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.

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Shawna Hollen, UNH

Despite our thousands of years of experience developing textiles, we did not expect two-dimensional crystals could exist. And even if they did, what use could a single-atom-thick fabric have? Surely, its properties would be worse than the 3D counterpart. So when a single layer of carbon atoms (graphene) was isolated in 2004—and was stronger than any material ever measured and had electrons that exhibited room-temperature quantum coherence over micrometer distances—it took the world by surprise.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 12:40pm to 1:30pm  ·  Colloquium
Harald Kucharek, UNH

Particle acceleration is one of the most fundamental physical processes in the plasma Universe. The heliosphere is an ideal laboratory for investigating these processes of particle acceleration because one can observe the basic mechanisms in situ. There are no times or conditions under which the so-called suprathermal ions are not present in the solar wind ion distribution.  Ions can be energized up to tens of MeV/nucleon at interplanetary shocks driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and by co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs).