Spring 2011 Physics Colloquium

Unless otherwise noted, lunch is served 15 minutes before each colloquium.  Colloquium schedules from other semesters can be found at the *Colloquium Archive*.


Thursday, February 3, 12:05 pm - Tome 115
Dr. Drake Deming, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
"Light and Shadow from Distant Worlds"


Thursday, February 10, 12:05 pm - Tome 115
Dr. Josh Grossman, St. Mary's College of Maryland
"Quantum Walks: Interference, Decoherence, and Connectivity"


Abstract: Quantum walks are the quantum mechanical analogues of classical random walks.  Just as classical random walks have proven vital for describing certain physical processes and as the heart of certain classical computing algorithms, so too have quantum walks found use as the basis of quantum computing algorithms and for describing physical processes.  Interference and entanglement distinguish the behavior of quantum walks from classical random walks.  This talk will examine the role of interference in discrete quantum walks by considering the effect of the walker's initial state, the connectivity of the graph on which the walk occurs, and the deterministic nature of the conditional shift by which the walk proceeds.


Tuesday, March 1, Noon - Rector Lecture Room - Stuart 1104 (Rush Hour Talk)
Professor Jennifer Schaefer, Dickinson College
"Grits & Group Theory at Your Local Cracker Barrel"


Abstract: In this talk, we will analyze a common game many of you have played at your local Cracker Barrel, namely, peg solitaire, using a little bit of basic group theory.  Who would have known you could get a side of group theory with your grits?


Thursday, March 24, Noon - Rector Lecture Room - Stuart 1104 (Rush Hour Talk)
Professor Jonathan Page, Dickinson College
Title: "We See What We Think We See"


Thursday, March 31, 12:05 pm - Tome 115
Dr. Mauricio Pietrocola, University of São Paulo - BRAZIL
Title: "Physics Education in Brazilian Basic Schools: The Challenges of Scientific Literacy and Teacher Training"


Abstract: The purpose of the colloquium is to present an overview about physics teaching in Brazil. It will be organized into three main branches: i) physics as a discipline in the high school curriculum; ii) physics teacher preparation; iii) research concerning physics education in the Brazilian context. The objective is to provide information concerning the way physicists take part in the Brazilian education system, attempting to show the problems and challenges faced by physics education research.


Monday, April 18, 4:30 p.m. - Tome 115
Physics Senior Presentation

Melissa Kelly  - "Global Climate Simulations on a PC"


Paulo Candiani - "A Novel Route Towards Energy Localization in an Electrical Lattice"

Tuesday, April 19, 12:05 p.m. - Tome 115
Physics Senior Presentation

Matthew Murray - "The Shaping of Ultrafast Laser Pulses"


Brian Wysowski - "Mapping out the Ion Velocity Distribution in the Plasma of the Dickinson Hall Thruster"


Thursday, April 21, 12:05 p.m. - Tome 115
Physics Senior Presentation
Kristen Recine - "Modeling the Evolution of the Cataclysmic Variable System V723 Cassiopeia"


Anubhav Mohan & Kent Pecora - "The Global Climate Revisited"


Monday, April 25, 4:30 p.m. - Rector Science Complex Atrium
26th Annual Science Research Symposium


Thursday, April 28, Noon - Recture Lecture Room - Stuart 1104 (Rush Hour Talk)
Professor Sarah St. Angelo
Title: "Nanoparticles with Interesting Optical Properties and a Purpose"


Thursday, May 5, 4:00 p.m. - Tome 115
New Majors Induction Ceremony

Join us as we welcome our newest Physics Majors!