Spring 2017 Semester Colloquia Schedule

Colloquia for the Spring 2017 Semester will take place from 3:00 to 4:15 pm in Exploratory Hall, Room L003, unless otherwise noted.

Refreshments will be served.

Title and Abstract

Jan. 27
Joel Green
Space Telescope Science Institute
The Fiery Seeds of Planet Formation

Feb. 3
Joe Pesce
Physics and Astronomy at the National Science Foundation

Feb. 17
Bob Bartolo
Former IEEE Congressional Fellow
Solving Today’s Complex Environmental Challenges: A Physicist’s Perspective as a Recovering Congressional Fellow

Mar. 3

Mar. 10
Normand Mousseau
Départment de physique, Université de Montréal

Mar. 31
Sharon Xuesong Wang
Carnegie DTM
Finding Rocky Expolanets with Precise Radial Velocities

Apr. 7
Yi Li

Apr. 21
Miguel Sanjuan
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Basin Entropy: A new tool to explore uncertainty in dynamical systems

May 5
Jay Deep Sau


Fall 2016 Semester Colloquia Schedule

Colloquia for the Fall 2016 Semester will take place from 3:00 to 4:15 pm in Exploratory Hall, Room L111, unless otherwise noted.

Refreshments will be served.

Title and Abstract

Sept. 23
Pauli Kehayias
Magnetic Microscopy and NMR with Nitrogen-Vacancy Defect Centers in Diamond

Oct. 7
Alina Bruma
Spontaneous ordering at nanoscale level : superlattice formation in transition metal nanocubes

Oct. 20
Please note different location
Markita del Carpio Landry
UC Berkeley
Imaging Neurochemistry with Synthetic Fluorescent Nanosensors

Nov. 4
Katrina Groth
Sandia National Lab

Nov. 18
Sonya Bahar
University of Missouri at St. Louis
Phase Transitions in Evolutionary Dynamics

Dec. 2
Kent Thurber
Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) for Solid-state NMR of Biological Samples

Spring 2016 Semester Colloquia Schedule

Colloquia for the Spring 2016 semester will take place every Friday starting January 29, 2016 at Planetary Hall 120.

Colloquium: “The fastest light ever! Non-linear optics in a superconducting transmon device.”

Friday, September 18, 2015 3:00pm, Exploratory Hall, L004

Timothy Sweeney
BTS-S2, Laboratory for Physical Sciences, University of Maryland


Quantum interference in a three level Λ-type system can result in non-linear optical effects such as electromagnetically induced transparency, slow, and fast light. We have designed a Λ system by engineering the coupling and decay rates of an Al/AlOx/Al transmon qubit (T1 =4 us) dispersively coupled to a 3D Cu microwave cavity (T1=340ns). We observe a 10 μs advance of a pulse propagating through the system when pumping a two-photon qubit-cavity transition, corresponding to a group index of -176,000.

This work was conducted in the group of Ben Palmer by Sergey, J. E. Robinson, and Baladitya Suri, at the Laboratory for Physical Sciences, UMD.

Colloquium: “Revisiting the Apollo 17 Landing Site with New Orbital Data: Fresh Eyes on the Taurus-Littrow Valley”

Friday, September 11, 2015 3:00pm, Exploratory Hall, L004

Noah Petro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Abstract: In December 1972 the final Apollo mission to the Moon, Apollo 17, spent three days exploring the 2 kilometer deep Taurus-Littrow Valley. During their time on the lunar surface, Commander Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison “Jack” Schmitt sampled over 10 stations on the surface, including a avalanche deposit, a small crater that exposed orange glass, and three main mountain units. One of the main conundrums to arise from their sampling is the origin of some compositionally unique rocks. Using data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Chandrayaan-1 mission to the Moon we revisit the origin of one of the units sampled by Apollo 17.

Fall 2015 Semester Colloquia Schedule

Colloquia are held every Friday from 3:00 PM to 4:15 PM in Exploratory Hall, Room L004.

SPACS Fall 2013 Colloquia Schedule

Colloquia are held from 3 PM to 4 PM each Thursday in Room 1110 of the Nguyen Engineering Building.

SPACS Colloquium: “Topological Quantum Computation”

May 2, 2013, 3pm Art and Design Building, Room 2003

Paul Fendley
University of Virginia

Abstract: The quest to build a computer taking advantage of the laws of quantum mechanics has occupied many physicists in recent years. One central obstacle is that such systems are extremely prone to errors. I will describe how certain many-body systems exhibit striking behavior, interesting in its own right, that may prove useful in overcoming such errors.

SPACS Colloquium: “The Search for Supermassive Black Hole Pairs (And Their Progeny)”

March 28, 2013 3pm
Art and Design Building Room 2003

Laura Blecha
University of Maryland

Abstract: Recent advances in both theory and observations have transformed the search for supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in merging galaxies into an active field of study.

SPACS Colloquium: Robert Ehrlich “Tales from the dark side: New evidence for tachyonic neutrinos”

March 21,2013 3pm
Art and Design Building Room 2003

Abstract: In several recent papers it was claimed that SN 1987A supports the claim of 4.0 eV and 21.4 eV neutrino mass eigenstates, and it was shown that such large masses could be made consistent with existing constraints including neutrino oscillation data and upper limits on the neutrino masses, provided that there also exist a pair of sterile neutrino mass states whose masses are nearly degenerate with them.

SPACS Colloquium: “Rethinking Physics for Biologists: Adapting to a major new service course constituency”

Physicists around the country have begun collaborating with biologists to create an “Introductory Physics for Life Sciences” (IPLS) class. This talk will describe one such effort at the University of Maryland.

SPACS Colloquium: “The Circumgalactic Medium: The Hidden Gaseous Envelope Surrounding Galaxies”

April 11, 2013 3pm
Art and Design Building Room 2003

Sanch Borthakur
University of Maryland

Galaxies are continually evolving. Their evolution depends on various factors such as how and when they accrete gas to produce stars, and expel metals and energy as a result of star formation. Most of these processes occur in the gaseous medium, also known as the circumgalactic medium (CGM), connecting the stellar body of the galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM). As such, the CGM provides clues about the processes regulating the cycle of matter and energy in and out of galaxies.

In this talk, I will give an overview of why studying the CGM is important and how the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope allows us to explore the connection between the properties of galaxies and their CGM. I will show that the CGM contains a significant baryonic reservoir of gas and metals. The CGM acts as a source of fuel as well as a sink for the products of star formation. Finally, I will talk about the processes by which the host galaxy can influence its CGM. In particular, I will show that starburst driven winds can ionize most of the CGM as far out as …