UMD CMNS Physics S1 Color

 

The Spring 2017 colloquia will be held in the lobby of the Physical Sciences Complex unless otherwise noted

Each week during the semester, the Department of Physics invites faculty, students and the local community to hear prominent scientists discuss intriguing physics research. The Spring 2017 colloquia will be held Tuesdays in the Physical Sciences Complex lobby at 4:00 p.m. (preceded by light refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)

Parking is available in the Regents Drive Parking Garage (PG2). An attendant will direct visitors within the garage. Additionally, a free ShuttleUM bus runs between the College Park Metro Station and Regents Drive at about eight-minute intervals.

For further information, please contact the Physics Department at 301-405-5946 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

January 31
Lisa Manning, Syracuse University 
Hosted by: Chris Jarzynski


Jamming in Biological Tissues

Biological tissues involved in important processes such as embryonic development, lung function, and cancer progression have recently been shown to be close to a disordered fluid-to-solid transition. However, existing theories cannot explain jamming transitions in confluent tissues, where there are no gaps between cells and the packing density is always unity. I will discuss a new theoretical framework that predicts a critical rigidity transition in biological tissues identified by an experimentally accessible structural order parameter, with diverse potential applications in asthma, cancer, metamaterials and mechanical topological insulators

 

February 7
John Mather, NASA

From the Big Bang to the end of the universe, and how we’ll learn more with the James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope, planned for launch in October 2018, will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. It will open new territories of astronomy, with observations ranging from the first stars, galaxies, and black holes, to the growth of galaxies, to the formation of stars and planetary systems, to the evolution of planetary systems and the conditions for life here on Earth, and perhaps elsewhere.  I will show how we have learned about the history of the universe, how the Big Bang is a completely misleading name for the infinite expanding universe, and what new telescopes are being built now. I will illustrate with simulations of the formation of galaxies from the primordial material, and the possible evolution of the solar system through planetary orbit migration. The JWST telescope mirror has been assembled and the instrument module has been completely tested. After more tests at Goddard, the telescope/instrument combination will travel to Houston for cryo-vacuum tests in Chamber A in 2017. I will show the design of the observatory and discuss the opportunities for future observers to prepare to use it.

 

February 14
No colloquium

TBA

 

February 21
Ed Ott, University of Maryland

Emergent Behavior in Large Systems of Many Coupled Oscillators

Large systems of many coupled dynamical units are of crucial interest in a host of physical, biological and technological settings. Often the dynamical units that are coupled exhibit oscillatory behavior. The understanding and analysis of these large, complex systems offers many challenges. In this talk I will introduce this topic, give some examples, and describe a technique for analyzing a large class of problems of this type. The results I will discuss will reduce the complicated, high dimensional, microscopic dynamics of the full system to that or a low dimensional system governing the macroscopic evolution of certain 'order parameters'. This reduction is exact in the limit of large systems, i.e., N going to infinity, where N is the number of coupled units, and can be employed to discover and study all the macroscopic long term behaviors of these systems.

February 28
Carr Lecture
PHYS Room 1412
Stuart Parkin, IBM/Max Planck Institute 
Hosted by: Rick Greene/Chris Lobb

Beyond charge currents: spin and ion currents for future computing Technologies

The era of computing technologies based on charge currents is coming to an end after more than than 40 years of exponential increases in computing power that have been largely based on shrinking devices in two dimensions.  A new era of “Beyond charge!” will evolve over the next decade that will likely be based on several new concepts. Firstly, devices whose innate properties are derived not from the electron’s charge but from spin currents and from ion currents.  In some cases new functionality will arise that can extend charge based devices but in other case fundamentally new computing paradigms will evolve.   Secondly, devices will inevitably become three-dimensional: novel means of constructing devices, both from bottom-up and top-down, will become increasingly important.  Thirdly, bio-inspired devices that may mimic the extremely energy efficient computation systems in the biological world are compelling.   In this talk I will discuss possible spintronic and ionitronic devices and how they may lead to novel computing technologies.

March 7

Ignacio Cirac, Max Planck Institute

Tensor Networks:  A quantum information perspective to many-body physics

The theory of entanglement offers a new perspective to view many-body quantum systems. In particular, systems in thermal equilibrium and with local interactions contain very little entanglement, which allows us to describe them efficiently, circumventing the exponential growth of parameters with the system size. Tensor Networks offer such a description, where few simple tensors contain all the information about all physical properties. In this talk I will review some of the latest results on entanglement and tensor networks, and explain some of their connections to quantum computing, condensed matter, and high-energy physics.

 
March 14
Ellen Williams, University of Maryland

Scientific Innovation and the Energy System 

 

 
March 21
Spring Break No colloquium
No colloquium

 

March 28

Steve Fetter, University of Maryland
Hosted by: Steve Rolston

TBA

 

 

 
April 4
Andrea Cavalleri, Max Planck Institute
Hosted by: 

TBA

 

 

April 11
Ashvin Vishwanath, Harvard
Hosted by: Mohammad Hafezi

TBA

 

 

April 18
TBA
Hosted by: 

TBA

 

 

April 25
TBA

TBA

 

May 2
Charles Reyl

TBA

 

May 9
Tilman Esslinger, ETH Zurich Institute 
Hosted by: Mohammad Hafezi

TBA

 

 

Upcoming Events

Feb
27

Mon, Feb 27, 2017 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Feb
27

Mon, Feb 27, 2017 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Feb
28

Tue, Feb 28, 2017 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Feb
28

Tue, Feb 28, 2017 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Feb
28

Tue, Feb 28, 2017 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Mar
1

Wed, Mar 1, 2017 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Mar
2

Thu, Mar 2, 2017 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Mar
2

Thu, Mar 2, 2017 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Mar
2

Thu, Mar 2, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm