Past Events

  • Department Colloquium (joint with CBE): "Structuring Matter over Multiple Length Scales using the Self-Assembly of Colloidal Particles"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Marjolein Dijkstra, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

    In 1960, Feynman challenged us to think “from the bottom up” and to create new functional materials by directing and manipulating the arrangements of individual atoms ourselves. With recent advances in the synthesis of colloidal nanoparticles and the bottom-up fabrication of nanostructured materials using colloidal self-assembly, we are tantalizingly close to realizing this dream.

  • Department Colloquium: "Characterizing Exoplanets: From Hot Jupiters to Super-Earths"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Ray Jayawardhana, Cornell University

    Searches for exoplanets have revealed a remarkable diversity of worlds, and comparative studies of their properties have begun in earnest. Planets that transit are particularly well suited for atmosphere characterization. I will discuss recent results using Kepler data as well as ground-based observations, especially using high-resolution spectroscopy, and attempts to extend those studies to super-Earth planets. I will also preview planned observations using the James Webb Space Telescope.

    Host: Cullen Blake
  • Primakoff Lecture: "Dark Matter, Neutron Stars, and Gravitational Waves"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Ann Nelson, University of Washington

    The recent observation of gravitational waves from merging neutron stars opens a new era for neutron star physics and astrophysics. I discuss the dark matter mystery and some of my work on
    possible ways neutron stars can give clues about dark matter. Dark matter could be captured by neutron stars or their progenitors or produced during a supernovae and subsequently trapped
  • Department Colloquium: Progress Toward a Solution of the “Supernova Problem”

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Anthony Mezzacappa, University of Tennessee

    The death of massive stars in core collapse supernova explosions are directly or indirectly responsible for the lion’s share of the elements in the periodic table, give birth to neutron stars and stellar mass black holes, and play a major role in the chemical and thermal evolution of their host galaxies. They are a quintessential modern physics application in which kinetic theory, weak- and strong-interaction physics, and relativity come together, microscopic and macroscopic physics joined hand-in-hand in surprising ways.

  • Department Colloquium: "Self-driven phase transitions in living matter"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Joshua Shaevitz, Lewis-Sigler Institute, Princeton University

    The soil dwelling bacterium Myxococcus xanthus is an amazing organism that uses collective motility to hunt in giant packs when near prey and to form beautiful and protective macroscopic structures comprising millions of cells when food is scarce.
  • Department Colloquium: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. XIAOXING XI: Why It Matters"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Xiaoxing Xi, Temple University

    As Interim Chair of Temple University’s Physics Department, I was busy on May 20, 2015 with my class, research, promotion of colleagues, and a university task force I was chairing. I gave a dinner-time lecture for Pint of Science, a science festival, at an Irish pub before picking up my wife at the airport, who was returning from an overseas trip. My elder daughter was home from college for a few days. We made a plan to visit a famous Korean fried chicken restaurant.

  • Rittenhouse Lecture: "The Planck Legacy: Inflation and the Origin of Structure in the Universe"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    George P. Efstathiou, University of Cambridge and Kavli Institute for Cosmology

    I will review the latest results on cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies measured by the Planck satellite. These measurements agree extremely well with a spatially flat, cosmological constant dominated cosmology with nearly scale invariant Gaussian fluctuations,  as predicted by  inflationary models of the early Universe.

  • Department Colloquium

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Speakers: Robyn Sanderson, Liang Wu, Bo Zhen, University of Pennsylvania

    Robyn Sanderson: "What can a billion Milky Way stars tell us about dark matter?"

    Liang Wu: "Therahertz studies on symmetry and topology in quantum materials"

    Bo Zhen: "Topological photonics on the nano scale"

    Host: Joe Kroll

  • Department Colloquium: “A New Era of Science at Jefferson Lab”

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Robert McKeown, Deputy Director for Science, JLAB

    The continuous electron beam accelerator facility at Jefferson Lab, built with advanced superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) technology, provides opportunities to discover fundamental new aspects of the structure of visible matter – protons, neutrons and other states, and of the strong interaction, described by the gauge theory Quantum Chromodynamics.  The recent upgrade of the facility brings new opportunities, not only in the study of hadronic matter, but also in searches for new physics, such as a suite of experiments to search for massive “dark photons”.  This presentation
  • Department Colloquium: “Exploring Symmetry Violation with Free Neutrons”

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Brad Filippone (Cal Tech) hosted by: Christopher Mauger