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 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons and are usually in the One West or auditorium in Wilson Hall. We will temporarily be holding remote or Zoom meetings while the site is closed to the public.

Fermilab upcoming colloquia

Lectures begin at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom, virtual meetings. Email Barb Kronkow at for links to the Zoom meetings

  Appropriate for physicists     Appropriate for all lab staff and members of the public
June 16, 2021, 4:00 pm US/Central
William Shih, Harvard
DNA origami, in which a long scaffold strand is assembled with a large number of short staple strands into parallel arrays of double helices, has proven a powerful method for custom nanofabrication of shapes up to 100 nm in size. However, the scaffold represents about half the mass of an origami, therefore the origami size is restricted by the length of the scaffold. Furthermore, it is impractical and prohibitively expensive to scale the length of the scaffold. Here I will discuss a strategy, that we call crisscross ultracooperative assembly, that combines all-or-nothing scaffold-dependent initiation of folding with scaffold-independent growth, therefore allowing for sizes unbounded by the length of the scaffold. A major application will be digital counting of molecular analytes, where each molecular detection event triggers growth of a single filament resolvable by low-cost microscopy.
Sept. 15, 2021, 4:00 pm US/Central
Ken Van Tilburg, New York University