Calendar, Spring 2007


Week 1 - January 15 - 19

Monday, January 15

First day of classes for Spring Semester.

Friday, January 19, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch.  Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, January 19, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium by:  Dr. Steven Doty, Denison University, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109)

Title: "Some New Thoughts on Star Birth: The Shocking Story Your (Intellectual) Parents Never Told You"

Abstract: Stars are the dominant form of visible, ordinary matter in the universe. They trace the structure of the universe on large scales, and provide energy for many of the chemical and biologic processes on smaller scales. Our understanding of stars is aided by the fact that much of their life and death is "out in the open." The same is not true for their birth, however, as they are enshrouded in their natal environment. As a result, the processes involved in star formation are not well understood. Recent combinations of detailed modeling of star-forming regions and high-resolution, multi-wavelength observations have begun to suggest a new picture for star-forming regions and the general interstellar medium. Surprisingly, this picture may hold over orders of magnitude of stellar mass.

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 2 - January 22 - 26

Friday, January 26, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, January 26, 3:10PM - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium by:  Jeremy Spater, Kenyon '07
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).

Title:  
“Vegetable Oil as a Diesel Fuel Substitute”

Abstract:  
Recent fluctuations in the price of oil have led to increased interest in biological substitutes for petroleum products. In particular, diesel engines can be powered by vegetable oil with minimal modifications. However, such operation may affect the engine's emissions, and this effect must be documented before vegetable oil can be recommended for wide-scale use. Results are presented for a research project characterizing the emissions of a small diesel engine converted to run on vegetable oil. 

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 3 - January 29 - February 2

Friday, February 2, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, February 2, 3:10 - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium by: Dr. Stephen C. Thompson, The Pennsylvania State University, Applied Research Laboratory
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall - RBH 109

Title:   “Design and Analysis of Miniature Microphones”

Abstract:  
Miniature microphones are ubiquitous in modern electronic devices. Over a billion such microphones are produced each year for cell phones, PDAs, VCRs, etc. The performance requirements for hearing aid microphones are more stringent. Hearing aids need microphones that are more uniform in sensitivity and lower in noise than microphones in other commercial products. Simple adiabatic acoustic models can accurately predict microphone performance above 500 Hz. At lower frequencies, thermal absorption at the walls of the microphone enclosure must be included in the model to accurately calculate the sensitivity. This talk will describe the design and construction of miniature microphones, analytical methods for modeling their performance, mechanisms for the generation of microphone internal noise, and the effects of thermal absorption inside the microphone enclosure.

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 4 - February 5 - 9

Friday, February 9, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, February 9, 3:10 - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium by:  Dr. Peter Palffy-Muhoray, Kent State University
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).

Title: "Lasers, Artificial Muscles and Negative Index Materials: New Directions in Liquid Crystal Research"

Abstract: Liquid crystals, discovered over 100 yrs. ago, have revolutionized display technology. They are not limited to displays, however – they are all around us – with potential impact in a surprisingly wide range of applications. In this talk, we will discuss some general aspects of liquid crystal physics, and focus on three emerging new areas of liquid crystal research: photonic band gap materials, liquid crystal elastomers, and orientationally ordered negative index meta materials.

For more information about Dr. Palffy-Muhoray you can visit: http://www.lci.kent.edu/PI/Palffy-Muhoray.htm

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 5 - February 12 - 16

Friday, February 16, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, February 16, 3:10PM - 4:00PM

Physics Colloquium By:  Dr. Ted Rogers, The Pennsylvania State University 
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109) 

Title: 
"Recent Developments and Open Problems in Quantum Chromodynamics" 

Abstract:
  Today, Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is generally accepted to be the fundamental theory of the strong nuclear interaction, and it is one of the theories that form the standard model of particle physics. During the past several decades, QCD has been used with great success to explain experimental phenomena. However, many interesting and important problems remain unsolved. In this colloquium, I will give a conceptual overview of strong interaction physics and QCD. Then, I will describe some of the various approaches to using QCD for calculations, with a focus on some recent advances. I will end by highlighting problems (and research opportunities) that need to be addressed in preparation for the start-up of new experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 6 - February 19 - 23

Thursday, February 22, 7:30 p.m.

