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November 15, 2019

Physics Colloquium Series

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Speaker: Keat Ghee Ong, UO, Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

Title: Embedded Wireless Sensors

Abstract:  Embedded wireless sensors are self-powered or passively powered sensors residing inside or around the object/area of interest for real-time, localized information gathering. Physical, chemical, and/or biological data collected from these sensors are usually wirelessly transmitted to a centralized system for further processing and interpretation. Embedded wireless sensors have many applications such as continuous structural monitoring, human health monitoring, pollution detection and home security, etc. Since different types of sensors can be incorporated into various objects and environments, embedded sensors are not limited to a single class of sensor or a specific measurement technique. The speaker has 20 years of experience in embedded sensors technologies, and has developed a number of them including the RFID sensors, the magnetoelastic sensors, and the battery-powered wireless Bluetooth sensors. Currently, his lab focuses on the implementation of these sensors for regenerative medicine and environmental monitoring.

This presentation will focus on the design and application of embedded wireless sensors for medical applications. Specifically, the application of magnetoelastic sensors, RFID sensors, and Bluetooth-based sensors to provide real-time monitoring of bones and blood vessels will be presented. The speaker will also describe the use of magnetoelastic sensors for detecting biomarkers and other chemical concentrations. Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of embedded sensors, as well as their future prospects and challenges, will be discussed.

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: Richard Taylor

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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November 11, 2019

Physics Colloquium Series

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019

Speaker: Tim Gardner, UO, Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

Title: Tracking Neural Programs for Song

Abstract: We seek to understand the neural circuit basis for memory stability in the songbird. This talk describes technical challenges to recording neural activity in singing birds, and engineering efforts to provide miniature devices for brain and nerve recording. We apply these tools to ask how the brain encodes a stable behavior – the stereotyped song of a zebra finch. We find a mesoscopic dynamical pattern that relates excitatory and inhibitory neurons, state dependent control of variability in neural firing patterns, and an unexpected turnover in the neural representation of a stable behavior that occurs during intervals of sleep. These observations can be loosely related to aspects of regularization in modern machine learning  that reduce over-fitting of artificial neural networks.

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: Raghu Parthasarathy

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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November 1, 2019

Physics Colloquium Series

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Speaker: Zoltan Ligeti, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Title: Flavor Physics: Past, Present, Future

Abstract: Despite its spectacular successes, the standard model of particle physics does not contain a possible candidate for dark matter, nor can it explain the observed asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the Universe.

The interactions of the Higgs boson, which give quarks and leptons their masses, also lead to violation of the symmetry between matter and antimatter in electroweak interactions.  This can explain the differences observed between matter and antimatter in laboratory experiments, but it is insufficient to explain the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe.  Thus, additional interactions must exist, which differentiate between matter and antimatter.  The Large Hadron Collider will test the properties of the Higgs boson with ever increasing precision.  After a brief review of the standard model, I discuss some of the current constraints on extensions of the standard model, what we may learn in the next decade, and how this information could be combined with possible other discoveries to answer some deep questions.

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: Graham Kribs

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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October 25, 2019

Physics Colloquium Series

Date: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Speaker: David Lucas, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford

Title: Quantum logic with trapped ions: precise, fast, networked

Abstract: The concepts of quantum information processing date back at least 35 years, to the ideas of quantum simulation and computing suggested by Feynman and Deutsch. Experimental progress in the field often appears slow, partly because of the demanding precision required in the elementary logic operations for quantum error correction, partly because of the technical challenges associated with scaling systems up to larger numbers of qubits, and partly because our expectations are colored by the enormous power and progress of classical computing technology over the last hundred years. I will give a brief survey of the state of the art across the various platforms which are being explored for quantum computing, and argue that progress is in fact extremely encouraging. I will then report on recent work in Oxford on improving the precision and speed of quantum logic operations in the ion trap platform, and on building an elementary quantum network to distribute entanglement between two different ion trap “nodes” separated by a macroscopic distance.

