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Colloquium Calendar:

Spring 2021

Jan 14, 2021

Higher-order topological phases of matter

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Wladimir Benalcazar (Penn State University)Host: Lewis Ford

Topological phases of matter are low-temperature quantum phases that exhibit robust quantized transport properties and anomalous states at their boundaries. In this colloquium, I will describe the newly discovered family of “higher-order topological phases”, characterized by anomalous boundary properties of at least two dimensions less than ... read more  »

Jan 21, 2021

The magic of twisted bilayer graphene with spin orbit coupling

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Alexandra Thomson (California Institute of Technology)Host: Lewis Ford

When two graphene sheets are stacked offset by the ‘magic’ twist angle, the bands become incredibly flat, allowing interactions to dominate. Depending on filling and sample details, remarkably, superconductivity and various other correlated phenomena are observed in this system. The importance of the `magic’ angle, however, has recently been chall... read more  »

Jan 25, 2021

Ivan Borzenets headshot

Superconducting Van der Waals Heterostructures As a Quantum Information Platform

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Ivan Borzenets (City University of Hong Kong)Host: Lewis Ford

The field of Quantum Information Systems (QIS) represents the current scientific and technological frontier, which promises to harness the quantum notions of coherence and entanglement and to revolutionize the world of computing and communications. There are several solid-state platforms used for the study and applications of quantum systems. Most of th... read more  »

Jan 28, 2021

Universal Dynamics Far From Thermodynamic Equilibrium

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Joaquin Rodriguez-Nieva (Stanford University)Host: Lewis Ford

Quantum matter away from thermodynamic equilibrium can host rich classes of dynamical phenomena that have no equilibrium analogue. Characterizing such phenomena remains one of the most fundamental challenges in theoretical physics. Although the notion of universality has been a central pillar in the characterization of equilibrium phases of matter, its ... read more  »

Mar 16, 2021

An indirect search for 12C+12C resonances

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Philip Adsley (University of Witwatersrand)Host: Dan Melconian

The 12C+12C fusion reaction is of great astrophysical importance, influencing the behaviour of superbursts, type Ia supernovae and the s-process in massive stars. Direct measurements at higher energies show resonance-like structures which make extrapolation of the cross section to low energies difficult, while direct measurements at astrophysical energi... read more  »

Mar 18, 2021

Detecting beta-delayed neutron emission using recoil-ion spectroscopy

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Gemma Wilson (Louisiana State University and Argonne National Laboratory)Host: Dan Melconian

Beta-delayed neutron (βn) emission is a process in which a neutron is emitted after beta decay, and is viable in many neutron-rich nuclei. This decay process affects broad areas of physics, from stellar nucleosynthesis to nuclear reactors. The lack of experimental βn data is being addressed with experimental efforts at radioactive ion beam facilities ... read more  »

Mar 22, 2021

Extragalactic Archaeology: Galaxy Formation and Nucleosynthesis

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Evan Kirby (California Institute of Technology)Host: Casey Papovich

Galactic archaeology is the use of the velocities and abundances of stars to learn about the history of galaxy formation and nucleosynthesis.  I will tell two stories of extra-galactic archaeology with two different groups of elements: alpha elements and the iron peak.  First, I will present detailed abundances of individual stars in the dwarf satell... read more  »

Mar 22, 2021

Hoff headshot

There and Back Again: From Isomers to Isospin

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Daniel Hoff (University of Massachussetts at Lowell)Host: Dan Melconian

The nuclear landscape provides a wide expanse of nuclear systems to study, from light to heavy nuclei across the valley of stability. Each region of the nuclear landscape provides a diverse set of nuclear phenomena to explore, and I will share some of my research from light to heavy systems. Starting in lighter nuclei, I will discuss a reaction mechanis... read more  »

Mar 25, 2021

Physics of Nuclei – Isotopes to Stars

10:00 am – 11:00 am (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Mansi Saxena (Ohio University)Host: Dan Melconian

Atomic nuclei play a fundamental role in the universe. Despite over a century of research, they still defy description from a basic nuclear theory. In particular, we do not understand how the structure of nuclei evolves across the nuclear landscape. Uncertainties in nuclear structure limit the fidelity with which we can describe astrophysical phenomena ... read more  »

Mar 25, 2021

Simulating the Growth of Galaxies and Black Holes in the Early Universe

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Sarah Wellons (Northwestern University)Host: Casey Papovich

As techniques have improved over the last decade, observations have peered deep into the Universe’s history and begun to glimpse galaxies which formed in the first few billion years after the Big Bang.  In this talk, I will discuss galaxy formation in the early Universe from a theoretical perspective, presenting results drawn from both large-volume... read more  »

Mar 29, 2021

Cosmology with Massive Neutrinos

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Jia Liu (University of California Berkeley)Host: Casey Papovich

Ghostly neutrino particles continue to bring surprises to fundamental physics, from their existence to the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation, which implies their nonzero masses. Their exact masses, among the most curious unknowns beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, can soon be probed by the joint analysis of upcoming cosmological surveys inc... read more  »

Mar 29, 2021

Boson collider for stress testing the Standard Model of elementary particles

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Aram Apyan (Fermilab)Host: Alexei Safonov

The standard model of elementary particles has been extremely successful in describing the building blocks of matter and their interactions. The observation of a Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 presented a new paradigm of precision physics aiming at the investigation of the Higgs mechanism. Since that time, many decay modes of the Higgs... read more  »

Mar 30, 2021

The 22Ne(α,n)/(α,γ) branching ratio: Payoff after a long and winding road of research efforts

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Shuya Ota (Texas A&M University)Host: Dan Melconian

Payoff after a long and winding road of research efforts The slow neutron capture process (s-process) in AGB stars and massive stars forms about half of the elements heavier than Fe in the solar system. The impact of this process on chemical evolution in the Galaxy is thus tremendous. One of the keys to further constraining the process is determining no... read more  »

Mar 30, 2021

Quantum Gravity to Cosmological Inflation: a Journey through the Swampland

2:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Thomas Rudelius (University of California Berkeley)Host: Alexei Safonov

String theory is the only known mathematically consistent theory of quantum gravity, but it is infamously difficult to test experimentally. In this talk, we will discuss recent progress in bridging the gap between string theory and the real world, showing how a simple, well-supported statement inspired by string theory called the Weak Gravity Conjecture... read more  »

Mar 31, 2021

Where are the new discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider?

10:00 am – 11:00 am (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: James Beacham (Duke University)Host: Alexei Safonov

Why hasn't the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) discovered anything beyond the Higgs boson? Because you're thinking about particle physics in the wrong way. The LHC switched on in 2015 at 13 TeV, the highest energy ever used in a collider experiment and the beginning of a decades-long research program. Our first extensive look at this new data, in 2021, rev... read more  »

Apr 1, 2021

The Milky Way as the Frontier Laboratory for Cosmology

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Ana Bonaca (Harvard University)Host: Casey Papovich

The Milky Way is a stepping stone to understanding galaxies and the universe. Being a typical galaxy, inferring events in its history helps to develop the overall theory of galaxy formation. Further, since the effects of dark matter are observable in individual stars, the Milky Way provides an excellent setting for testing the nature of dark matter. So ... read more  »

Apr 1, 2021

Neutrinos in High Definition: MicroBooNE and the Road Ahead

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: David Caratelli (Fermilab)Host: Alexei Safonov

Unanswered questions in neutrino physics may hold the key to better understand our universe’s evolution. The neutrino oscillation community is engaged in an ambitious program to address these open questions through two accelerator-based projects: the Short Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). These exper... read more  »

Apr 5, 2021

How to Regulate Galaxy Growth Through Cosmic History

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Justin Spilker (University of Texas Austin)Host: Casey Papovich

One of the most important realizations of the last fifteen years is the vital role that galactic feedback must play in the evolution of galaxies. An umbrella term for a wide array of physical processes that already began to affect galaxies in the first billion years after the Big Bang, feedback allows galaxies to self-regulate their growth, links the bu... read more  »

Apr 5, 2021

Searching for New Physics with Liquid Xenon Time Projection Chambers

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Brian Lenardo (Stanford University)Host: Alexei Safonov

The Standard Model of particle physics provides a remarkably predictive and well-tested theory for describing the interactions of the known elementary particles. However, experimental and observational evidence suggests that it is not a complete description of Nature. The observed matter/antimatter asymmetry, the existence of small neutrino masses, and ... read more  »

Apr 7, 2021

Neutrinos & Dark Matter on a Collision Course

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Kevin Kelly (Fermilab)Host: Alexei Safonov

While the Standard Model of Particle Physics has demonstrated great success over a span of decades, several mysteries persist. Notably, these include what gives rise to neutrino masses and the existence of dark matter. A great deal has been learned about both neutrinos and dark matter over the last century of research, and upcoming experiments have even... read more  »

Apr 8, 2021

Re-envisioning Stellar Physics in the Era of Large Surveys

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CDT)

Speaker: Jamie Tayar (University of Hawaii)Host: Casey Papovich

Stellar models are used for a wide range of purposes from characterizing extrasolar planets to untangling the history of our own and other galaxies. Unfortunately, there are still significant uncertainties in the physics of these models, and inconsistencies with recent observations. I will discuss how we model stellar interiors, and what that means for ... read more  »

Apr 12, 2021

Cosmology, Big and Small: Probing the Multi-scale Nature of Structure Formation with Artificial Universes

12:00 am – 5:15 pm (CDT)Streaming Live

Speaker: Sownak Bose (Harvard University)Host: Casey Papovich

In our present paradigm of galaxy formation, the onset of structure is brought about via the gravitational collapse of dark matter, which subsequently acts as the scaffolding for the visible universe. Decades of numerical simulations have established several features of the dark matter model: the formation of haloes, and how their structure and abundanc... read more  »