Physics and Astronomy Calendar

All future


Friday, September 22nd 2017
10:10 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
There will be no seminar this week.

The postdoc research symposium is a poster session where postdocs will have the chance to interact with judges and representatives from local industry. There will be awards both from the PDA and local companies and the awards ceremony will feature various speakers

You can register posters for the poster session here, there is no fee, there is a limit to the number of poster spots available.

If you have questions, please direct them to pda@umn.edu. We hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to build a stronger postdoc community at the U.

Limited poster printing is available. Contact pda@umn.edu with questions.

More information about this event can be found on the PDA Website.

Speaker: Daniel Shaffer, University of Minnesota
Subject: Properties of the Superconducting Gap in NbSe_2 Monolayers in Presence of in-Plane Magnetic Field.

NbSe_2 monolayers have been observed to superconduct in presence of relatively large (~35T) in-plane magnetic fields (as compared to the naïve Pauli limit estimate), an effect attributed to large out-of-plane spin orbit coupling (referred to in the literature as Ising SOC) in the niobium atom that pins electron spins perpendicular to the NbSe_2 plane. This lead some theorists to speculate about the effect of such magnetic fields on the nature of the superconducting gap function, which due to the SOC may be topologically non-trivial. In particular, it has been suggested that for fields above the Pauli limit, NbSe_2 becomes a nodal topological superconductor. In order to investigate this claim, I perform an RG analysis (without SOC) and solve the linearized gap equation using a simplified single band model that incorporates SOC. It turns out that while there exists a self-consistent solution to the gap equation in which an in-plane magnetic field induces a phase transition from a fully gapped phase to a nodal one, such a solution is neither favored by RG nor likely to occur in a real system due to in-plane (Rashba) SOC caused by ripples in the monolayer, which leads instead to a topologically trivial gap.

Speaker: Marilena Loverde (Stonybrook U.)
Subject: Neutrinos, Quintessence, and Structure Formation in the Universe

The large-scale structure of our universe (the distribution of galaxies on very large-scales for instance) contains a wealth of information about the origin, evolution, and matter content of the universe. Extracting this information relies crucially on understanding how galaxies and other biased objects trace the large-scale matter distribution. In a universe such as our own, with both cold dark matter and massive neutrinos, or in alternative cosmologies with clustered quintessence, this problem is much more complicated. I will discuss new tools that my group has developed to study gravitational evolution in cosmologies with multiple fluids, the novel signatures we have identified including a new probe of neutrino mass, and the broader implications for models of large-scale structure.

There will be no colloquium this week.
Speaker: Alison Gopnik, Department of Psychology, University of California - Berkeley
Subject: When Children are Better Learners than Adults: Theory Formation, Causal Models, and the Evolution of Learning
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

In the past 15 years, we have discovered that even young children are adept at inferring causal relationships and that they do so in much the same way as scientists, using causal models and inductive inference to construct intuitive theories of the world. But are there differences in the ways that younger children, older children and adults learn? And do socioeconomic status and culture make a difference? I will present several studies showing a surprising pattern. Not only can preschoolers learn abstract higher-order principles from data, but younger learners are actually better at inferring unusual or unlikely principles than older learners and adults. This pattern also holds for children in Peru and in Headstart programs in Oakland, California. I relate this pattern to computational ideas about search and sampling, to evolutionary ideas about human life history, and to neuroscience findings about the negative effects of frontal control on wide exploration. My hypothesis is that our distinctively long, protected human childhood allows an early period of broad hypothesis search, exploration and creativity, before the demands of goal-directed action set in.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Martin Greven, University of Minnesota
Subject: Doped Mott insulators and unconventional superconductors: exciting experimental research opportunities

Monday, September 25th 2017
12:15 pm:
To be announced.

Tuesday, September 26th 2017
12:20 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
There will be no seminar this week.
4:30 pm:
See Joint Quantum Materials & Condensed Matter Seminar on Wednesday this week only.

Wednesday, September 27th 2017
Speaker:  Peter Abbamonte, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Subject: Bose condensation of excitons in a transition metal dichalcogenide

Bose condensation has shaped our understanding of macroscopic quantum phenomena, having been realized in superconductors, atomic gases, and liquid helium. Excitons are bosons that have been predicted to condense into either a superfluid or an insulating electronic crystal. But definitive evidence for a thermodynamically stable exciton condensate has never been achieved. In this talk I will describe our use of momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy (M-EELS) to study the valence plasmon in the transition metal dichalcogenide semimetal, 1T‐TiSe2. Near the phase transition temperature, TC = 190 K, the plasmon energy falls to zero at nonzero momentum, indicating dynamical slowing down of plasma fluctuations and crystallization of the valence electrons into an exciton condensate. At low temperature, the plasmon evolves into an amplitude mode of this electronic crystal. Our study represents the first observation of a soft plasmon in any material, the first definitive evidence for exciton condensation in a three-dimensional solid, and the discovery of a new form of matter, “excitonium.”

Faculty Host: Martin Greven
7:00 pm:
2017 Misel Lecture in Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center
Speaker: Wendy L. Freedman
Subject: THE UNIVERSE CONTINUES TO REVEAL SURPRISES

Over the past few decades, astronomers have for the first
time identified the major constituents of the universe.
Unexpectedly, the universe hardly resembles what we
thought only a couple of decades ago. The universe is filled
with dark matter more abundant than ordinary matter and
dark energy that is causing a runaway acceleration. Theory
is not yet able to explain this unexpected universe. New
giant telescopes planned for the next decade are likely to
reveal more surprises. In her lecture, Professor Freedman
will describe these recent advances.


Thursday, September 28th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Dr. Tejas M Gupte, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Matt Gomer
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Wendy Freedman, University of Chicago
Subject: A New Calibration of the Hubble Constant
Fall 2017 Misel Lecturer

The accuracy with which we can measure the Hubble
constant, Ho has been steadily increasing over the past
decade. The direct and traditional means to measure Ho
is based on measurement of distances and velocities to
galaxies in the local universe; for example, using Cepheid
variables and Type Ia supernovae. A model-dependent
Ho can be inferred from applying a cosmological model
to measurements of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave
background. Recently, these two precise techniques have
yielded values of Ho that disagree at more than 3-sigma.
This disagreement may be signaling errors in one or both
techniques. Alternatively, it could be signaling new physics
not currently included in the standard model of cosmology.
The Chicago-Carnegie Hubble Program is undertaking a
completely independent calibration of the Hubble constant
using red giant stars in the nearby universe. These stars
are proving to be both more precise and more accurate
than the traditional Cepheid variables. Moreover, with
the imminent launch of the James Webb Space Telescope
and new geometric parallaxes measured by Gaia, they will
provide a means of extending the distance scale beyond
the realm of Cepheids, and for measuring Ho to both a
precision and accuracy of 1%.


Friday, September 29th 2017
10:10 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Subject: Organizational Meeting
To be announced.
Speaker: Kiel Howe (Fermilab)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: No colloquium this week
Subject: See the Misel lecture information for September 27th
Speaker: Amy Bix, Department of History - Iowa State University
Subject: Inviting Girls Into the Lab: the Rise of Diversity Advocacy in STEM, 1950-Present
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

One of the biggest transformations in modern science and engineering isn't a particular discovery, invention, or technique, but a revolution in assumptions about who can and should enter those disciplines. For years, American efforts focused on steering more young white men into science and engineering. By the mid-1950s, some scientists and engineers began programs to open opportunities to broader groups of youngsters. Their advocacy fostered wide-ranging campaigns to expand STEM opportunities for K-12 female students, which came to command major support from scientific and technical organizations, corporations, government, community groups, educators, even celebrities. This talk explores when, how, and why evolving ideas about gender roles, education, and the nature of STEM generated the modern movement for STEM diversity and outreach.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Yong-Zhong Qian, University of Minnesota

Saturday, September 30th 2017
12:00 pm:
School Picnic in Boom Island Park Shelter B

All members of the School and their families are invited to join a picnic at Boom Island Park Shelter B. I will also be sending out another reminder email to the department this week, but figured it couldn't hurt to try and get as much ad space as we can!

You can sign up for the picnic here.


Monday, October 2nd 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Samir Banik, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Subject: Indian initiatives in direct dark matter
Faculty Host: Priscilla Cushman

Wednesday, October 4th 2017
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Tobias Gulden, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
Faculty Host: Alex Kamenev

Thursday, October 5th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Ahmed Haikal, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Chris Nolting
3:35 pm:
Speaker: David Kaiser, MIT
Subject: Testing Bell’s Inequality with Astrophysical Observations

Albert Einstein once dubbed quantum entanglement "spooky action at a distance," and the concept remains one of the starkest examples of how quantum theory differs from our usual intutions about space, time, and matter. Physicists have tested Bell’s inequality experimentally for over four decades, and have always found results consistent with quantum theory; today entanglement is at the heart of next-generation devices like quantum computers and quantum encryption. Yet every experimental test to date has been subject to one or more "loopholes," which could possibly account for the results even in the absence of genuine quantum entanglement. This talk describes the latest experimental tests of quantum entanglement, including a new series of experiments that uses some of the oldest light in the universe to address the last major loophole and pave the way for a genuinely loophole-free test of Bell’s inequality.

Faculty Host: Michel Janssen

Friday, October 6th 2017
Speaker: TBA
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Anna Nierenberg, Ohio State U
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Faculty Host: Liliya L.R. Williams
Speaker: David Kaiser, Program in Science, Technology and Society - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Subject: Cold War Curvature: Measuring and Modeling Gravity in Postwar American Physics
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

A popular image persists of Albert Einstein as a loner, someone who avoided the hustle and bustle of everyday life in favor of quiet contemplation. Yet Einstein was deeply engaged with politics throughout his life; indeed, he was so active politically that the FBI kept him under surveillance for decades. His most enduring scientific legacy, the general theory of relativity -- physicists' reigning explanation of gravity and the basis for nearly all our thinking about the cosmos -- has likewise been cast as an austere temple standing aloof from the all-too-human dramas of political history. But was it so? By focusing on two examples of research on general relativity from the 1950s and 1960s -- the Shapiro time-delay test and early efforts in numerical relativity -- this lecture will examine some of the ways in which research on Einstein's theory was embedded in, and at times engulfed by, the tumult of world politics.

Co-sponsored with the School of Physics and Astronomy

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Pat Kelly, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.

Monday, October 9th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Anthony Villano, UMN
Faculty Host: Priscilla Cushman

Wednesday, October 11th 2017
1:25 pm:
TBA in Physics
Speaker: Chien-Hung Lin, University of Minnesota
Faculty Host: Fiona Burnell

Thursday, October 12th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Jose Alejo Amaya, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Qi Wen and John Phillips
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Clem Pryke, University of Minnesota
Subject: TBD
Speaker: Lawrence Rudnick, University of Minnesota
Subject: A Walk on the Dark Side

Our Universe is comprised of far more than meets the eye. For 13.8 billion years, gravity has been creating enormous bound structures, the largest of which are clusters of galaxies. Modern telescopes are uncovering an astonishing variety of structures in these clusters which are invisible to the human eye – from X-ray emitting gas at 100s of millions of degrees, to supermassive black holes at the centers of cluster galaxies, to the popularized but not yet understood dark matter that holds everything together. Even the enigmatic dark energy plays a role in cluster formation. Our tour of clusters will start with the first recognition of curious concentrations of fuzzy objects in the sky to the latest discoveries using telescopes across the Earth and space.

About the Speaker: Professor Rudnick is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Astrophysics, whose research focuses on clusters of galaxies and other large scale structures in the Universe. He uses ground and space telescopes, primarily in the radio and X-ray part of the spectrum. His teaching includes eclectic freshman seminars such as “The Ultimate Questions,” and “Nothing.” Professor Rudnick has been active for many years with a variety of television, radio, and other public programming, and is now working toward the opening of the Bell Museum and Planetarium in 2018 on the St. Paul campus.


Friday, October 13th 2017
Speaker: Gary Shiu (U. Wisconsin-Madison)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Eliza Kempton, Grinnell College
Subject: Revealing the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Super-Earths
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.

Discoveries of extrasolar planets over the last two decades have reshaped our understanding of how planetary systems form. Super-Earths – planets intermediate in size/mass between Earth and Neptune – do not exist in our Solar System, and the discovery of such planets poses a challenge to theories of planetary formation and composition based on the Solar System paradigm. Through observations of the atmospheres of these planets, we can learn about their formation history, their climate, and in some cases their propensity to support life. This talk will focus on the modeling of super-Earth atmospheres as it relates to current and future observations. I will detail the current state of characterization efforts for super-Earth atmospheres, focusing on the challenges and successes in modeling and interpreting the early observations of these objects. I will conclude with a forward-looking view of super-Earth atmospheric studies over the next 5-10 years, in the era of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and 30-meter class ground-based telescopes.

Faculty Host: Liliya L.R. Williams
Speaker: Rebecca Kukla, Department of Philosophy - Georgetown University
Subject: Structural Bias and the Commercialization of Medicine
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

The rapid and massive commercialization and privatization of medical research and practice constitutes a seismic shift in how medical knowledge is built, disseminated, and applied. In this presentation, I examine the epistemological (as opposed to the narrowly ethical) effects of this commercialization. I consider how private interests shape what gets researched, using what methods, and how research results are communicated, as well as how these interests shape clinical practice and even our theoretical understanding of what counts as a disease. I argue that commercialization and private interests result in various epistemically distorting biases being built directly into how we organize medical research and practice, quite independently from anyone’s intentions or conscious goals.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Dan Dahlberg, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.

Monday, October 16th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Tom Jones, UMN
Subject: Particle Acceleration in Galaxy Clusters

Tuesday, October 17th 2017
4:30 pm:
See Joint Quantum Materials & Condensed Matter Seminar on Thursday this week only.

Wednesday, October 18th 2017
Speaker: Joe Orenstein, UC Berkeley
Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Thursday, October 19th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Wendy Gordon, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Trevor Knuth
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Paula Heron, University of Washington
Subject: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers: The PHYS21 Report

With support from the NSF IUSE program, the AAPT and APS formed a Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs (JTUPP). The task force reviewed employment data, surveys of employers, and reports generated by other disciplines. We also met with physicists in selected industries to get their views on the strengths and weaknesses of physics graduates, commissioned a series of interviews with recent physics graduates employed in the private sector, and identified exemplary programs that ensure that all of their students are well prepared to pursue a wide range of career paths. The resulting report “PHYS21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers” describes the skills and knowledge that undergraduate physics degree holders should possess to be well prepared for a diverse set of careers and makes recommendations intended to help departments and professional associations support student career preparation.

Paula R.L. Heron is a Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. She holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in physics from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Western University. She joined the Physics Department at the University of Washington in 1995. Dr. Heron’s research focuses primarily on student ability to apply what they have learned about the dynamics of point particles in more advanced contexts involving elastic media, rigid bodies, etc. She has given numerous invited talks on her research at national and international meetings and in university science departments. Dr. Heron is co-Founder and co-Chair of the biannual “Foundations and Frontiers in Physics Education Research” conference series, the premier venue for physics education researchers in North America. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society (APS), the Executive Committee of the Topical Group on Physics Education Research of the APS, the Committee on Research in Physics Education of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and on the ad hoc National Research Council committee on the status and outlook for undergraduate physics education. She co-chaired the Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs of the APS and AAPT, which produced the report Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers. She also serves as Associate Editor of Physical Review – PER. She was elected Fellow of the APS In 2007 and in 2008 she shared the APS Education award with colleagues Peter Shaffer and Lillian McDermott. Dr. Heron is a co-author on the upcoming 2nd Edition of Tutorials in Introductory Physics, a set of instructional materials that has been used in over 200 institutions in the US and that has been translated into German and Spanish.

Faculty Host: Kenneth Heller

Friday, October 20th 2017
Speaker: Stefania Gori, (U. Cincinnati)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Nicholas Battaglia, Princeton University
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Faculty Host: Shaul Hanany
Speaker: Victor Boantza, History of Science and Technology - University of Minnesota
Subject: "Fluidity, Elasticity, and Activity: Conceptualizing Air from Boyle to the Early Newtonians"
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

The category of ‘permanently elastic fluids’, which by the late eighteenth century was widely used by investigators of pneumatic phenomena, embodies key aspects of the history of air as it gradually turned into a chemical species and a physical state of matter. In this talk, I explore the evolution of early conceptions of Air in terms of fluidity, elasticity, and
material activity. I examine the interplay between theory and practice from early mechanistic depictions of Air, through Boyle’s use of the notion of ‘springiness’, to the emergence of various conceptions of fluids, including aerial ones, based on the work of Boyle, Newton, and their contemporaries. Mobilizing new accounts of elastic fluids, in the early 1700s pneumatic practitioners drew analogies between Air and Fire. In the 1720s–30s, following Stephen Hales’s experimental demonstration that air could be fixed in and obtained from solid and liquid substances, natural philosophers and chemists introduced further distinctions between atmospheric Air and views of air as an active material agent and a form of matter. By the middle of the century, increasingly prevalent references to permanently elastic fluids marked the culmination of these developments. This reading challenges and complements the accepted narrative of the rise of pneumatic chemistry as essentially driven by a series of landmark experiments, facilitated by technological innovations ranging from the air pump to the pneumatic trough.

Promotion & Tenure Seminar - Co-sponsored by the School of Physics and Astronomy

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Marvin Marshak, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.

Monday, October 23rd 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Colin Hill, Department of Physics, Columbia University
Faculty Host: Shaul Hanany

Wednesday, October 25th 2017
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Cindy Regal, University of Colorado-Boulder
Faculty Host: Clement Pryke

Thursday, October 26th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Hao Wu, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Micaela Bagley
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Cindy Regal, University of Colorado-Boulder
Subject: TBA
Faculty Host: Clement Pryke

Friday, October 27th 2017
Speaker: Gustavo Marques Tavares (Stanford)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Stuart Bale, Berkeley Space Science Lab.
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Faculty Host: Cynthia Cattell
Speaker: C. Kenneth Waters, Department of Philosophy - University of Calgary
Subject: An Epistemology of Scientific Investigation
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

Basic accounts of scientific knowledge typically present it as a system for representing the world, often as a system that represents the fundamental structure of the world. This talk presents science as a system centered on investigating the world. It begins by posing the metaphysical possibility that the world has no fundamental structure. The world seems to have lots of structures, but perhaps it has no overall, general structure that spans scales. The talk continues by examining how geneticists and allied biologists systematically investigate, manipulate, and explain aspects of such a world. It shows that the systematicity of these investigations depends on strategies for manipulating and learning about aspects of parts of the world; it does not depend on scientists having a representation of the overall structure of these parts. The talk concludes that we can dispense with the assumption that the parts of the world investigated by these scientists have a general overall structure to be represented. These parts of the world have lots of structure, and investigation depends on them having lots of structure, but it does not depend on them having a general, overall structure.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Jian-Ping Wang, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.

Monday, October 30th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Andrew Matas, UMN
Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

Wednesday, November 1st 2017
10:00 am:
Speaker: Juergen Haase, Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, University of Leipzig
Subject: Emergence of a new interpretation of NMR of cuprates superconductors

As a fundamental, local, bulk probe nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is expected to be at the center of the discussion of the properties of cuprate superconductors. Indeed, in addition to profound insight into chemical structure and bonding, NMR provided vital clues about the electronic spin susceptibility, based on the magnetic hyperfine interaction: the pseudogap (spin gap), single-fluid physics, and spin-singlet pairing were discovered by NMR. However, the data did not appear to contain necessary details for theory. The less often discussed electric hyperfine interaction served a similar chemical purpose, but its understanding in terms of planar charge remained difficult. Here, early on, NMR found that the stoichiometric compounds (Y-1237, Y-1248) appeared to be very homogeneous, as very narrow NMR lines for Cu and O in the CuO_2 plane seemed to prove very small spatial variations of charge. However, all the other materials exhibit mostly broad featureless NMR resonances, indicative rather strong electric field variations in the CuO_2 plane. This conundrum was often considered as proof that charge ordering - apparently not ubiquitous - must be due to chemical inhomogeneity from doping and other crystal imperfections.

Recently, with a number of experiments on different materials we established that a single spin component is not able to explain the NMR shifts, pointing to a different magnetic hyperfine scenario. Very recently, we compiled all literature NMR shift data for planar Cu and with simple plots it becomes already obvious that the hitherto adopted NMR interpretation is wrong, e.g., the magnetic hyperfine scenario is inappropriate. Also recently, we showed that the charges in the plane can be quantified with NMR, which led to the discovery that the sharing of holes between Cu and O (not the doping) is responsible for various cuprate properties, e.g., the maximum T_c . In another set of challenging experiments we just completed a fundamental proof that shows that the above mentioned ‘homogeneous’ materials with sharp NMR lines are in fact highly charge ordered systems, with the order responding to pressure, temperature, and magnetic field. This charge ordering which is ubiquitous to the Y-based systems is likely to be ubiquitous to the CuO_2 plane of all cuprates as it would solve the above mentioned conundrum.

Thus, we view our findings - that will be discussed in more detail - as the emergence of a new interpretation of cuprate NMR, which must have fundamental impact on the understanding of these materials.

Faculty Host: Martin Greven
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Shivaji Sondhi, Princeton University
Faculty Host: Fiona Burnell

Thursday, November 2nd 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Daniel Schmidt, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Tony Young and Hugh Dickinson
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Shivaji Sondhi, Princeton University
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Fiona Burnell

Friday, November 3rd 2017
Speaker: Mark Hertzberg (Tufts U.)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Ori Fox, Space Telescope Science Institute
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Speaker: Darin Hayton, Department of History - Haverford College
Subject: Astrology from University Lecture to Print Culture
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

n 1502 Conrad Tockler became a professor of astrology at the University of Leipzig. Manuscript copies of his lectures on a range of astrological topics and techniques survive as do a number of printed works, ranging from technical treatises on instruments to popular wall calendars and annual prognostications. Tockler’s lecture notes give us a fascinating glimpse into the concrete practices of teaching astrology at the early modern university, while his printed works help us recover the broader uses for astrological literature. Taken together, these materials reveal how Tockler extended a coherent astrological program from the exclusive university lecture hall to wider audiences for printed astrological pamphlets.

Co-sponsored with the Center for Early Modern History and the Center for Austrian Studies

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Cindy Cattell, University of Minnesota

Monday, November 6th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Vihang Mehta, UMN
Subject: Galaxy formation
Faculty Host: M. Claudia Scarlata

Wednesday, November 8th 2017
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Emil Yuzbashyan, Rutgers University
Faculty Host: Alex Kamenev

Thursday, November 9th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Paul Francois, McGill University
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Avery Garon and Larry Rudnick
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Stan Brodsky, SLAC
Subject: Novel Features of Quantum Chromodynamics
Faculty Host: Keith Olive

Friday, November 10th 2017
Speaker: Stan Brodsky (SLAC)
Subject: Supersymmetric features of Hadron Physics and other Novel Properties of QCD from Light-Front Holography and Superconformal Quantum Mechanics
Speaker: Rob DiSalle, Department of Philosophy - Western University
Subject: Absolute Space, Relative Motion, and the Method of Newtonian Physics
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

Philosophical discussions of Newton’s theory of absolute space and motion generally focus on metaphysical questions that were raised by philosophical critics, such as Leibniz, who emphasized the relativity of motion. Such discussions generally overlook the fact that, in the course of developing his dynamics, Newton himself pursued the problem of the relativity of motion further than his opponents realized. While they defended the relativity of motion as a general principle, only Newton developed what ought to be called a theory of relativity: a systematic theoretical account of what is objective in the description of physical interactions, and a principled distinction between the objective properties and those that depend on the choice of a frame of reference. On this basis Newton articulated, more clearly than his contemporaries, the conceptual revisions imposed by the relativity of motion on prevailing notions of force, inertia, and causality. Indeed, the history of his thinking shows that Newton introduced the theory of absolute space precisely in order to articulate his theory of relativity, and to apply it to the outstanding problem of “the frame of system of the world.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: To be announced.

Monday, November 13th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Karl Young, UMN
Faculty Host: Shaul Hanany

Wednesday, November 15th 2017
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Cory Dean, Columbia University
Subject: Bilayer graphene
Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Thursday, November 16th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Ryan Marshall, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Huaqing Mao
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Cory Dean, Columbia University
Subject: From 3D to 2D and Back Again
Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Friday, November 17th 2017
Speaker: reserved for visitor
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Anne Jaskot, Smith College
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Faculty Host: M. Claudia Scarlata
Speaker: Molly Kao, Department of Philosophy - University of Montreal
Subject: Unification and Heuristic Strategies in the Development of Quantum Theory
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

In this talk, Dr. Kao provides a heuristic conception of the feature of unification in the context of developing scientific theories. She argues that the value of a unifying hypothesis is not necessarily that of its ability to explain phenomena, nor must it be that it is more likely to be true. Instead, unifying hypotheses can be valuable because they guide experimental research in different domains in such a way that the results from those experiments contribute to our understanding of a theory under pursuit. Dr. Kao supports this characterization by appealing to the early development of quantum theory.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Woods Halley, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.

Monday, November 20th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Allison Noble, MIT, Kavli Institute
Subject: Dissecting z~1 Galaxy Clusters
Faculty Host: Lawrence Rudnick

Thursday, November 23rd 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
There will be no seminar this week (Thanksgiving Break)
Speaker: No Journal Club - Thanksgiving holiday
3:35 pm:
Speaker: There will be no colloquium this week due to Thanksgiving

Friday, November 24th 2017
Speaker: NO SEMINAR (THANKSGIVING)
Speaker: No colloquium - Thanksgiving Holiday
4:40 pm:
There will be no seminar this week (Thanksgiving Break)

Monday, November 27th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Nader Mirabolfathi, Texas A&M University
Subject: Directional dark matter detector
Faculty Host: Priscilla Cushman

Thursday, November 30th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: David Odde, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Vihang Mehta and Tom Jones
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Philip Kim, Harvard University
Subject: TBD
Fall 2017 Van Vleck Lecturer

Friday, December 1st 2017
Speaker: Vitaly Vanchurin (UMN Duluth)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Shea Brown, U of Iowa
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Faculty Host: Lawrence Rudnick
Speaker: Nora Berenstain, Department of Philosophy - University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Subject: Active Ignorance and the Rhetoric of Biological Race Realism
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

Biological race realism is frequently assumed in scientific investigations into presumed connections between race and physical and psychological features such as intelligence, temperament, criminality, and athleticism. I analyze ways scientists and philosophers actively cultivate ignorance surrounding biological race science by using rhetorical tools to portray critiques of biological race realism as in opposition to science itself. These rhetorical strategies involve painting substantive scientific criticisms—such as questions about empirical and methodological issues with data interpretation, unjustified background assumptions, and failure to rule out alternative explanations of data—as motivated purely by ideological concerns. These rhetorical strategies invoke an assumed distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic values in science and misrepresent criticisms of biological race realism as existing wholly outside the realm of epistemic values.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: Bob Lysak, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.

Monday, December 4th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Larry Rudnick, UMN

Wednesday, December 6th 2017
08:00 am:
Untitled in Physics
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Mark Bowick, KITP, Santa Barbara
Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Thursday, December 7th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Renee Frontiera, University of Minnesota
Subject: To be announced.
Speaker: Sharan Banagin and Claudia Scarlata
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Mark Bowick, KITP Santa Barbara
Subject: Fragile Objects: The Hard Science of Soft Matter
Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Friday, December 8th 2017
Speaker: Matthew Johnson (Perimeter Institute and York University)
Subject: TBA
Speaker: Jeremy Webb, Indiana U
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.
Faculty Host: Liliya L.R. Williams
Speaker: Andy Bruno
Subject: Eurasianism in Soviet Science: The Environmental Views of Aleksandr Fersman
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

Thoroughly a product of imperial Russia’s aristocratic culture, the mineralogist and geochemist Aleksandr Fersman rose to the top of the country’s scientific establishment after the Bolsheviks took control. He then remained a staunch supporter of various industrial projects through much of the Stalinist period. This talk puts Fersman’s thinking about the natural world in conversation with a quite distinctive mode of intellectual inquiry that developed contemporaneously. Eurasianism was a philosophical doctrine of a group of Russian émigrés who emphasized Russia’s unique status straddling Europe and Asia. While Fersman did not belong to this group of thinkers, a number of his ideas drew on specific experiences in the environments of the Eurasian landmass. Indeed, I argue that Fersman’s dualistic understanding of nature, his advocacy for the field of geochemistry, his definition of deserts, and a scheme he proposed for industrial operations owed much to the Eurasian settings of the science he practiced. Furthermore, this case of a Eurasian mineralogist illuminates novel aspects of the interplay between national and global sciences.

