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.
There will be no seminar this week.

Thursday, January 24th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
There will be no seminar this week.
Speaker: Stephen Taylor, California Institute of Technology
Subject: Frontiers Of Multi-Messenger Gravitational-Wave Astrophysics
Today's Journal Club meeting will be the faculty candidate presentation

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:
Please note: The seminar that was announced in the previous calendar is cancelled, this week only.
12:30 pm:
There is no seminar this week
1:15 pm:
Thesis Defense in PAN 110
Speaker: Mahendra DC, University of Minnesota
Subject: High charge-to-spin and spin-to-charge conversion enhanced by quantum confinement effect in sputtered topological insulator thin films"
This is the public portion of Mr. DC's thesis defense. His advisor is Jian-Ping Wang.

The spin-orbit torque (SOT) arising from materials with large spin-orbit coupling promises a path for ultra-low power and ultra-high speed magnetic-based storage and computational devices. The SOT switching of magnetization can be used in SOT-memory and whereas the spin-to-charge conversion can be utilized for reading of magnetization state in spin-based logic device. Recent reports on topological insulators grown by MBE process show a relatively high SOT. However, this process is incompatible to modern semiconductor fabrication processes. An “unexpected” giant SOT effect was discovered in sputtered topological insulator through this research. This discovery led to and could be explained by our newly proposed concept: quantum-confinement in topological insulators. From the atomic force and transmission electron microscopy the magnetron-sputtered bismuth selenide thin films show unique nano-sized grains which are correlated with the thickness of the films. A systematic study on SOT effect in BixSe(1-x)/Co20Fe60B20 heterostructures was performed. Remarkably, the spin torque efficiency ( ) was determined to be as large as 18.62 ± 0.13 and 8.67 ± 1.08, using the dc planar Hall and spin-torque ferromagnetic resonance methods, respectively. Quantum transport simulations using a realistic sp3 tight binding model confirms that the giant SOT in sputtered BixSe(1-x) is due to the quantum confinement effect, whose charge-to-spin conversion efficiency enhances with reduced size and dimensionality. In addition to charge-to-spin conversion, I will also present results of spin-to-charge conversion in these sputtered bismuth selenide thin films. For the spin-pumping experiment, a conducting ferromagnet (CoFeB) and insulating ferrimagnet (YIG) were used to pump spins into the bismuth selenide layer. The spin-to-charge conversion voltage is affected by thermal effects such as the Nernst effect, anomalous Nernst effect, and spin Seebeck effect. The thermal contribution in the spin-to-charge conversion voltage was studied by using an insulating barrier. An additional spin-momentum locking was created by inserting a thin Ag layer in between bismuth selenide and CoFeB, which enhanced the spin-to-charge conversion figure of merit quite significantly.

There will be no colloquium this week. (Faculty candidate presentation on Thursday).
Speaker: Lucy Fortson, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota
Subject: Optimizing the Human-Machine Partnership with Zooniverse
Note change of Colloquium time, this week only. Refreshments at 3:45 p.m.

Citizen science—the involvement of hundreds of thousands of people in the research process— provides a radical solution to the challenge of dealing with the greatly increased size of modern data sets. Zooniverse.org is the
most successful collection of online citizen science projects which have enabled over 1.7 million online volunteers to contribute to over 120 research projects spanning disciplines from astronomy to zoology. Dr. Lucy Fortson, cofounder of the Zooniverse and Associate Head and Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota will briefly describe the Zooniverse platform and some of the results to date from the
Zooniverse collection of online projects in the context of new approaches to combining machine learning with human classifications. She will then provide an overview of recent data science experiments with the ultimate goal of
producing a system that most efficiently balances the human and machine classifications. She will finish with a short description of future developments of the Zooniverse platform.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Jochen Mueller, Biophysics

Monday, January 28th 2019
12:20 pm:
Speaker: TBD

Tuesday, January 29th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
There will be no seminar this week.
Speaker: Andrew Zolli, Vice President, Global Impact Initiatives, Planet
Subject: Using Space to Help Life on Earth: How the Small Satellite Revolution and AI are Transforming How We See and Understand Our World

A revolution in low-cost, space-based remote sensing, combined with new analytical tools in machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence, are creating unprecedented new opportunities for tackling the world’s toughest challenges.

Andrew Zolli is the Vice President for Global Impact Initiatives at Planet (www.planet.com). Started by three NASA engineers, Planet has deployed the largest constellation of Earth-observation satellite in history. Together, these satellites image the entire surface of the Planet, every day, in high resolution. The resulting data holds transformational potential for basic science, and for a host of global challenges, including monitoring deforestation, agriculture and cities, tracking migration, mitigating the effects of climate change, speeding disaster response, and delivering planetary health, among others.

In this talk, Andrew will share lessons from the forefront of the New Space renaissance, as well as breakthrough new remote sensing applications being used right now around the world, and describe how new agile manufacturing and development technologies are accelerating the pace of innovation.


Wednesday, January 30th 2019
The seminar has been cancelled.
Faculty Host: Martin Greven
The seminar has been postponed until Friday afternoon.

Thursday, January 31st 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
There will be no seminar this week.
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Nico Adams and Terry Jones
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
11:00 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
There will be no seminar this week.
12:20 pm:
CM Sack Lunch in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Zedong Yang
Subject: Electronic transport in ballistic InSb nanowires with ferromagnetic contacts
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Asher Berlin (SLAC)
Subject: Thermal Relics Below an MeV

I will discuss a class of models in which thermal dark matter is lighter than an MeV. If dark matter thermalizes with the Standard Model below the temperature of neutrino-photon decoupling, constraints from measurements of the effective number of neutrino species are alleviated. This framework motivates new experiments in the direct search for sub-MeV thermal dark matter and light force carriers.

Speaker: Christopher Palmer (Princeton University)
Subject: Observation of the Higgs boson decaying to bottom quarks at CMS
Note change of time and day for this seminar, this week only.

The Higgs boson decay to a bottom quark-antiquark pair has been sought
for decades by the high energy community (i.e. at LEP and Tevatron).
LHC experiments built analyses based on the experience of Tevatron
experiments' analysis techniques. With the observation of the Higgs
boson at LHC during Run 1, the search for this decay channel became
sharply focused. As the bottom quark pair channel is the most
probable decay of the Higgs boson (58%), its observation is both
important in terms of quantifying the Higgs boson and it represents an
important milestone in high energy physics. The results presented use
datasets from the LHC Run 1 and Run 2 (2016+2017) from CMS. This Run
2, 13 TeV dataset corresponds to an integrated luminosity of ~80
fb^-1. The analysis strategy, the background estimation techniques,
and significant analysis improvements from the 2017 data analysis in
CMS are shown. An outlook on the upcoming analysis of the full Run 2
dataset (and beyond) will be discussed.

There will be no colloquium this week
Speaker: Stephen Snobelen, Humanitites, King's College, Halifax
Subject: Science, religion and the New Atheism: the view from the history and philosophy of science
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Vincent Noireaux, Biophysics

Monday, February 4th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Eliu Huerta
Subject: Convergence of gravitational wave astrophysics, large scale astronomical surveys and data science: A gateway for discovery in the Multi-Messenger Astrophysics Era
MifA faculty candidate

The next decade promises fundamental new scientific insights and discoveries from Multi-Messenger Astrophysics, enabled through the convergence of large scale astronomical surveys, gravitational wave astrophysics, deep learning and large scale computing. In this talk I describe a Multi-Messenger Astrophysics science program, and highlight recent accomplishments at the interface of gravitational wave astrophysics, numerical relativity and deep learning. I discuss the convergence of this program with large scale astronomical surveys in the context of gravitational wave cosmology. Future research and development activities are discussed, including a vision to leverage data science initiatives at the University of Minnesota through transdisciplinary research to spearhead, maximize and accelerate discovery in the nascent field of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.


Tuesday, February 5th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
To be announced

Wednesday, February 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Rafael Fernandes, University of Minnesota
Subject: Vestigial orders in electronic correlated systems: nematicity and beyond

A hallmark of the phase diagrams of correlated electronic systems is the existence of multiple electronic ordered states. In many cases, they cannot be simply described as independent competing phases, but instead display a complex intertwinement. A prime example of intertwined states is the case of primary and vestigial phases. While the former is characterized by a multi-component order parameter, the fluctuation-driven vestigial state is characterized by a composite order parameter formed by higher-order, symmetry-breaking combinations of the primary order parameter. This concept has been widely employed to elucidate nematicity in both iron-based and cuprate superconductors. In this talk, I will present a group-theoretical framework, supplemented by microscopic calculations, that extends this notion to a variety of phases, providing a general classification of vestigial orders of unconventional superconductors and density-waves. Electronic states with scalar and vector chiral order, spin-nematic order, Ising-nematic order, time-reversal symmetry-breaking order, and algebraic vestigial order emerge from this simple underlying principle. I will present a rich variety of possible phase diagrams involving the primary and vestigial orders, and discuss possible realizations of these exotic composite orders in different materials.

1:25 pm:
Speaker: Richard Anthony D'Souza, University of Michigan
Subject: Unravelling the Andromeda Galaxy's most important merger

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31), our nearest large galactic neighbour, offers a unique opportunity to test how mergers affect galaxy properties. M31's stellar halo caused by the tidal disruption of satellite galaxies is the best tracer of the galaxy's accretion history. Despite a decade of effort in mapping out M31's large stellar halo, we are unable to convert M31's stellar halo into a merger history. Here we use cosmological models of galaxy formation to show that M31's massive and metal-rich stellar halo containing intermediate age stars implies that it merged with a large (M* ~ 2.5 x 10^10 M_sun) galaxy ~2 Gyr ago. The simulated properties of the merger debris help to interpret a broader set of observations of M31's stellar halo and satellites than previously considered: its compact and metal-rich satellite M32 is the tidally-stripped core of the disrupted galaxy, M31's rotating and flattened inner stellar halo contains most of the merger debris, and the giant stellar stream is likely to have been thrown out during the merger. This accreted galaxy was the third largest member of the Local Group. This merger may explain the global burst of star formation ~2 Gyr ago in the disk of M31 in which ~1/5 of its stars were formed. Moreover, M31's disk and bulge were already in place before its most important merger, suggesting that mergers of this magnitude do not dramatically affect galaxy structure.

Faculty Host: Evan Skillman
Speaker: Andrew Furmanski (The University of Manchester)
Subject: Neutrinos at Short Baselines

Neutrino oscillations are being measured carefully across a broad range
of experiments, but there remain some anomalies that have not been fully
explained. Using three liquid argon TPCs on the same neutrino beam, the
short baseline neutrino program at Fermilab will set the worlds best
limits on eV-scale sterile neutrinos, whilst developing liquid argon
technology critical for DUNE and making precision measurements of
neutrino-argon interactions. MicroBooNE - the first operating TPC in
the SBN program - has been collecting data since late 2015. This talk
will describe the current status of the three-detector experiment, and
present the first physics results with MicroBooNE data.