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: David Allcock & David Wineland

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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October 11, 2019

Physics Colloquium Series

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019

Speaker: Benjamín Alemán, University of Oregon

Title: The fall and rise of the mass on a spring

Abstract: The mass on a spring and other mechanical systems have long found use in everyday applications like time-keeping clocks, but, at one time, they were also employed in smarter information technologies such as calculators and computers. However, their place in information processing was eclipsed by the emergence of silicon-based microelectronics. In recent years, thanks largely to the nanometer-scale miniaturization of mechanical systems and the discovery of atomic-scale materials like graphene, mechanical analogs to the mass on a spring have been rising in scientific and technological prominence, and are once again knocking on the door of more sophisticated uses. The next step in this mechanical evolution–as occurred with electronic microchips–is to form large programmable networks of interacting nanomechanical resonators, but such networks demand unprecedented, scalable control over the resonance frequencies and coupling of the constituent resonators. Here, I will detail recent projects in my lab that advance the quest for networks based on optically addressable graphene nanoelectromechanical resonators. By harnessing several unique properties of graphene, we develop an optoelectronic non-volatile mechanical strain memory and a means for fast, photothermally mediated strain modulation, which together enable local static and dynamic frequency control of resonators in large arrays. I will discuss several applications already enabled by our work, such as a new light detector that “hears” light, as well as some wilder, yet promising aspirations.

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: Laura Jeanty

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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October 4, 2019

Physics Colloquium Series

Date: Thursday, October 10, 2019

Speaker: Timothy Cohen, University of Oregon, Physics dept.

Title: Describing Nature Effectively

Abstract: The aim of this colloquium will be to provide some insight into a modern point of view on dimensional analysis known as Effective Field Theory.  This approach systematically distills a physical problem to the essential degrees of freedom that are relevant for modeling the dynamics of interest.  After discussing some intuitive examples, I will describe a situation where these techniques have recently been put to use by myself and collaborators:  heavy dark matter annihilations relevant for indirect detection.  I will expose an issue with the standard Feynman diagram perturbation theory that arises when attempting to predict the annihilation rate.  I will then sketch how Effective Field Theory techniques can be used to restore our ability to calculate in a controlled way, allowing us to produce a precision prediction that is relevant for current and future experiments.

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: Laura Jeanty

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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August 21, 2019

UO Physics Colloquium Series, Fall 2019

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019

Speaker: Richard Taylor, University of Oregon, Physics dept. Head

Title: State of the UO Physics Department

Location: Room 100, Willamette hall

Host: Laura Jeanty

Please join us for a catered reception at 3:40pm in the Paul Olum, Willamette Hall Atrium.

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June 10, 2019

The Physics Colloquium Series will Resume Fall 2019

The Physics Colloquium Series will Resume Fall 2019

In the meantime:

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May 31, 2019

Neutrino Properties from Cosmology

Date:  Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Time: 4:00pm

Location:100 Willamette Hall

Speaker: Marilena LoVerde, Stony Brook University

Abstract: Cosmic background neutrinos are nearly as abundant as cosmic microwave background photons, but their mass, which determines the strength of their gravitational clustering, is unknown. Even if the neutrino masses are the minimum required by oscillation data, their gravitational effects on cosmological structure will nevertheless be detectable in — and in fact required to explain — data within the next decade. This presents the opportunity to detect the neutrino mass scale and test our standard cosmological model, but also to test for new physics in the dark sector. I will discuss the physical effects of neutrinos, or other hot dark matter, on structure formation, and prospects for learning about the physics these particles with future galaxy surveys and cosmic microwave background experiments.

Host: Tien-Tien Yu

All attendees are invited to attend a colloquium reception in the Willamette Hall, Paul Olum atrium at 3:40pm.

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May 24, 2019

Spacetime, Quantum Mechanics and Positive Geometry

Date:  Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Time: 4:00pm

Location:100 Willamette Hall

Speaker: Nima Arkani-Hamed, Institute for Advanced Study

Abstract: Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics form the pillars of our understanding of modern physics, but there are several indications that these concepts are approximate and must emerge from deeper principles, undoubtedly involving new mathematics. In this talk, I will describe some emerging ideas along these lines, and present a new formulation of some very basic physics– fundamental to particle scattering and to cosmology–not following from quantum evolution in space-time, but associated with simple new mathematical structures in “positive geometry”.

The simplest examples of positive geometries are polytopes old and new, from cyclic polytopes and Associahedra to “cosmological” polytopes. Others, such as the “Amplituhedron”, involve generalizations of polytopes into the Grassmannian. In these examples, we can concretely see how the usual rules of space-time and quantum mechanics can arise, joined at the hip, from fundamentally geometric and combinatorial origins”.

Host: Graham Kribs

All attendees are invited to attend a colloquium reception in the Willamette Hall, Paul Olum atrium at 3:40pm.

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