Calendar, Spring 2006                         


Spring 2006


Week 1 - January 16 - 20

Monday, January 16

First day of classes for Spring Semester.

Friday, January 20, 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 2 - January 23 - 27

Friday, January 27, 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, January 27, 3:10PM - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).  Katharina Christandl, Kenyon College, Visiting Professor  Title:   “Manipulating Atoms with Light:  The Quest for the Optical Atom Chip”  Abstract:  The fundamental physics of the interaction of atoms and light can be exploited to manipulate atoms. Atoms are routinely cooled and trapped using laser light and can be put into desired quantum states at will (“optical pumping”). The question is, how far can we take this control, and how can we put it to (scientific) use? The talk will present a newly designed optical atom chip that allows trapping of single atoms in a periodic array as close as ~10 nm to a dielectric surface. Such chips could be used to probe the atom-surface interaction in the 10 - 100 nm range, simulate two-dimensional “designer” solid state systems, or they could someday become the chips of a quantum computer. In this talk I will review how atoms are trapped in light fields and I will show how a simple interference pattern formed above an optical waveguide can be used to trap single atoms 10-100s nm above the waveguide surface. I will present computational results that indicate that these trap arrays are suitable for quantum computing, and I will show an experiment designed to demonstrate this optical atom chip in the laboratory.  Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 3 - January 30 - February 3

Friday, February 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, February 3, 3:10 - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).  Dedra Demaree, The Ohio State University  Title:  "Challenging Common Beliefs About Writing To Learn: Is It Effective In The Physics Classroom?"  Abstract:  Many colleges and universities promote writing across the curriculum, both for developing writing skills and for gaining content knowledge, but does writing in the physics classroom actually work as a learning tool?  Historically writing in the disciplines is assumed beneficial, but most published papers fail to show a link between writing and improved conceptual understanding within a discipline.  Writing activities require a significant time investment on the part of course instructors, so it is very relevant to determine if writing is effective in the physics classroom, and if so, how best to use it.  Members from both the Physics and English departments at the Ohio State University and Rochester Institute of Technology are involved in an ongoing study aimed at
answering these questions.  This talk will provide a review of writing in physics classrooms, our research plan to provide evidence-based answers, and what we have found so far.

Co-Authors:  Dedra Demaree, Catherine Gubernatis, Gordon Aubrecht (all at OSU) Scott Franklin, Lisa Hermsen (from RIT)

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 4 - February 6 - 10

Friday, February 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, February 10, 3:10 - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109). TBD Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 5 - February 13 - 17 

Friday, February 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, February 17, 3:10PM - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109). TBD Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 6 - February 20 - 24

Friday, February 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, February 24, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109). Timothy S. Sullivan, Physics Department, Kenyon College  Title:   "The Dynamics of Unmixing: Challenging Conventional Wisdom"  Abstract:  The dimensionless Cahn-Hilliard equation,
,

 is a model which describes how two phases of matter separate from an initially uniform state. Originally developed to study the formation of domains as metal alloys were cooled and solidified, it has gained a new currency in the study of the formation of rafts in biological membranes. I will present the results of numerical simulations of the Cahn-Hilliard equation. These simulations cover a wider range of initial conditions and covered an order of magnitude longer simulation time than any previous computer simulations of the Cahn-Hilliard model. This push to longer times was an effort to verify the widely held belief in the community that the size of a typical domain, , should grow in time like (the Lifshitz-Slyozov law). The story does not yet have an unambiguous conclusion, despite computations representing approximately 2.5 years of 2 GHz Pentium-4 CPU time, but there are indications that the Lifshitz-Slyozov law does not tell the whole story.  Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 7 - February 27 - March 3

Friday, March 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 in celebrating the beginning of Spring Break!

Spring Break! March 6 - 17


Week 8 - March 20 - 24

Friday, March 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. We will regale each other with Spring Break adventure stories.

Friday, March 24, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109). John Linder, Physics Department, Wooster College  Title:   "Can Noise Improve Hearing? Stochastic Resonance in Hair Cells"  Abstract:  After providing an introduction and overview of nonlinear dynamics, Dr. Linder  will focus on a specific application: In transducing acoustic stimuli into electrical signals, the inner hair cells of the cochlea respond optimally to weak periodic signals at natural, non-zero noise intensities. Kurt Wiesenfeld, Matt Bennett, and Dr. Linder understand this stochastic resonance by constructing a faithful mechanical model reflecting the hair cell geometry and described by a nonlinear stochastic differential equation. This Langevin description elucidates the mechanism of hair cell stochastic resonance while supporting the hypothesis that noise plays a functional role in hearing.  Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 9 - March 27 - 31

Friday, March 31, 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, March 31, 3:10PM

Physics Senior Exercise Talk. TBD Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby

Week 10 - April 3 - 7

Friday, April 7, 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, April 7, 3:10 - 4:00PM

Physics Senior Exercise Talk.  TBA Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby

Week 11 - April 10 - 14

Tuesday, April 11

Honor's Day!

Friday, April 14, 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, April 14, 3:10PM - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109). TBD Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Week 12 - April 17 - 21

Friday, April 21, 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, April 21, 3:10-4:00PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).  Dr. Brian McLeod, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Title:  "Searching for Planets and the Most Distant Galaxies with Extreme Digital Astrophotography"  Abstract:    Megacam is a giant CCD mosaic camera in operation at the 6.5m MMT Observatory.  The large field of view of the camera, combined with the large collecting area of the telescope, provides a unique tool for conducting deep surveys of the sky.  Dr. McLeod will begin by describing some of the challenges involved in building and reducing data from such a large camera.  Then he will turn to two very different surveys currently in progress with Megacam.  The first is very deep imaging of a region of "empty" sky.  Combined with infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope they aim to perform a census of the most distant galaxies known.  The second survey is a search for transiting extra-solar planets in the open cluster M37.  This winter they obtained 5000 exposures of the cluster over a four week period with the goal of determining the frequency of hot Neptune-sized planets.  Dr. McLeod will present preliminary results from these two surveys.  Reception to following in Hayes Hall Lobby. 


Week 13 - April 24 - 28

Friday, April 28, 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, April 28, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium, Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).  Dr. Robert Harmon. Department of Physics & Astronomy, Ohio Wesleyan University  Title:  "The Magnetic Personalities of the Stars"  Abstract: Just as the Sun exhibits sunspots, so too certain other stars are known to have "starspots" on their surfaces. Like sunspots, starspots are a manifestation of the star's magnetic field, so that studying them provides insight into the workings of stellar dynamos. Starspots can be detected by the variations they cause in the star's brightness as the spots rotate into and out of view from Earth. If we knew the appearance of the starspots, it would be easy to calculate the brightness variations. Going in the other direction turns out to be much harder. After discussing the physics of spots, Dr. Harmon will describe the technique he and his students use to deduce their appearances based on observed stellar brightness variations.   Reception to following in Hayes Hall Lobby. 

Week 14 - May 1 - 5

Friday, May 5

Last day of classes for Spring Semester!

Friday, May 5, 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, May 5, 3:10-4:00PM

Event:  This week we are taking a road trip to visit the Greenslade Museum of Natural Philosophy, located at 211 Ward Street: the yellow house opposite the Norton Hall parking lot. This is a collection of 19th and early 20th century physics teaching apparatus assembled by Prof. Emeritus Thomas B. Greenslade, Jr., who will be on hand to discuss the apparatus with students and faculty members.  



   Contact:  Connie Miller, Dept. of Physics.   

Created by Bethany Anderson, Kenyon College 2005
 October 25, 2003
Kenyon Physics Logo