Thursday, February 7th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker:  Karunya Kandimalla, Associate Professor at Department of Pharmaceutics of the University of Minnesota
Subject: Nanovehicles for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The blood brain barrier (BBB) performs dual functions of restricting the entry of xenobiotics into brain while serving as the major signaling and material trafficking portal between plasma and brain. Moreover, the BBB modulates cerebral blood flow to sustain neuronal activity; handles glucose as well as insulin delivery to brain; and maintains immune and inflammatory communication between periphery and brain. These critical BBB functions are disrupted in neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. We developed therapeutic nanoparticles to detect and treat BBB dysfunction in these diseases.
For successful brain delivery, a nanoparticle must withstand dominant clearance pressure from the peripheral reticuloendothelial system, marginate from the bulk blood flow to the vascular endothelium, permeate the blood-brain-barrier, and accumulate at the target site. In addition to these common challenges, the nanoparticles intended for cerebrovascular targeting must incorporate appropriate design elements to ensure their retention in the cerebral vasculature. Furthermore, a functionally optimized nanoparticle design demands synergistic amalgamation of the physicochemical properties of various components and their intended physiological effects. Strategies developed in our laboratory to surmount these barriers will be discussed in the talk.

Speaker: Michael Coughlin, California Institute of Technology
Subject: Searching for compact binaries in the gravitational-wave and optical time domain
Today's Journal Club meeting will be the faculty candidate presentation

Binary neutron star mergers provide one of the richest laboratories for studying physics with ground-based interferometric gravitational-wave detectors such as advanced LIGO and Virgo. After such a merger, a compact remnant is left over whose nature depends primarily on the masses of the inspiralling objects and on the equation of state of nuclear matter. We will discuss the search for post-merger signals from GW170817. In addition, we will describe ongoing searches for the detection of transients like GW170817 in electromagnetic wavelengths. With the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) recently achieving first light, it is now fruitful to use its unprecedented combination of depth, field of view, and survey cadenceto perform Target of Opportunity observations. We willdemonstrate on short gamma-ray bursts how it is possible to use this system to do follow-up on this scale. Finally, we will discuss the ongoing efforts to use ZTF and a new instrument at the Kitt Peak 2.1m to find and characterize white dwarf binaries.

3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Marcelo Magnasco, The Rockefeller University
Subject: Shifting attention to dynamics: Self-reconfiguration of neural networks

In recent years, considerable evidence has accrued indicating that brain function can be flexibly reconfigured on the fly: certain brain areas are capable of carrying out a variety of different functions and are able to switch between those functions in a context-sensitive, dynamic fashion. Some evidence has also emerged that ongoing brain activity, the ceaseless background brain dynamics, may be implicated in setting and controlling these dynamic functions as well as attentional gain control. A crucial link between them is dynamics. I will discuss both the accumulating evidence as well as a theoretical outline of dynamical mechanisms for functional self-reconfiguration of neural networks, including reconfiguration of logic function, reconfiguration of information routing, and poising at critical points to reconfigure dynamics.

Faculty Host: Jorge Vinals

Friday, February 8th 2019
11:00 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
There will be no seminar this week.
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Hsiu-Chung Yeh
Subject: Emptiness formation probability in Lieb-Liniger model.
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Eric Braaten (Ohio State U.)
Subject: Axion Stars

The particle that makes up the dark matter of the universe could be an axion. A significant fraction of the axion dark matter could be in the form of bound Bose-Einstein condensates of axions. The condensates are called "axion stars" if they are bound by gravity and "oscillons" if they are self-bound. There may be aspects of axion dark matter in which the effects of axion stars and oscillons have not been fully taken into account.

There will be no colloquium this week. (Faculty candidate presentation on Thursday).
Speaker: Stephen Snobelen, History of Science and Technology - King's College, Halifax
Subject: Science, Religion and the New Atheism: the view from the history and philosophy of science
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Miranda Pihlaja Straub, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
The seminar has been cancelled.
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Shaul Hanany, Cosmology

Monday, February 11th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Jennifer Barnes, Columbia University
Subject: Panning for gold with things that go bang in the night
MifA faculty candidate

Electromagnetic follow-up observations of the gravitational wave-detected binary neutron star merger (NSM) GW1701817 suggested that material ejected from the accretion disk formed in the merger underwent a robust r-process nucleosynthesis, producing heavy elements like Au, Pt, and Eu. These observations seemed to answer a long-standing question about the origin of the heaviest elements in the Universe. However, the conditions that characterize the disks formed in NSMs are also found in other systems, raising the question of whether mergers are unique sites of r-process production. Of particular interest for this question is the collapse of rapidly-rotating massive stars, called "collapsars." Like NSMs, collapsars form accretion disks around stellar mass compact objects and are associated with ultrarelativistic outflows that give rise to gamma-ray bursts, similarities that suggest they may also host an r-process. I will review the theoretical progress that allowed the identification of the emission accompanying GW170817 as a specifically r-process-powered transient. I will then discuss recent work that explores whether collapsar disks could successfully produce the r-process, and what the signs of collapsar disk r-process nucleosynthesis might be. I will conclude by highlighting upcoming advances that will allow us to make progress on understanding of r-process origins and other mysteries of the multi-messenger era.


Tuesday, February 12th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Peter Bruggeman, Mechanical Engineering, UMN
Subject: Physics of Low Temperature Plasmas: a Unique Non-Equilibrium State for Tackling Grand Societal Challenges
Speaker: Shai Ashkenazi and Taner Akkin, Associate Professors of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
Subject:  Photoacoustic Imaging (Ashkenazi) and Polarized Light Imaging (Akkin) for Biomedical Applications

The field of Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) for medical and biological applications has changed dramatically in the past two decades. It has evolved from a bulk absorption spectroscopy technique for sample analysis into a high resolution imaging modality. It is a change similar to the evolution of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) into Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). However, as opposed to the rapid adoption of MRI in medical diagnosis, PAI is still not in use in clinics. The reasons may be insufficient depth penetration, cost (relative to alternatives), bulky laser systems, and challenging engineering design of light and ultrasound delivery. Yet, the attraction of PAI is its ability to embed optical tissue properties in a plain ultrasound image. This way extending ultrasound imaging to functional and molecular imaging modality. Dr. Ashkenazi will introduce the basic principles of PAI and then move to explore different mechanisms of contrast that can be implemented in PAI. Primarily, he will focus on using transient absorption and triplet-triplet absorption as a potential contrast for PAI in medical applications.
PART-II: Polarization is an essential but underutilized property of light. Imaging systems that are capable of making polarization-sensitive measurements require careful design and in some cases use of sophisticated analysis methods. Dr. Akkin will present optical coherence tomography (OCT) based depth-resolved tissue imaging for which the intensity, phase and polarization properties of backscattered/reflected light are analyzed to extract various imaging contrasts. This label-free imaging and mapping technique will be introduced for generating 3D optical tractography of whole-brain microconnectivity with serial sectioning. Also, he will present contrast enhancement by titanium dioxide perfusion, which enables visualization of the vasculature in cross-polarization images. Signal and image processing approaches as well as deep learning algorithms are being developed for better visualization and separation of the vascular and white matter networks.

4:40 pm:
CM Journal Club in Tate 201
Subject: Exact Diagonalization

Wednesday, February 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Andrey Chubukov, University of Minnesota, TPI
Subject: TBD
Speaker: Yangyang Cheng (Cornell University)
Subject: A New Paradigm for Dark Matter Search at the LHC

The existence of dark matter (DM), through astrophysical and cosmological observations, presents some of the most striking evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model. Stringent limits have been placed on DM as a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) from direct and indirection detection as well as collider experiments. If instead of one type of DM particle, nature contains a complex dark sector, the new hidden particles can evade existing DM limits and most direct detection experiments, but may be produced at high-energy colliders like the LHC. Many dark sector models predict long-lived particles with striking collider signature, opening an exciting new paradigm for dark matter
search. This talk overviews the landscape for dark matter search, and
introduces the physics motivation for a complex dark sector with long-lived particles. It then describes two types of signature-driven dark sector searches at the CMS experiment, for a dark shower and for displaced lepton jets. Finally, the talk discusses prospects for dark sector searches at the High-Luminosity LHC with detector and trigger upgrades, in particular how the new forward detectors and enhanced timing capabilities can reach new phase spaces and sensitivities.


Thursday, February 14th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Jiali Gao, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
Subject: Allosteric Regulation of Biological Function of Photoreceptor proteins

Major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) is a photoreceptor protein that regulates energy transfer and dissipation in response to rapid fluctuations of light intensity, directly affecting the efficiency of photosynthesis. In this presentation, I will describe an investigation combining molecular dynamics simulation and temperature-jump time-resolved IR spectroscopy to understand the mechanism of energy dissipation in LHCII. I will illustrate an allosteric regulation of the global protein conformational changes induced by a local conformational transition of random coils into α-helices due to changes of external temperature and acidity. The dynamic motions induce close contacts between the associated luteins (Lut) and photoactivated chlorophyll (Chl) chromophores to facilitate fluorescence quenching. In addition, I will discuss a multistate density functional theory designed to model photochemical and charge transfer processes.

Speaker: Sarah Vigeland, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Subject: Probing Massive and Supermassive Black Holes with Gravitational Waves
Today's Journal Club meeting will be the faculty candidate presentation

Observations have shown that nearly all galaxies harbor massive or supermassive black holes at their centers. Gravitational wave (GW) observations of these black holes will shed light on their growth and evolution, and the merger histories of galaxies. Massive and supermassive black holes are also ideal laboratories for studying strong-field gravity. Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are sensitive to GWs with frequencies ~1-100 nHz, and can detect GWs emitted by supermassive black hole binaries, which form when two galaxies merge. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)is a planned space-based GW detector that will be sensitive to GWs ~1-100 mHz, and it will see a variety of sources, including merging massive black hole binaries and extreme mass-ratio inspires (EMRIs), which consist of a small compact object falling into a massive black hole. I will discuss source modeling and detection techniques for LISA and PTAs, as well as present limits on nanohertz GWs from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration.

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
11:00 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Aditya Dhumuntarao, University of Minnesota
Subject: Chaos in Action: Developing an Action Principle for Open Systems
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Bo Xiong
Subject: 1D ideal gas of anyons obeying Haldane exclustion statistics.
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Andrew Long (U. Michigan)
Subject: Ultra-light dark photons from a network of cosmic strings

A variety of experimental efforts are currently underway to detect ultra-light dark photon dark matter — a spin-1 particle dark matter candidate with mass below 1 eV. However, dark photon dark matter has a notorious production problem: it is challenging to write down a model that yields the correct relic abundance of non-relativistic dark photons. In this talk I will discuss how dark photon dark matter is created from a network of near-global, Abelian-Higgs cosmic strings. These strings are expected to survive in the universe today, and their motions create a stochastic gravitational wave noise.

There will be no colloquium this week. (Faculty candidate presentation on Thursday).
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Kaylee Ganser, University of Minnesota
Subject: Student Conceptual Understanding of Newtonian Physics Across Different Introductory Courses at UMN

Engineering based introductory physics differs from biology based introductory physics in the UMN Physics department in both content and class makeup. Performance on a concept inventory was tested across 23 classrooms with a total of 2290 students, and it was found that, after controlling for student gender, initial concept inventory score, and initial math proficiency, there was no difference in student performance on the post-test of the concept inventory between classes. A gender gap was found in the data- the performance of women was, on average, less than men on the post-test, though the gap varied significantly, suggesting that there is variation in how the gender gap manifests in different classrooms. This talk will go through the data collection, analysis methods, and implications of these results.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Bharat Jalan, CEMS

Monday, February 18th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: TBD
3:35 pm:
Speaker: David Caratelli (FNAL)
Subject: Neutrinos in High Definition

Thanks to advances in detector technology and the advent of powerful neutrino sources, neutrino physics in the past decade has rapidly moved to an era of precision measurements. With these new tools, we hope to shed light on their curious properties, and address fundamental questions on the fabric of our universe. In this seminar I will talk about how the MicroBooNE experiment is using a new detector technology to understand an anomaly in neutrino physics that has motivated many interesting phenomenological models. The talk will describe the MicroBooNE experiment, a short-baseline neutrino detector sitting in a ~1 GeV beam, and the status of the measurement of electron neutrino
interactions. I will focus on illustrating how the study of electromagnetic activity in LArTPC detectors enables MicroBooNE’s study of electron neutrino interactions as well as the broader neutrino oscillation physics program to be carried out at Femilab. Finally, I will describe how low-energy electromagnetic signatures can expand this detector technology’s physics reach to explore BSM physics and astrophysical signatures.


Tuesday, February 19th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Cynthia Cattell and Chris Colpitts
Subject: Wave generation by relativistic electron beams in a plasma: Initial results fromLAPD run
There will be no seminar this week.

Wednesday, February 20th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Boris Spivak, University of Washington
Subject: Magneto-transport phenomena related to the chiral anomaly in Weyl and Dirac semimetals

I will present a theory of magnetotransport phenomena related to the chiral anomaly in Weyl semimetals. I will show that conductivity, thermal conductivity, thermoelectric and the sound absorption coefficients exhibit strong and anisotropic magnetic field dependences. I will also discuss properties of magneto-plasmons and magneto-polaritons, whose existence is entirely determined by the chiral anomaly.

Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii
Speaker: Nadja Strobbe (FNAL)
Subject: Taking aim at New Physics

The Standard Model of Particle Physics has been immensely successful. However, many questions remain, such as the nature of dark matter, the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry, and the question of naturalness and the hierarchy problem. A variety of New Physics models have been proposed to address these questions. One class of such new physics models is supersymmetry (SUSY).

Many searches for SUSY have been performed with the LHC data, and so far, none has found any signs of physics beyond the Standard Model. A theme common to many of these searches is the reliance on the presence of substantial missing transverse momentum (MET) from undetected SUSY particles. It is therefore reasonable to wonder whether SUSY could take a form that instead produces low-MET final states, thereby evading detection in standard searches.

In this seminar I will first discuss the motivation and strategy behind some of the traditional SUSY searches, focusing in particular on searches for the top squark. Then, I will introduce SUSY models that lead to low-MET final states, including stealth SUSY and R-parity violating SUSY. I will describe a novel analysis that takes aim at the challenging final state with top quarks, many extra jets, and low MET. Finally, I will conclude with a look towards the future, including HL-LHC projections for SUSY searches.


Thursday, February 21st 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Gordon Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, UMN
Subject: Development of large-scale networks in visual cortex.

Sensory perception requires the coordinated activity of tens of thousands of neurons, working together in large-scale networks. As developmental events define and constrain the ultimate capabilities of these networks, it is therefore essential to understand the mechanisms underlying their formation. This talk will present recent work showing that in the developing visual cortex, correlations in spontaneous neural activity define large-scale functional networks with precise local and long-range organization that span millimeters of cortical area. These early networks predict future stimulus-evoked activity well before it can be visually driven, suggesting they form a substrate for building a mature large-scale functional architecture.

12:10 pm:
Speaker: Grantland Hall and Pat Kelly
3:30 pm:
Special Public Lecture in Best Buy Theater, Northrop, University of Minnesota
Speaker: Roger Launius, Chief Historian for NASA and Senior Curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (retired)
Subject: Why Go to the Moon? Apollo, the Space Race, and the Many Faces of Lunar Exploration
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Flavio Cavanna, Yale
Subject: Lifting the lid on DUNE, the new international mega-science project in the US

The experimental discoveries of the last half century have placed neutrinos in the spotlight to unlock the mysteries of the matter's abundance unbalance in the Universe and of the ultimate fate of the stars. The lack of direct observations of proton decays, on the other hand, keeps at bay the dream that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time.
The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is the new leading-edge, international mega-science experiment for neutrino science and proton decay search.
DUNE will consist of two paired neutrino detectors placed in the world’s most intense neutrino beam. One massive detector will be installed deep underground at the SURF laboratory, in South Dakota — 1,300 kilometers away from FERMILAB, where the second detector will be positioned just downstream the neutrino source. Detecting the energetic beam neutrinos at the far site and comparing with those detected at the near site can give insight about our matter dominated universe. The underground location of the far detector, screened from the overwhelming cosmic ray flow, may allow to detect tiny signals from neutrinos originated by a core-collapse supernova in the Milky Way and thus possibly peer inside a newly-formed neutron star. And finally, the extra-large amount of mass of the detector may allow primordial symmetries to occasionally resurface inside a proton and spontaneously morphing a quark into a lepton, with the proton instantly falling apart into a detectable flash of radiation.
But not only large mass and far distance matter to pursue this ambitious discovery plan: unprecedented detection technologies and a worldwide effort to build the detector are required. DUNE will use the state-of-the-art Liquid Argon TPC technology to instrument deep underground 70.000 tons of Liquid Argon at 87K, with millimeter scale 3D precision.
A 1 kTon precursor of the far LAr-TPC detector has been constructed and recently activated at the CERN Neutrino Platform, and is now taking data. A first look of the spectacular events collected will be shown.

Faculty Host: Roger Rusack

Friday, February 22nd 2019
11:00 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Tom Welle, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Xiaojun Fu
Subject: Broken symmetry states in the N = 3 Landau level of GaAs quantum wells with alloy disorder
12:30 pm:
High Energy Theory Lunchtime Seminar in Tate 110 (note location change for this week)
Speaker: Radu Roiban (Penn State)
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Anna Williams, Macalester University
Subject: Exploring the coevolution of magnetic fields and galaxies in different environments

Galaxies are permeated with magnetic fields at all scale lengths--from protostellar disks to spiral arms. But how galaxies first acquired magnetic fields, and, in turn grow and sustain large-scale magnetic structures is not well understood. One way to unravel this problem is by observing magnetic fields in a variety of galaxy environments. Luckily, new and upgraded radio telescopes are providing a new window to the polarization universe, and greatly enhancing our ability to probe astrophysical magnetic fields. I will present the results of three observational studies focused on the coevolution of magnetic fields and galaxies in different environments: (1) a nearby spiral galaxy, NGC 6946, (2) a loose galaxy group, NGC 2563, and (3) distant disk-like galaxies at z~0.5.

Speaker: Michael Gordin, History - Princeton University
Subject: Einstein in Bohemia: Science and Prague before and after the Habsburgs
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
3:35 pm:
There will be no seminar this week.
Speaker:  Carolyn Bishoff, UMN Libraries

Monday, February 25th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: TBD
2:20 pm:
Speaker: Dr. Christina Ignarra (SLAC)
Subject: Expanding the Science Reach of Dark Matter Detection with the LZ Experiment

LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) is a 10 tonne liquid xenon Time Projection Chamber (TPC) which will search for Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) dark matter via direct scattering from xenon nuclei. This talk will give an overview of the LZ experiment and describe searches for nonstandard interactions governed by Effective Field Theory (EFT). The resulting nuclear responses from such interactions can lead to higher energy recoil spectra and signatures compared with conventional signals. I will also discuss technical innovations in areas such as high voltage, purification, and calibrations, which will allow us to improve sensitivity in both the high and low energy regimes.


Tuesday, February 26th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Y. Miyoshi (Nagoya University, Project Scientist of ERG/Arase mission) and Y. Kasahara (Kanazawa University)
Subject: 1. Overview of Arase and highlights from the prime mission. 2. Highlights from plasma wave observation by Arase

These are two talks on the Japanese radiation belt mission, ARASE.

Speaker: Derryl Wright
Subject: Machine Learning and Citizen Science at Zooniverse

As researchers gather ever larger data sets there is an increasing reliance on machine learning and demand for citizen science. We will introduce Zooniverse, the world's largest citizen science platform and show how citizen science is helping researchers unlock meaningful information from the data they collect. We will also demonstrate how, classifications produced by volunteers, are enabling machine learning and that both citizen science and machine learning can empower each other to process data more efficiently than either alone.

Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

Wednesday, February 27th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Joerg Schmalian, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Subject: Hierarchy of Information Scrambling, Thermalization, and Hydrodynamic Flow in Graphene

We determine the information scrambling rate due to electron-electron Coulomb interaction in graphene. The scrambling rate characterizes the growth of chaos and has been argued to give information about the thermalization and hydrodynamic transport coefficients of a many-body system. We discuss the scrambling rate at strong coupling, using a direct diagrammatic analysis and holographic methods and show that scrambling behaves similar to transport and energy relaxation rates. A weak coupling analysis, however, reveals that scrambling is in fact related to dephasing and single particle relaxation. Thus, while scrambling is obviously necessary for thermalization and quantum transport, it does generically not set the time scale for these processes.

Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes
Speaker: Dr. Adish Vartak (CERN)
Subject: Search for dark matter and rare decays of the Higgs boson with the CMS detector

There is an extensive, ongoing dark matter search program at the LHC that explores several different types of possible interactions between WIMP-like dark matter and standard model particles. The dark matter searches at the LHC are complementary, and in case of certain models, significantly more sensitive than the direct and indirect dark matter searches. In this talk I will discuss the flagship monojet search that looks for dark matter particles recoiling against an energetic jet.

I will then turn to some of the key searches for rare decays of the Higgs boson that open a window to new physics. Recent results from searches looking for signs of dark matter in the invisible decay of the Higgs boson will be discussed. Finally, the status and prospects will be presented for the search of the Higgs boson decays to a pair of muons - the single most sensitive probe of the Higgs boson interactions with
second generation fermions.


Thursday, February 28th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Paul Jardine, Associate Professor, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, UMN
Subject: Using Model Systems to Drive Methods Development – The Tale of a Viral RNA

Model systems serve a critical role in the development of new research methodologies. By their nature, model systems are well defined and therefore present excellent opportunities to extend the resolution, range of application, and rigour of advanced biochemical and biophysical experimental techniques. Given that they are, by definition, some of the simplest living systems, viral model systems have been used to advance all areas of molecular biology and biophysics. Here, I will summarise the experimental history of one small component of a viral force generator nanomotor – the prohead RNA (pRNA) component of the bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging machine – and illustrate how the study of this molecule has revealed fundamental insight into biological macromolecules. The study of pRNA has contributed to the development of experimental approaches that can be adapted to more complex systems in order to address more complex questions in biological systems.

12:10 pm:
Speaker: Roberta Humphreys and Avery Garon
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Joerg Schmalian, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Subject: Failed Theories of Superconductivity

Superconductivity is one of the most fascinating quantum states of matter. Almost half a century passed between the discovery of superconductivity by Kamerlingh Onnes and the theoretical explanation of the phenomenon by Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer (BCS). During the intervening years the brightest minds in theoretical physics tried and failed to develop a microscopic understanding of the effect. A summary of some of those unsuccessful attempts to understand superconductivity not only demonstrates the extraordinary achievement made by formulating the BCS theory, but also illustrates that mistakes are a natural and healthy part of scientific discourse, and that inapplicable, even incorrect theories can turn out to be interesting and inspiring.

