Spring 2019 Physics Colloquium

Thursday, January 31st
Tsampikos Kottos, Wesleyan University
"Time-Reversal Symmetry and its Applications to Waveform Shaping and System Protection"

Time-reversal symmetry and its violation is one of the most powerful concepts in physics. It has applications in many physics subfields ranging from condensed matter, optics and atomic physics to mathematical physics and quantum field theories. In this talk, we will focus on two specific implementations of time-reversal symmetry (and its violation) in the field of electrodynamics with relevance to: (a) the design of waveforms of incident electromagnetic radiation that efficiently direct energy at focal points, with applications varying from non-invasive medical therapies and wireless telecommunications to electromagnetic warfare; and (b) the design of reflective photonic limiters used for protection of sensitive sensors from high-power/fluence incoming radiation. We will highlight the connections between these two (at first glance diametrically different) applications while at the same time we will be placing the presented research effort within the framework of recently emerging sub-field of non-Hermitian wave transport.

Noon | Toome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, February 14th
Carl Mungan, US Naval Academy
"Who Says Freshman Physics is Elementary? Investigations of Apparently Simple Phenomena"

He will discuss a variety of interesting topics in the three traditional fields of classical physics: mechanics, E&M, and thermodynamics. The dynamics of a yo-yo, falling U-shaped chain, and unrolling carpet will be analyzed. We will explore particles moving under the action of a 1D inverse-square force. He will introduce the notion of entropic dissipation of a piston in a gas-filled cylinder. We will consider how a Faraday isolator works. He will demonstrate the surprising behavior of a hand-cranked electrical generator. We will learn some elementary probability using a deck of cards. I will distinguish group and phase velocity by simulating wave motion.

Noon | Tome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, March 21st
Zoe Boekelheide, Lafayette College
"Magnetic reversal in nanoparticles: Mechanisms, measurement, and biological applications"

Magnetic materials are used in a wide array of modern applications, from data storage to cancer treatment, and research into the magnetic properties of materials has been largely driven by these applications. The mechanisms by which magnetic materials reverse the direction of their magnetization are of interest for many of these applications. Nanoscale magnets in particular are intriguing because of their small size, and they exhibit rich and complex magnetic reversal behavior. In this talk, She will discuss a few different ways her group is studying magnetic reversal in nanoparticles: both experimental measurement and micromagnetic modeling, as well as exploring biomedical applications which take advantage of the magnetic reversal process, such as magnetic hyperthermia cancer treatment.

Noon | Tome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, April 11th
John Custer, Sandia National Laboratories (accelerator physics)
Talk Title

Tome 115

Thursday, April 18th
Senior Presentations (tentative)
Talk Titles TBD
Noon | Tome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, May 2nd
New Majors' Induction Ceremony (tentative)
Noon | Tome 115
Lunch Provided