Friday, April 28, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Michael D. Stewart, Jr., NIST

As modern electronic devices shrink, it is increasingly clear that the future of electronics lies in devices capable of harnessing quantum mechanical effects. Perhaps surprisingly, just as silicon forms the basis of contemporary electronics, silicon could form the basis of quantum electronics. Silicon-based approaches to quantum devices have several advantages: the ability to leverage industrial fabrication techniques, easy integration with CMOS control electronics, excellent coherence times, and the luxury of working in an extremely clean, stable, and well-studied material system.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Jamie Kerman, MIT

Classical optimization methods are a vital resource in virtually every large-scale, complex human endeavor, from timely delivery of our mail to the planning of deep-space exploration missions. Because of this ubiquity, any technology which can provide substantial improvements in optimization efficiency or effectiveness has the potential for enormous practical impact.

Friday, April 21, 2017 - 3:10pm to 4:10pm  ·  Colloquium
Prof. Fazel Tafti, Boston College
I will start with an overview on the phenomenon of extreme magnetoresistance (XMR) which is becoming an intense field of research related to topological semimetals. I will explain the importance of a particular family of materials, lanthanum monopnictides, to unveiling the underlying mechanism of XMR.
Friday, April 7, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Daniel Winterhalter, JPL

Non-thermal, low-frequency radio emissions from the Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus have been observed for decades. They are now "understood" to be caused by the cyclotron-maser instability (CMI) from unstable keV electron distributions in the planetary magnetospheres. It stands to reason that this process is also at work in the purported magnetospheres of extrasolar planets. Particularly from ”Hot Jupiters”, extrasolar Jupiter-size planets that orbit their primary at very close range, we expect the radiated power to be strong enough to allow detection from Earth.

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Aron Bernstein, MIT

In January the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the “Doomsday Clock" closer to midnight, stating: "Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity’s most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change."  This talk will present an objective overview of the nuclear arms race with an emphasis on the current escalating dangers. A brief sketch of how nuclear weapons work and some ironic lessons from history will be presented.

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Charles Reichhardt, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Abstract: There has been tremendous growth in studying nonequilibrium systems in which the individual units are internally driven and are self-mobile. Such dynamics can effectively describe certain biological systems such as run-and-tumble bacteria or crawling cells, as well as non-biological systems such as self-driven colloids or artificial swimmers. These systems are now being grouped into a new class of matter called active matter.  They exhibit a wealth of novel nonequilibrium behaviors, such as clustering, flocking, and phase separation.

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Dr. Dustin Keller

Abstract: Nuclear physics experiments using a solid polarized target attempt to extract polarized observables with optimal precision. An introduction is given to the process of polarizing bulk materials specific to the requirements of fixed target scattering experiments. Some examples of the recent developments in the technology and techniques using DNP solid polarized targets are also presented.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Dr. Nadia Fomin

Abstract: Modern neutron sources provide extraordinary opportunities to study a wide variety of physics topics, including the physical system of the neutron itself. One of the processes under the microscope, neutron beta decay, is an archetype for all semi-leptonic charged-current weak processes. Precise measurements of the correlation parameters in neutron beta decay as well as the neutron lifetime itself are required for tests of the Standard Model and for searches of new physics.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Dr. Elena Long, UNH

Abstract: Since the discovery of the proton in 1917, physicists have been studying its properties: Asking questions about the internal structure and external phenomena of this basic piece of matter. This past century has been working to build an understanding that begins at the most fundamental quark level, builds up to protons and neutrons, and describes how they come together to form the atomic nuclei that make up everything we see around us.

Monday, February 6, 2017 - 12:10pm to 1:00pm  ·  Colloquium
Dr. Philip Ilten

Abstract: The nature of dark matter cannot be explained by the standard model of particle physics and remains a prominent open question in physics.

With no dark matter signals found at the LHC, interest has been renewed in treating dark matter as a hidden sector with a weak connection to the standard model. Here I will explore searching for the dark photon, a possible portal between dark matter and the standard model.