The University of Mississippi
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Seminars/Colloquia, Spring 2021

Unless noted otherwise, Tuesday Colloquia are at 4:00 PM
Scheduling for additional seminars will vary.

For the Online colloquia, please join Zoom Meeting:
https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187
Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

Date/Place Speaker Title (and link to abstract)
Tue, Jan 19
Lewis 101
Online
Faculty, Staff and Students
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi
Meet & Greet Social
Tue, Jan 26
Lewis 101
Online
Karl Warburton
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Iowa State University
Machine Learning in Long-Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments
Tue, Feb 2
Lewis 101
Online
Deep Medhi
Computer Science & Electrical Engineering Department;
University of Missouri — Kansas City
Interdisciplinary Science: Connecting Physics, Computer Science and Statistics with Computer Networking
Tue, Feb 9
Lewis 101
Online
Katelin Schutz
Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Making Dark Matter out of Light
Tue, Feb 16
Lewis 101
Online
Mike Wallbank
Physics Department
University of Cincinnati
Searching for Sterile Neutrinos using Antineutrino Oscillations with the NOνA Experiment
Tue, Feb 23
Lewis 101
Online
Carl Herickhoff
Biomedical Engineering
University of Memphis
New Directions in Ultrasound Imaging Technology
Tue, Mar 2
Lewis 101
Online
Umberto Tamponi
Particle Physics Group
INFN — Torino and the University of Mississippi
Bottomonium at the Super-B factories: QCD and new physics
Tue, Mar 9
Lewis 101
Online
 
 
 
 
Tue, Mar 16
Lewis 101
Online
Eugenio Bianchi
Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos
Pennsylvania State University
Quantum Aspects of Black Hole Physics
Tue, Mar 23
Lewis 101
Online
Wanwei Wu
Neutrino Division
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers for Neutrino Physics
Tue, Mar 30
Online
Lan Quynh Nguyen
Department of Physics
University of Notre Dame
Self Interacting Dark Matter and the Small-Scale Structure Problem
Tue, Apr 6
Canceled
Rachel Rosen
Department of Physics
Columbia University
Gravity Meets Particle Physics
Tue, Apr 13
Online
Christopher Berry
Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics
Northwestern University
The Secret Lives of Black Holes
Tue, Apr 20
Online
Paul Elmore
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University — Applied Physics Laboratory and the KTY Group & The Physics Career from the Mid-Career Perspective
Thrus, Apr 22
Online
Meghna Bhattacharya
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi
First Results from the Muon g-2 Experiment at Fermilab — Muons Leading the Way
Tue, Apr 27
Online
Final Exam Week  

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The physics colloquium organizer is Gavin Davies
This page is maintained by David Sanders
Latest update: Friday, 09-Apr-2021 17:54:04 CDT

Past semesters: 

Abstracts of Talks


Karl Warburton
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Iowa State University

Machine Learning in Long-Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments

Neutrinos, the most abundant massive particle in the Universe have profoundly influenced its evolution, but are still the least understood fermion in the Standard Model (SM). The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to T. Kajita and A. McDonald following numerous experimental observations of neutrino oscillations, the process by which neutrinos created in one flavor state are observed interacting as different flavor states after traveling a given distance. This colloquium will cover two experiments focused on furthering our understanding of this phenomenon. NOνA is the current flagship long-baseline neutrino experiment in the USA and consists of two functionally identical, finely granulated detectors that are separated by 809 km. The NOνA three flavor neutrino oscillation results presented in June 2020 will be discussed with particular focus given to the impact that machine learning algorithms had increasing the sensitivity of the analysis. These algorithms use topological features for the reconstruction of neutrino interaction flavor and particle identification. The colloquium will conclude with an exploration of how machine learning tools will inform the physics reach of DUNE, a planned long-baseline neutrino experiment, which will begin data-taking in the mid-2020s.