The 3rd Annual Donald M. Hamister Distinguished Lecture in Physics
Dr. Anthony Leggett, Nobel Prize Winner, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(Brandi Recital Hall) 

Title:
"Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?"

Abstract:
One of the most surprising aspects of quantum mechanics is that under certain circumstances it does not allow individual physical systems, even when isolated, to possess properties in their own right. This feature, first clearly appreciated by John Bell in 1964, has in the last three decades been tested experimentally and found (in most people's opinion) to be spectacularly confirmed. More recently it has been realized that it permits various operations which are classically impossible, such as "teleportation" and secure-in-principle cryptography.

For more information about Dr. Leggett, please visit:   http://www.physics.uiuc.edu/People/Leggett/

Reception to follow Storer Hall Lobby.

Friday, February 23, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, February 23, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium By:   Dr. Anthony Leggett, Nobel Prize Winner, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109). 

Title:
    "Superfluidity, Phase Coherence and the New Bose-condensed Alkali Gases"

Abstract:   The phenomenon of superfluidity was discovered in liquid helium nearly sixty years ago, and ever since, following the almost immediate suggestion of Fritz London, it has been the almost universal belief in the condensed-matter community that it is due to the onset of the phenomenon of Bose-Einstein
condensation which is theoretically predicted to occur in that system at sufficiently low temperature.  However, for various practical reasons, it is extremely difficult
even to establish unambiguously that BEC is occurring in 4-He, let alone to test directly some of the ideas which connect it to superfluidity. The recent
attainment of BEC in dilute atomic alkali gases opens a new arena in this respect, allowing us to do many experiments which we would have loved to do in 4-He
but which are in practice unfeasible in that system. In this talk Dr. Leggett will first review briefly the fundamental ideas developed in the helium context, then
give a general introduction to the physics of the BEC alkali gases, and finally discuss some of the novel possibilities they open up, both already realized and
still on the drawing-board.

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.


Week 7 - February 26 - March 2

Friday, March 2, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch.  Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

 

No Colloquium


Spring Break! March 5 - 16


Week 8 - March 19 - 23

Friday, March 23, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.  We will regale each other with Spring Break adventure stories.

Friday, March 23, 3:10PM - 4PM


Physics Colloquium By:  Beverley Taylor, Physics Department, Miami University 
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109)

Title:
  "Physics of Toys"

Abstract:
 
The Miami University physicist, Professor Beverley Taylor will deliver a colloquium titled "Physics of Toys" on March 23rd at 109 Hayes hall at 3.10 pm. Professor Taylor has been involved in research in a number of different areas of physics from quantum field theory to computational plasma physics. Currently, her efforts are directed toward physics education. She will show how toys can be used as both demonstration and laboratory equipment to teach physics concepts. Toys are welcome too!

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby.

Saturday, March 24, 9:00AM - 12:00 NOON

Major Field Test in Physics. The test will be given Saturday, March 24, 2007, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon in Hayes Hall 203. It is a two hour, multiple choice, exam. There are 70 questions in all. A description of the test and some sample questionsare available in Adobe Acrobat format from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Go to www.ets.org and look for the link to "Major Field Test" under tests then click on the "Format" tab. Click on "Physics." This will take you to the sample questions. To pass this portion of the senior exercise, you must score above the national average of students taking this exam.


