Colloquium

The Fermilab colloquium introduces staff, users, students and members of the public to a wide range of scientific and science-related topics presented by notable speakers from across the country and around the world. Colloquia are open to the public.

An integral part of Fermilab’s academic culture, “orange” colloquium talks are aimed at a broad scientific and technical audience, while “green” talks are of general interest to all laboratory staff, users and members of the public.

Colloquia are open to everyone. Unless otherwise advertised, the talks are held at 4 pm on Wednesday afternoons in the One West auditorium in Wilson Hall. Members of the public wishing to attend must show a photo ID at the laboratory entrance and tell the guard on duty that they are attending the colloquium.

Fermilab upcoming colloquia

Lectures begin at 4:00 p.m. in 1 West

  Appropriate for physicists     Appropriate for all lab staff and members of the public
Feb. 21, 2018, 4:00 pm
Jonathan Lunine, Cornell University
Ocean worlds is the label given to objects in the solar system that host stable, globe-girdling bodies of liquid water—“oceans”—on or beneath their surfaces. The Galileo orbiter at Jupiter and Cassini at Saturn discovered subsurface water oceans on Europa, Enceladus and Titan, and surface methane seas on the last of these. What we know of these bodies of liquid, what are the prospects for life there and how do we explore them are the topics of this talk.
April 11, 2018, 4:00 pm
Christof Wetterich
Observation of the redshift of distant galaxies tells us that the ratio between intergalactic distances and the size of atoms increases. An expanding Universe or shrinking atoms both reflect the same reality and are equivalent. In a new view on cosmology with steadily increasing masses of elementary particles the universe can exist forever in the past and future - the big bang singularity turns out to be an artifact of an inappropriate choice of fields. Quantum gravity computations indicate that the universe could start in the infinite past near an ultraviolet fixed point with massless particles, and approach in the infinite future an infrared fixed point with spontaneously broken scale symmetry and massive particles. The cosmological constant problem is solved. The resulting model describes early inflationary cosmology and late dynamical dark energy with the same scalar field. It can be tested by observation of huge lumps in the cosmic neutrino background.
June 20, 2018, 4:00 pm
Edward Feser
The idea of a law of nature is central to scientific explanation. Laws themselves are often said to be explicable in terms of more fundamental laws. But what about the most fundamental laws? Why is the world governed by those particular laws rather than by other laws or no laws at all? And what exactly... More »