Fermilab Colloquium Calendar Archive 2019

  Appropriate for physicists     Appropriate for all lab staff and members of the public
Raw date Event date Title Speakers Host Summary Links
20190102 Jan. 2, 2019 No colloquium
20190109 Jan. 9, 2019 Open
20190116 Jan. 16, 2019
In the Spirit of Collaboration: Renovating the North American Hall at The Field Museum
Alaka Wali, The Field Museum Chist Stoughton The Native American Hall at The Field Museum in Chicago is over 50 years old and in need of an update! It is now scientifically inaccurate, contains harmful stereotypes of Native Americans, and doesn’t represent best museum practice in the care of collections. In this talk, I will discuss how museum staff members are collaborating with Native American scholars, museum professionals and community members to renovate the hall and present a fresh perspective on Native American lifeways and histories. I will discuss new approaches to content and to conservation and collections care. I will also discuss the critical importance of drawing on traditional ecological and cultural expertise. Video
20190123 Jan. 23, 2019 Open
20190130 Jan. 30, 2019
Cancelled/rescheduled to February 27
20190206 Feb. 6, 2019
Robotic and autonomous technologies
Mario Di Castro, CERN Katsuya Yonehara Nowadays, intelligent robotic systems are becoming essential for industry and harsh environments, such as the CERN accelerator complex. Aiming to increase safety and machine availability, robots can help perform repetitive and dangerous tasks which humans either prefer to avoid or are unable to do because of hazards, size constraints or the extreme environments in which they take place, such as outer space or radioactive experimental areas. In this presentation, the current status the robotic systems applied at CERN is described. Several robotics solutions have been applied in the past years at CERN, as well as custom made robotic devices. New ideas and solution could come in the close future to increase safety of CERN personnel decreasing radiation dose taken. Current and future research and development in robotics are described, as well as the results from the commissioning of various novel robotic controls. Video
20190213 Feb. 13, 2019
Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves
Barry Barish, Caltech and UC Riverside Dmitri Denisov The discovery of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein in 1916, is now enabling important tests of the theory of general relativity, as well as beginning multi-messenger astronomy: the combined observations of astrophysical phenomena using electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves and neutrinos. Plans and prospects for gravitational wave science will be explored. Barry is a 2017 Nobel Prize winner Video
20190220 Feb. 20, 2019 No colloquium
20190227 Feb. 27, 2019
Is the Electron Round: TeV Beyond Standard Model tests on a Tabletop
Gerald Gabrielse, Northwestern University Mike Albrow The standard model of particle physics is both the great triumph and the great frustration of modern physics. It can make predictions accurate to 1 part in 1012 for the electron magnetic moment, while being unable to explain basic features of the universe. The standard model predicts that the electron charge is not quite round, i.e. it has an electric dipole moment, but that this moment is far too small to measure. Most other models, like supersymmetry models, predict an electric dipole moment that is within experimental reach. The Advanced Cold Molecule EDM (ACME) Collaboration has just reported a new measurement of the electron electric dipole moment that has a sensitivity increased by an order of magnitude. Video
20190306 March 6, 2019
Physics of viruses
Roya Zandi, University of California Chris Stoughton Despite the proliferation of viruses in nature, the mechanisms by which hundreds or thousands of proteins assemble to form structures with icosahedral order (IO) is completely unknown. In this talk, I will discuss the results of our simulations of a minimal model and show that the mechanical properties of building blocks including the spontaneous curvature, flexibility and bending rigidity of coat proteins are sufficient to predict the size, symmetry and shape selectivity of the assembly products. Further, using continuum elasticity theory, I prove that as a spherical cap grows, there is a deep potential well at the locations of disclinations that later in the assembly process will become the vertices of an icosahedron, explaining at least in part, the error-free assembly of protein subunits into capsids with universal IO.
20190313 March 13, 2019
The Photometric LSST Astronomical Time Series Challenge (PLAsTiCC)
Renee Hlozek, University of Toronto Chris Stoughton The Photometric LSST Astronomical Time Series Classification Challenge (PLAsTiCC) was an open data challenge to classify simulated astronomical time-series data in preparation for observations from theLarge Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which will achieve first light in 2019 and commence its 10-year main survey in 2022. LSST will revolutionize our understanding of the changing sky, discoveringand measuring millions of time-varying objects. In this challenge, we posed the question: how well can we classify objects in the sky that vary in brightness from simulated LSST time-series data, with all itschallenges of non-representativity? I will describe the PLAsTiCC challenge from conception, validation to delivery and highlight the results of the challenge, and discuss how this rich and complex simulationcan be used to better understand the transient sky. Video
20190320 March 20, 2019
3D Printing Functional Materials & Devices
Michael McAlpine, Chris Stoughton Chris Stoughton The ability to three-dimensionally interweave biological and functional materials could enable the creation of devices possessing unique and compelling geometries, properties, and functionalities. Indeed, interfacing active devices with biology in 3D could impact a variety of fields, including regenerative bioelectronics, smart prosthetics, biomedical devices, and human-machine interfaces. Our approach is to use extrusion-based multi-material 3D printing, which is an additive manufacturing technology that offers freeform, autonomous fabrication. This approach addresses the dichotomies presented above by (1) using 3D printing and imaging for personalized, multifunctional device architectures; (2) employing ‘nano-inks’ as an enabling route for introducing diverse material functionality; and (3) 3D printing a range of functional inks to enable the interweaving of a diverse palette of materials, from biological to electronic. 3D printing is a multiscale platform, allowing for the incorporation of functional nanoscale inks, the printing of microscale features, and ultimately the creation of macroscale devices. This blending of 3D printing, functional materials, and ‘living’ platforms may enable next-generation 3D printed devices, from a one-pot printer. Video
20190327 March 27, 2019
Fear, Distortion, and Denial. Does Science Still Matter in America Today?
Kenneth Miller, Brown University Chris Stoughton Public opinion in the world’s leading scientific nation continues to demonstrate a surprising unwillingness to embrace the scientific consensus on issues affecting the well being and prosperity of the country and the world. While it might seem logical to attribute the prevalence of anti-science attitudes to religious dogma or factual unawareness, the roots of this problem go far deeper, and relate to popular perceptions of science and scientists. I will consider multiple aspects of science denial, and suggest how the scientific enterprise and science education need to change to reclaim the cultural high ground in American society. video
20190403 April 3, 2019
Ten Thousand Pieces of Blue Sky: Building Towards the Complete Picture of Exoplanet Demographics
Jessie Christiansen, Caltech Chris Stoughton The NASA Kepler mission has provided its final planet candidate catalogue, the K2 mission has contributed another four years’ worth of data, and the NASA TESS mission has just started producing planet candidates of its own. The demographics of the exoplanet systems probed by these transiting exoplanet missions are complemented by the demographics probed by other techniques, including radial velocity, microlensing, and direct imaging. I will walk through the progress of the Kepler occurrence rate calculations, including some of the outstanding issues that are being tackled. I will demonstrate how K2 and TESS are able to push the stellar parameter space in which we can explore occurrence rates beyond that examined by Kepler, and progress to that end. Finally, I will highlight some of the pieces of the larger demographics puzzle - occurrence rate results from the other techniques that probe different stellar and exoplanet regimes - and how we can start joining those pieces together. video
20190410 April 10, 2019
Leon Lederman and his impact on science education
Christine Middleton, Physics Today Mike Albrow Leon Lederman is well-known as the former director of Fermilab and for his Nobel Prize winning work in high-energy physics. However, he also had a passion for science education. Leon recognized that American students were not graduating high school with a working knowledge of scientific ideas, and he took active steps toward improving the state of science education that are still impacting students today. He was a vocal advocate for the Physics First model of science education, which is increasingly being used in schools across the country. The three-year residential school he founded for gifted students, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), is still one of the top-ranking high schools in the country. Leon’s training program for teachers, the Teachers Academy for Math and Science (TAMS), serves as a model for science education reform today. These and other programs with which he was involved make up a robust legacy that continues to contribute to the educational community. Video
20190417 April 17, 2019
Digital art installations in museum exhibitions: “Along the River during the Qingming Festival” and the Cyrus Tang Hall of China
Deborah Bekken, Field Museum Chris Stoughton In June 2015, the Field Museum opened the Cyrus Tang Hall of China, a permanent exhibition that introduces visitors to more than 10,000 years of Chinese cultural history and features over 350 objects from the museum’s East and Southeast Asian collections. To help interpret this expansive subject, key themes and objects are given context by a suite of large-scale, custom-produced interactive media strategically integrated throughout the five-gallery, 9,000 square-foot space. As a coherent set of interactive media, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China offers visitors a user experience that is data-rich but not overpowering. This presentation will discuss the goals, development, prototyping, and evaluation of digital versions of art and artifacts within the Cyrus Tang Hall of China. Video
20190424 April 24, 2019
Status of ILC in Japan
Masanori Yamauchi, Director General of KEK Joe Lykken Special Colloquium - The International Linear Collider (ILC) is an electron-positron collider with 250 GeV center-of-mass energy designed to study Higgs couplings with a much higher precision than can be achieved at hadron collider experiments. This will make it an excellent tool to probe for physics beyond the Standard Model. KEK proposed that the Japanese government host this new machine in Japan as an international project, and the proposal has been strongly supported by ICFA. The Japanese government recently released its statement about the ILC, and the project’s future direction is becoming clearer. In this colloquium, the status and possible future of the ILC in Japan will be presented. Video
20190424 April 24, 2019
El Niño as a Topological Insulator: A Surprising Connection Between Climate, and Quantum Physics
Brad Marston, Brown University Pushpa Bhat Symmetries and topology play central roles in our understanding of physics. Topology, for instance, explains the precise quantization of the Hall effect and the protection of surface states in topological insulators against scattering from disorder or bumps. However discrete symmetries and topology have so far played little role in thinking about the fluid dynamics of oceans and atmospheres. In this talk I show that, as a consequence of the rotation of the Earth that breaks time reversal symmetry, equatorially trapped Kelvin and Yanai waves emerge as topologically protected edge modes. Thus the oceans and atmosphere of Earth naturally share basic physics with topological insulators. As equatorially trapped Kelvin waves in the Pacific Ocean are an important component of El Niño Southern Oscillation and other climate processes, these new results demonstrate that topology plays a surprising role in Earth’s climate system. Video
20190501 May 1, 2019
Status and Conservation Strategies for the Rusty Patched Bumblebee in the Chicago Region
Terry Miesle & Brittany Buckles, Native Bee Awareness Initiative and Fermilab Natural Areas Jacques Hooymans Once very common throughout the Eastern US, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) populations have dramatically decreased in the past few decades. Added to the US Endangered Species List, this bee has become the recipient of substantial attention. We'll discuss some of the reasons for this decline, how we can help, and how we can report information as Citizen Scientists. Our activity in our back yards and protected areas is a unique opportunity to directly help an endangered species. Video
20190508 May 8, 2019
Programming languages and particle physics
Jim Pivarski, Princeton Don Lincoln Programming languages aren't for computers; they're for people. If a language doesn't make it easier to express your physics problem, it's not a suitable language. Some fields have specialized "Domain Specific Languages" (DSLs) that trade freedom of expression for focus on the problem at hand, and can even improve performance by limiting this scope. A prime example is SQL, widely used by data analysts outside of physics, which trades generic computation for a SELECT-WHERE-GROUPBY pattern. Interestingly, this was the design pattern of the first electromechanical computers (Hollerith machine, 1890) and it's still a major focus of big data today (Dean & Ghemawat: MapReduce, 2004). Particle physics problems don't fit SQL well; in fact, physicists became involved in computing in tandem with the invention of generic, digital computers (Von Neumann's stored-program machine, 1945). I will present some history, some general features of programming languages, what "declarative" really means, and will show some perhaps surprising examples of DSLs you're already using. Video
20190515 May 15, 2019
The Formative Years of the Top Quark
Paul Grannis, Stony Brook University The top quark was widely anticipated but was only sighted in early 1995. I will describe the birth and early life of the top quark, together with some comments on what we should look forward to as the top matures through LHC studies and beyond. Video
20190522 May 22 - May 23, 2019
Open
20190529 May 29, 2019
The Trouble with Einstein’s Time
Jimena Canales, Harvard Chris Stoughton Einstein’s famous claim that “the distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion” underpins most physicists’ current understanding of time. Yet in recent years, agrowing number of contemporary physicists have opposed the need to write off our experience of emergent temporality from our understanding of the universe. The “hole at the heart of physics” (Scientific American, 2002) is usually traced back to how time is defined by the theory of relativity and the “block universe.”Can these debates be solved by science alone or are they inescapably philosophical, historical and cultural? My talk will explore the origins of this persistent quandary by focusing on the relation of physics to philosophy, and history and the humanities.
20190605 June 5, 2019 Robophysics: robotics meets physics Daniel Goldman, Georgia Institute of Technology Chris Stoughton Robots will soon move from the factory floor and into our lives (e.g. autonomous cars, package delivery drones, and search-and-rescue devices). However, compared to living systems, locomotion by such devices is still relatively limited, in part because principles of interaction with complex environments are largely unknown. In this talk I will discuss efforts to develop a physics of moving systems -- a locomotion ``robophysics'' -- which we define as the pursuit of the discovery of principles of self-generated motion [Aguilar et al, Rep. Prog. Physics, 2016]. Video
20190612 June 12, 2019 No colloquium - User's Meeting
20190619 June 19, 2019
Macroscopic Quantum states at Ultra-low Temperature
William Halperin, Northwestern Chris Stoughton New anisotropic states of superfluid 3He have been studied at ultra-low temperatures. They are similar to those in the superconducting compound UPt3. I will discuss and compare three unconventional superconducting/superfluid materials for which measurements of physical properties indicate unconventional order parameter symmetries, most importantly chiral symmetry and broken time reversal symmetry. These are in evidence in high quality single crystals of the f-wave superconductor, UPt3; the p-wave superfluid, 3He; and 3He in highly porous silica aerogel.[1] All of these systems have multiple thermodynamic phases, with different order parameter structure. In this context, theoretical predictions indicate that anisotropic quasiparticle scattering favors stability of anisotropic quantum states.[2] We have shown that this is the case for chiral states of superfluid 3He confined to uniformly anisotropic silica aerogel,[3] and evident in the recently discovered orbital-flop phase. This is also apparent in UPt3 and can be attributed to anisotropic impurities associated with prism-plane stacking faults. Video
20190626 June 26, 2019
The Periodic Table in 1869: What D. I. Mendeleev Did and Did Not Do
Michael Gordin, Princeton Vladimir Shiltsev 2019 has been named the International Year of the Periodic Table because it marks 150 years since Dmitrii Mendeleev (1834-1907), then a young chemistry professor in St. Petersburg, formulated his version of the system of elements. The choice of date is somewhat arbitrary. There were five other attempts at periodic tables postulated earlier in the 1860s, some of which resemble our present version slightly more than Mendeleev’s in certain respects. Also, the main achievement of Mendeleev’s table — its predictive capacity — was also a gradual process that began in 1869 but took many years to cement his international reputation. This talk will explore what Mendeleev did in 1869, how it related to what came before and after, and also discuss a few of the myths that have accumulated around his work. Video
20190703 July 3, 2019 No colloquium
20190710 July 10, 2019
Finding Needles in the Haystack: Outlier Detection in Astronomical Datasets
J. Rafael Martinez-Galarza, Harvard & Smithsonian Andres Felipe Alba Hernandez/Chris Stoughton Upcoming large observational time-domain surveys such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will produce millions of regularly- and irregularly-sampled astronomical light curves. The large volume of the resulting datasets, however, implies that their processing, classification, and interpretation will require sophisticated algorithms involving statistical learning. One important question is: how do we discover the unexpected when we are presented with a large dataset? How do we find scientifically interesting light curves (or any kind of astronomical data) that are not explained by current models? In this talk I will discuss state-of-the-art anomaly detection methods that use machine learning to find needles in this upcoming haystack of data, and will show the results of applying them to a dataset of Kepler, TESS, and Chandra objects. After a brief introduction to machine learning and its application in time-domain astronomy, I will delve into different methods for outlier detection. I will then show how these methods can be adapted for time-domain and for high energy astronomy, and present the results of applying them to a large dataset of TESS light curves and the Chandra Source Catalog 2.0. I will describe the astrophysical implications of our findings in terms of where the most extreme outliers live in the Hertzprung-Russell diagram, and discuss the potential of the algorithms for discovery in the era of large astronomical datasets. Video
20190717 July 17, 2019
Cold Atom Sensing: Gravity, Tomography, and Gyroscopes
Steve Libby, Lawrence Livermore National Lab Vic Scarpine The ability to use lasers to cool atoms to micro-Kelvin temperatures and subsequently control their quantum mechanical behavior has led to the development of exquisitely precise ‘quantum’ sensors. Our LLNL – AOSense, Inc. collaboration is pursuing diverse applications of these atom interferometer sensors that directly exploit their extraordinary accuracy, scale factor stability, low noise and... More » Video
20190724 July 24, 2019 Open
20190731 July 31, 2019 Open
20190807 Aug. 7, 2019
Neutrino: chronicles of an aloof witness
Goren Senjanovic, Abdus Salam ICTP Erica Snider As you read this, trillions of neutrinos from the sun are passing through every square inch of your body, doing no harm whatsoever. They convey information from the depth of the universe and have been present from its very birth. Neutrinos have captured the imagination of physicists from the time they were first conceived and... More » Video
20190814 Aug. 14, 2019 Cancelled - No colloquium
20190821 Aug. 21, 2019
New physics and astrophysics applications of coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering
Louis Strigari, Texas A&M University Patrick Fox Coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS) is a long-standing theoretical prediction of the Standard Model (SM), and the COHERENT experiment has recently achieved the first detection of it. CEvNSprovides an important probe of physics beyond the SM. In addition, it can open up a new window into neutrino astrophysics, through studies of low energy neutrinos from the Sun, atmosphere, and supernovae. CEvNS is also vital for understanding and interpreting future particle dark matter searches. In this talk, I will discuss the prospects for learning about the nature of neutrinos and astrophysical sources from CEvNS detection, highlighting how astrophysical and terrestrial-based detections play important and complementary roles.