Seminars in Spring 2016

All seminars are held at 4:10 PM in Physics 123, unless otherwise noted.
Refreshments will be served at 4:00 PM.

Upcoming Seminar

February 17, 2016
Brooks Thomas, Colorado College

Jan 27

Professor John Essick, Reed College
Changing Quantum-Dot Optical Properties with the Twist of a Knob

The optical absorption and photoluminescence properties of CdSe and Mn-doped ZnSe quantum dots will be reviewed. When incorporated as the active layer in an electrochemical cell, it will be shown that the photoluminescence of these materials can be increased (“electrobrightening”) or decreased (“Auger quenching”) by filling selected electronic states through the application of an appropriate bias. Finally, results on a mixed CdSe/Mn:ZnSe sample whose photoluminescence can be tuned from green to orange with applied bias will be presented and attempts to produce a high-field electroluminescent device with a quantum dot active layer will be discussed.

Feb 3

Neil Cornish, Montana State University
The Dawn of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

A century has past since Einstein published his theory of gravity and predicted the existence of gravitational waves.  For the past half century, researchers around the world have attempted to detect these elusive waves with increasingly sensitive instruments across a range of wavelengths. A race of sorts has developed between the kilometer-scale laser interferometers operating in the auditory frequency range, and the galactic-scale pulsar timing arrays operating in the nanoHertz range. While the first direct detection of gravitational waves will be a momentous event, it will not be the end of the story, but rather, the beginning of a new era in astronomy, with the potential to transform our view of the Universe.

Feb 10

Gabriel Barello '12, University of Oregon
New Models of Kinetic Mixing

Dark matter may be just one part of an entire dark sector: many new particles and forces that only weakly interact with “normal” matter. These new forces come with new force mediating particles, the simplest of which is the “dark photon”. An amazing prediction of any theory with a dark photon is that it will spontaneously turn into a photon with some (presumably small) probability, a phenomenon called kinetic mixing.

There has been a lot of interest in dark photons and kinetic mixing during the last decade. Many experiments are currently searching for dark photons, so stay tuned over the next few years as data is released! 

In this talk I will describe kinetic mixing and the current state of dark photon searches. I will then go on to discuss some recent work which predicts a new particle associated with kinetic mixing. This new particle interacts with the weak and electromagnetic forces, and may have already been produced at the LHC!

Feb 17

Brooks Thomas, Colorado College

Feb 24


Mar 2

Max Schlosshauer, University of Portland

Mar 9

Chris Dimitriou, Nike

Mar 16

Senior Thesis Talk

Mar 30

David Latimer, University of Puget Sound

Apr 6

Senior Thesis Talks

Apr 13

Senior Thesis Talks

Apr 20

Senior Thesis Talks

Apr 27

Senior Thesis Talks