.

Faculty Host: Michel Janssen

Friday, January 25th 2019
11:00 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Organizational Meeting
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Nathan Bosch
Subject: Anomalous Electronic Conduction in Composite Silicon Films
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Lucy Fortson, School of Physics and Astronomy - University of Minnesota
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Jochen Mueller, Biophysics

Wednesday, January 30th 2019
Speaker: Turab Lookman, Los Alamos National Lab
Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Thursday, January 31st 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Boris Shklovskii, University of Minnesota
Subject: Coulomb gap here, there, and everywhere

In 1975 Alexei Efros and myself discovered that due to electron-electron interactions the density of localized electron states vanishes near the Fermi level as quadratic function of the energy distance to the Fermi level. We named this phenomenon the Coulomb gap and showed that it leads to the variable range hopping conductivity which depends on temperature T as \exp[-(T_ES/T)^1/2]. This ES law was observed in hundreds of experimental papers, where in many cases it describes 10^6 times variation of conductivity. After reminding the history and physics of this discovery I will review many new applications of ES law beyond lightly doped semiconductors, among which the Quantum Hall Effect is the most prominent. I will also dwell on McMillan-Shklovskii conjecture on the Coulomb gap evolution across an Insulator-Metal transition and related question of screening of the Coulomb gap.


Friday, February 1st 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Zedong Yang
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Asher Berlin (SLAC)
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Vincent Noireaux, Biophysics

Wednesday, February 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Rafael Fernandes, University of Minnesota
Subject: TBD

Thursday, February 7th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Marcelo Magnasco, The Rockefeller University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Jorge Vinals

Friday, February 8th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Hanteng Wang
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Eric Braaten (Ohio State U.)
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Shaul Hanany, Cosmology

Wednesday, February 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Andrey Chubukov, University of Minnesota, TPI
Subject: TBD

Thursday, February 14th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Reinhard Schwienhorst, Michigan State University
Subject: The Tevatron legacy and the LHC through the lens of single top-quark production

Single top-quark production has provided flagship top-quark measurements at the Tevatron and LHC. These electroweak production modes have small production cross-sections and final states with large backgrounds, challenging the understanding of the detector, while also demanding innovations in analysis techniques. Single top measurements constrain models of new physics directly and indirectly and provide a direct determination of the CKM matrix element Vtb. All this makes single top an excellent representation of the core Tevatron and LHC programs. I will review the history of single top-quark measurements and discuss their role in future LHC runs.

Faculty Host: Roger Rusack

Friday, February 15th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Bo Xiong
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Andrew Long (U. Michigan)
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Bharat Jalan, CEMS

Wednesday, February 20th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Boris Spivak, University of Washington
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Thursday, February 21st 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Flavio Cavanna, Yale
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Roger Rusack

Friday, February 22nd 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Xiaojun Fu
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Radu Roiban (Penn State)
Speaker:  Carolyn Bishoff, UMN Libraries

Wednesday, February 27th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Joerg Schmalian, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Thursday, February 28th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Joerg Schmalian, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Friday, March 1st 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: TBA (several)
Subject: March Meeting rehearsals
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Ken Van Tilburg (IAS/New York U.)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Lee Penn, CHEM and Diversity Committee

Monday, March 4th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Sarah Loebman, University of California, Davis
Subject: TBA
Faculty Host: Clement Pryke

Wednesday, March 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
March APS Meeting - No speaker this week

Thursday, March 7th 2019
08:00 am:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Marc Pinsonneault, The Ohio State University
Faculty Host: Evan Skillman

Friday, March 8th 2019
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Jessica Turner (Fermilab)
Speaker: Lee Penn, CHEM and Diversity Committee

Wednesday, March 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Oleg Starykh, University of Utah
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Andrey Chubukov

Thursday, March 14th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Alexander Grosberg, New York University
Subject: Statistical Mechanics of Active Particles

Active particles are the ones having a source of energy to drive them, in addition to the usual Brownian motion. It could be swimming bacteria, or artificial swimmers of various kinds. Statistical mechanics of such out-of-equilibrium systems presents many steep challenges and features many unexpected phenomena. While energy barriers is a staple in physics (Boltzmann limit), force barriers are important for active particles (Sisyphus limit), leading to rectification of random walks, repulsive depletion, etc. Activity can also cause separation of active particles from passive ones even when there is no energetic preference for segregation. The latter effect is particularly strong for polymers, promising interesting applications in the physics of cell nucleus.

Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Friday, March 15th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Hsiu Chung Yeh
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: TBA
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Priscilla Cushman, MIFA

Wednesday, March 20th 2019
1:25 pm:
Spring Break - No speaker this week.

Thursday, March 21st 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
There will be be no colloquium this week due to spring break

Friday, March 22nd 2019
12:30 pm:
Speaker: SPRING BREAK -- No seminar
Speaker: Spring break, no seminar this week

Wednesday, March 27th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Itamar Kimchi, University of Colorado - Boulder
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Fiona Burnell

Thursday, March 28th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Jason Hogan, Stanford
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Roger Rusack

Friday, March 29th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Zhen Jiang
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Vitaly Vanchurin (U. Minnesota, Duluth)
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Roger Rusack, High Energy

Wednesday, April 3rd 2019
Speaker: Graeme Luke, McMaster University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Martin Greven
7:00 pm:
Speaker: Robert Kennicutt University of Arizona and Texas A&M University
Subject: The Cosmic Ecosystem:  Connecting the Life Cycles of Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

The past decade has seen a quiet revolution in our understanding of the "Origins" questions in astronomy, namely how galaxies, stars, planets, the chemical elements, and the universe itself were formed and evolve over the history of time.  Observations of galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope and a variety of ground-based instruments have allowed us to reconstruct an empirical history of galaxies from the Big Bang to the present, and the introduction of sophisticated numerical models have transformed our theoretical understanding this evolution.
 
Remarkably, the same theory for the evolution and structure of our universe, in whick dark matter and dark energy play the dominant roles, when extrapolated to smaller scales also reproduces most of the observed properties of galaxies over cosmic time.  In this picture the key physical processes take place over an enormous dynamic range of physical scales, from cosmological scales to those of individual massive stars and black holes, all closely linked and interacting in a what can be regarded as a self-regulating ecosystem.  This talk will describe how the observational, theoretical, and numerical pieces of this new picture came together, and will highlight some of the current questions, challenges, and exciting opportunities which lie ahead.

About the speaker: Robert Kennicutt is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona and at Texas A&M University, and Executive Director of the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at TAMU. He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge, where he held the Plumian Professorship in Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, and also served as Director of the Institute of Astronomy and Head of the School of the Physical Sciences.

Kennicutt earned his PhD degree from the University of Washington, and his first faculty position was in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota (1980-1988), before moving on to faculty positions in Arizona and Cambridge. He served as Editor-in-Chief of The Astrophysical Journal, and this year will become Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Together with Fiona Harrison he is co-chairing the National Academy of Sciences Astro2020 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Kennicutt’s research focusses on observational extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, including the structure and evolution of galaxies, star formation in galaxies, chemical abundances in the universe, and the extragalactic distance scale. His studies span a wide range of wavelengths from radio to ultraviolet, and from nearby galaxies to distant galaxies observed when the universe was a fraction of its current age. He co-led (with Jeremy Mould and Wendy Freedman) the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project on the extragalactic distance scale, and three were awarded the Gruber Cosmology Prize for this work. Other awards include the AAS/AIP Dannie Heineman Prize in Astrophysics, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.


Thursday, April 4th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Sara Walker, Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU
3:35 pm:
Van Vleck Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Rob Kennicutt, Texas A&M University
Subject: The Schmidt Law at Sixty

Sixty years have passed since Maarten Schmidt's conjecture that star formation in galaxies was closely coupled to gas density, and since that time the Schmidt law has become an indispensable tool for interpreting, modeling, and simulating large-scale star formation in galaxies. Despite its success as a sub-grid "recipe" for the star formation rate, however, we remain far away from an ab initio theory of star formation, or even a clear understanding of the observed scaling laws themselves. This talk will review the current state of our observational understanding of star formation in galaxies, and the complexity which lies beneath the surface of the observed SFR scaling relations. We are witnessing an observational and theoretical renaissance in the subject, as multi-wavelength observations reveal the multi-scale nature of the star formation process and the complex interactions which are taking place between cosmological, gravitational, interstellar, and stellar feedback processes on these different scales. The picture which emerges is one in which the superficially simple star formation scaling laws are manifestations of a highly dynamic, complex, and self-regulating ecosystem in galactic disks.

Faculty Host: Ronald Poling

Friday, April 5th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Mengqun Li
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Raymond Co (U. Michigan)
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Marvin Marshak, Particle physics

Wednesday, April 10th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Vidya Madhavan, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Thursday, April 11th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Dimitar Sasselov, Harvard
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Evan Skillman

Friday, April 12th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Protyush Sahu
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Erich Poppitz (U. Toronto)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Nancy Sims, UMN Libraries
Subject: Copyright Triage

Wednesday, April 17th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Jorn Venderbos, University of Pennsylvania
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Thursday, April 18th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Ian Tregillis, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Thomas W. Jones

Friday, April 19th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Dan Phan
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Matt Reece (Harvard U.)
Subject: TBA
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Paul Crowell, Condensed Matter

Wednesday, April 24th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Ming Yi, Rice University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Thursday, April 25th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Sanjay Reddy, University of Washington
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Joseph Kapusta

Friday, April 26th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Fei Chen
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Grant Remmen (UC Berkeley)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Career Advisory Board Visit + Meet, no seminar this week.

Wednesday, May 1st 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Jack Harris, Yale University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Thursday, May 2nd 2019
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Jack Harris (Yale University)
Subject: TBD
Refreshments in atrium after the Colloquium.
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Friday, May 3rd 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Saumitran Kastirurangan
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Sergei Dubovksy (NYU)

Thursday, May 9th 2019
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: David Weinberg, The Ohio State University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Clement Pryke

Friday, May 10th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Robert Sponsel
Subject: TBA

Wednesday, September 25th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Scott Crooker, Los Alamos National Lab
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Wednesday, October 16th 2019
7:00 pm:
14th Annual Misel Family Lecture in McNamara Alumni Center 
Speaker: Professor Charles M. Marcus, Niels Bohr Institute

Thursday, October 17th 2019
3:35 pm:
14th Annual Misel Colloquium in Tate Hall B50
Speaker: Professor Charles M. Marcus, Niels Bohr Institute

Wednesday, November 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Ana Maria Rey, University of Colorado - Boulder
Subject: TBD

The weekly calendar is also available via subscription to the physics-announce mailing list, and by RSS feed.