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October 20, 2017

The Climate and Habitability of Short-Period Planets

Date:  Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Speaker:  Nicolas Cowan, McGill University

Abstract:

Planet hunters have discovered thousands of exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars). We now know that most temperate terrestrial planets orbit close to dim red stars and experience dramatically different stellar forcing than the Earth, notably permanent day and night hemispheres. Since we have no analogs to these worlds in our Solar System, we must observe them to understand their atmospheric composition, clouds, and wind patterns. To date, we have been able to study the climates of a few dozen exoplanets, all of which are far too hot to be habitable. I will present recent highlights from my team, including a remarkably black planet, a planet where the winds blow the wrong way, and a planet with impossibly cold nights. In short, these planets are stranger than anyone imagined. Cutting-edge analysis techniques and next-generation instruments should allow us to extend our methods to temperate terrestrial planets orbiting nearby red dwarfs. In the coming decade, we will be able to determine which of these planets are, in fact, habitable and we will start to search them for signs of life.

Host: Ben Farr

Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall
Reception from 3:40-3:55 Willamette Hall Paul Olum Atrium

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October 11, 2017

Neutron Particles and Neutron Waves

Date:  Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Speaker: Charles Clark, NIST

Abstract:

I present a simple overview of the particle and wave properties of the neutron, with emphasis on their similarities to and differences from light. Neutron interferometry enables one to realize the quantum limit of the Young double slit experiment, when only one neutron is ever present in the interferometer. How can only one neutron go through both slits?  We have used neutron interferometry and holography to address some of the questions of structured waves of light and matter that have been studied with electrons, atoms and photons.

Host: Benjamin McMorran

Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall
Reception from 3:40-3:55 Willamette Hall Paul Olum Atrium

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October 6, 2017

Geometry of Life

Date:  TUESDAY, October 10th, 2017

Speaker: Jayanth R. Banavar, UO provost and senior vice president

Banavar, whose research frequently involves interdisciplinary collaboration with the life sciences, is currently focused on applying the techniques of statistical physics to solve interdisciplinary problems, explaining, for example, why biological molecules tend to curl up into helices or to understand the rich biodiversity of tropical forests and coral reefs. Banavar earned his doctorate in physics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Host: Ray Frey

Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall
Reception from 3:40-3:55 Willamette Hall Paul Olum Atrium

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September 29, 2017

High Speed Imaging at and Beyond the Diffraction Limit

Date: 10/5/17

Speaker:  Hari Shroff, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health

KeywordsStructured illumination microscopy, light sheet microscopy, adaptive optics, neurodevelopment, developmental biology

Abstract:

I will discuss our efforts to improve structured illumination microscopy (SIM) and light-sheet microscopy. SIM doubles the spatial resolution of light microscopy, requiring lower light intensities and acquisition times than other super-resolution techniques. I will present SIM implementations that enable resolution doubling in live samples > 10-20x thicker than possible with conventional SIM, as well as hardware modifications that enable effectively ‘instant’ SIM imaging at rates 10-100x faster than other SIM. New applications of instant SIM, including combination with total internal reflection (TIRF) and with adaptive optics will also be discussed. The second half of the talk will focus on the development of inverted selective plane illumination microscopy (iSPIM), and subsequent application to the noninvasive study of neurodevelopment in nematodes. I will discuss progress that quadruples the axial resolution of iSPIM by using a second specimen view, enabling imaging with isotropic spatial resolution (dual-view iSPIM, or diSPIM). Newer multiview microscopes with more objectives and more views, further improving spatial resolution, will also be described. Applications of these technologies will be presented, including computational methods for untwisting worm embryos and calcium imaging in freely moving embryos.

Host: Tristan Ursell

Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall
Reception from 3:40-3:55 Willamette Hall Paul Olum Atrium

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August 25, 2017

State of the Department, and Gravitational-­Wave Astronomy

Date: 9/28/17

Speaker: Ray Frey, University of Oregon

Title: State of the Department, and Gravitational-­Wave Astronomy

Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall

Host: Ray Frey

 

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July 20, 2017

The Physics Colloquium Series will Resume Fall 2017

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July 17, 2017

New Directions in Dark Matter Direct Detection

Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
Time: 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall

Reception begins at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette hall atrium.

Speaker:   Tien-Tien Yu, CERN

Abstract:

Sub-GeV dark matter is a theoretically motivated but largely unexplored paradigm of dark matter. In this talk, I will discuss recent work on the direct detection of sub-GeV dark matter through dark matter-electron scattering. I will present some motivated models that can be probed with these techniques in noble liquid and semiconductor experiments. In particular, I will introduce the SENSEI, a silicon CCD detector, that has the capability to detect single electrons and will allow us to explore new areas of dark matter parameter space.

Host: Ray Frey

June 9, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Oregon will experience a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. This is an unusual opportunity; Oregon has experienced a total solar eclipse only twice in the last century, and only over small portions of the state each time. The last one in Oregon, in 1979, ran along the northern state border. This year, in just ninety-one minutes, the sixty-five mile wide umbra of the Moon’s shadow on Earth will bisect Oregon and pass through twelve other states on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Totality, when the moon blocks the entire sun, begins on the Oregon coast at about 10:15 am on the morning of Monday, August 21, and finishes in South Carolina. Within the path of totality the sun’s light will be totally blocked for about two minutes and the sun’s faint surrounding aura of plasma, the corona, will appear around the moon’s image on the sun.

For more information, including any events supported by the UO Physics department, click HERE.

June 2, 2017

The Physics Colloquium Series will Resume Fall Term 2017

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May 31, 2017

Accelerating Dark Matter

Date: Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Time: 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 100 Willamette Hall

Speaker:   Tim Nelson, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Abstract:  

The Standard Model of particle physics is a remarkably complete and self-consistent description of the fundamental physics of the universe.  However, the existence of dark matter, now known for nearly a century, has become compelling evidence that the Standard Model is not complete. The simplest extension of the Standard Model, to include so-called WIMPs that comprise the dark matter, has driven three decades of exploration that will soon reach fundamental limits. As a result, we have begun to consider other simple and well-motivated scenarios for dark matter, where the dark matter is part of a larger dark sector of particles and forces. The simplest and best motivated dark sector scenarios make clear predictions that are testable using the usual tools of particle physics, accelerators. In this talk, I will describe the search for dark sectors, including both dark matter and dark forces, at particle accelerators.

Host: Jim Brau

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