Deep Medhi
Department of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering
University of Missouri — Kansas City

Interdisciplinary Science: Connecting Physics, Computer Science and Statistics with Computer Networking

The image of a black hole from April 2019 was widely seen by millions of people all over the world. To make this happen, it transcended traditional boundaries of a scientific discipline. In this talk, I will discuss examples such as black hole imaging and Large Hadron Collider for high energy physics, and connect them with computer science and statistics, and how computer networking plays a role.


Katelin Schutz
Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Making Dark Matter out of Light

Dark matter could be a “thermal-ish” relic of freeze-in, where the dark matter is produced by extremely feeble interactions with Standard Model particles dominantly at low temperatures. In this talk, I will discuss how sub-MeV dark matter can be made through freeze-in, accounting for a dominant channel where the dark matter gets produced by the decay of plasmons (photons that have an in-medium mass in the primordial plasma of our Universe). I will also explain how the resulting non-thermal dark matter velocity distribution can impact cosmological observables.


Mike Wallbank
Physics Department
University of Cincinnati
Searching for Sterile Neutrinos using Antineutrino Oscillations with the NOνA Experiment

The NOνA experiment consists of two functionally identical liquid scintillator detectors to study neutrino oscillations over an 810 km baseline using Fermilab's NuMI neutrino beam. In additional to world- leading studies of oscillations between the three known neutrino flavors, NOνA is searching for evidence of oscillations involving an additional, sterile, neutrino. Despite observations of neutrino oscillations from the majority of experiments being consistent with a 3-neutrino mixing framework, results from LSND and MiniBooNE are incompatible with this model but could be explained by incorporating a sterile neutrino state. These intriguing results are not conclusive and are in tension with findings from other short-baseline and long-baseline experiments.
I will describe the NOνA experiment and show the latest oscillation results, including a novel sterile search using antineutrinos, and discuss the allowed limits on the mixing angles governing the oscillations. I will also talk about future improvements to the oscillation analyses, in particular highlighting an ongoing test beam program designed to improve our understanding of the detectors and allow more precise analyses through a reduction of the uncertainties.


Carl Herickhoff
Biomedical Engineering
University of Memphis

New Directions in Ultrasound Imaging Technology

Ultrasound has become an established clinical imaging tool in recent decades due to its speed, safety, affordability, and portability, yet biomedical ultrasound technology continues to rapidly advance in new and exciting ways. This talk will give an introduction to ultrasound imaging systems and devices, while also highlighting some current fundamental and applied ultrasound research efforts: intravascular elasticity imaging, dual-frequency superharmonic contrast imaging, large-scale body scanner arrays, low-cost freehand 3D imaging, and integration with augmented-reality displays for live ultrasound image guidance.


Umberto Tamponi
Particle Physics Group
INFN — Torino and the University of Mississippi

Bottomonium at the Super-B factories: QCD and new physics

In the last 15 years, several experiments contributed to an explosion of new results on heavy QCD bound states. Today, we potentially stand at the beginning of a new wave of discoveries, with the Belle II experiment starting its data taking, BESIII moving forward into its program and the LHC experiments moving into their next phase. These new experiments, collecting much larger statistics, will not only allow to constrain the low energy QCD models, but also to study rare decays sensitive to new physics scenarios.

In this seminar, I will first outline the basic ideas and the status of the bottomonium physics, and then describe more in detail the potential of the measurement that will be performed at the Belle II experiment, ranging from the spectroscopy of the tetraquark-like states to the study of New-physics signatures in rare and forbidden decays.


Eugenio Bianchi
Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos
Pennsylvania State University

Quantum Aspects of Black Hole Physics

I will discuss recent developments in black hole physics that are at the frontier of gravity, quantum field theory and quantum information. In particular I will discuss how thermal properties of black holes arise from energy eigenstates of the gravitational field in a manner similar to what happens in other isolated many-body quantum systems. I will also highlight how the observation of the statistical distribution of the spin of primordial black holes can provide the first observational test of black hole entropy.


Wanwei Wu
Neutrino Division
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers for Neutrino Physics

As the most abundant massive particles in our universe, neutrinos are elusive and provide a promising window to probe the fundamental physics. They are everywhere but almost never interact with matter. Questions about the nature of neutrinos and whether they are the reason that universe is made of matter rather than antimatter are still unanswered. One promising detector technology that can be used to study neutrinos in detail is the liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC), which has been adopted by many accelerator-based neutrino experiments including the Fermilab Short-Baseline Neutrino program and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. LArTPCs promise to have millimeter-scale spatial resolution and excellent calorimetric capabilities in the detection of particles traversing the liquid argon and the measurement of their properties. In this talk, the landscape of LArTPCs for neutrino physics will be discussed, along with the prospects and status of the LArTPC neutrino experiments at Fermilab.


Lan Quynh Nguyen
Department of Physics
University of Notre Dame

Self Interacting Dark Matter and the Small-Scale Structure Problem

The core-cusp problem remains as a challenging discrepancy between observations and simulations in the standard CDM model for the formation of galaxies. The problem is that CDM simulations predict a steep power-law mass density profile at the center of galactic dark matter halos. However, observations of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group reveal a density profile consistent with a nearly flat distribution of dark matter near the center. A number of solutions to this dilemma have been proposed. Here, we summarize investigations into the possibility that the dark matter particles themselves self-interact and scatter. Such self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) particles can smooth out the dark-matter profile in high-density regions. We also review the theoretical proposal that self-interacting dark matter may arise as an additional Higgs scalar in the 3-3-1 extension of the standard model. We present new simulations of galaxy formation and evolution for this formulation of self-interacting dark matter. Current constraints on this self-interacting dark matter are then summarized.


Rachel Rosen
Department of Physics
Columbia University

Gravity Meets Particle Physics

Many of the most pressing open questions in fundamental physics today require a better understanding of the interplay between gravity and particle physics. In this talk, I will review what we learn by treating gravity as a theory of particle physics: what new theories emerge, what constraints they must obey, and what we might learn about gravitational phenomena such as black holes.


Christopher Berry
Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics
Northwestern University

The Secret Lives of Black Holes

Gravitational-wave astronomy provides a unique insight into the lives of black holes. Since the beginning of the advanced-detector era in September 2015, we have observed gravitational waves from over 40 binary black hole systems. From the measured gravitational-wave signal we can infer the properties of their source systems, and uncover new insights into their formation. There are currently many mysteries around how massive stars evolve and binaries form in order to create the population of binary black holes. I will explain how we can use the growing catalogue of gravitational-wave observations to unravel these mysteries and review our discoveries to date.


Paul Elmore
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University — Applied Physics Laboratory and the KTY Group & The Physics Career from the Mid-Career Perspective

This talk, intended for both undergraduate and graduate students, is dual purpose. The first part is a short recruitment talk on Johns Hopkins University — Applied Physics Laboratory and the Acoustics and Electromagnetics Group. The laboratory and group employ physics graduates at the Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. levels. The second part of this talk is centered on general advice for a career in physics. I will use my personal career path as an illustration of what, in my opinion (which is admittedly biased), are the biggest advantages of being a physicist vs an engineer or specialized physical scientist. These advantages are

A. Being a “generalist” in the physical sciences, which can provide flexibility in job opportunities and specialization choices in your early career

B. Formal training and general capability to solve hard analytic problems

There are trade-offs, of course (e.g., lack of specialization for jobs that require it, lack of training in engineering approaches, etc.), but the advantages can outweigh the trade-offs. In addition, this talk will provide some discussion for the following topics and time for Q&A:

  • Whether or not to get your Ph.D. or perhaps enter the workforce at the Bachelor's or Master's degree level.
  • The importance of publications and in structuring your publication for readability and information flow in order to enhance potential citation count.
  • The importance of public speaking and going to conferences.
  • A few bits of career “self-care” advice.