Fall 2004


Week 1 - August 30 - September 3

Monday, August 30

First day of classes for Fall Semester.

Friday, September 3, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch.  Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, September 3, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Michael Mattoni, '96, University of California at Santa Barbara.  "Effects of Matrix Porosity on the Mechanical Properties of Fiber-Reinforced Oxide Composites"  Abstract:   A critical need exists for continued advancement in the performance of high temperature structural materials. Many industries, including transportation, power generation, chemical, and materials processing, employ high temperature materials in their products and processes and face continued demands for reduced operating costs and emissions. These demands can be met by replacement of currently used high temperature materials with better performing ones. Continuous fiber-reinforced ceramic composites are the subject of ongoing research because they outperform currently used superalloys in many performance categories (high temperature stability, corrosion/wear resistance) while maintaining damage tolerance, in the form of high toughness, grace of failure, and thermal shock resistance (unlike monolithic ceramics).
 
This talk will highlight Mr. Mattoni’s research into a class of composites that employs a new method of enabling damage tolerance. Traditionally, damage tolerance is established through weak bonding between fibers and matrix by interposing a low-toughness interphase. A new approach developed at UCSB obviates interphases and relies instead on the use of fine-scale porosity within the matrix. 
 
The effects of matrix porosity on the mechanical properties of porous-matrix, oxide composites will be presented. Porosity is systematically varied through impregnation and pyrolysis of a ceramic precursor solution, and mechanical tests are performed to identify the role of the matrix in both fiber- and matrix-dominated loadings. Specific attention is focused on notched and unnotched tension and in-plane shear.  Mechanism-based models are also employed to describe notch sensitivity, and their utility assessed by comparison with experiments.  Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 2 - September 6-10

Thursday, September 9, 7:30 PM

The Inaugural Donald M. Hamister Distinguished Lecture in Physics (Brandi Recital Hall)  N. David Mermin, Horace White Professor of Physics, Cornell University. "The Physicist as Neologist or How I made the word Boojum an Internationally Accepted Scientific Term" Abstract: The speaker will narrate the history of his efforts a quarter of a century ago to introduce the word "Boojum" into the lexicon of physics. He will interweave comments on the subsequent fates of several of the heros and villains, and will display specimens of more recent uses of the term. It is hoped that the story will offer instructive glimpses into the sociology and psychology of scientists, provide instruction in an arcane corner of low temperature physics, and demonstrate that silly behavior is not limited to the political arena. Reception to follow Storer Hall Lobby.

Friday, September 10, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation with our distinguished visitor.

Friday, September 10, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  N. David Mermin, Horace White Professor of Physics, Cornell University. "Relativity and Geometry" Abstract:  The two-dimensional diagrams of Minkowski provide the deepest insight into the character of space and time revealed by the special theory of relativity. Traditionally they are introduced after the subject has been developed along other lines, as a concise graphical summary of its analytical structure. It is possible, however, to develop Minkowski diagrams directly from Einstein's two postulates, using nothing more than some simple plane geometry. I shall describe such an approach that I developed during many attempts to teach the subject to Cornell undergraduates who were not in science or mathematics. The geometric approach is simpler and more powerful than other routes into relativity, and some of its features may be unfamiliar even to professional relativists. Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 3 - September 13 - 17

Friday, September 17, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, September 17, 3:10 - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Joey Neilsen, '06,  Kenyon College.  "Phase Variation in the Pulse Profile of SMC X-1: Spectral and Timing Analysis of a Massive X-ray Binary System in the Small Magellanic Cloud"  Abstract:  The last thirty-odd years, with the advent of X-ray astronomy, have provided a great deal of evidence for some of the most extraordinary phenomena in the universe. Of particular interest are black holes, neutron stars, and pulsars. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars which appear to blink. Under the right conditions, pulsars are X-ray bright and are most common in binary star systems. We have performed pulse profile analysis and spectral analysis on seven observations of one such extragalactic system in the Small Magellanic Cloud. We have discovered an unusual phase relationship between the high and low energy pulse profile which can be explained by a precession of the accretion disk around this X-ray pulsar."   Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 4 - September 20-24

Friday, September 24, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, September 24, 3:10PM

Friday Afternoon Physics! Join the department in just having some fun with science. Activity An egg drop contest followed by potato cannon launches.

Week 5 - September 27 - October 1

Friday, October 1, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.  

Friday, October 1, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Adie Curtner-Kimber, '99“Solar Power and Sustainable Energy - a Personalized Industry Snapshot”  Abstract:  As a student of liberal arts, you have a broader perspective than most "hard" science and engineering majors on the world around you and how you might apply your education to make it better. This talk will describe solar technology basics, the solar energy industry, how renewable energy is making an impact now, and the value and versatility of a liberal arts science degree. Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 6 - October 4 - 8

Friday, October 8, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Week 7 - October 11 - 15

Monday, October 11 and Tuesday, October 12

October Reading Days! 

Friday, October 15, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, October 15, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Lee Kennard, '07, Kenyon College "Elementary Quantum Information Processing Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy"  Abstract:  Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we demonstrated a single-qubit version of the Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm. With the ability to manipulate the nuclear spins of a coupled hydrogen-carbon-13 pair using radio frequency (RF) pulses and free periods of evolution, we were able to set up a quantum circuit to implement the algorithm. Since this algorithm cannot be implemented on a classical computer, demonstrating it shows that we have performed a true quantum computation.  Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 8 - October 18 - 22

Friday, October 22, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.  

Friday, October 22, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Professor Charlotte Elster, Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University "What Do We Know About the Strong Force" Abstract:
Everyone agrees that Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is the theory to describe the strong force. A lot of progress has been made in extracting information about the nature of particles from QCD on the lattice. However, in describing reactions in nuclear physics, one has to model the strong force. Especially during the last years considerable progress has been made and there are now realistic models available describing the two nucleon data with high accuracy. Similar progress has been made in developing effective theories linking the low energy nuclear force to QCD and describing two nucleon data. The crucial step is to apply those models in an environment where three (or four) nucleons interact with each other and thoroughly test underlying assumptions of nuclear physics. This talk gives an introduction into the difficulties one faces in understanding the nuclear force and points to the challenges of few-body physics. Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 9 - October 25 - 29

Friday, October 29, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. (Not the usual location, but close!) Bring your lunch tray to Lower Dempsey to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, October 29, 3:10PM

Friday Afternoon Physics! Join the department in just having some fun with science. Activity Photography with paper negatives.

Week 10 - November 1 - 5

Thursday, November 4

Founder's Day!

Friday, November 5, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Upper Dempsey (not the usual location!) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, November 5, 3:10 - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Lindsey Bleem, '05,  Kenyon College " Getting to Know Galaxy Clusters" Abstract: “Signposts” of matter in the universe, galaxy clusters provide important constraints on several major cosmological theories. The study of galaxy clusters tells us much about large scale structure formation, galaxy evolution and even the eventual fate of the universe itself!  In this talk I will discuss my work this summer at the University of Michigan on a photometric redshift estimator and a cluster galaxy likelihood algorithm.  In the process, I will provide a brief introduction to both cluster science and several important issues being studied by astrophysicists today. Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 11 - November 8 - 12

Friday, November 12, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, November 12, 3:10 - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Zach Weber, '05,  Kenyon College "Dielectric Functions of Molecular-Beam-Epitaxy-Grown Ga1-xMnxAs Thin Films" Abstract: Ga1-xMnxAs belongs to a class of materials known as diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS) which have proven to be promising candidates for implementing semiconductor-based spintronic devices. DMS systems manifest unique electronic and magnetic properties which are interesting from both a fundamental as well as practical point of view. In order to understand these properties, the dielectric functions of  Ga1-xMnxAs were established by variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry. This talk illustrates some basic principles of ellipsometry and semiconductor physics while describing the process for determining the dielectric constants. Topics of possible future studies on Ga1-xMnxAs will also be discussed. Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 12 - November 15 - 19

Friday, November 19, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Thanksgiving Break Week - November 22 - 26


Week 13 - November 29 - December 3

Friday, December 3, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, December 3, 3:10PM

Friday Afternoon Physics! Join the department in just having some fun with science. Activity TBA.

Week 14 - December 6 - 10

Friday, December 10, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.

Friday, December 10, 3:10 - 4PM

Physics Colloquium (Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall, RBH 109)  Professor John D. Norton, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, The University of Pittsburgh. "Einstein's Electrodynamical Pathway to Special Relativity" Abstract: Einstein spent over seven years wrestling with problems in electrodynamics before he realized that their solution lay in a new theory of space and time, whose complete description then required only five or six weeks of work. As we now know from the historical analysis of many over the last few decades, the real origin of special relativity lies in this work in electrodynamics, whose content I will seek to reconstruct. Einstein's commitment to the principle of relativity in electrodynamics was sealed quite early by his magnet and conductor thought experiment from which he recovered the notion of field transformations that mix electric and magnetic fields. Such transformations alone could not bring the principle of relativity to Maxwell's electrodynamics. So Einstein explored a modified electrodynamics, closely related to the program Ritz later pursued. Einstein found numerous reasons to reject this modified "emission" electrodynamics. I conjecture that the cogency of Einstein's famous chasing-a-light-beam thought experiment derived from the ease with which it could display the failure of this emission theory; and that Einstein could finally have arrived at the relativity of simultaneity prior to his celebrated analysis of clocks and light signals. Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 15 - December 13 - 17

Tuesday, December 14

Last day of classes for Fall Semester!

Friday, December 17, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Dempsey Lounge (the room behind the partition at the south end of Lower Dempsey Dining Room) to join the department for stimulating conversation.
   Contact:  Connie Miller, Dept. of Physics. 
 
Created by Bethany Anderson,
Kenyon College 2005
October 25, 2003
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