• NanoSEC Seminar : Optical Metamaterials: Beyond the Linear Regime, Prof. Wenshan Cai

    When: Friday, April 18, 2014 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: Riverbend Research South Laboratory Auditorium

    Metamaterials are commonly viewed as artificially-structured media capable of realizing arbitrary effective parameters, in which metals and dielectrics are delicately combined to facilitate the index contrast and plasmonic response required for a particular purpose. We aim to drive beyond this limited vision and explore the use of optical metamaterials as a generalizable platform for optoelectronic information technology: Metals will provide tailored plasmonic behavior as before, but will serve double duty by providing electrical functions including voltage input, carrier injection/extraction, and heat sinking, and dielectrics will consist of functional elements such as Kerr materials, electrooptic polymers, and p-n junctions. In this talk I will discuss our preliminary results on several topics in this category, including the electrically induced harmonic generation and optical rectification of light in a perfect metamaterial absorber, the nonlinear spectroscopy and imaging from a chiral metamaterial, and the backward phase-matching in an optical metamaterial where the fundamental and frequency- doubled waves possess opposite indices of refraction.

  • Observatory Open House : Observatory Open House, Dr. Robin Shelton and Dr. Loris Magnani

    When: Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm Where: 4th floor of the Physics bldg. or Physics Auditorium (rm. 202) if cloudy

    The Observatory Open House will be on Thursday, April 17, 2014, beginning at 8:30pm and ending at 10:00pm. If the weather is clear, then we will use the 24 inch telescope in the dome on top of the building to see the sky, especially Jupiter. If the weather is cloudy, then Dr. Loris Magnani will give a lecture in the physics auditorium (room 202). The topic of his lecture will be "The Dark Side of Astronomy:  Dark Energy and Dark Matter".  

    If the sky is clear, then visitors should go to the 4th floor of the Physics Building, where they will ascend the staircase that leads to the dome. Visitors do not need to arrive exactly at 8:30pm or before 8:30pm -- we will be open during the whole 8:30pm to 10:00pm timeframe.


  • Mathematical Physics Seminar : Perturbative QFT and its diagrams, Robert Varley

    When: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:40 pm - 5:30 pm Where: Physics Building Conference Room (204B)
  • CSP Lunch Seminar : Thermodynamics and structural transitions of confined HP Proteins: A Wang-Landau study, Busara Pattanasiri

    When: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Where: CSP Conference Room (Room 322)
  • Departmental Colloquium : Second chance planets, Prof. Alex Wolszczan

    When: Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

    New planets can be created in collisions following the dynamical evolution of original planetary systems circling evolving giant stars. They can also arise from supernova fallback disks around newborn neutron stars and debris disks surrounding white dwarfs. These seemingly far-fetched ideas have been confirmed through discoveries of planets around pulsars, sub-dwarfs, and, possibly, around white dwarf stars, all of which demonstrates the spectacular robustness of the planet formation process. Furthermore, life itself may get a new chance, when habitable zones around evolving giants encompass faraway worlds like Europa and Titan in the solar system. In this talk, I will review the development of this particular field in the exoplanet research and present the Penn State-Torun Centre for Astronomy search for planets around GK-giants with the 9.2-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope.