Spring 2018

January 26, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Kevin Cox, JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder, Army Research Lab
Host: I. Novikova
Title:  Is Entanglement Useful?
Abstract: Entanglement—non-local quantum correlation--is the most “quantum” part of quantum mechanics.  But is it useful for anything?  For most of us, the answer is “not yet”.  I will discuss experiments at the JILA research institute in Boulder, CO and the US Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD that are pushing the boundaries of creating useful entanglement in a way that will soon impact real world applications.

February 9, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Hadar Steinberg, Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Host: E. Rossi
Title: 
Van-der-Waals integration of hybrid devices
Abstract: Progress in solid state physics is often tied to the emergence of material systems hosting new electronic properties. Specifically, the interface between different materials can yield new way to control the band-structures and interaction effects, giving rise to new potential functionalities. Particular recent interest is given to “van der Waals materials”. Here, weak inter-layer bonds allow exfoliation into ultra-thin layers. Moreover, such materials can be vertically stacked with high precision, creating a range of new types of heterostructure. In my talk I will describe a number of experiments based on such van der Waals stacks. Specifically, I will discuss the interface between graphene, a single layer of carbon, and a topological insulator (TI), which is a material hosting protected states at its surface. At the graphene-TI interface, strong spin-orbit band-modifications are expected to take place, which makes it an attractive model system for probing proximity effects involving topological states. We show how parameters such as relative crystallographic orientation between the two materials strongly affect the physics of such devices.

February 16, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Francis Halzen, Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center and Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Host: M. Sher
Title: IceCube and the Discovery of High-Energy Cosmic Neutrinos
Abstract: The IceCube project has transformed a cubic kilometer of natural Antarctic ice into a neutrino detector. The instrument detects more than 100,000 neutrinos per year in the GeV to PeV energy range. Among those, we have isolated a flux of high-energy cosmic neutrinos. I will discuss the instrument, the analysis of the data, the significance of the discovery of cosmic neutrinos, and the recent multimessenger observation of a flaring TeV blazar in coincidence with the IceCube neutrino alert IC170922. The large cosmic neutrino flux observed implies that the Universe’s energy density in high-energy neutrinos is the same as that in gamma rays, suggesting that the sources are connected and that a multitude of astronomical objects await discovery.


Marc 2, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Joshua Magee, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Host: D. Armstrong
Title: Precision Measurements of Neutron Induced Fission Cross Sections of Actinides
Abstract: Neutron induced fission of actinides is of great interest in nuclear applications (for example, nuclear energy and security). Fission reaction rates, or cross sections, have traditionally been made using fission chambers, which provide limited information on the fission products, and report results good to only a few percent. These are inadequate for next generation reactor simulations which require sub-percent knowledge of these cross sections. To meet this need, the Neutron Induced Fission Fragment Tracking Experiment (NIFFTE) collaboration designed and built the fission Time Projection Chamber (fissionTPC), which provides additional information on the fission products through full 3-dimensional tracking and improved particle identication. Ultimately, this should provide the first sub-percent measurements of the (n,f) cross sections of 239Pu and 238 relative to 235U.


An overview of neutron induced fission cross sections will be given, and the fissionTPC will be discussed. Additionally, preliminary results from recent fissionTPC analysis will be presented.


March 23, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Maura McLaughlin, West Virginia University
Host: D. Armstrong
Title: NanoGrav: Gravitational Wave detection via pulsars
Abstract: 

March 30, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Bahram Roughani, Loyola
Host: W. Deconinck
Title: 
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April 6, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: Teppei Katori, Queen Mary University of London
Host: M. Kordosky
Title:
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April 13, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: 
Nathan Kidwell, William & Mary
Host: 
J. Stevens
Title:
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April 20, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: 
John Delos, William & Mary Physics
Host: 
E. Rossi
Title:
47@74, a Swan Song
Abstract: 

April 27, 2018 (Friday) 4:00-5:00p.m. Small Hall 111
Speaker: 
Anton Burkov, Waterloo
Host: 
E. Rossi
Title:
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