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Colloquium Preview

Date: Thursday, January 10th, 2019
Speaker: Oleg Lavrentovich, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University

Tentative title: “Dynamics of Colloids in Liquid Crystals”
Abstract: TBD

Host: John Toner


Date: Thursday, January 17th, 2019
Speaker: Rakshya Khatiwada, Fermilab

Title: Exploring the Mystery of Dark Matter

Abstract: Very few mysteries in our current picture of the universe are bigger than the puzzle of dark matter. Recently the QCD axion — a weakly interacting, sub-eV particle — has been in the limelight as a cold dark matter candidate which also enjoys compelling theoretical motivation as a possible solution to the strong CP problem. This talk will give an overview of modern axion searches along with a detailed discussion of the most sensitive experiment to probe the QCD axion to date, ADMX. In particular, it will focus on ADMX’s recent success in reaching the so-called DFSZ sensitivity—a decade long goal sought by axion experimenters — and its newest limits covering axion mass ranges of 2.66 to 2.81 μeV. The limits ADMX has placed in this range have crucial implications for the future direction of on-going dark matter searches as I will outline.

Host: Stephanie Majewski


Date: Thursday, January 24th, 2019
Speaker: Nathan Keim, California Polytechnic State University Poly

Title: Cyclic Memories in Disordered Matter

Abstract: Cyclic driving happens all around us. Buildings and bridges are repeatedly loaded and unloaded, and temperatures change between day and night. This kind of driving can change a material, but in some cases it also forms memories that can be recalled later. I present two examples of materials that, when deformed repeatedly, can “learn” and report the magnitudes of those deformations: a suspension of particles in liquid, and a jammed solid made of closely packed particles. Their memories follow different rules, with jammed solids approximating the return-point behavior best known in magnetic materials. These materials’ disordered structure, and sometimes even the presence of noise, are essential for the fidelity of their memories.

Host: Eric Corwin


Date: Thursday, January 31st, 2019
Speaker: Steve Kevan, Advanced Light Source, UC Berkeley, CA, and University of Oregon

Tentative title: “A mile wide and an inch deep: physics at the advanced light source”

Abstract: TBD

Host: Dietrich Belitz


Date: Thursday, February 7th, 2019
Speaker: Sowjanya Gollapinni, University of Tennessee

Tentative Title: “Why I love neutrinos”

Abstract: TBD

Host: Stephanie Majewski


Date: Thursday, February 14th, 2019
Speaker: Carol Paty, University of Oregon (Geology)

Tentative title: “If it’s Valentine’s Day, I must be talking about Venus”
Abstract: TBD

Host: Ray Frey


Date: Thursday, February 21st, 2019
Speaker: John Toner, University of Oregon

Title: “The Physics of a(n asymmetric) piece of paper”

Abstract: TBD



Date: Thursday, February 28th, 2019
Speaker: Vincenzo Vitelli, University of Chicago

Title: “Chiral active matter”

Abstract: TBD

Host: John Toner


Date: Thursday, March 7th, 2019
Speaker:  TBD

Title: TBD

Abstract: TBD

Host: TBD


Date: Thursday, March 14th, 2019
Speaker: Matt Anderson, San Diego State University

Title: The Learning Glass Project


The Learning Glass was developed out of necessity.  Many online courses were suffering from a lack of personality, and in an effort to put the professor’s face back in the picture, Dr. Anderson developed a transparent whiteboard lecture capture system called Learning Glass.  With this system, students are able to observe the nuances of problem solving as their professor teaches complex principles while facing them. And the instructor is not required to write backwards! The writing becomes forward with a simple horizontal “flip” of the image. Learning Glass has now been adopted by institutions across the world in a variety of pedagogical approaches: online courses, hybrid online, supplemental material for face to face, peer instruction, flipped classes, auditorium face to face, etc.  Dr. Anderson will speak about this new technology, pilot studies underway to study its effectiveness at engaging students, and his experience using Learning Glass in his physics courses. (Hint: teaching the Right Hand Rule is challenging!)
He will also bring a portable Learning Glass to this lecture and it will be available for people to try out after the talk.

Host: Mike Raymer