Oct
28
Teaser:

In this talk we will revisit the science known at the time that inspired Mary Shelly to write her novel. Hers is one of the best examples of rigorous science fiction writing as she based it on the most up to date scientific theories and experiments of her era. We will talk about some of Luigi Galvani’s experiments that inspired Mary Shelly and use several hands on demonstrations to explain them and describe how electricity is the driver of muscle activity. Furthermore we will show how electricity can either lead to death or actual resuscitation, and explain the...

Oct
27
Teaser:

The existence of dark matter was first postulated by Jan Oort in1932 to account for the orbital velocities of stars in the Milky Way. Since that time, astrophysicists and astronomers have produced compelling evidence for the existence of dark matter and determined that it constitutes the bulk of the matter in the Universe. Despite this fact, the composition of the dark matter remains unknown. One compelling candidate for particle dark matter is the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). Working in a low-background...

Oct
23
Teaser:

Freelance professional photographer Vincent Moncorge will share his experience on documenting science. Following a short historical exploration from the late 19th century and French photographer Etienne Jules Marey’s Chronophotograph, he will detail the new modern story-telling strategies the scientific community is facing today. Then, he will share about his own personal experiences with photographing synchrotron daily life to model organisms such as tiny Drosophila flies.

Oct
21
Teaser:

Black holes are perhaps the most mysterious and enigmatic objects that one can imagine. Their gravitational fields are so strong that light is unable to escape their grasp, and even fundamental quantities such as space and time are severely disrupted by their presence.  Yet, despite their fantastical nature, astronomers have compiled significant evidence that black holes are actually quite common and are lying at the centers of almost all massive galaxies....

Oct
21
Teaser:

Previous studies of women in physics mostly focused on the lack of women in the field. The Global Survey of Physics goes beyond the obvious shortage of women and shows that there are much deeper issues. For the first time, a multinational study was conducted with 15000 respondents from 130 countries, showing that problems for women in physics transcend national borders. Across all countries, women have fewer resources and opportunities and are more affected by cultural expectations concerning child care. We show that limited resources and opportunities hurt career progress, and because women...

Oct
20
Teaser:

The number of physics PhDs earned in 2012 reached an all-time high of more than 1700 doctorates, and the number of physics bachelor’s degrees doubled between 1999 and 2013. However, the recession of 2008 continues to have effects on the number of physics faculty hired. In addition, a closer examination of the statistics for under-represented groups in physics reveals progress on some fronts, with little or no progress in other areas. Although the physics community commonly emphasizes increasing the numbers of women and minorities as a solution to the “diversity problem,” new data show that inequities exist in areas that have real impact on the careers of under-...

Oct
07
Teaser:

Effects of dipolar and spin-exchange interactions are entangled in spin-1 Bose-Einstein condensates, due to their coexistence. We propose to independently manipulate the magnetic dipolar and the spin-exchange interactions by applying generalized WAHUHA sequences of rf pulses and by applying periodic dynamical decoupling sequences of optical Feshbach resonance pulses, respectively. While suppressing one interaction, we can make the other interaction dominate the spin dynamics in the condensates. Furthermore, by suppressing both interactions, this method can be harnessed to realize spinor-...

Oct
06
Teaser:

Metamaterials are commonly viewed as artificially-structured media capable of realizing arbitrary effective parameters, in which metals and dielectrics are delicately combined to facilitate the index contrast and plasmonic response required for a particular purpose. We aim to drive beyond this limited vision and explore the use of optical metamaterials as a generalizable platform for optoelectronic information technology: Metals will provide tailored plasmonic behavior as before, but will serve double duty by providing electrical functions including voltage input,...

Sep
29
Teaser:

For thousands of years people are using glass transition process and glasses in their everyday life. For hundreds of years researchers are studying the glass transition phenomenon. However, understanding the microscopic mechanism underlying the tremendous slowing down of structural relaxation remains one of the main challenges in the current condensed matter...

Sep
25
Teaser:

We will see how a result in von Neumann algebras (a theory developed by von Neumann to give the mathematical framework for quantum physics) gave rise, rather serendipitously, to an elementary but very useful invariant in the theory of ordinary knots in three dimensional space. Then we'll look at some subsequent developments of the theory, and talk about a thorny problem which remains open.

Sep
22
Teaser:

The theoretical physicist Walter Kohn was awarded one-half the 1998 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his mid-1960's creation of an approach to the many-particle problem in quantum mechanics called density functional theory (DFT). DFT establishes that the ground state charge density provides a complete description of ALL the properties of any atom, molecule, or solid. This was a breakthrough (both conceptually and computationally) because it had been presumed previously that the vastly more complicated many-electron wave function was essential for this purpose. In this talk, I present a biographical sketch of Kohn's unusual educational experiences and the events...

Sep
22
Teaser:

The concept of polariton is ubiquitous in the context of radiation-matter interaction. It refers to a generic quasi-particle resulting from the mixing of light with some kind of material excitation (e.g. a plasmon, phonon, or exciton). Cavity optomechanics offers an ideal system to study the coupling between trapped photons and the oscillations of a mechanical resonator. We can thus describe the coherent dynamics in terms of polaritonic excitations.

The role of...

Sep
18
Teaser:

The nature of dark matter remains one of the most fascinating yet unsolved problems in modern science. A large compelling body of evidence supports the theory that almost 27% of the mass-energy density of the universe is made of cold dark matter. The XENON Project aims at the direct detection of dark matter in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) via nuclear recoils in a LXe Dual-phase Time Projection Chamber. The third phase of the project XENON1T, a ton scale LXe dark matter detector is currently under construction at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy and...

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