Academic 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
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

Friday, January 25th 2019
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.


Thursday, February 21st 2019
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

Friday, March 22nd 2019

Monday, March 25th 2019
2:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in Tate 201-20
Speaker: Peter Martin, University of Minnesota
Subject: Measuring and Simulating Protein Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectra
This is the public portion of Mr. Martin's Thesis Defense. His advisor is David Thomas from the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics Department.

Wednesday, April 3rd 2019
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.


Tuesday, April 30th 2019
2:30 pm:
Thesis Defense in 120 PAN
Speaker: Jianlong Fu, University of Minnesota
Subject: Gauge theories of spin models
This is the public portion of Mr. Fu's thesis defense. His advisor is Natalia Perkins.

Thursday, May 2nd 2019
4:00 pm:
A.O.C. Nier Lecture in B50 Tate
Speaker: Kenneth A. Farley, W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry
Subject: Explorations on Mars: Curiosity, Mars 2020, and Mars Sample Return

Friday, May 3rd 2019
11:00 am:
Telescope Open House in PAN High Bay
Everyone invited to view South Pole CMB telescope. Free donuts for the first 48 people.

As some of you may know a major new South Pole CMB telescope is taking shape
in the PAN High Bay - see https://biceparray.wordpress.com/blog

Everyone is
welcome to come and see the telescope.

Free donuts for the first 48 people.

Hope you can come,

Clem, Grantland, James, Justin, Kenny, Mike, Nathan and Yuka


Monday, May 6th 2019
2:30 pm:
Methods of Experimental Physics Poster Session in Tate Hall Basement Atrium
We will be hosting a poster session recognizing the work this semester's MXP II students have accomplished this Spring.

Friday, May 10th 2019
4:00 pm:
Come celebrate commencement with the graduating class.
6:00 pm:
Graduates line up at 6:00, ceremony begins at 6:45 p.m.

Monday, May 13th 2019

Thursday, May 16th 2019

Monday, May 27th 2019

Friday, June 7th 2019

Friday, June 21st 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Lake Maria State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, June 22nd 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Lowry Nature Center
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, June 29th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Friday, July 5th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Eastman Nature Center
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, July 6th 2019
3:35 pm:
Universe in the Park in Wild River State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Wednesday, July 10th 2019
1:30 pm:
Thesis Defense in Physics Tate 301-20
Speaker: Brian J. O'Neill, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota
Subject: Simulations of Narrow-Angle Tail Radio Galaxy Evolution and Shock Interactions
This is the public portion of Mr. O'Neill's PhD Dissertation Defense

We present the results of three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations
of radio galaxy (RG) outflows interacting with active galaxy cluster environments.
The goal of these simulations was to analyze the consequences of these interactions such that observations of cluster radio emission can provide a more effective proxy for understanding the dynamical states of intracluster media (ICM).


Friday, July 12th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Afton State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, July 13th 2019
3:35 pm:
Universe in the Park in Lake Maria State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Friday, July 19th 2019
12:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in Pan 110
Speaker: James Delles, University of Minnesota
Subject: What Kramers and Arrhenius didn't expect: two-state switching out of thermal equilibrium.
This is the public portion of Mr. Delles' thesis defense. His advisor is Dan Dahlberg.
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Father Hennepin State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, July 20th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Friday, July 26th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, July 27th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in William O'Brien State park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Friday, August 2nd 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Dodge Nature Center
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, August 3rd 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in William O'Brien State park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Friday, August 9th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Gooseberry Falls State park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Saturday, August 10th 2019
8:30 pm:
Universe in the Park in Tettegouche State Park
Presentations are held rain or shine from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

Friday, August 23rd 2019
09:00 am:
Astrophysics Cosmology Outreach in University of Minnesota Building, Minnesota State Fair

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