• Friday, March 23, 2018 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Department of Physics / Dark Universe Science Center, University of Washington, Seattle

    Abstract: Last year, student protestors at Bates College posed a powerful question: "What radical decisions is Bates making today to put the College 100 years ahead of our peer schools?" I believe we should be asking this question everywhere, especially at our public universities. In my talk,I respond with possible answers in the context of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, fields where minoritized students -- and in tandem, faculty -- are especially marginalized in academia.

  • Friday, March 2, 2018 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Francois Foucart, University of New Hampshire

    Abstract: The first few detections of gravitational waves by the LIGO and Virgo observatories have opened an entire new way for us to study the Universe. The brightest gravitational wave signals are powered by collisions of the most compact astrophysical objects known to exist: black holes and neutron stars. In such events, two objects more massive than the sun merge in just a few milliseconds, releasing a tremendous amount of energy.

  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 4:10pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Joshua Schlieder, Univ. of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Abstract: Over the last two decades, our knowledge of planetary systems has expanded beyond our solar system to thousands of planets orbiting thousands of stars. The first exoplanet discoveries were driven by new and novel techniques that have matured to reveal an unexpected diversity of distant worlds. I will review the observational techniques used to detect exoplanets and detail the often surprising first discoveries. We now know that planets are common, and nearly every star in the Galaxy hosts at least one.

  • Monday, February 5, 2018 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Regina Caputo

    Abstract: The era of precision cosmology revealed that 80% of the matter in the universe is non-luminous, or dark. The nature of dark matter is crucial to our understanding of the structure and evolution of the universe after the big bang. One promising dark matter candidate, motivated by both particle- and astrophysics, is the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). The detection of this elusive particle requires a multi-pronged approach. I will present results from searches for WIMPs using high-energy gamma-rays from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope.

  • Monday, January 29, 2018 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Nahee Park, Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center

    Abstract: Cosmic rays, high energy particles originating from outside of the solar system, are believed to be dominated by particles from our Galaxy at least up to the energy of 10^15 eV. Since the discovery of these particles in 1912, the origin, acceleration and propagation of these high energy particles have remained as century old questions. In the last few years, we have seen the most precise measurements of cosmic rays from space-borne experiments.

  • Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 4:10pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Jaclyn Sanders, Syracuse University

    Abstract: Over the past two years, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has made the first detections of gravitational waves from compact binary mergers. These observations have already allowed novel tests of strong-field general relativity and sparked a multi-messenger observing campaign that resulted in the first observation of a kilo-nova across the electromagnetic spectrum. All of these achievements hinge on the performance of the detectors themselves.

  • Monday, January 22, 2018 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Fabian Kislat, Washington University

    Abstract: Since the discovery of the first extra-solar X-ray source, Scorpius X-1, by Giacconi and collaborators in 1962, X-ray imaging, spectroscopic and timing observations have significantly deepened our understanding of the most extreme objects in the universe. In the innermost regions of accreting blackholes, we can observe matter in the strongest gravitational fields in the universe. Neutron stars represent the densest known form of matter in the universe and are the source of the strongest known magnetic fields.

  • Friday, December 8, 2017 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Jim Clemmons, Space Science Application Laboratory, The Aerospace Cooperation, El Segundo, CA

    As the so-called “last link” in the electrodynamic chain that connects the Sun to the Earth’s atmosphere, the ionosphere-thermosphere-mesosphere (ITM) system is an important boundary region within the overall system.  Despite earnest study and the development of significant understanding over the last century, many features and substantial portions behavior of the ITM system are just now coming to light.  Motivated by the desire to understand the physics of the system and how it behaves within the larger Sun-Earth system, as well as the significant space weather effects it has on various sp

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 2:10pm  ·  Colloquium
    Amy Keesee, West Virginia University

    Much of our knowledge of magnetosphere dynamics, especially during space weather events, is based upon single-point measurements along the orbit of a satellite. Such measurements make it a challenge to understand and distinguish spatial and temporal variations in particle populations as well as electric and magnetic fields that occur during geomagnetically active intervals.

  • Monday, December 4, 2017 - 4:10pm  ·  Colloquium
    George C. Ho, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    MESSENGER is a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury.   Understanding Mercury, and the forces that have shaped it, is fundamental to understanding the terrestrial planets and their evolution.