4:40 pm:
Speaker: To be announced.

Monday, December 11th 2017
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Patrick Kelly, UMN

Friday, December 15th 2017
Speaker: TBA
Subject: TBA

Friday, December 29th 2017
2:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in M10 library
Speaker: Pamela Sooriyan, University of Minnesota
Subject: Dose enhancement in bone due to the 16O(γ,n)15O reaction
This is the public portion of Ms. Sooriyan's thesis defense. Her thesis advisor is John Broadhurst.

External beam radiation therapy is the most common option in the treatment of malignant tumors. It mainly uses Bremsstrahlung photons produced when highly accelerated electrons are incident on a target of high atomic number, gamma rays produced by radionuclides, and electrons beams. In the mega-voltage range of photon beams, the dose absorbed by the tumor is primarily by the incident photons losing their energy to the tissues of the tumor by Compton scattering and pair production. Enhancing photonuclear disintegrations offers the possibility of increasing the dose to the tumor (for the same delivered dose) by introducing secondary charged particles in the irradiated region.
The dose delivered by secondary charged particles from the 16O(γ,n)15O reaction in bone was measured in an attempt to explore the feasibility of local dose enhancement due to photo nuclear disintegrations.

For an externally delivered dose of 13 Gray, the additional dose due to positrons was measured to be 0.18 mGray in bone and 0.025 mGray in tissue, using a photon beam that had about 1.3% of photons of energy needed to initiate the 16O(γ,n)15O reaction.


Thursday, January 25th 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Wednesday, January 31st 2018
1:30 pm:
Speaker: Sergey Frolov (Pittsburgh)
Subject: Quantum dot chains as emulators of topological superconductors

Tunneling spectroscopy measurements on one-dimensional superconducting hybrid materials have revealed signatures of Majorana fermions which are the edge states of a bulk topological superconducting phase. We couple strong spin-orbit semiconductor InSb nanowires to conventional superconductors (NbTiN, Al) to obtain additional signatures of Majorana fermions and to explore the magnetic-field driven topological phase transition. Specifically, we map out the phase diagram of the topological phase in the space of Zeeman energy and chemical potential, and investigate the apparent closing and re-opening of the superconducting gap. We investigate how the topological superconducting phase would manifest in finite size systems, by electrostatically splitting the wire into segments of varied length. By chaining up several segments of a nanowire, we are realizing a quantum simulator of the Kitaev chain with tunable on-site energies and couplings between the sites, a step towards quantum simulation with semiconductor nanostructures.

Faculty Host: Vlad Pribiag

Thursday, February 1st 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Wednesday, February 7th 2018
1:30 pm:
Speaker: Cristian Batista (Tennessee)
Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

Thursday, February 8th 2018
Speaker: Cristian Batista (Tensessee)
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

Thursday, February 15th 2018
08:00 am:
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Wednesday, February 21st 2018
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Erez Berg (U of Chicago)
Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Thursday, February 22nd 2018
Speaker: Erez Berg (University of Chicago)
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Wednesday, February 28th 2018
Speaker: Antoine Georges (College de France & Simons Foundation)
Subject: To be announced.
Faculty Host: Martin Greven
4:30 pm:
See Joint Quantum Materials & Condensed Matter Seminar on Thursday this week only.

Thursday, March 1st 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Thursday, March 8th 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Thursday, March 15th 2018
Subject: There will be no colloquium this week due to Spring Break

Wednesday, March 21st 2018
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, MIT
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Vlad Pribiag

Thursday, March 22nd 2018
Speaker: Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (MIT)
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Wednesday, March 28th 2018
1:30 pm:
Speaker: Paul Canfield (Iowa State)
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Thursday, March 29th 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Thursday, April 5th 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Thursday, April 12th 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Wednesday, April 18th 2018
1:30 pm:
Speaker: Ali Yazdani (Tentative)
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Thursday, April 19th 2018
Speaker: Ali Yazdani (Princeton University)
Subject: TBD
Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Thursday, April 26th 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

Thursday, May 3rd 2018
Speaker: TBD
Subject: TBD

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