Past Events

  • Condensed Matter seminar: "Microfluidics of sugar transport in plants"

    Chemistry Building, room 102

    Kaare Jensen (TU of Denmark)

    Plants can rightly be called masters of microengineering. Their survival and successful reproduction depends on their ability to overcome a series of physical challenges during growth and when transporting matter over great distances. In this talk, we focus on the microfluidic network responsible for energy distribution (the phloem). We combine experiments on living plants and biomimetic microfluidic devices to elucidate the basic physical principles that govern sugar transport in plants.
  • High Energy Theory Seminar: "TBA"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, 2N36

    Eric Perlmutter (Princeton)

  • Special Condensed Matter seminar: "Topological gapped and gapless phases protected by nonsymmorphic lattice symmetries"

    DRL A2

    Chen Fang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    In the first part of the talk, I will show that a nonsymmorphic glide reflection symmetry can protect a new Z2 topological gapped phase in three-dimensions. Unlike topological insulators, this new phase can be realized in either spinful or spinless (or having full spin rotation symmetry) systems. I will show one realization in photonic crystals in detail. In the second part, I will discuss how nonsymmorphic symmetries can protect topological gapless phases, or topological semimetals.

  • Astro Seminar: "Overview of Planck Data and (Cosmological and Astrophyical) Results "

    DRL A6

    Graca Rocha (JPL)

    In this talk I will give an overview of Planck data and Cosmological and Astrophysical results: Temperature and polarization maps of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation anisotropies, Power Spectra, Likelihoods and Parameters estimated from both Planck frequency maps and CMB maps. Constraints on scalar spectral index, n_s, optical depth due to reionization, \tau, and the scalar to tensor ratio, r, will be presented along with constraints on Non Gausssianity, NG, of the CMB fluctuations , its isotropy and low-l (large angular scales) anomalies. In addition main astrophysical res

  • Math-Bio seminar: "Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe"

    Carolyn Lynch Lab, Room 318

    Iain Mathieson (Harvard University)

    The arrival of farming in Europe around 8,500 years ago necessitated adaptation to new environments, pathogens, diets, and social organizations. While indirect evidence of adaptation can be detected in patterns of genetic variation in present-day people, ancient DNA makes it possible to witness selection directly by analyzing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events.

  • High Energy Theory Seminar: "Matter Transitions and Heterotic/F-theory duality"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, 2N36

    Lara Anderson (Virginia Tech)

    We explore a novel type of transition in certain 6D and 4D Heterotic/F-theory dual pairs, in which the matter content of the theory changes while the gauge group and other parts of the spectrum remain invariant.

  • Dissertation Defense: "Searching for Dark Matter with Single Phase Liquid Argon"


    Thomas Caldwell (UPenn)

  • Women in Physics Public Lecture Pt. 2: "Discovery and Diversity on the Frontier of Physics: My Fifty Year Journey in Carbon Science"

    Houston Hall, Hall of Flags (G-26)

    Mildred Dresselhaus (MIT)

    Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus, Institute Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at MIT, will give the inaugural public lecture of our Women in Physics group. A leader in promoting women in science as well as a mentor to hundreds of students, Dr. Dresselhaus will give her outlook on the interpersonal dynamics behind successful careers in science and the discoveries these careers can produce. The event is co-hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Nano/Bio Interface Center.

  • Condensed Matter Seminar: "Physical Aspects of Spindle Assembly"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Dan Needleman (Harvard)

    The spindle is a complex assembly of microtubules, motors, and other associated proteins, which segregates chromosomes during cell division. In metaphase, the spindle exists in a steady-state with a constant flux of molecules and energy continuously modifying and maintaining its architecture.  While many of the individual components of the spindle have been studied in detail, it is still unclear how these molecular constituents self-organize into this structure.

  • Astro Seminar: "Constraining Gravity through CMB Lensing and Galaxy Velocities"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A6

    Anthony Pullen (Carnegie Mellon)

    We discuss recent work exploring the use of CMB lensing to probe E_G, the ratio between curvature and velocity perturbations. This quantity is distinct for various gravity models, breaking the degeneracy in current cosmological probes of gravity and dark energy. While the lensing signal within E_G has traditionally been probed with galaxy-galaxy lensing, galaxy-CMB lensing is a more robust lensing tracer that can probe E_G at higher redshifts with fewer astrophysical uncertainties.