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The Spring 2016 colloquia will be held in the lobby of the Physical Sciences Complex

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 2016 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..

February 2
Dan Hooper, Fermi Lab
Hosted by: Kaustubh Agashe

Dark Matter Annihilation in the Gamma-Ray Sky

In many models, dark matter particles can undergo self-annihilation, generating gamma-rays and other high-energy particles. One of the missions of the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope is to search for these annihilation products. Over the past several years, Fermi's data has been shown to contain a spatially extended excess of ~1-3 GeV gamma rays from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, consistent with the signal expected from annihilating dark matter. Recent improvements in the analysis techniques have found this excess to be robust and highly statistically significant, with a spectrum, angular distribution, and overall normalization that is in good agreement with that predicted by simple annihilating dark matter models. I will discuss the characteristics of this signal, and ways to test its origin. In particular, the dwarf galaxies recently discovered by DES provide a potently important tool to test a dark matter origin of the Galactic Center excess.

February 9
Sankar Das Sarma, University of Maryland

Quantum Many Body Localization

How does an isolated quantum system come to thermal equilibrium due to interaction between its constituent subsystems? Or does it? What underlies the condition for quantum ‘ergodicity’? These are some of the basic questions to be discussed in this talk. The topic is of fundamental importance since it deals with the applicability of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics to isolated quantum systems, and asks the extent to which an isolated (macroscopic) quantum system can be considered to be acting as its own heat bath.

February 16
Dimtry Pushin, NIST
Hosted by: Vlad Manucharyan

The Quantum Neutron

The neutron, one of the most common building blocks of matter, is also a unique probe for studying materials and fundamental interactions. The only electrically-neutral nucleus, the neutron passes through most materials with ease, even at the lowest energies. Nowadays neutrons, even with their ~ 15 minute lifetime, are used to study problems ranging from current flow in common batteries to cosmological dark energy. I focus on the neutron as a quantum particle. We use a Mach-Zehnder neutron interferometer to fork a neutron into superposition states separated by decimeters, to exploit macroscopic quantum interference. I discuss recent experimental searches for dark energy, the use of quantum information concepts to enhance coherence, and the twisting of neutron waves.

February 23
Peter Shawhan, University of Maryland

TBA

March 1
Sami Mitra, APS
Hosted by: Vlad Manucharyan

PRL Today

How do the editors of Physical Review Letters determine which of the approximately 10,000 papers that it receives each year should be published? Science journals are being transformed by the internet: now their role appears to be to validate research, not to disseminate it. How is PRL in particular adapting to this changing environment? What guidelines would be helpful to you as an author and a referee? Why should you submit your work to PRL? I plan to address -- with plenty of interspersed Q & A -- these and related issues.

 
March 8
Raman Sundrum, University of Maryland

TBA

March 22
Richard Lebed, Arizona State University
Hosted by: Tom Cohen

The X,Y,Z Affair

 
March 29
TBA

TBA

 

April 5
TBA

TBA

April 12
M Zahid Hasan, Princeton University
Hosted by: Jay Sau

TBA

 

April 19
Marc Kamionkowski, Johns Hopkins University
Hosted by: Raman Sundrum

TBA

 

April 26
Carr Lecture
Art Hebard, University of Florida
Hosted by: Chris Lobb

TBA

 

May 3

 

Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social Research
Hosted by: Victor Yakovenko

TBA

Upcoming Events

Feb
10

Wed, Feb 10, 2016 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Feb
10

Wed, Feb 10, 2016 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Feb
11

Thu, Feb 11, 2016 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Feb
11

Thu, Feb 11, 2016 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Feb
11

Thu, Feb 11, 2016 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Feb
11

Thu, Feb 11, 2016 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Feb
12

Fri, Feb 12, 2016 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Feb
15

Mon, Feb 15, 2016 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Feb
15

Mon, Feb 15, 2016 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm