The University of Mississippi
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Seminars/Colloquia, Spring 2014

Unless noted otherwise, Tuesday Colloquia are at 4:00 PM
with refreshments served 15 minutes before each colloquium.

Scheduling for additional seminars will vary.

Date/Place Speaker Title (and link to abstract)
Tue, Jan 28
Lewis 101
Jianxia Xue
Department of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Mississippi
Mining the Rendering Power in Web Browsers
(PDF)
Tue, Feb 4
Lewis 109
Luca Bombelli and Lucien Cremaldi
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi
Graduate Student Meeting
Tue, Feb 11
Lewis 101
 
 
 
 
Tue, Feb 18
Lewis 101
Jonathan Wurtele
Department of Physics
University of California — Berkeley
Trapping and Probing Antihydrogen
Thurs, Feb 27
NCPA Auditorium
Richard O'Shaughnessy
Center for Gravitation and Cosmology
University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee
Astrophysical Inferences from Gravitational Wave Detections (PDF)
Mon, Mar 3
NCPA Auditorium
Kevin Beach
Department of Physics
University of Alberta
Tethers, Strings, Bonds, and Loops — Four Vignettes in Computational Condensed Matter Physics
Thurs, Mar 6
Lewis 101
Katherine Dooley
Laser Interferometry and Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics — Hannover
Squeezed Light: Advancing the Technology of Laser Interferometers for Gravitational Wave Detection
Tue, Mar 11
Lewis 101
Spring Break  
Mon, Mar 17
Lewis 101
Laura Fields
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Northwestern University
Bringing Neutrinos Into Focus: Understanding Neutrino Beams and Interactions for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment
Tue, Mar 18
Lewis 101
André de Gouvêa
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Northwestern University
The Brave Nu World
(PDF)
Tue, Mar 25
Lewis 101
Kaladi Babu
Department of Physics
Oaklahoma State University
The Quest for Supersymmetry and Unification
(PDF)
Tue, Apr 1
Lewis 101
 

 
 
Tue, Apr 8
Lewis 101
David London
Département de Physique
Université de Montréal
CP Violation and B Physics
(PDF)
Tue, Apr 15
Lewis 101
Marco Cavaglá
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi
Showing of the new LIGO Documentary “LIGO: A Passion for Understanding”
Tue, Apr 22
Lewis 101
Michael Sokoloff
Physics Department
University of Cincinnati
Particle-Antiparticle Oscillation and CP Violation in the Neutral Charm Meson System
(PDF)
Tue, Apr 29
Lewis 101
Albert Migliori
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Superconductivity, Glue, and the Pseudogap
Tue, May 6
Lewis 101
Final Exam Week  

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Abstracts of Talks


Jianxia Xue
Department of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Mississippi

Mining the Rendering Power in Web Browsers

Software deployment in web applications become prevalent due to its advantage of cross operating systems and hardware platforms, and the fast evolvement of the HTML5 standards. Applications such as Google Drive, Adobe Photoshop Express Editor, and Autodesk HomeStyler are a few examples where the browser is not just a platform to present and navigate information, but also to create content. Content creation in such environment can be easily collaborated remotely, be easily shared and published, and be easily backed up. This talk will focus on the 3D rendering capability of modern browsers. The javascript binding, namely WebGL, of the OpenGL 3D graphics API and its support of the GLSL shader programs will be explored through three case studies on fractal image generation, basic image processing operations, and computer vision involved 3D graphics applications. The next-generation browsers will soon support GPGPU computation through the javascript binding, WebCL, to the Khronos OpenCL standard for heterogeneous parallel computing. Web applications based on computer vision algorithms are expected to boom in the near future.


Jonathan Wurtele
Department of Physics
University of California — Berkeley

Trapping and Probing Antihydrogen

The standard model predicts that hydrogen and antihydrogen should have identical spectra. Major progress has been made on the most direct route to precision measurements of trapped antihydrogen in a series of experiments conducted by the ALPHA Collaboration in CERN. Antihydrogen has been synthesized and trapped for 1000s, resonant microwaves were used to flip the positron spin in the antihydrogen atom, and a technique to study the behavior of antihydrogen in the Earth's gravitational field has been developed. I will describe these advances and some of the physics challenges that had to be overcome to synthesize an antihydrogen atom with kinetic energy less than the trap potential of .5K. Future plans for our experiments will be presented.


Richard O'Shaughnessy
Center for Gravitation and Cosmology
University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee

Astrophysical Inferences from Gravitational Wave Detections

With the imminent start of Advanced LIGO and Virgo, ground-based gravitational wave detectors are poised to regularly identify ripples in spacetime produced each time a massive compact binary (two black holes, two neutron stars, or one of each) merges in the nearby universe. Gravitational waves enable measurements of the inputs to and dynamics of each merger event. Individually and as an ensemble, these measurements enable sometimes straightforward and sometimes surprising inferences about the astrophysical processes which formed them. I will describe efforts to extract astrophysically relevant information from expected sources and to translate those measurements into robust statements about astrophysical processes.


Kevin Beach
Department of Physics
University of Alberta

Tethers, Strings, Bonds, and Loops—Four Vignettes in Computational Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed matter is a particularly inclusive branch of physics, characterized by a dual focus on fundamental science and technology applications and by high levels of collaboration between theorists, experimentalists, and computational specialists. Although it grew out of more traditional materials science, it now encompasses a huge swath of research, both esoteric and applied, and it provides a conceptual framework for scientists working on everything from materials synthesis and device fabrication to quantum many-body theory and algorithm development.

In order to highlight the breadth of current efforts in condensed matter physics, I will discuss four projects in biophysics, nanomechanics, molecular electronics, and quantum magnetism. Part of my goal will be to emphasize the special role that modeling and numerics can play — in both “extractive” and “predictive” modes — at the interface between theory and experiment.


Katherine Dooley
Laser Interferometry and Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics — Hannover

Squeezed Light: Advancing the Technology of Laser Interferometers for Gravitational Wave Detection

We are rapidly approaching a new era in the decades-long world-wide effort to directly detect gravitational waves (GWs). In only a few years' time, we will be delivering detectors with unprecedented strain sensitivity, thus opening the door to routine signal detection. We are already planning upgrades to the advanced detectors with the goal of surpassing the design sensitivity. I will present one such upgrade challenge, that of reducing the noise in the frequency band limited by photon shot noise, a region that otherwise brings us just within reach of the exciting potential to constrain the neutron star equation of state. While the standard approach to further improve shot-noise-limited sensitivity is to increase laser power, an alternative is to manipulate the quantum state of the field in the interferometer. Through the integration of a squeezed vacuum source at the German-British laser interferometer, GEO 600, we are forging this path forward. I will review the fundamentals of using laser interferometers for GW detection and present the latest developments of squeezed vacuum control.


Laura Fields
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Northwestern University

Bringing Neutrinos Into Focus: Understanding Neutrino Beams and Interactions for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment

The Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) is a planned experiment that will include a neutrino beam created at Fermilab in Illinois and sent through the earth to a very large detector in the Homestake mine in South Dakota. LBNE will attack many of the interesting outstanding questions in neutrino physics, and the core of its mission will be a search for CP violation by neutrinos. These measurements will require an unprecedented understanding of both the neutrino beam and the nature of neutrino interactions with matter. The LBNE experiment as well as efforts to understand the beam and neutrino interactions will be discussed, with emphasis on recent results from the MINERvA neutrino scattering experiment at Fermilab.


André de Gouvêa
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Northwestern University

The Brave Nu World

No area of particle physics research has changed more dramatically or rapidly over the past two decades than our understanding of neutrino properties and interactions. In this talk I discuss the current status of neutrino physics. I introduce the neutrino mass puzzle, what it implies for our understanding of particle physics, and how we plan to piece everything together - if we get lucky! - with a little help from muon physics, cosmology, the LHC, and others.


Kaladi Babu
Department of Physics
Oaklahoma State University

The Quest for Supersymmetry and Unification

After the fantastic discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, the focus of the Large Hadron Collider is now turning to the search for new particle and novel phenomena, guided by the quest for unification of the various forces of Nature. In this talk, I will summarize the motivations for supersymmetric unification and describe the prospects for discovering new particles predicted by such theories. Experiments with neutrinos provide an alternate route to testing the unification hypothesis. Predictions of unified theories for neutrino oscillations will be discussed. These theories also lead to the novel phenomenon of proton decay, which would imply the ultimate instability of matter. Expectations for this decay liftetime in unified theories will be presented. Several new experiments are forthcoming world-wide, which can simultaneously look for proton decay and study properties of the neutrinos. Along with the discovery of new particles at the Large Hadron Collider, these experiments would confront the idea of unification.


David London
Département de Physique
Université de Montréal

CP Violation and B Physics

Although the standard model (SM) of particle physics is certainly correct, there are a variety of reasons to believe that there must be physics beyond the SM. One subject that is particularly puzzling is CP violation (CPV). The SM can explain the CPV observed at low energies, but it cannot also explain the CPV in the early universe. There must be a new source of CPV. One particularly promising area to study CPV, and to search for signals of new physics (NP), is the B-meson system. In this talk I review the signals of NP, the results (to date) of searches for this NP, and future methods to search for NP in B decays.


Michael Sokoloff
Physics Department
University of Cincinnati

Particle-Antiparticle Oscillation and CP Violation in the Neutral Charm Meson System

Particle-antiparticle oscillation (also called mixing) and CP violation (CPV) are sensitive to Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) amplitudes as well as Standard Model amplitudes. Studies of mixing and CPV in the neutral K, B(s), and D meson systems probe mass scales much higher than the Higgs mass and complement direct searches for BSM physics at the LHC. This talk will provide a general introduction to the phenomenology of particle-antiparticle mixing and CPV, followed by discussions of specific measurements. The primary focus will be the study of D0D0 and D0D0 oscillations using ~ 2.3 X 10 5 “wrong-sign” (WS) Kπ decays and approximately 230 times more “right sign” (RS) decays. The differences of the D0 and D0 WS/RS ratios as functions of decay time are sensitive to both direct indirect CPV. I will discuss the results themselves and bounds on CP violation when they are combined with other measurements.


Albert Migliori
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Superconductivity, Glue, and the Pseudogap

Superconductivity is an “emergent” phenomenon. What that buzz word means here is that superconductivity-old style and likely new-requires theoretical insight outside the scope of the theory of metals at the time understanding emerged. Completely new ideas were needed-then by Bardeen, Cooper, and Schreiffer (BCS) -and now we wait for the insight while diligently making measurements so good and effective that we know the problem has to yield eventually. But we’re not there yet. What is essential is to find the analog of the “phonon” glue that BCS discovered was the way to make electrons in a metal quantum condense into a superconductor. The glue has to have some sort of dynamic response, and has to be ubiquitous. We review here some aspects of superconductivity, lay out incompletely and with bias some of the problems before us in the grand challenge to understand high temperature superconductivity, and describe our recent measurements using Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy that reveal a “pseudogap” and hint at some forward progress*.

*Bounding the pseudogap with a line of phase transitions in YBa2Cu3O6+δ, Arkady Shekhter, B. J. Ramshaw, Ruixing Liang, W. N. Hardy, D. A. Bonn, Fedor F. Balakirev, Ross D. McDonald, Jon B. Betts, Scott C. Riggs & Albert Migliori, Nature 498, 75–77 (06 June 2013).