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
2:30 pm:
Speaker:  Dale Gary, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Subject: A Breakthrough View of Solar Flares from Radio Imaging Spectroscopy

Solar flares are the result of explosive release of stored magnetic energy in the Sun's corona. The detailed physical processes that underlie the rapid conversion of such energy to other forms, particularly the acceleration of electrons and ions to relativistic energies, remain mysterious, partly because direct measurements of the coronal magnetic field and the spatial and energy distribution of the particles have been difficult or impossible. One emission mechanism that is sensitive to the coronal magnetic field in the flaring region is radio emission, but until recently the instrument capabilities needed to exploit that sensitivity have not been available. However, this has changed with the completion of a new, solar dedicated radio interferometer array, the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA), that has the required combination of spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution to make these breakthrough measurements. In this talk, I illustrate the new capabilities and their implications using observations of a showcase solar flare that occurred on 2017 September 10. This event is a textbook example of the "standard solar flare model" eruptive event, with a clearly visible reconnecting current sheet connecting an erupting flux rope with a growing arcade of newly formed "post-flare" loops. The comparison of microwave diagnostics of high-energy electrons with those from hard X-rays seen by the RHESSI spacecraft show that, while they are fully consistent, the microwaves reveal that the coronal volume containing high-energy particles is much larger and more widespread than would have been deduced from hard X-rays alone. Even more important, however, are the quantitative measurements of the spatially and temporally resolved magnetic field strength, which, if our interpretation is correct, directly reveal the conversion of magnetic energy over a large volume into high-energy charged particles.and turbulent plasma. The new observations present both a challenge and an opportunity for further theoretical understanding of the processes occurring in solar flares.

Faculty Host: John Wygant
Speaker: Lee Penn, CHEM and Diversity Committee

Monday, March 4th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: TBD

Tuesday, March 5th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Demoz Gebre Egziabher, Aerospace Engineering, UMN
Subject: TBD
Speaker: Georgios Giannakis
Subject: Online Scalable Learning Adaptive to Unknown Dynamics and Graphs

Kernel based methods exhibit well-documented performance in various nonlinear learning tasks. Most of them rely on a preselected kernel, whose prudent choice presumes task-specific prior information. Especially when the latter is not available, multi-kernel learning has gained popularity thanks to its flexibility in choosing kernels from a prescribed kernel dictionary. Leveraging the random feature approximation, this talk will introduce first for static setups a scalable multi-kernel learning approach (termed Raker) to obtain the sought nonlinear learning function ‘on the fly,’ bypassing the `curse of dimensionality’ associated with kernel methods. We will also present an adaptive multi-kernel learning scheme (termed AdaRaker) that relies on weighted combinations of advices from hierarchical ensembles of experts to boost performance in dynamic environments. The weights account not only for each kernel’s contribution to the learning process, but also for the unknown dynamics. Performance is analyzed in terms of both static and dynamic regrets. AdaRaker is uniquely capable of tracking nonlinear learning functions in environments with unknown dynamics, with analytic performance guarantees. The approach is further tailored for online graph-adaptive learning with scalability and privacy. Tests with synthetic and real datasets will showcase the effectiveness of the novel algorithms.

Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

Wednesday, March 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
March APS Meeting - No speaker this week
Speaker: Jim Linnemann, Michigan State University
Subject: HAWC: Extreme Astronomy with Big Buckets of Water

Though we can see thousands of stars in a clear night sky, the number of known sources emitting TeV gamma rays is less than 200. This is both because there are few instruments capable of measuring such photons, and because the sources are restricted to particularly violent astrophysical processes which
produce photons of 100 TeV and beyond. The HAWC (High Energy Water Cherenkov) array is the only survey instrument in this energy range. Located on a plateau between two volcanos in Mexico at an altitude of 4100 m, HAWC is able to survey 60% of the sky, and observes 1/6 of the full sky at any moment, day or night. I will discuss the array, its construction and principles of operation, a selection of recent results spanning particle astrophysics to astronomy, and how we are pursuing multi-messenger astronomy to better understand the nature of TeV gamma ray sources.

Faculty Host: Roger Rusack

Thursday, March 7th 2019
08:00 am:
Untitled in Physics
No speaker this week.
08:00 am:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Speaker: Marc Pinsonneault, The Ohio State University
Faculty Host: Evan Skillman
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
No speaker this week.
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Sourabh Chauhan and Evan Tyler

Friday, March 8th 2019
12:30 pm:
Speaker: Jessica Turner (Fermilab)
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Marc Pinsonneault, The Ohio State University
Speaker: Lee Penn, CHEM and Diversity Committee

Monday, March 11th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: TBD

Tuesday, March 12th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Aaron Breneman
Subject: TBD
Speaker: Vladimir Cherkassky
Subject: Deliberations on Scientific and Methodological Aspects of Machine Learning

Many diverse fields, such as applied mathematics, statistics, machine learning, data mining, econometrics, bioinformatics etc. are all concerned with estimation of data-analytic models. More recently, due to abundance of data and cheap computing power, machine learning (ML) algorithms have become very popular in various applications, even though many such algorithms are heuristics vaguely motivated by biological/ not mathematical/ arguments. This disconnect (between mathematics and practical applications) may seem strange, given the deep intrinsic connection between mathematics and natural sciences. Well-known historical examples include Kepler’s Laws and (classical) statistical science. The purpose of my talk is to explain various reasons for current disconnect, including (a) conceptual (philosophical) aspects; (b) technical (~mathematical) aspects and (c) non-technical (social) aspects. In particular, my talk will elaborate on different interpretation of philosophical concepts (of deductive and inductive reasoning), in classical statistics and in ML. This methodological difference will be further clarified via several basic assumptions underlying all ML methods – as presented in Vapnik-Chervonenkis (VC) learning theory. Further, I will discuss several ‘non-standard’ inductive problem settings (i.e., different from standard supervised learning) that often enable better generalization with finite training data.

Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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

Thursday, March 14th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Alexander Grosberg, Department of Physics, NYU
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vincent Noireaux
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Nathan Eggen and Larry Rudnick
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: Hanteng Wang
Subject: TBA
12:30 pm:
Speaker: TBA
Subject: TBA
2:30 pm:
Speaker: TBD
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Priscilla Cushman, MIFA

Monday, March 18th 2019
12:15 pm:
Spring Break - no seminar this week.

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

Thursday, March 21st 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Spring Break - No speaker this week.
12:10 pm:
There will be be no Journal Club this week due to spring break
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
2:30 pm:
There will be be no colloquium this week due to spring break
Speaker: Spring break, no seminar this week

Monday, March 25th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: TBD

Tuesday, March 26th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Trevor Knuth
Speaker: Vipin Kumar
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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

Thursday, March 28th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Jerome C. Mertz, College of Engineering, Boston University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Jochen Mueller
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Jin-Ah Kim and Liliya Williams
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
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Vuk Mandic
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Evan Skillman
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Roger Rusack, High Energy

Monday, April 1st 2019
08:00 am:
TBA in Physics
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Nicholas Mast, UMN
Subject: CDMS Detector Characterization

Tuesday, April 2nd 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Sophie Musset
Subject: TBD
Speaker: Mingyi Hong
Subject: TBD

Wednesday, April 3rd 2019
Speaker: Graeme Luke, McMaster University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Martin Greven
Speaker: Graeme Luke, McMaster University
Subject: To be announced
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 which 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 focuses 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, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU
Faculty Host: J. Woods Halley
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Karl Young
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
2:00 pm:
Speaker: Rob Kennicutt, Texas A&M University
Subject: 2020 Decadal Survey
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Marvin Marshak, Particle physics

Monday, April 8th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Lindsey Bleem, Argonne National Laboratory
Subject: SPT Cluster Cosmology - Argonne

Tuesday, April 9th 2019
Speaker: Dan Frisbie and Kevin Dorfman
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Mark Sanders, Program Director, University of Minnesota Imaging Centers
Subject: TBD
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Sean Bruton and Hugh Dickinson
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
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Eliot Quataert, UC Berkeley
Subject: What Happens When a Massive Star Fails (Sort of) to Explode?

There are observational and theoretical reasons to suspect that up to
10s of percent of massive stars that undergo core-collapse at the end
of their lives fail to explode in a canonical energetic supernova
explosion. In this talk I will describe what transpires in such
nominally failed supernovae and its importance for understanding the
masses and spins of black holes (e.g., detected by LIGO). I will also
describe how 'failed' supernovae may manifest themselves
observationally in time-domain surveys.

Speaker: Nancy Sims, UMN Libraries
Subject: Copyright Triage

Monday, April 15th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Keith Bechtol, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Subject: DM w. DES/LSST

Tuesday, April 16th 2019
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Speaker: Sheng Tian
Subject: TBD
Speaker: Andrew Zolli, Vice President, Global Impact Initiatives, Planet
Subject: Using Space to Help Life on Earth: How the Small Satellite Revolution and AI are Transforming How We See and Understand Our World

A revolution in low-cost, space-based remote sensing, combined with new analytical tools in machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence, are creating unprecedented new opportunities for tackling the world’s toughest challenges.

Andrew Zolli is the Vice President for Global Impact Initiatives at Planet (www.planet.com). Started by three NASA engineers, Planet has deployed the largest constellation of Earth-observation satellite in history. Together, these satellites image the entire surface of the Planet, every day, in high resolution. The resulting data holds transformational potential for basic science, and for a host of global challenges, including monitoring deforestation, agriculture and cities, tracking migration, mitigating the effects of climate change, speeding disaster response, and delivering planetary health, among others.

In this talk, Andrew will share lessons from the forefront of the New Space renaissance, as well as breakthrough new remote sensing applications being used right now around the world, and describe how new agile manufacturing and development technologies are accelerating the pace of innovation.

Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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

Thursday, April 18th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Erin Sheets, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Elias Puchner
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Mike Makmur and Vihang Mehta
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
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Peter Garnovich, University of Notre Dame
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Patrick Kelly
4:40 pm:
Speaker: Paul Crowell, Condensed Matter

Monday, April 22nd 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Andrew Wetzel, UC Davis
Subject: GAIA Analysis

Tuesday, April 23rd 2019
Speaker: Jarvis Haupt and Mike Garwood
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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

Thursday, April 25th 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Angel Mancebo, School of Physics and Astronomy, UMN (Elias Puchner Lab)
Subject: TBD
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Trevor Knuth and Evan Skillman
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
2:30 pm:
Speaker: TBD
Faculty Host: Charles E. Woodward
Speaker: Career Advisory Board Visit + Meet, no seminar this week.

Monday, April 29th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Patrick Kelly, UMN

Tuesday, April 30th 2019
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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

Thursday, May 2nd 2019
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: TBD
12:10 pm:
Speaker: Tom Jones and Jamie Cheshire
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 Dubovsky (NYU)
2:30 pm:
There will be no colloquium this week

Tuesday, May 7th 2019
Speaker: Stefano Gonella and Bojan Guzina
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

Wednesday, May 8th 2019
Speaker: Turab Lookman
Faculty Host: Martin Greven

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

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