Past Events

  • The Henry Primakoff Lecture: Was Einstein Right? A Centennial Assessment

    DRL A8

    Clifford Will (University of Florida)

    A century after Einstein's formulation of general relativity, a remarkably diverse set of precision experiments has established it as the ``standard model'' for gravitational physics.   Yet it might not be the final word.  We review the array of measurements that have verified general relativity in the laboratory, in the solar system and in binary pulsars.   We then describe some of the opportunities and challenges involved in testing Einstein's great theory in strong-field regimes, in gravitational waves, and in cosmology.

  • Department Colloquium: "Inflationary Cosmology & Mythology"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Paul Steinhardt (Princeton)

    This talk will present an unvarnished assessment of inflationary cosmology in light of cosmological observations, making clear the difference between the facts and the myths and enabling a fair scientific

  • Department Colloquium: Einstein and Quantum Mechanics: It’s Not What You Think

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory A8 Refreshments available in DRL 2nd floor Faculty Lounge @ 3:30pm

    Douglas Stone, Yale

    Einstein is well known for his rejection of quantum mechanics in the form it emerged from the work of Heisenberg, Born and Schrodinger in 1926.  Much less appreciated are the many seminal contributions he made to quantum theory prior to his final scientific verdict: that the theory was at best incomplete.  In this talk I present an overview of Einstein’s many conceptual breakthroughs and place them in historical context.  I argue that Einstein, much more than Planck, introduced the concept of quantization of energy in atomic mechanics.

  • Department Colloquium: Restoration of Early Sound Recordings using Optical Metrology and Image Analysis


    Carl Haber, LBL

    Sound was first recorded and reproduced by Thomas Edison in 1877.  Until about 1950, when magnetic tape use became common, most recordings were made on mechanical media such as wax, foil, shellac, lacquer, and plastic.  Some of these older recordings contain material of great historical interest, may be in obsolete formats, and are damaged, decaying, or are now considered too delicate to play.

  • Department Colloquium: "Topological Boundary Modes from Quantum Electronics to Classical Mechanics"


    Professor Charles Kane (Univ of Penn)

    Over the past several years, our understanding of topological electronic phases of matter has advanced dramatically.

  • Department Colloquium: New Paradigm for Physics Beyond the Standard Model


    Pavel Fileviez Perez, Max Planck Institute

  • Department Colloquium:"Control Without Measurement: The Profound Challenge of Quantum Information"

    Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

    Charles Marcus, Neils Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

  • Department Colloquium: The First Luminous Objects and the Epoch of Reionization


    Adam Lidz, UPenn

    An exciting and largely unexplored frontier in observational and theoretical cosmology is to understand the properties of the universe between 400,000 years and one billion years after the big bang. Notably, the first galaxies formed in this time period, perhaps
     a few hundred million years after the big bang.  These galaxies
     strongly influenced the gas in their surroundings as well as the
     formation of subsequent generations of galaxies. The early galaxies
     emitted ultraviolet light and ionized "bubbles" of hydrogen gas around

  • Department Colloquium: Exploring the Dawn of the First Galaxies with PAPER and HERA


    James Aguirre, UPenn

    Between the surface of last scattering of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and and the first detected galaxies at around 500 million years later lies a vast swath of unexplored history.  We know that the hydrogen in the universe was nearly completely neutral at 400,000 years after the Bang, and by a billion years later, the combined effects of the first stars, black holes, and the agglomeration of these objects into galaxies had effectively ionized all of the hydrogen in the universe, the bulk of which lies between galaxies.  Thus the history of the heating of

  • 29th Primakoff Lecture: The Galactic Center: Unveiling the Heart of our Galaxy

    DRL A8

    Professor Andrea Ghez, UCLA

    Andrea Ghez, a Professor of Physics & Astronomy who holds the Lauren B. Leichtman & Arthur E. Levine chair in Astrophysics, is one of the world's leading experts in observational astrophysics and heads UCLA's Galactic Center Group. She earned her B.S in Physics from MIT in 1987, and her PhD from Caltech in 1992 and has been on the faculty at UCLA since 1994.