• Friday, October 28, 2016 - 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Prof. Marc Lessard, University of New Hampshire

    The Sun delivers energy to Earth in the form of a magnetized plasma called the solar wind. As that plasma impacts Earth’s magnetic field, a variety of processes evolve that enable the transfer of much of that energy to our ionosphere, producing spectacular auroral displays in the process. Not surprisingly, some of the energy is also transferred to our neutral upper atmosphere (the "thermosphere”).

  • Friday, October 21, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Prof. Joe Checkelsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Abstract:  A goal of the exploration of new quantum materials is the development of solid state systems with new functionalities.  Topological Insulators are a new class of quantum materials which have recently become of great interest to the physics community- these materials have electronic states that are in some ways fundamentally more robust against disorder than conventional electronic systems.  At the forefront of research in these systems is the attempt to capitalize on this unique aspect of these materials to realize new electronic capabilities.  Here we review our

  • Friday, May 6, 2016 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    • 02:00pm – 02:20pm: Nicholas Marcellino: Using Monte Carlo Simulations to Model Positron Clouds in Thunderstorms
    • 02:20pm – 02:40pm: Brendan Batty, Lisa Bouchard, Tessa Gorte, Patrick Hampson, Daniel Jellis Brent Lawson, Aaron Rago: Induction into Sigma Pi Sigma
    • 03:10pm – 03:30pm: Zain Abbas: Analyzing the Efficiency of a Mass Spectrometer for Magnetospheric Observations
    • 03:30pm – 03:50pm: Dereck Gervais: Developing and Assessing Viscosity Curriculum for Introductory Physics for the Life Science
  • Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr Ningyu Liu


  • Friday, April 15, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Tracy Slayter, MIT

    Abstract: Dark matter is believed to comprise five-sixths of the matter in the universe, and is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for new fundamental physics. But dark matter does not interact directly with light, making it very difficult to detect except by its gravity. I will describe how dark matter collisions might produce high-energy particles observable by Earth-based telescopes, and how we can attempt to tease out those signals from the background.

  • Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Eric Grove

    Abstract:  Thunderstorms are nature's most powerful terrestrial particle accelerators.  The high-voltage, high-current electrical discharges of lightning are a familiar feature of a summer storm, but only recently have we come to learn that cloud-to-ground lightning strokes are accompanied by bursts of X-rays, that thunderstorms glow in gamma rays, and that storms occasionally produce intense flashes of gamma rays and launch charged particles into space at relativistic energies.

  • Friday, April 1, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Dr. Brant Carlson

    Abstract:  There is no shortage of puzzles in lightning physics.  Thanks to the development of high-bandwidth electronics, high-speed cameras, radiation detectors, and lightning triggering techniques, we now know of a veritable zoo of phenomena, from preliminary breakdown to stepped leader, from M-component to K-change, from corona flash to space stem,...  While some of these phenomena are well-understood, many remain puzzling and a unifying theory is not yet known.  I will talk about these phenomena and my efforts to understand them by modeling and data analysis, give deta

  • Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Prof. Alan Nathan

    Abstract:  After reading Bob Adair's classic book The Physics of Baseball nearly 20 years ago, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the subject.  Since then I have learned much much more, due in large part to some superb tools that are now available.  These tools, which I will describe in the talk, allow detailed studies that were not available to Adair at the time he wrote his book.  The advances have come in two broad areas:  The aerodynamics of a baseball in flight and the physics of the ball-bat collision.  Not only have these advances furthered our under

  • Friday, January 29, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    Chris Hersman, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

    Abstract: New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Launched on January 19, 2006, the spacecraft finally reached its closest distance to Pluto on July 14, 2015. Since completing the successful Pluto flyby, the spacecraft continues to downlink images and science data yielding weekly press releases of new discoveries. Chris Hersman, the New Horizons Mission Systems Engineer, will present images and data from the Pluto flyby and discuss events from the encounter including the July 4th anomaly. 

  • Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
    De Joshua A. Robinson of The Pennsylvania State University

    Abstract:  The last decade has seen nearly exponential growth in the science and technology of two-dimensional materials. Beyond graphene, there is a huge variety of layered materials that range in properties from insulating to superconducting. Furthermore, heterogeneous stacking of 2D materials also allows for additional “dimensionality” for band structure engineering. In this talk, I will discuss recent breakthroughs in two-dimensional atomic layer synthesis and properties, including novel 2D heterostructures and novel 2D nitrides.