Week 9 - March 26 - 30

Friday, March 30, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch.  Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, March 30, 3:10PM

Physics Colloquium By:  Susan Lehman, Physics Department, College of Wooster 
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109)

Title: "Dot by Dot: Investigation of Individual Quantum Dots by Scanning Probe Microscopy"

Abstract: Quantum dots have been the subject of tremendous interest over the past decade due to their unusual fundamental nature and their many potential technological applications.  In this work, self-assembled InAs and InGaAs quantum dots grown on GaAs have been studied using several scanning probe microscopy techniques including atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and a variation of STM known as ballistic electron emission microscopy (BEEM).  Previously, large ensembles of self-assembled quantum dots in III-V semiconductors have been studied electronically and optically, but the electronic properties of individual QDs are difficult to measure.  We are using cross-sectional BEEM for this purpose.


Multiple layers of InAs and In0.4Ga0.6As QDs were grown by organometallic vapor phase epitaxy; the sample was cleaved ex situ and 5nm-thick gold contacts were deposited on the cleaved edge.  The sample was then imaged by BEEM at 300 K and the buried QDs were successfully located and imaged.  BEEM measurements of the conduction band energy in the InAs and GaAs layers will be presented.  I will also discuss our on-going work to make BEEM measurements under a reverse bias at low temperature in order to determine which edge of the quantum dot we observe.


For information on Dr. Lehman’s work you can visit: http://www.wooster.edu/physics/lehman/research.html

 


Week 10 - April 2 - 6

Friday, April 6, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, April 6, 3:10 - 4:00PM

Physics Senior Exercise Talk By:  Matt Zaremsky, Kenyon ‘07

Title: “The Free Will Theorem”

Abstract:  Physicists have long known that Quantum theory is “weird,” but what does this really mean? In a 1964 paper by John Bell, some of this weirdness was mapped out mathematically, leading to the discovery that quantum theory is inconsistent with the principle of Local Hidden Variables. The implications of this were enormous, and some physicists regarded Bell’s proof as the most important discovery in theoretical physics, ever. Now, in 2006, Simon Kochen and John H. Conway have discovered another incredibly bizarre quantum mechanical fact, the Free Will Theorem. Where Bell’s theorem debunked the theory of Local Hidden Variables, Kochen and Conway attack the idea that experiments are in some way “predetermined,” and that the purpose of an experiment is to simply extract the already present information stored in a system. Colloquially, we can interpret the Free Will Theorem as saying that if human beings have free will, then so do spin-1 particles, something that challenges our conception both of our own free will and of the deterministic nature of the world around us.

 

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby


Week 11 - April 9 - 13

Tuesday, April 10

Honor's Day!

Friday, April 13, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, April 13, 3:10PM - 4:00PM

Physics Senior Exercise Talk By: Nikhil Nagendra, Kenyon ‘07


Title:Mie Theory: Why is the Sky Blue?”


Abstract:  Physicists love to observe nature.  Unfortunately, we can never make observations without using indirect methods.  Even when looking around us with our naked eyes, we see light that has been changed by our surroundings.  Thus, to gain a better understanding of what we see, we must first gain an understanding of how the observation process works.


One of the best ways to observe things, physicists have found, is to launch something (like a laser) at a target and see what bounces back.  To understand what we are seeing when light bounces off of a small particle, Gustav Mie, Ludwig Lorentz, and others developed the theory of “Mie Scattering” to describe the interaction.


In the 21st century, Mie theory has become an integral part of how we model our world in meteorology, physics, and even pharmaceuticals. Mie theory explains many simple things we take for granted.  For example, the theory will answer the old question, “Why is the sky blue?”


 Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby


Week 12 - April 16 - 20

Friday, April 20, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, April 20, 3:10-4:00PM

Physics Colloquium By:   Mark Hersam, Department of Material Science & Engineering, Northwestern University
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).

Title: "Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Nanomaterials: Characterization, Processing, and Applications"

Abstract: The Hersam Research Group develops nanofabrication and nanocharacterization techniques for hybrid organic/inorganic materials and devices.  Ongoing research topics include silicon-based molecular electronics, organic light emitting diodes, molecular rotors, nanopatterned sensors, encapsulated carbon nanotubes, and catalytic oxide surfaces.  In all cases, the interplay between the organic and the inorganic subcomponents influences the overall structure and properties of the hybrid nanomaterial.  Consequently, nanoscale characterization of organic/inorganic interfaces is required to develop structure-property relationships in these systems.  Furthermore, nanometer scale processing techniques enable optimization of the performance of hybrid organic/inorganic devices.

 

As a case study of our research approach to nanomaterials science and engineering, this talk will focus on the application of the structure-property-processing paradigm to silicon-based molecular electronic materials and devices.  A homebuilt ultra-high vacuum (UHV) scanning tunneling microscope (STM) allows individual molecules to be imaged, addressed, and manipulated on semiconducting surfaces with atomic resolution at room temperature.  Specifically, three different molecules will be considered on the Si(100) surface: styrene, cyclopentene, and 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-piperidinyloxy (TEMPO).  In all cases, STM spectroscopic characterization of individual molecules mounted on degenerately n-type Si(100) show multiple negative differential resistance (NDR) events at negative sample bias.  On the other hand, at positive sample bias, the current-voltage characteristics do not show NDR, although a discontinuity in the differential conductance is observed.  When the Si(100) substrate is changed to degenerate p-type doping, the charge transport behavior is qualitatively similar but at the opposite bias polarity.  These empirical observations can be quantitatively explained using a capacitive equivalent circuit model and the energy band diagram for a semiconductor-molecule-metal junction.  In addition, using multi-step feedback controlled lithography, heteromolecular nanostructures consisting of both styrene and TEMPO molecules have been fabricated on hydrogen passivated Si(100).  Atomic-scale characterization of these structures will be discussed in the context of silicon-based molecular electronics.

For information about Dr. Hersam’s work you can visit: http://www.hersam-group.northwestern.edu/hersam.html

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby. 


Week 13 - April 23 - 27

Friday, April 27, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

Friday, April 27, 3:10PM - 4PM

Physics Colloquium By:   Dave Wiant, Physics Department, Kent State University
Franklin Miller, Jr. Lecture Hall (RBH 109).

Title: "Exotic Phases in Bent-Core Liquid Crystals"

Abstract: The majority of research on liquid crystals, up to this time, has focused on rod-like molecules. Only in the last twenty years have bent-core liquid crystals began to mature into a relevant sub-field of research. The shape and symmetry of bent-core liquid crystals offers a wealth of new theoretical questions and technical applications not possible with rod-like materials. In particular, several phases have been predicted to occur in bent-core liquid crystals that have no analogue in rod-like liquid crystals, few of which have been experimentally observed. We have used a variety of techniques, including magnetic field induced birefringence and dynamic light scattering, to provide evidence of one of these phases, the previously unobserved, locally ordered, optically isotropic tetrahedratic phase.

 

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall Lobby. 


Week 14 - April 30 - May 4

Friday, May 4

Last day of classes for Spring Semester!

Friday, May 4, 12PM - 1PM

Physics Lunch. Bring your lunch tray to Gund Dining Hall to join the department for stimulating conversation.  We'll have a table reserved for Physics.

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

Physics Colloquium By:  Thomas Greenslade, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Physics Department, Kenyon College

Title:  “Lecture Demonstrations, New and Old – For People of All Ages”

Abstract:  Professor Thomas Greenslade's Demonstration show returns once more after our trip last year to his Natural Philosophy Museum. You can expect to see polarization effects that show why Gothic cathedrals do not fall down and light may or may not refract at an interface, a mechanical paradox suggested by Galileo in 1602, how to convert a catenary into a parabola, see Ginger Rogers start a monetary wave, how to make falling water stand still, see "Children's Games" (1559) by Pieter Breugel the Elder, how to travel without bumping when your car has square wheels, and many, many others.

Reception to follow in Hayes Hall lobby.

 

 

 

 

 Contact:  Connie Miller, Dept. of Physics. 

 


Created by Bethany Anderson, Kenyon College 2005

 October 25, 2003

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