Past Events

  • Math-Bio seminar: " The mathematical foundation of a landscape theory for living matters and life"

    Carolyn Lynch Laboratory, 318

    Hong Qian (University of Washington)

    The physicists' notion of energy is derived from Newtonian mechanics. The theory of thermodynamics is developed based on that notion, and the realization of mechanical energy dissipation in terms of heat. Since the work of L. Boltzmann, who trusted that atoms were real as early as in 1884, the heat became intimately related to the stochastic motion of the invisible atoms and molecules.

  • High Energy Seminar: "Modular spacetime and Metastring theory"

    DRL 2N36

    Djordje Minic (Virginia Tech)

    In this talk we review our recent work on metastring theory and its habitat, a new form of quantum spacetime, called modular spacetime. We emphasize that the geometry underlying modular spacetime, i.e. the background geometry ofmetastring theory, is also the geometry underlying generic representations of quantum theory as formulated in terms of Aharonov's modular variables. Thus the metastring sheds light on the foundations of quantum theory, andit represents a new formulation of string theory and quantum gravity based on the principle of relative locality.
  • Dissertation Defense: "Supernova Cosmology and How to Talk About It: New Approaches to Cosmological Parameter Inference with Type Ia Supernovae and an Assessment of the Education and Public Outreach Program of The Dark Energy Survey"

    DRL 3W2

    Rachael Cane-Wolf (UPenn)

  • Condensed Matter Seminar: "Atomic Crystals with New Twists"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Jiwoong Park, Cornell University

    Chiral materials possess left- and right-handed counterparts linked by mirror symmetry, with applications in physics, chemistry and biology. In atomic crystals such as graphene, chiral symmetry emerges naturally as a consequence of the honeycomb lattice. In this talk, I will discuss two recent studies where the interaction between graphene and another surface breaks this chiral symmetry. The first example is chiral twisted bilayer graphene, a two-atom-thick chiral film, with giant circular dicrhoism.

  • Astro Seminar: "Large-Scale Structure Tests of Galaxy Formation and Modified Gravity"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Ying Zu (Ohio State University).

    I will present novel tests of galaxy formation theories and the nature of gravity, using large-scale structure measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). I will first introduce the iHOD model, a probabilistic framework for mapping galaxy properties to their underlying dark matter halos. By modelling the color dependence of galaxy clustering and weak gravitational lensing, iHOD reveals a surprisingly simple picture for "galaxy quenching", i.e., the cessation of star-formation activities within galaxies.

  • *Special* High Energy Seminar: "Monopole-antimonopole Creation and Other Numerical Studies"

    DRL 4N12

    Tanmay Vachaspati (Arizona State University)

    I will describe magnetic monopoles, their properties, and recent numerical work on their creation from particles.

  • High Energy Theory: "TBA"


    Tom Hartman (Cornell University)

  • Advances in Biomedical Optics Seminar: "Optical Diagnostics for Improved Pancreatic Disease Detection"

    Donner Auditorium, Basement, Donner Building, 3400 Spruce St.

    Mary-Ann Mycek (University of Michigan)

    Pizza will be served at 11:45am.

    These seminars are supported by the Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy Laboratory, the Center for Magnetic Resonance and Optical  Imaging, the Department of Radiology and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania.


    *Organizers: Wesley Baker, Jeff Cochran, Bryan Chong, Tiffany Ko, and Arjun Yodh,


    *Contact: Wesley Baker


    Lynch Lecture Hall Chemistry Complex

    Carl Weiman (Stanford)

    Guided by experimental tests of theory and practice, science has advanced rapidly in the past 500 years. Guided primarily by tradition and dogma, the learning and teaching of these subjects meanwhile has remained largely medieval. Research on how people learn is now revealing much more effective ways to learn, teach, and evaluate learning than what is in use in the traditional college class.

  • Astro Seminar: "Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors for High Contrast Imaging"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Benjamin Mazin (UCSB)

    Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors, or MKIDs, are superconducting detector arrays that can measure the energy and arrival time of individual optical through near-IR photons without read noise or dark current.  I will report on the promising commissioning and first science results of the first two MKID Integral Field Spectrographs (IFSs) for high contrast imaging, the DARKNESS/SDC instrument at Palomar and the MEC/SCExAO instrument on Subaru.  Future upgrades to integrate the MKID IFS as a focal plane wavefront sensor for implement active speckle nulling will be discuss