• NanoSEC Seminar : Nonlinear Optics at Reduced Dimensions, Prof. Hayk Harutyunyan

    When: Friday, April 10, 2015 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: Riverbend Research South Laboratory Auditorium

    When light interacts with low-dimensional systems, new optical new interesting phenomena can arise because of the reduced dimensionality. Classic examples include quantum dots with discrete electronic energy levels or plasmon resonances of metallic nanoparticles. In addition to the dimensionality or shape, the light-matter interaction can be further tuned by using optical nonlinearities. Typically, the induced polarization currents depend linearly on the intensity of the radiation field. However, when the linear relationship breaks down new interesting phenomena arise like frequency conversion or intensity dependent refractive index. We combine this new possibility with the interesting properties of low dimensional systems and use them for applications ranging from subdiffraction resolution imaging to on-chip frequency conversion.

  • Departmental Colloquium : Violent Events in Rocky Planetary Systems, Ben Zuckerman, Research Professor and Emeritus

    When: Thursday, March 5, 2015 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

    Implications for the fate of technological civilizations, including our own

  • Special : Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Why It Will Fail, Ben Zuckerman, Research Professor and Emeritus

    When: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

    In recent years astronomers have discovered that essentially all stars are orbited by planets, thus raising the hopes of many persons that life and even technological life is common in our Milky Way galaxy and will soon be found.  Notwithstanding the existence of so many planets, we present reasons why technological life is a very rare phenomenon and thus will be very difficult to discover.

  • Departmental Colloquium : Computer Simulation Studies of Polymer Adsorption and Aggregation - From Flexible to Stiff, Prof. Wolfhard Janke

    When: Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

    An overview is given on recent computer simulation studies of polymer adsorption and aggregation using generic coarse-grained models. The simulations are performed with Monte Carlo methods in generalized ensembles (multicanonical and parallel tempering) and analyzed from a canonical and microcanonical view. As examples polymer chains interacting with a flat patterned surface or being confined in a spherical cage will be discussed. Of particular interest is the scaling behavior of conformational transitions in dependence of the polymer's bending stiffness. Bending stiffness also  plays a key role for semiflexible polymer aggregation. Our results show that this is the distinguishing parameter that controls whether amorphous aggregates or twisted bundle-like motifs are formed.

  • Departmental Colloquium : Research on Transfer and Implications for Learning and Problem Solving, Dr. Sanjay Rebello

    When: Thursday, January 22, 2015 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

    Transfer of learning is often described as the overaching goal of education.  I will provide a broad overview how the theoretical perspectives on transfer of learning have evolved over time and delve deeper one perspective of transfer that has served as an overaching framework for some of the projects in our reasearch group over the past few years.  In particular I will discuss projects that utilize this perspective to facilitate problem solving. One of these projects focuses on facilitating transfer of mathematical integration to problem solving in a calculus-based physics course for future engineers. The other focuses on the use of visual cueing to facilitate learning and problem solving. I will discuss how these interdisciplinary efforts have advanced our knowledge of how students learn and solve problems in STEM disciplines.